Wonderful New Book: The Envy of Eve

The Envy of Eve

My wife Melissa has just published a wonderful new book, The Envy of Eve: Finding Contentment in a Covetous World (Christian Focus, 2012).  The issue of coveting is one that does not get much attention in today’s church (when’s the last time you heard a sermon on it?).   Yet, as she points out in her book, coveting is really a “mother” sin.  That is, when left unchecked it can give birth to all kinds of other sins.

Thus, coveting is the foundation for suspicion of, and rebellion against, both our maker and our neighbor.  In this sense, coveting is the direct opposite of the two greatest commandments: “And you shall love

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Early Jesus Notebooks as Aides-Mémoire

Michael Bird has recently posted a very helpful analysis of the interplay between written and oral traditions in early Christianity.  Unfortunately, modern scholars often pit these two modes of transmission against one another, as if early Christians could only have used one or the other.  But, we have every reason to think that both would have been used–and would have interfaced with one another–from the very start. Written notebooks/codices would have been aides-mémoire for recalling oral tradition.  Moreover, as eyewitnesses (the “living voice”) began to die out, early Christians would have wanted to preserve their voice for later generations.  Thus, written traditions did not exist in opposition to oral tradition, …

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New Blog Series:10 Common Misconceptions About the NT Canon

Over the next month or so I plan to write a new blog series on 10 common misconceptions (or misunderstandings) about the origins and development of the NT Canon.   These are misconceptions that are not only held by the average layman, but are often shared by those in the academic community as well.   It is always difficult to know how such misunderstandings develop and are promulgated.   Sometimes they are just ideas that are repeated so often that no one bothers (anymore) to see if they have merit.  In other cases, these ideas have been promoted through popular presentations of the canon’s origins (e.g., The Da Vinci Code).  And …

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Did Early Christians Believe that Jesus Would Return in Their Lifetime?: Implications for the Canon

One of the most-oft repeated ideas about the earliest Christians is that they believed that the Kingdom of God would come (apocalyptically) within their own lifetime.  In fact Schweitzer famously argued that Jesus himself thought the world would end in his own lifetime; of course the world didn’t end and Jesus died disillusioned on the cross saying, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34).  In recent years, some have suggested that this belief in early Christianity would even have affected the development of the canon.   If Christians thought the world would end in their own lifetime, then, it is argued, they would not have …

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