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Culture & Politics

Remembering Tim Keller

One year ago on this day, we said goodbye to Tim Keller. In honor of his passing, I am reposting my original tribute to him below. ______________________ By now, you have heard the sad news. Tim Keller has just passed away. I still remember the first time I heard a Tim Keller sermon. It was...

May 19, 2024

Articles

Academics & Seminary

Does it Matter Whether Seminary Education is In-Person or Online?

A Case for the Power of Presence in Theological Education

Ever since I became the president of the Charlotte campus of Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS)—now more than a decade ago—I’ve been committed to a basic practice. It might not seem like much. It’s not anything extraordinary. But I think it has proven to be one of the most meaningful things I do. Here’s my practice:...

May 6, 2024

Articles

Culture & Politics

Is Marriage a Good Thing?

Marriage has fallen on hard times of late. As of 2020, US News and World Report documented how the US marriage rates have dropped to historic lows. Indeed, since records were kept from the early 1800’s, at no point in our history have people been married so infrequently. But it’s not just declining rates—the people...

April 16, 2024

Articles

Ethics & Morality

A Wonderful New Book on Parenting Teens

Ok, let’s just get it out there. Parenting is hard. And parenting teens is particularly hard. Even more, parenting teens in our current cultural moment is exceptionally hard. While every generation has “new” challenges, it is fair to say that the current generation has more than its fair share. We are faced with an increasingly...

April 1, 2024

Articles

Gospels

One of the Most Overlooked Arguments for the Resurrection

Well, soon it will be Easter. That wonderful time of the year when we remember (and celebrate) the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. But, not all will be celebrating. There are many that find Easter to be a senseless holiday—apart from, perhaps, the joys of Sunday brunch or chocolate eggs. After all, it is...

March 28, 2024

Articles

Ancient Manuscripts

The Dead Sea Scrolls, the Book of Esther, and the Argument from Silence

When we want to know how the New Testament canon developed, we have a number of sources at our disposal. Most fundamentally, we have patristic sources—the writings of the church fathers—which can show us when books were known, read, and cited. We also have archaeological evidence at our disposal. We continue to find manuscripts of...

March 25, 2024

Articles

Ancient Manuscripts

Announcing My New Book with Oxford University Press

And an Update on Other Academic Projects

Since this blog is primarily designed to put out lay-level content on the origins of the New Testament (among other issues), I don’t normally talk about the more technical scholarly projects I am working on behind the scenes. So, here’s a little update on what I’ve been up to academically. 1. First, I am pleased...

March 18, 2024

Articles

Ancient Manuscripts

One of the Core Markers of Early Christian Identity

One of the most notable features of early Christianity is that it was a religion concerned with books. Particularly, scriptural books. As Margaret Mitchell observed, “Christianity was a religious movement with texts at its very heart and soul, in its background and foreground. Its communities were characterized by a pervading, even obsessive preoccupation with and...

February 19, 2024

Articles

Pastoral Ministry

One of the Most Important Ministry Skills That Nobody Talks About

What’s the most important skill you need to be successful in ministry? Knowing how to run a good meeting. Ok, that’s not really true. Many other things matter more (a lot more!). But, running a good meeting still matters.  And more than you think. Even those who’ve only been in ministry a short time know...

February 12, 2024

Articles

Authority of Scripture

Is the Book of James Really ‘An Epistle of Straw’?

We have a lot of books in our New Testament. All of them, we believe, are divinely inspired. And yet we don’t spend equal amounts of time reading them. For most of us, our reading pattern is profoundly lopsided, focusing mostly on Paul (especially Romans and Galatians) and the Gospels (with John leading the way)....

January 29, 2024

Articles

Ancient Manuscripts

Recent Books on the Paratextual Features of Early Christian Manuscripts

There is more to a text than merely the words on the page. This is a principle that is often missed, even by modern readers. When a person reads a book, of course the intellectual attention is primarily centered upon the words and the meaning of those words. But, most readers don’t realize that there...

January 22, 2024

Articles

Authority of Scripture

Three Reasons the Old Testament is More Important than You Think

When it comes to the reasons people reject the Bible, the Old Testament might just rank near the top of the list.  Whether it’s just something confusing (the book of Leviticus), or something historically hard to believe (the “giants” of Genesis 6), or even something offensive (God’s supposed condoning of genocide), the Old Testament has...

January 15, 2024

Articles

Ancient Manuscripts

Is P.Oxy. 5575 the Only Manuscript that Mixes Synoptic Material with the Gospel of Thomas?

Further Reflections on the New ‘Gospel’ Fragment from Oxyrhynchus

Back in September of 2023, I published an article on the newly discovered “gospel” manuscript from Oxyrhynchus: “New ‘Gospel’ Manuscript Discovered? (What it Is and Why it Matters).” That manuscript, labelled P.Oxy. 5575, is a small papyrus manuscript dated to the second-century that exhibits a most notable feature, namely that it apparently contains a conglomeration...

January 8, 2024

Articles

Academics & Seminary

RTS Charlotte 2023 Year in Review

Well, it’s New Year’s Eve. It’s the time of the year to be inundated with “Best of” stories and “Year in Review” segments, dutifully cataloging everything that happened in pop culture or politics. But, what if a “Year in Review” was about more than celebrities or sports teams? What if we did a year in...

December 31, 2023

Articles

Bible Difficulties

Think You Know the Christmas Story?

Here Are Five Common Misconceptions

Bah, humbug. That’s probably one of the most well-known lines in literary (and now, cinematic) history. Everybody immediately recognizes the curmudgeonly voice of Ebeneezer Scrooge as he pours cold water all over our Christmas spirit. And his point is still made today by some, albeit in different words.  It’s that the Christmas story just isn’t...

December 11, 2023

Articles

Ancient Manuscripts

One of the Most Remarkable Features of Early Christian Manuscripts

One of my favorite electives I teach here at RTS Charlotte is “The Origin and Authority of the New Testament Canon.” We cover a lot of ground in that course: why we have a NT canon, what is the earliest evidence for a canon consciousness, what were the factors that led to the church receiving...

November 27, 2023

Articles

Ancient Manuscripts

Next Week I’m Headed to San Antonio for ETS and SBL—Here’s What I’ll Be Up To

Next week I’m headed to San Antonio, TX, for the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) and Society of Biblical Literature (SBL)—two of the largest gatherings for biblical scholars in the world. In addition to the normal meals, gatherings, and meeting with old friends, here’s a little preview of what I will be...

November 8, 2023

Articles

Apocryphal Literature

What Should We Make of the Hypothetical “Q” Source?

Students of the Gospels will know that there has been a long-standing discussion among scholars about the relationship between the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). These three Gospels are so similar at so many points (often word for word), that it raises a number of intriguing questions. Did they know each other? Did they...

October 31, 2023

Articles

Ancient Manuscripts

Why Are People So Fascinated with ‘Lost’ Books of the Bible?

Reflections on the Recently Discovered 'Gospel' Manuscript

Exactly one month ago, I published a TGC article on the recently discovered ‘gospel’ manuscript from Oxyrhynchus, P.Oxy. 5575. This new manuscript is noteworthy for many reasons (which I cover in the article), but mostly because it includes material from the Gospel of Thomas laid alongside material from Matthew and Luke. While such a discovery...

October 23, 2023

Articles

Ethics & Morality

A Wonderful New Kids Book on Contentment

OK, so I really love my wife’s new book. I know that may seem predictable since I am her husband, but this new kids book really captures some wonderful biblical truths in a winsome, fun, and entertaining way. Melissa just released Lucy and the Saturday Surprise (Crossway, 2023), which is the latest installment in the...

October 17, 2023

Articles

Apocryphal Literature

What I’ll Be Up to at the TGC National Conference

Next week, Sept 25-27 th , I’ll be headed to Indianapolis to participate in The Gospel Coalition National  Conference entitled, “Hope in the Wilderness.” The conference this year is unique because TGC is partnering with other organizations to offer “micro events.” These are sort of like smaller conferences within the larger conference. So, while TGC...

September 20, 2023


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