Fall 2016: Open Theme on Biblical and Theological Studies

By Everett Berry, Editor

Fall 2016From time to time, CTR provides academic forums that are not devoted to one theme. The reason for this is so contributors can provide specialized essays on a broad spectrum of topics. This Fall 2016 edition serves as such a volume. Herein, readers can engage two articles pertaining to Old Testament (OT) studies and two related to issues in the New Testament (NT) as well as an individual essay devoted to some of the complexities of theological hermeneutics and another concerning archaeological endeavors at Qumran.

Our lead article is by co-written by Nicholas G. Piotrowski, who serves as Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Crossroads Bible College in Indianapolis, IN, and David S. Schrock, who is a teaching pastor at Occoquan Bible Church in Woodbridge, VA. They challenge trends in NT scholarship that reject readings of the gospels portraying Jesus as a priest. Their counter is that Matthew’s gospel clearly presents Jesus as one who restores people from ceremonial uncleanness because it is a precursor to his eschatological role as the priestly Messiah who will bring cleansing from sin for his people.

Our second article is by Eugene H. Merrill who formerly served as Distinguished Professor of Old Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas, TX. Dr. Merrill addresses the matter of whether death existed in creation (apart from human beings) prior to Adam’s fall. Merrill contends that a close reading of the creation narrative in Genesis 1–2 as well as its comparison with select passages elsewhere in Scripture make it extremely problematic to deduce that death existed prior to the impact of sin upon humanity and the created order.

The third article is written by Russell L. Meek who is Assistant Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Louisiana College in Pineville, LA. Meek thinks many of the reflections about life that the author of Ecclesiastes, Qohelet, expresses are in response to various forms of injustice that have come upon humanity because of Adam’s fall. Meek also contends that Qohelet’s solution to these ordeals is to replicate the original vision of Eden by savoring the gifts in life that God still provides and do so with an attitude of reverence and obedience.

The fourth article is provided by Mark J. Boone who is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Forman Christian College in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. Boone compares the evangelical view of inerrancy, which traditionally upholds the veracity of all claims made by biblical authors, with the postmodern axiom that textual meaning can transcend the intent(s) of original authors. Boone believes both of these ideas are compatible and appeals to the work of the ancient church father, Augustine of Hippo, as well as modern theologian Kevin Vanhoozer, to support his case.

The fifth entry is offered by Lamar E. Cooper, Sr. who is Senior Professor of Old Testament and Archaeology at Criswell College in Dallas, TX. Dr. Cooper interacts with scholars involved in excavations and related reports about discoveries at Qumran who have concluded that the primary intent of this ancient community was to serve as a pottery factory. Cooper argues that the evidence for this theory is unconvincing and that the Qumran settlement was an unequivocally religious sect primarily involved in scribal activity.

And finally, our last article is by Brandon D. Smith who is beginning doctoral studies at Ridley College in Melbourne, Australia. Smith engages various NT scholars who currently think that the book of Revelation does not support the concept of the full deity of Christ. Smith argues that such a deduction misconstrues numerous passages in the Apocalypse that apply Old Testament texts, which explicitly refer to Yahweh, to the risen, glorified Christ. Furthermore, he argues that Revelation not only upholds the full divinity of Christ but also supports the basic components of Trinitarianism as well.

Following these articles are fourteen book reviews which can inform readers about works that can improve their theological libraries. And also remember that past issues of CTR can be accessed online at atla.com. Your local university or seminary can provide you with a password.

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