My Bible and Interpretation Article about Christology

July 31, 2015

I have posted an article that critically interacts with the “Early High Christology Club” for the online journal Bible and Interpretation. I really do believe that the scholarly proponents of this model have made a genuine advance beyond older proposals about how a “high Christology” could only emerge at the end of a lengthy process of development in a non-Jewish milieu and that neglected the Second Temple literary evidence in favour of strained parallels to later or diffuse texts (e.g., the theios aner or “divine man”, the Gnostic redeemer myth). Yet, I have raised some theoretical questions about the rhetoric that sometimes seems to surface that a “high Christology” was the earliest, unanimous, and exclusively-Jewish influenced viewpoint of the Christ congregations. I also make some remarks about the relationship between historical and theological concerns, an issue that is important to me since I currently teach in a Christian confessional context. Larry Hurtado has already added written an extensive response on his blog and Michael Bird has offered a response as well, and the article has received some positive feedback from Daniel O McClellan, Jim West, and others on Facebook. I hope all the parties concerned are anticipating the debate about Markan Christology at this upcoming SBL. Let the conversation continue.

Peter Head Reviews a Book on Mark 16:9-20

July 24, 2015

I came across Peter M. Head’s continuing blog review (here, here, here) of N. P. Lunn’s The Original Ending of Mark: A New Case for the Authenticity of Mark 16:9-20 (Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2014). I have posted my views on the longer ending of Mark in The Gospel on the Margins: The Reception of Mark in the Second Century (pp. 257-264). I am currently convinced that it is a scribal addition in the first half of the second century (external references in Irenaeus, Tatian and possibly Justin Martyr) that compensates for the ending of Mark at 16:8 and has contact with singly attested details in the other New Testament Gospels (especially Luke and John). However, I could not go into the level of detail that a whole monograph devoted to the subject can so I will be interested both in what Lunn brings to the table and Head’s review as an expert text critic who graciously provided input on an earlier draft of my thesis.