Wednesday, 30 June 2010

A Liberal and Evangelical battle - the Story of Lexington and Asbury

Ryan Chivington from Ohio, USA, is doing a PhD on suffering in the Epistle to the Hebrews here at Nijmegen. He told me this morning that he did a masters degree at Asbury Theological Seminary some years ago. As we talked I remebered an interesting article I read some years ago relating to some rivalry between Lexington and Asbury seminaries since the 1960's. Asbury is well-known for its biblical studies department where Ben Witherington III teaches New Testament.
Check out the link below for the Lexington/ Asbury issue:
Ryan, hope you'll have a great time here in the Netherlands with us!
Check out the link below for more details about Ben Witherington:

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Remembering Martin Hengel

The 2010 Tyndale Fellowship New Testament Group meeting:

Chair: David Wenham

Secretary: Michael Bird

The Tyndale Fellowship New Testament Group will be meeting in Cambridge on 7-9 July 2010. This years theme is "Remembering Martin Hengel". It features a number of invited speakers from the USA, UK, and Germany who will provide papers that interact with areas related to Martin Hengel's work. Richard Bauckham will be presenting the annual Tyndale Fellowship New Testament Lecture on "Eyewitnesses in the Gospel of Mark". Sadly, we are not accepting any papers as we have a full programme already. Any further questions about the group and its programme for this year should be forwarded to

Wednesday - 7 July

2-4 pm Registration

4.00 pm Coffee

4.30 pm Welcome David Wenham

5.00 pm Session 1: Roland Deines (Nottingham University)

Christology between Pre-existence, Incarnation and Messianic Self-understanding

6.30 pm Supper

8.00 pm Session 2: Andreas Köstenberger (Southeastern Baptist

Theological Seminary)

"John's Transposition of the Synoptic Pattern: Retelling the Story of Jesus in Another Key."

Thursday - 8 July

8.45 am Prayers

9.30 am Session 3: Tyndale Fellowship New Testament Lecture

Richard Bauckham (Emeritus St. Andrews University)

"Rome and the Gospel of Mark"

11.00 am Coffee

11.30 am Session 4: Donald A. Hagner (Emeritus Fuller Theological Seminary)

"The Parting of the Ways" Once More

1.00 pm Lunch

Afternoon Free
4.00 pm Coffee

5.00 pm Session 5: Grant Macaskill (University of St. Andrews)

The Atonement and Concepts of Participation in the

New Testament

6.30 pm Supper
8.00 pm Session 6: Rainer Riesner (University of Dortmand)

Jesus and the Synoptic Gospels

Friday - 9 July

8.45 am Prayers

9.30 am Session 7: Armin Baum

"The Epilogue (Joh 20:30-31), the Colophon (Joh 21:24-25) and

the Last Chapter of John's Gospel. Observations Against the

Background of Ancient Literary Conventions"

11.00 am Coffee

11.30 am Session 8: Seyoon Kim (Fuller Theological Seminary)

"Son of God"

1.00 pm Lunch

2.00 pm Session 9: Seminar Discussion: "Martin Hengel: An Evangelical


Peter Head & David Wenham.

3.00 pm Planning for TF 2010, "Preaching the NT".

4.00 pm Afternoon Tea

6.30 pm Dinner

(not included in cost of conference; must be booked as an extra)

Monday, 21 June 2010

Transformations and perceptions of the Early Christian monuments of Ravenna

I stumbled across a Nijmegen PhD which was published recently. I haven't studied it but the short abstract seems quite interesting.

Candidate: Mariëtte Verhoeven
Dissertation title: ‘‘Nothing perishes, everything changes’: transformations and perceptions of the Early Christian monuments of Ravenna’
Promotor: Prof Sible de Blaauw


A dozen ecclesiastical buildings in the Italian town of Ravenna, dating from the end of the fourth until the sixth century, constitute the starting point of this research. It focuses on the transformations these monuments underwent during fifteen centuries of continuous use and tries to contextualize these changes. At the same time the research aims at establishing the relationship between the material vicissitudes of the buildings and the perceptions of the Early Christian past of Ravenna. The intended result is to give a representative picture of Ravenna’s attitude towards its cultural heritage and especially of the influence of the mental perception and reception of the Early Christian past on it.

[Picture: Mosaic of Emperor Justinian in the church of San Vitale in Ravenna ca. 547 A.D.]

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Bible and Church Conference in London a great success?

I was fortunate enough to attend part of the 2010 Bible and Church Conference held at the magnificent St Helen's Church in the heart of London recently. Check out the short YouTube of last year:

One GCSE teacher e-mailed me the following response after attending the conference:

"I'm so grateful I could attend the 2010 "Bible and Church Conference." It is refreshing to encounter empirical data backing up the authenticity of the canonical gospels. Already, last year's DVD of the "Bible and Church Conference" is a tremendous supplement to my teaching. The package is engaging, professional, enthusiastic and easily absorbed, yet retains academic profundity."

Any feedback from others who attended is welcome!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

South African PhD students watching World Cup from Nijmegen!

We are three PhD students from South Africa currently here in Nijmegen for research. We will therefore miss the soccer in South Africa and follow events on TV.

Our hope for our own team is not that high, though we obviously hope they will at least progress through the first round..

We are extremely proud of our country and its people who managed to finish all the stadiums in time. Let's hope and pray everything will go smoothly.

Left is Rev Dirk Venter, working on the Spirit and Identity in Romans 8; middle is Dr Jaco Putter working on Pastoral concerns in 1 Thessalonians; right is Rev Johnson Thomaskutty from India working on Dialogues in the Gospel of John.

Dirk, Johnson and myself attended a PhD research day at Utrecht University yesterday. In the picture below, from left to right is: proff Erik Eynikel, Bart Koet, Jan van der Watt and Adelbert Denaux.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Jewish continuity and Christian discontinuity? Daniel Block and Donald Hagner in Cambridge

     I had a great talk with two respected Evangelical scholars in Cambridge recently. To the left is dr Daniel Block, professor of Old Testament at Wheaten College and to the right is dr Donald Hagner, emeritus professor of New Testament from Fuller Seminary.

An interesting issue came up during our discussion. Block comes from a Menonite, Lutheran tradition which at times focussed too strongly on radical discontinuity between the Jewish character of the Old Testament (focusing on Law), and an all new era in the New Testament. With this in view, Block is trying to focus on the continuity between Old and New Testament - particularly between the Torah and the New Testament.
On the other hand, for some decades Hagner operated in a context within which the Jewish character of the New Testament was so dominant (probably from EP Sanders-) that he is trying to focus on the discontinuity between the Old and New Testament. He will be presenting a paper on this theme in July - I might blog about it then.

Two fine and humble Christians scholars.