Introduction -- By: Benjamin L. Merkle

Journal: Southeastern Theological Review
Volume: STR 10:1 (Spring 2019)
Article: Introduction
Author: Benjamin L. Merkle


Benjamin L. Merkle


As is our normal plan for the journal, the Spring issue of STR is un-themed. This particular issue includes essays in the fields of Old Testament, New Testament, Greek grammar, ecclesiology, and philosophy.

The first essay is by David Firth, tutor at Trinity College, Bristol, and University of the Free State. His essay, “Some Reflections on Current Narrative Research on the Book of Samuel,” provides a wealth of information on the current state of studies on the book of Samuel. Focusing specifically on narrative criticism, Firth examines how the narrative poetics of Samuel have largely defined the poetics of narrative within the Old Testament. Furthermore, he demonstrates how narrative criticism has become the dominant model for interpreting Samuel.

In the second essay, David Seal, adjunct professor at Cornerstone University, offers an essay on “Communication in the Lukan Birth Narrative.” Seal contends that the oral culture of the first-century Mediterranean world is on display in Luke 2:1–20 where information is transmitted by various means that were typical of an oral society. This is seen in (1) the decree issued by Caesar, (2) the declaration by an angel that a Savior has been born, (3) the victory cry shouted by the divine army, and (4) the narrative of visiting the Christ child by the shepherds. Seal then explores the implications of these oral modes of communication, highlighting how they help us understand Luke’s birth narrative.

In the third essay, Alexander Stewart and Jacob Ott from Tyndale Theological Seminary team up to demonstrate how first-century coins can be a valuable tool in teaching the New Testament. Specifically, they explain how Roman imperial and provincial coins can instruct us about the religion, politics, and culture of the New Testament world. In their essay, they (1) provide a brief introduction to ancient coins, (2) demonstrate how coins can aid in our understanding of the New Testament and its world, and (3) offer practical advice for acquiring ancient coins as well as how to effectively use them in the classroom.

The fourth essay is by David Moss, ThM student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He discusses the influences of tense-form choice with infinitives using Ephesians as a test case. He seeks to explain why an author, in this case Paul, chooses one tense-form over another.

Moss demonstrates that tense-form choice for infinitives was neither arbitrary nor fully subjective but involved lexical, contextual, and aspectual influences. Moss concludes by noting that, for in...

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