Editorial -- By: Douglas Moo
TrinJ 17:1 (Spring 1996) p. 1
As a new seminary professor almost twenty years ago, I read Eta Linnemann’s monograph on the parables of Jesus to beef up my lecture notes on the subject. Her book, a product of a major German publishing house, held few surprises, taking a generally Bultmannian/skeptical approach to the historicity of the gospels. Readers who know only that book and other similar writings of Dr. Linnemann from the time of her academic career will be surprised at her article in this fascicle. For Dr. Linnemann is quite critical of the scholarly consensus on the origin of the gospels. What explains the radical shift in tone and emphasis is something nothing less radical: conversion. Dr. Linnemann came to know Christ as her Savior and Lord and has devoted herself to missionary teaching and to a searching appraisal of the scholarly consensus on a number of biblical-critical issues. Not even all evangelicals will agree with her attack on the Q hypothesis; but her criticism should help all of us reappraise our assumptions about the origins of the gospels.
Teachers and preachers who want to proclaim the Word faithfully should benefit from Ernst Wendland’s wide-ranging discussion of the parables of Luke 15. Dr. Wendland summarizes much of the recent literary and cultural study of these famous parables. But, perhaps more importantly, he also illustrates the marriage of careful contextual exegesis and attention to our listeners’ situation that is necessary to apply the message of these parables accurately. Dr. Wendland, who has studied literary criticism and who now ministers in Central Africa is especially qualified to bring these two perspectives together.
One of the perennial topics of discussion among evangelical biblical theologians is the matter of the use of the OT in the NT. Many have argued, or assumed, that the NT writers’ approach to the
TrinJ 17:1 (Spring 1996) p. 2
OT is unique and emphatically not to be imitated by exegetes today. But Scott Swanson, who is a Ph.D. candidate at Hebrew Union College, reflects in his article a growing tendency to insist that, on the contrary, we must use the NT use of the OT as a pattern for our own interpretation.
Our last article also comes from a Ph.D. candidate: Paul Copan, who is studying at Marquette University. Copan offers an important critique of a recent monograph on the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo (“creation out of nothing”) and, along the way, makes some pertinent observations on the formation of doctrine generally.
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