Editorial -- By: Robert W. Yarbrough

Journal: Trinity Journal
Volume: TRINJ 24:1 (Spring 2003)
Article: Editorial
Author: Robert W. Yarbrough


Robert W. Yarbrough


A whole generation of students has been impacted by the teaching and publications of Grant R. Osborne who, after several years in the pastorate, has been on the Trinity Evangelical Divinity School faculty since 1977. This issue of Trinity Journal begins with a survey and update on current “historical Jesus” studies by Professor Osborne. Since the landscape of this field of research alters rapidly, his wise commentary, informed by years of involvement in the discussion, are valuable for those of us trying to make sense of ongoing debates. He traces the phases of recent discussion and the value of the findings of leading thinkers like E. P. Sanders, Gerd Theissen, Marcus Borg, Richard Horsley, Raymond Brown, Markus Bockmuehl, John P. Meier, Ben Witherington, N. T. Wright, Scot McKnight, and others. He just as carefully registers the limitations of the various dominant approaches. Trinity Journal readers who recall from their classes at TEDS Professor Osborne’s positive but discerning affirmation of Gospels scholarship will feel much at home as they work through this valuable update.

This issue’s second article is an example of current Gospels research. Michael Bird tackles the perennial question of what Jesus meant at the Transfiguration by saying, “Some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.” Over a half dozen different answers to this question have been suggested. Bird takes up and furthers the proposal that Jesus was speaking of his crucifixion. While this conclusion is not likely to compel universal assent, it is an option that deserves more notice in Marcan interpretation. It is also a reminder, never out of place, of the centrality of Christ’s cross for his message and for the church’s ongoing existence.

How did the Holy Spirit work in OT times and peoples? James M. Hamilton Jr. performs the valuable service of classifying and assessing the six categories of answers to this question in his essay “Old Covenant Believers and the Indwelling Spirit.” Since the relationship between the Old and New Testaments is perhaps the most critical question facing interpreters who seek to make the whole Bible fruitful for Christian worship, theology, and ethics, Hamilton’s study is of obvious importance. His conclusions will surprise some readers and inform all. They are sure to enhance clarity regarding the Holy Spirit’s work in OT times and contribute to awareness of the strengths and liabilities of the way we understand what being God’s people meant through the history of biblical revelation—and still means today.

If the OT/NT axis is one crucial...

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