Category Archives: Uncategorized

Main Themes in Romans

A helpful outline of the NT book of Romans. This series looks like it will be worth following!

Reading Acts

“Le premier contact fut écrasant.” – “The first encounter was overwhelming.” M.-J. Lagrange, Saint Paul:Épître Aux Romains. Études Bibliques. Paris, 1950.

Romans 1:16–17 (ESV) For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

In Romans 1:16-17 Paul states his theme: the Gospel is the power of God for salvation for anyone who believes. Paul begins the letter by stating clearly the real good news is not about the emperor or the empire.   The real power for salvation comes from God, not the emperor or the empire.

main-themes-of-romansFirst, humans are estranged from God, unwilling and unable to respond to the revelation of God in creation…

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The Passing of David Dorsey

I just received word today that Dr. David Dorsey passed away recently and I wanted to draw that to the attention of those who knew Dave.  He was a beloved Professor at Evangelical Seminary in Myerstown, PA.  He is survived by his wife Janet and three children.  A summary of his life accomplishments and interests can be found here.

Others will write a more complete memorial for this fine man but I just wanted to mention that in the scholarly world he is well-known for two very creative and well-used/respected books:

Dorsey, David A. The Roads and Highways of Ancient Israel. Baltimore: John Hopkins University, 1991.
Dorsey, David A. The Literary Structure of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1999.

I first met Dave and Jan when he was studying in Jerusalem at The Institute of Holy Land Studies (now the Jerusalem University College).  Throughout his life he was mentored by the late Professor Anson Rainey—who considered him a “son.”

One short Dave Dorsey story!  In the 1970’s I was Dean of the Institute of Holy Land Studies in Jerusalem and Dave was scheduled to go on a field trip with me (and other of my students) to the Galilee.  The day before the trip I took a colleague up to visit Hazor.

A few years previously I had prepared a clay cuneiform valentine tablet—in Ugaritic—for my wife.  On one side it said something like “Happy Day of Hearts” and on the other “May God Guard and Protect You—Love Carl.”  I pierced a hole in the tablet and glazed and fired it in my parents’ kiln.


Pillared Israelite Structure at Hazor
The Valentine was “discovered” in a loose surface stone between the columns

Well, I took the “Valentine Tablet” up to Hazor the day before our trip and hid it under a rock in the large pillared Israelite storage facility.  The next day, when I was there with Dave we accidentally discovered this “tablet!”  Well, we were all excited.  As we were traveling in the mini-van to the next site, Dave was in the front trying to decipher the tablet—he had just taken Ugaritic (I had secretly let the other students know what was up).  About 20 minutes into our ride he exclaimed: “I think it’s a love letter!!”  I finally let him in on the secret discovery and we had a great laugh together.

Dave was a beloved colleague and friend!  He will be missed!!

HT: Ginger Caessens

Jonah and the Great Fish

In recent days there has been a lot of discussion about the James Tabor’s new book The Jesus Discovery (see the web site The Jesus Discovery).  In particular the etching on an ossuary, that some have thought was a fish with Jonah in it mouth—a symbol of early Christianity, is being discussed.

Stone Monument (sarcophagus?) in Konya Museum with a depiction of Jonah and the Fish — Lower portion of the object

In the center note the laurel wreath that surrounds an anchor in the shape of a cross with two fish at its base.  Below it is a depiction of Jonah being swallowed by a large fish—a Christian symbol associated with the resurrection of Jesus (Matthew 12:40).

Besides being interpreted as something similar to the above, the etching on the ossuary has been interpreted as part of a tomb (a nefesh) or a vase of some type (Gordon Franz).  Todd Bolen (Wednesday 29 February 2012) has collected many of the major articles that feature in this discussion.

For more details on the object above Click Here.