The New Testament: Gift to the Reformation

Vol. 2 No. 2 / Oct 2016


EDITORIAL: FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE: THE REFORMERS’ AND OURS

PAUL WELLS - in Vol. 2 No. 2 / Oct 2016
This Issue Of Unio Cum Christo, In The Year Preceding The Five Hundredth Anniversary Of Martin Luther’s 1517 Posting Of The Ninety-Five Theses On The Church Door At Wittenberg, Presents Several Articles That Touch On Reformational Issues And Also On New Testament Themes Related To Them.

AN EXHORTATION TO THE DILIGENT STUDY OF SCRIPTURE

DESIDERIUS ERASMUS - in Vol. 2 No. 2 / Oct 2016
Lactantius Firmianus, Christian reader, whose eloquence Jerome greatly admires, endeavoring to defend the Christian religion against the pagans, sought zealously to attain an eloquence akin to that of Cicero, as he thought it presumptuous to aspire to be his equal. As for me—if wishes could avail anything, at least while I exhort mortals to the most holy and salutary study of Christian teaching [Christianae philosophiæ]—I sincerely ...

ERASMUS AND THE BOOK THAT CHANGED THE WORLD FIVE HUNDRED YEARS AGO

DANIEL B. WALLACE - in Vol. 2 No. 2 / Oct 2016
The first published Greek New Testament (NT), Novum Instrumentum Omne, appeared on March 1, 1516. It was a diglot—a Latin-Greek NT. The Reformation was born because Luther had Erasmus’s Greek NT in his hands. This article looks at the history behind that momentous publica- tion, who Erasmus was, and how his most controversial work became the spark that was fanned into the flames of the Reformation. All Protestant translations of the NT for the past half millennium find their roots in the Novum..

RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH IN MONGOLIA: THE MONGOLIAN STANDARD VERSION TRANSLATION BY NATIONAL CHRISTIANS

BAYARJARGAL GARAMTSEREN - in Vol. 2 No. 2 / Oct 2016
This paper has two main parts: the history of Christianity in Mongolia and the history of Bible translation in the Mongolian language. The history of Christianity in Mongolia and among the Mongols, especially before and during the Mongol Empire, is largely understudied and unknown. I will attempt to show that four tribes, the Kerait, the Naiman, the Onguud, and the Uyghur, who were important parts of the Mongol Empire, had already become Christian, with their own church structures and....

INERRANCY IS NOT ENOUGH: A LESSON IN EPISTEMOLOGY FROM CLARK PINNOCK ON SCRIPTURE

R. CARLTON WYNNE - in Vol. 2 No. 2 / Oct 2016
In the 1960s, Canadian theologian Clark H. Pinnock declared that saving human knowledge of God could only be built upon the plain sense of the infallible and inerrant text of Holy Scripture. In the ensuing decades, however, Pinnock’s confidence in an inerrant Bible severely waned. A close examination of Pinnock’s early epistemological outlook reveals critical defects that sowed seeds of his later departure from a traditional confession of Scripture’s total trustworthiness.

THE “PRESENTATION” OF THE INFANT JESUS IN LUKE 2:22–24

MICHAEL C. MULDER - in Vol. 2 No. 2 / Oct 2016
The “presentation” of the infant Jesus in the temple is a well-known image. But what is happening in Luke 2:22-24? The article explains that in contemporary literature such a presentation is not known. It does not belong to the purification of the mother, nor is it part of the ceremonies of circumcision or of the redemption of the firstborn son. A semantic analysis of paristanai, used in Luke 2:22, gives new theological insight in the meaning of the passage.

FROM IGNOMINY TO GLORY: JESUS’S DEATH AND RESURRECTION IN CALVIN’S HARMONY OF THE GOSPELS

W. GORDON CAMPBELL - in Vol. 2 No. 2 / Oct 2016
In the final fifty pages of Calvin’s Harmony of the Synoptic Gospels the Reformer expounds, in eleven sets of parallels, the Synoptic accounts of Jesus’s death and resurrection (Matt 27:45–28:20, Mark 15:33–16:20, and Luke 23:45–24:53). This article seeks to commend the usefulness of Calvin’s exposition for contemporary readers by means of a digest in which significant elements for each section are drawn out, their chief exegetical and theological emphases highlighted, and the main ...

THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE GOSPELS

PETER A. LILLBACK - in Vol. 2 No. 2 / Oct 2016
The Synoptics emphasize the eschatological significance of the Holy Spirit in relation to the earthly Messiah, who speaks God’s word. Johannine theology highlights the sending of the Spirit from a post-Pentecost per- spective. As paraklētos, the coming Spirit is promised to bring to mind the teachings of the Lord. The word paraklētos expresses facets of this “helper,” or “comforter,” that are analogous to Christ’s. The paraklētos also comes alongside believers, enabling them to embrace ...

J. GRESHAM MACHEN’S THE VIRGIN BIRTH OF CHRIST: THEN AND NOW

BERNARD AUBERT - in Vol. 2 No. 2 / Oct 2016
This article considers the context of J. Gresham Machen’s The Virgin Birth of Christ and how it developed as the result of years of labor; it outlines the argument of the book and documents its reception. For Machen, positive evidence for the virgin birth and the failure of alternate explanations point to the supernatural fact of the virgin birth. His scholar- ship and interactions with a broad array of scholars set him apart from fundamentalists. Machen’s Virgin Birth remains an essential ...

PAUL’S PREACHING AND POSTMODERN SKEPTICISM

VERN S. POYTHRESS - in Vol. 2 No. 2 / Oct 2016
By focusing on Paul’s own descriptions of his preaching, and especially on 2 Corinthians 4:1–6, we can see several ways in which Paul’s own views provide answers to postmodern skepticism. Paul presupposes that God exists, the same God who is set forth in the Old Testament as the creator and sustainer of the world. In 2 Corinthians 4:1–6, Paul a rms that his message has divine authority, divine truthfulness, divine power to overcome resistance to its claims, and divine presence through ...

WHAT PAUL SAYS ABOUT THE COVENANTS IN GALATIANS 3–4

DONALD E. COBB - in Vol. 2 No. 2 / Oct 2016
The present article explores Paul’s use and meaning of the διαθήκη (diathēkē, “covenant” or “testament”) in Galatians 3–4, as well as the relation between the covenants mentioned or presupposed in these chapters: the Abrahamic promise covenant, the Mosaic law covenant, and the Davidic and eschatological (“new”) covenants. The article first highlights elements that suggest that “covenant” is an important aspect of Paul’s biblical-theological argument in Galatians. Two sections develop the ...

THE FOURTH GOSPEL AND THE APOSTOLIC MISSION: JOHN’S COMMON EVANGELICAL THEOLOGY

MATTHEW D. JENSEN - in Vol. 2 No. 2 / Oct 2016
This article seeks to redress the imbalance of seeing John’s theology as distinctive and dissimilar to the other Gospels and New Testament documents by observing the essential consistency between the theology of the Fourth Gospel and the apostolic mission described by Paul in Galatians 2:1–10. First, it considers the origin of the New Testament documents in the mission of the apostles described in Galatians 2:1–10 and locates the apostles’ commonly agreed-on gospel message in ...

THE POWER OF LITERARY ART IN REVELATION 12:1–6

LEANDRO A. DE LIMA - in Vol. 2 No. 2 / Oct 2016
Revelation’s symbolisms and catastrophic descriptions greatly influ- enced the Western world. Yet the book has not been much examined for its literary and narrative qualities, except by some critics who were more interested in fragmenting it into disconnected sources than understanding the richness of its literary production. A thorough analysis of its literary resources, however, reveals the greatness of its style, the sense of its purposes, and the unity of the book. ...

A PANEL ON VATICAN II

LEONARDO DE CHIRICO, DARIUSZ M. BRYĆKO, AND JOSE DE SEGOVIA - in Vol. 2 No. 2 / Oct 2016
Since Martin Luther’s Reformation, Three Major Events In The Life Of The Roman Catholic Church Have Marked Its Reaction Not Only To Protestantism But Also To Developments In The Modern Culture: The Council Of Trent (1545–1563), Vatican I (1869– 1870), And Most Recently Vatican II (1962–1965). Whereas The First Two Are Often Considered As Hardening The Arteries Of The Church In Their Rea Rmation And Defense Of Traditional Doctrine,Vatican II Is Seen As A Renovation That Makes The Life Blood ...

INTERVIEW WITH DR. ROBERT GEORGE

PETER A. LILLBACK - in Vol. 2 No. 2 / Oct 2016
Dr. Robert George is the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University. He serves as director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions and is the Herbert W. Vaughan senior fellow of the Witherspoon Institute. He is frequently a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School. He has served on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and the President’s Council on bioethics, and as Chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.