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“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

-- Eleanor Roosevelt

 

Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism 12 (2016): 163-90

This article provides an overview of the scholarly discussion on the language of the New Testament and its other related topics, explaining why the New Testament was transmitted to us in Greek. More specifically, it describes the linguistic context of the language of the New Testament—the substrata behind the Greek text of the New Testament—via a sociolinguistic framework. 

Filologia Neotestamentaria 28-29 (2014-2015): 39-55

Scholarship on Romans 5 has often seen the themes of reconciliation and eschatological hope to be related to each other, and, to some extent, to the suffering text in Rom 5.3–5. This text regarding the suffering of believers is only incidentally discussed because the focus has always been on the theological themes of the letter. However, because this suffering text is also found in Jas 1.2–14 and 1 Pet 1.6–7, it is very likely that it actually serves a specific purpose in the context of Rom 5.1–11, especially when it is seen in relation to the theme of eschatological hope. By analyzing the structure of the Greek clauses, the relationship of the Greek conjunctions, and the use of the Greek verbs in Rom 5.1–11, I show in this article this intimate linkage between this suffering text and the theme of eschatological hope.

Didaskalia 25 (2015): 1-18 (co-authored with Stanley E. Porter)

This article begins by asking the question of what political theology is, at least within the framework of New Testament studies, and then turns to the New Testament basis of what might be termed political theology. We conclude with some observations regarding how the New Testament relates to political theology.

Biblical and Ancient Greek Linguistics 4 (2015): 49-84

This article discusses three distinct types of discourse analysis models—Social Identity Theory and Communication Accommodation Theory (CAT), Conversation Analysis (CA), and SFL Register Analysis—and applies them individually to the text in Acts 21:27—22:5 to examine various aspects and elements that comprise the context of situation of the incident of Paul’s arrest in the temple. The main objective is to showcase the relevance and utility of sociolinguistic theories in New Testament exegesis.

Currents in Biblical Research 13.3 (2015): 330-50

This article surveys some key works that address in one way or another the linguistic situation of ancient Palestine. It also examines that linguistic situation by way of introducing several multilingualism theories from the field of sociolinguistics, specifically explaining and demonstrating how they are pertinent to the investigation of the available linguistic evidence. The objectives are to show that previous studies that have utilized multilingualism theories have not yet been able to apply them either adequately or appropriately to the linguistic evidence, that use of multilingualism theories is the way forward to assess the available linguistic evidence, and that the linguistic situation of ancient Palestine must have been ‘multilingual and diglossic’.

Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 12 (2014): 143-64 (co-authored with Stanley E. Porter); Rejoinder by Paul Foster, “Memory, Orality, and the Fourth Gospel: An Ongoing Conversation with Stan Porter and Hughson T. Ong,” Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 12 (2014): 165-83

 This article examines and responds to the arguments made by Paul Foster in a recent article in jshj regarding social-memory theory, orality, and the Fourth Gospel, where he argues that recent research in these areas are dead-ends for historical Jesus research. We do not necessarily wish to defend the research he criticizes, but we respond to Foster by pointing out some of the limitations in his analysis and provide further comments to move discussion of these research areas forward. Our comments address his assumption that form- and redaction-criticism accomplish the purposes that he envisions for historical Jesus research and a number of other problematic arguments he raises regarding each of these areas. 

The Expository Times 125.12 (2014): 583-92

This article argues that the term ‘spiritual gifts’ is a theologically loaded English concept that is often

used to catalogue certain gifts, abilities, or ministries. It also argues that ‘spiritual gifts’ should be seen

and used more broadly to refer to any kind of gift (including eternal life, for example) that is of/from

the Holy Spirit. This article employs some basic theories from modern lexical semantics to analyze

χάρισμα, πνευματικός, and πνεῦμα, three Greek lexemes that have been rendered as ‘spiritual gifts’ in

Rom 1:11, 1 Cor 1:7, 12:1, 14:1, and 14:12.

Currents in Biblical Research 12.2 (2014): 146-72

This essay surveys some of the key figures and their contributions to the historical development of three areas in Paul’s personal relation with earliest Christianity: Stephen and the Hellenists, his opponents, and James. The objectives are to emphasize their importance in working with Pauline theology amid the proliferation of works that follow the New (and Newer) Perspectives and Continental Philosophy trends, to highlight new methodological approaches in these surveyed areas, and to suggest how future research should go.

Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism 9 (2013): 97-103 (co-authored with Stanley E. Porter); Rejoinder by John K. Goodrich, “The Interpretation of μέτρον πίστεως in Romans 12.3—A Rejoinder to Porter and Ong,” JGRChJ 9 (2013): 213-20

This article responds to John Goodrich’s ‘“Standard of Faith” or “Measure of a Trusteeship”?’ published in the Catholic Biblical Quarterly (2012). Goodrich proposes that the μέτρον πίστεως in Rom 12.3 refers to the believer’s charism and thus should be seen as ‘a trusteeship’ God grants to each believer. We, however, argue that the clause with μέτρον πίστεως in Rom. 12.3 should be interpreted and translated as ‘to each God allocates his measure of faith’, highlighting a number of significant problems in the arguments and evidence Goodrich marshals in his article.

Biblical and Ancient Greek Linguistics 2 (2013): 109-39

This article applies various sociolinguistic and multilingualism theories to analyze the linguistic situation of the episodes of Jesus’ betrayal, arrest, and trial in Matt 26:36–27:26. It demonstrates that the linguistic complexities of a multilingual society, in which Jesus lived, must have warranted the use of language varieties in various sociolinguistic contexts, in order for people from various social groups to interact with and accommodate each other. Thus, against Loren Stuckenbruck’s assertion, in a recent essay “‘Semitic Influence on Greek’: An Authenticating Criterion in Jesus Research?” in Jesus, Criteria, and the Demise of Authenticity, that for historical Jesus research, linguistic analysis does not and cannot stand on its own” (94), this article otherwise contends that an episode, saying, or action of Jesus, independent of other criteria, may be deemed authentic without resorting to detection of a Semitic Vorlage behind the Greek text to signal “authentic material.”

McMaster Journal of Theology and Ministry 14 (2013): 98-123

In this article, I suggest that any study of the Lord's Prayer must first take into account its sociolinguistic context, since the Lord's Prayer in Matt. 6:9-13 is embedded within the larger discourse context of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 4:17-7:28). I conclude that the main point of the Lord's Prayer is really not so much about teaching us how to pray as it is about our motive in praying.

Filología Neotestamentaria 25 (2012): 37-55

Did Jesus ever speak in Greek? This is the question I have sought to answer in this paper. Using M. Casey’s Aramaic and S.E. Porter’s Greek hypotheses as my starting point, I attempt to show based on sociolinguistic principles that Jesus must have been fluent and would have used Greek and Aramaic in his daily conversations with various audiences in different linguistic situations and contexts. Specifically, I show that the sociolinguistic situation in the three chronological episodes of Mark 14,32-65 necessitates a code-switch on Jesus’ part by virtue of his multilingual environment.

Biblical and Ancient Greek Linguistics 1 (2012): 63-101

This article relates to the criteria of language authenticity in historical Jesus research and inquires into the lingua franca of Jesus’ social environment. It demonstrates via sociolinguistic principles that Palestine was a multilingual society, establishes that various social groups necessitate the use of language varieties, and addresses the issue of language choice—the occasions and reasons multilingual people use their native tongue over and against their second language. The objective is to show in four “I have come” sayings in the Synoptics that, with high probability, Jesus’ internal language was Aramaic, and his public language was Greek.

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