Here are some posts around the web you might want to check out:
- David Burnett has begun a promising series on monotheism in the Hebrew Bible and New Testament. He will be interviewing various leading scholars on the issue. The first interview, with Nathan MacDonald, is already up. Still to come are Larry Hurtado, James McGrath, and Michael Heiser. Be sure to subscribe to his blog so you won’t miss out.
- Michael Burer, of Dallas Seminary, discusses Philippians 1:27 and the use of πολιτεύεσθε there. The word sometimes seems to have a general meaning (i.e. to live), while in other cases, a civic aspect is more prominent (i.e. to live as a citizen). Burer thinks the latter is likely the sense in Phil 1:27, and I agree. I would quibble, however, with his characterization of this as a “metaphor of citizenship.” IMO, early Christians like Paul did not think of God’s kingdom as metaphorical, or of their citizenship in that kingdom as metaphorical. With many recent interpreters, I understand Paul to be using such language counter-imperially. The Messiah’s kingdom, for Paul, is a real government that will replace the Roman empire, and those faithful to God have already been enrolled as citizens in that kingdom (Phil 4:3; Heb 12:23).
- Alex Poulos relates his experiences with learning Latin and the benefits of learning Latin with Greek. You can do the same with Hebrew and Greek. Try translating the LXX back into Hebrew. Or translate the Greek NT into Hebrew and see how it compares with the Hebrew NT here.
Thank you for pointing to my post. I appreciate the interaction! Just to clarify – my description of Paul’s use of the language here as metaphorical is simply a linguistic assessment. Of course there will be a real kingdom, and Paul sees himself and the Philippians as really connected to God, whose kingdom will one day replace the Roman Empire. I simply mean that the idea of citizenship as a way of describing the believer’s relationship to God is a metaphor. It doesn’t make it any less real. I’m following Caird’s basic difference between literal and metaphorical as expressed in chap. 7 of his Language and Imagery of the Bible.
By the way, thank you for the help you have given my intern. She has enjoyed learning about your approach to teaching Greek.