“The Father is Greater than I”: An Exegetical Footnote

In our Lord’s last extended discourse to His disciples on the night on which He was betrayed, He spoke about His final departure from their earthly lives. It was, not surprisingly, something of a theme that night: “Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek Me, and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come’” (John…

A Brief Word about Eternal Punishment

A very thoughtful person recently commented on my blog about how he would like to see me engage in greater depth the question of how one should translate the phrase κολασιν αιωνιον/ kolasin aionion in Matthew 25:46, which Dr. Hart renders as “the chastisement of that Age” and which pretty much everyone else renders as “eternal punishment” (thus, for example, the NASB, NIV, RSV, NRSV, NEB, NAB, TEV, ASV, the Jerusalem Bible,…

Hart’s “The New Testament: a Translation”

David Bentley Hart’s The New Testament: a Translation has come to a bookstore near you. I have already written about Hart’s article (published in Commonweal in September 2016) in which he spoke at length of the genesis and need for such a new translation. Here I would like to look at the New Testament translation itself. Full disclosure: what follows are general comments about the work, not an in-depth examination of it.…

The Deep Melancholy of David Bentley Hart

Dr. Hart has recently completed his translation of the New Testament, and it is now for sale at a book store near you. One naturally asks, “Why do we need another translation of the New Testament since so many translations already abound?” One could understand someone wanting to have another crack at translating the Old Testament, since the verbal concision of the Hebrew tongue and the corruption of the text at a…

The Waters of Marah

North American popular culture, as brought into your home and heart by the North American media, is a very powerful force, and it seems that we too easily underestimate its transforming power. How else to explain the results of a poll undertaken by the Public Religion Research Institute regarding the popularity of the view that favours allowing gays and lesbians to legally marry, and opposing policies that would give business owners the…

Another Coffee, Anyone?

After a break of many months, I am happy to announce that the Coffee Cup Commentaries podcast is starting again. There will be some changes, to which the new visual logo attests. It will still be found at Ancient Faith (of course) and will still offer every weekday a five to six minute casual exegesis of the Scriptures as we look at the text verse-by-verse and phrase-by-phrase. But the field has been…