All posts by Nick Norelli

Home Library/Office Tour

I wanted to do this for a while. I had some time today. One day I’ll get a good camera and give this thing some real production value.

B”H

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In the Mail

I forget who posted about the ESV Reader’s edition of Paul’s Letters but once I learned of its existence I just knew that I needed a copy for the bedside table. When I looked around I saw that CBD had the best deal so I went with them and in the process I discovered that they have a Reader’s edition of the Gospels as well!

I nearly talked myself out of getting both volumes by reasoning that I already own the six-volume ESV Reader’s Bible as well as the single volume edition of the same. But then I took a good hard look and noticed some significant differences. The six-volume set has Acts bound together with the Gospels! And Paul’s letters are bound with the Catholic Epistles as well as Revelation!

These observations made all the difference in the world so I went ahead and got Paul’s Letters and the Gospels. They’re glorious! All of these ESV Reader’s editions are glorious. Crossway has done an outstanding job with these Bibles.

In addition to these two volumes I also picked up a copy of the third volume of John Frame’s Selected Shorter Writings. I managed to find a damaged copy of Tim Keller’s Preaching and what must have been an overstock copy of Frank D. Macchia’s The Trinity: Practically Speaking, which I spent only $0.99 on!  

B”H

Arius was Not a Bible Guy

Rowan Williams provides a translation of Arius’ Thalia in his classic Arius: Heresy and Tradition, in which Arius said:

For him it is impossible to search out the mysteries of the Father, who exists in himself (eph’ heautou); For the Son does not [even] know his own substance, Since, being a son, he came into actual subsistence (hupērxen alethōs) by a father’s will (thelēsei potros). What scheme of thought (logos), then, could admit the idea that he who has his being from the [a?] Father (ton ek patros onta) Should know by comprehension (en katalepsei) the one who gave him birth? For clearly the one who has a beginning (to archēn echon) is in no way [in a position] to encompass in thought or lay hold upon the one without beginning as he is [in himself] (hōs estin).

Arius: Heresy and Tradition, 103.

Apparently, Arius must have been unfamiliar with Matthew’s Gospel. Jesus is there quoted as saying, “All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Matt 11:27).

B”H

Upcoming Office Tour

I watch a lot of room tours and office tours on YouTube and as of late have even gotten into personal library tours as well. Many of them have been inspiring. I’ve gained ideas and insights on how to improve my own setup and in some cases I’ve been able to implement those ideas. My home office has been a work in progress since I got married nearly 5 months ago. I’d say that I’m roughly 93% done with it. I just need a couple of decorations, some touchup paint work, and a little tidying up and it’ll be complete.

The tentative plan is to film an office tour when I have it to where I want it. Or at least when it’s 98% done. In all likelihood I’ll film it before the paintwork. It’s not going to be anything fancy. Just me walking through with my phone for a few minutes and explaining what I’ve done and why I’ve done it. At least that’s the plan. We’ll see what actually happens. Until then I thought I’d share some before and after pics.

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B”H

The Pinnacle of the Gospel?

I started reading Scot McKnight’s The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited the other day and I’m in agreement that what we’ve come to call “the gospel” is really something else altogether. He’s quite right to point out that the gospel is about much more than personal salvation. On page 24 McKnight says, “I encourage you to pull out a piece of paper or open up the flyleaf of the back of this book and scribble down your answer to t his most important question before you read one more word: What is the gospel?” So scribble I did. Here’s a photo of what I wrote in the back of the book (because I’m too lazy to type it all out):

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So my working definition (and this is just a summary) includes Jesus’ life, ministry, death, resurrection, the message he preached about the kingdom, our victory over sin and a life enabled for good works in obedience to God. I’m sure McKnight’s definition will be slightly different and perhaps he’ll highlight things I’ve neglected and neglect things I’ve highlighted, but I think my working definition is a decent summary of the gospel as we see it in the Bible.

But that brings me to the point of this post. As I began chapter 4 of the book McKnight says that we should turn to 1 Corinthians 15 and begin there because that is the closest we come to a definition of the gospel in the New Testament. That got me thinking about how I’ve always viewed this chapter, especially the early parts of it. I’ve always described this as Paul’s summary of the Gospel. In other words, if Paul were to sum the gospel up in a pithy statement it would be the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But that leaves so much out, so I started to wonder if this is best described as a summary.

Perhaps we can view 1 Corinthians 15 as the pinnacle of the gospel. The focal point perhaps. Jesus’ sinless life, Spirit-empowered ministry, preaching of God’s rule and Israel’s restoration, etc. all led up to his death and subsequent resurrection. These events were the culmination of his ministry and the vindication of his message. Paul doesn’t have much to say about Jesus’ ministry at all but it makes sense that he wouldn’t. He gets right to the high point because without the death/resurrection Jesus would have been another failed messianic claimant.

I will note that this pinnacle is also the basis for Paul’s telling believers that they can live a Spirit-filled life in Christ. And that without this focal point our lives mean nothing. So he spends plenty of time talking about the latter part of my working definition but that’s all predicated upon our resurrected Lord.

B”H

Just Ordered

So I noted yesterday that Baylor University Press is rereleasing some important volumes on early Christology at affordable prices. I mentioned Charles A. Gieschen’s Angelomorphic Christology: Antecedents and Early Evidence (Library of Early Christianity), Carey Newman’s Paul’s Glory-Christology: Tradition and Rhetoric (Library of Early Christianity), as well as The Jewish Roots of Christological Monotheism: Papers from the St Andrews Conference on the Historical Origins of the Worship of Jesus (Library of Early Christianity), and a new volume of Larry Hurtado’s essays.

I had $200 in Amazon gift cards burning a hole in my pocket so I decided to purchase some of these books. My perusal of Amazon turned up even more results and I found that Baylor was also putting out Jarl Fossum’s The Name of God and the Angel of the Lord: Samaritan and Jewish Concepts of Intermediation and the Origin of Gnosticism (Library of Early Christianity) as well as Loren Stuckenbruck’s Angel Veneration and Christology: A Study in Early Judaism and in the Christology of the Apocalypse of John (Library of Early Christianity), and David Capes’ Old Testament Yahweh Texts in Paul’s Christology (Library of Early Christianity).

I proceeded to order all of the volumes mentioned above minus The Jewish Roots of Christological Monotheism because I already own it  and Hurtado’s volume because it’s release is slated for September and I’ll pick it up closer to then. But I’m very much looking forward to owning physical copies of books that I’ve wanted for years but have been unable to attain. Thank you Baylor!

B”H

Baylor & Christology

I’ve just spent the better part of the morning perusing Amazon’s “Prime Day” deals (with no interest in anything they have on sale) and in so doing I’ve learned that Baylor University Press is rereleasing some important volumes on Christology.

The first is Charles A. Gieschen’s Angelomorphic Christology: Antecedents and Early Evidence (Library of Early Christianity). This is slated for release at the end of this month. Considering that third party sellers on Amazon are selling the original hardcover version for over $500 I think that $40 is a steal!

Next up is the incredibly important collection of essays The Jewish Roots of Christological Monotheism: Papers from the St Andrews Conference on the Historical Origins of the Worship of Jesus (Library of Early Christianity)The Jewish Roots of Christological Monotheism edited by Carey Newman and James Davila. This is also set for release at the end of this month and the price is right at $40 as compared to the over $200 price tag from sellers of the original.

Carey Newman’s Paul’s Glory-Christology: Tradition and Rhetoric (Library of Early Christianity) has the same price tag and same release date.

Finally, Larry Hurtado has a collection of essays (750 pages in total!) being published in September entitled Ancient Jewish Monotheism and Early Christian Jesus-Devotion: The Context and Character of Christological Faith (Library of Early Christianity).

While I have most, if not all, of the essays being published in the Hurtado volume in either digital or print formats it will be nice to have them all bound together. I’ll definitely be ordering the Gieschen and Newman volumes as well. Newman’s has eluded me for years. I have a PDF of Gieschen’s but it’s a scan and not the best quality. Still, real books are better than PDFs any day of the week!

I should note that these are all part of Baylor’s Library of Early Christianity series, which I just learned about this morning. I can’t wait to see what else they release!

B”H