Opening the Old Testament

John C. Holbert, Lois Craddock Perkins Professor of Homiletics Emeritus, Perkins School of Theology, earned his B.A. degree from Grinnell College, the M. Div. from Perkins and a Ph.D. in Old Testament Studies from SMU. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

A Tiny Text with Immense Significance - Reflections on Acts 10:44-48

Acts 10-15 presents to the reader the full implication of what the Gospel of Jesus Messiah actually means for the emerging Christian communities, as well as for Christian communities now. In these crucial chapters of Acts Peter comes to see that membership in the church of Jesus has nothing to do with being a citizen of a particular nation or being one who observes special customs that make one acceptable to God. 

Monday, April 29, 2024

A Running Commentary—Literally - Reflections on Acts 8:26-40

The wonderful tale of Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch is among the most well-known stories in the book of Acts. It is at the same time an introduction to the inclusive power of the gospel and an insightful narrative of the early Christian use of the Hebrew Bible, as it was mediated through the Septuagint (LXX), the Greek version of the First Testament that almost always served as the springboard for reflection on the meaning of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Messiah.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Living the Resurrection - Reflections on Acts 4:32-35

The author of Acts, Luke, the writer of the Gospel that bears his name, has amplified the call of the older testament to order the new resurrection community in the way that the Israelites were similarly called to shape their community under YHWH.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Tell the Story! - Reflections on Mark 16:1-8

I chose this amazing text from Mark, because I know of no better account of the astonishing event that Easter commemorates. You may, I imagine, disagree! After all, Matthew has fainting soldiers and rising corpses. Luke offers the story of two disciples trudging toward Emmaus, disconsolate until they meet the risen Jesus and recognize him when they break bread. John tells us the touching tale of Mary and her confusion about Jesus as a gardener. And Mark? Here we get the empty tomb, a man in white, and at the end silent and terrified women. Just what sort of narrative is that for an Easter Sunday? I am glad you asked!

Tuesday, March 26, 2024