Assignment 1

Allen, Ronald J. Philippians 2: 111. Interpretation 61, no.1 (2007): 72-74.

The current article provides the readers with the following information. The author supports other scholars who think that the epistle to Philippians is a compilation of two or more letters. The author explains why Paul is concerned about the unity of the congregation. Then, there is a gradual interpretation of the word choice and expressions of Paul.

Asumang, Annang. Modelling the Gospel in Joyful Partnership: Exemplars and the Uniting Theme of Philippians. Conspectus: The Journal of the South African Theological Seminary 13 (2012): 1-50.

This article evaluates a number of the main suggestions for the epistles main theme. Besides, it shows that modelling the gospel in joyful partnership best exemplifies the uniting theme of Philippians. Finally, it reveals that Paul uses different examples to illustrate this theme throughout the letter.

Flemming, Dean E. Philippians: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, 2009.

The current book presents the epistle to the Philippians from a different perspective. Written from the Wesleyan theological perspective, it offers insight to the history, culture, and context of the epistle. This commentary is clear and useful, as it presents background elements behind the text followed by verse-by-verse details and meanings found in the text, as well as the application from the text.

Gray, David R. Christological Hymn: The Leadership Paradox of Philippians 2: 5-11. Journal of Biblical Perspectives in Leadership 2, no.1 (2008): 3-18.

This article interprets Philippians 2:5-11 as an example of a paradox relative to the traditional beliefs of leadership. Modern social definitions and theories of leadership are presented alongside the Pauline leadership model seen in the letters. The author proves that the Pauline model of leadership is usable for both leadership theory and practice.

Hansen, G. Walter. The Letter to the Philippians. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2009.

The author of this book attempts to be as objective as possible in the epistle interpretation. He examines the context of the epistle, its historical setting, the nature of the letter, and its occasion. The book contains the comparison between epistle interpretations of different scholars. Also considerable attention to the Christs hymn is paid.

Martin, Ralph P. A Hymn of Christ: Philippians 2:5-11 in Recent Interpretation & in the Setting of Early Christian Worship. Nottingham: Inter-Varsity Press, 2009.

The current book is dedicated to Philippians 2:5-11, Christs Hymn that has had the profound impact on early Christianity. Still, this passage remains the one that evokes a lot of interpretive comments and controversies. Close inspection of the Hymns lines are presented to the broad audience in this book.

Silva, Mois’s. Philippians (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament). Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005.

This book is perfect for students because it provides the readers with an easily reached discussion of Philippians. Each passage consists of three parts, authors translation of the Greek original, exegesis of each meaningful part and additional notes on textual issues. Throughout the book, Silva shows how each passage contributes to Pauls general argumentation.

Assignment 2

1. A biblical canon is a list of books that a certain church or community considers being authoritative. The term canon originates from the Greek ?????. It means reed or measuring stick . Christians felt a need to establish an authoritative list of Scripture because there was a threat of heresies. To distinguish the canonicity of the books, five criteria were used by the early church. To be called canonical, a book should be written by a prophet of God, the writer had to be confirmed by Gods acts, the message had to tell the truth about God, the book had to reveal a divine capacity to transform lives and be recognized by the people of God . I believe the first criterion to be the most important one because the books can be trustworthy only when they are written by those who communicated with God directly. The criterion of least importance is the acceptance of people of God. To my mind, the audience does not determine the quality of the book. To a person who claimed that the canon of the Bible should still be open, I would respond that public revelation has ended and, thus, the inspired texts are gathered into a closed canon.

2. Literary context is crucial to understanding the Bible properly. It allows one to understand the authors intention in the text. Three important principles that should guide the practice of interpretation are to be interpreted grammatically, historically and critically . First principle means that one should take the normal meaning of the words, unless it is impossible to do so. Second principle means that one takes into account the historical background of the author and the recipients. Third principle means that ones interpretation must be rational and present a consistent meaning throughout the Bible interpretation. According to Koukl, Immediate context of a statement is the paragraph of the biblical book in question . Understanding the book context prevents readers from losing its meaning. Any text should be understood in its broader context, which is the whole Bible. Immediate context is the most useful in hermeneutics because interpreting a text apart from its immediate context is very superficial and does not show the whole picture. Given the task of teaching a class on interpretation, I would say that literary context is important because when one separates a part of Scripture, the true meaning of the passage may be lost.

Assignment 3

1. According to the common definition, form criticism is a method of biblical criticism that classifies units of scripture by literary pattern and that attempts to trace each type to its period of oral transmission . This method of biblical criticism aims at discovering the type of literature contained in the Bible. It determines the original form of the units and their historical context. Source criticism is a Biblical method that aims at determining the sources used to develop the ultimate form of the biblical text. The source critic reads the Bible and tries to find out the source of information, whether on paper or a part of oral tradition. Redaction criticism is a Biblical method that sees the texts authors as redactors of their sources. Comparing to form criticism, redaction criticism concentrates on how the redactors have shaped the narrative to express their theological objectives. Redaction criticism is most useful for addressing the Synoptic Problem because it casts strong doubt on its inspiration and implies that the Gospels were written by different authors and contributors . Regarding the apostles, the authors of the text, as redactor of their source materials, allow one to deal with the Synoptic problem adequately. Hence, it may assess the value of investigating the individual contributions of the Synoptic Gospels.

2. When comparing the gospels of apostles Mark, Matthew and Luke, their texts are very similar by their context, sequence and wording. Due to this reason, given Gospels are called Synoptic. The term Synoptic Gospels is attributed to Griesbach, one of the German Bible researchers . The term synoptic comes from Greek and means share common view. According to this definition, apostles Matthew, Mark, and Luke cover much the same subject and treat it similarly. Comparison of the mentioned gospels arise Synoptic Problem that is the question how to explain strange blend of similarities and dissimilarities between the three first gospels of the New Testament canon. In short, Synoptic problem is related to the quintessence of literary relationship between the Gospels by Matthew, Mark and Luke. The problem is still unsolved, as it constitutes the most fascinating literary enigma of all time . Different scholars explain similarities with different reasons, ranging from documentary dependence, to gospel interdependence to some common source . In fact, there are no problems with the Synoptic Gospels. The differences found in the Synoptic Gospels do not present a threat to their validity for understanding the ministry and teachings of Jesus Christ or the historical events concerning his life and resurrection.

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