Knowing Your Bible: An Introductory Survey for the Everyday Christian (edited by Calvin L. Smith and David L. Williams) is the first of a series of volumes published by KEDS designed to equip the everyday Christian with a comprehensive and detailed knowledge and understanding of the Christian Scriptures.
This first Knowing Your Bible volume provides the reader with an introductory survey of the nature, origins and transmission of the Bible, history and worlds of the Old and New Testaments, biblical interpretation, Christian doctrine and historically controversial issues, and biblical prophecy. It is written in a straightforward and accessible style by contributors tutoring at King’s Evangelical Divinity School.
For the Christian the Bible represents the central basis of faith. What he or she believes, everything known about God - His eternal plan, His will for their life, Christian theology and doctrine – is based upon one’s knowledge and understanding of the Bible and how God reveals Himself through His word. Clearly, then, the more the believer knows and understands the Bible, the more fruitful they will become in their Christian walk.
As the book’s editors we have sought to construct a book that the everyday Christian will find helpful, practical and illuminating. With this in mind we have thought carefully about its practical outworking and accessibility, working closely with the knowledgeable contributors to produce a volume that is accessible. We trust and pray the reader will find this volume a valuable addition to their Christian library and would encourage you to look out for the future volumes delving into some of these issues in greater depth.
Find out more about the Knowing Your Bible programme..
KEDS tutor Jermo van Nes, who is currently completing his PhD at the Evangelische Theologische Faculteit, Leuven (Belgium), recently presented a paper at the European Association of Biblical Studies, which received the best student paper prize.
In the award-winning paper “Hapax Legomena in Disputed Pauline Letters: A Reassessment” Jermo focuses on the number of hapax legomena (defined as words used exclusively in a text) in the so-called disputed Pauline letters – Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians, 1-2 Timothy, and Titus. For many scholars, the large number of hapaxes in these letters as compared to the so-called undisputed letters of Paul serve as evidence that they were written by someone other than the apostle.
By using simple linear regression analysis (a statistical method widely used in the sciences but not yet in New Testament studies), however, it is concluded that only 1 and 2 Timothy use significantly more hapaxes. If proper noun hapaxes as well as hapaxes used in explicit quotations and in virtue and vice lists are not taken into consideration, it even appears that none of the disputed Pauline letters use significantly more hapaxes. As such, it is questionable whether scholars should continue to use the number of hapaxes in these letters as an argument against their Pauline authorship.
Instead, the question of authorship should better be debated in terms of the letters’ history and theology.
KEDS Tutor Dr Raymond Pfister recently had a chapter entitled "Pentecôtismes, œcuménisme de l'Esprit et unité des chrétiens" (Pentecostalism, Ecumenism of the Spirit and Christian unity) published in a new book edited by Michel Mallèvre, L'unité des chrétiens: Pourquoi ? Pour quoi ? (Collection Cerf Patrimoines. Paris : Les Editions du Cerf, 2016).
Join us by the seaside on 19 November for our day conference, to be held at our headquarters in lovely Broadstairs, Kent.
This year’s annual conference will be focusing on where theology, biblical interpretation and cultural engagement intersect. You’ll find sessions for everyone, whether students on matters relating to theological education, workshops on advanced biblical interpretation, and talks on how Christians can effectively engage society and the major cultural challenges facing the Church today.
The conference and resources on offer are designed for students and lay Christians alike.
Download a conference brochure and programme.
Book your place now (but hurry, spaces are limited)
Contact the KEDS office if you have any questions
A KEDS publication exploring the role of the European churches in the Holocaust has been shortlisted for an important Christian book prize in Australia. The book, entitled They Conspire Against Your People: The European Churches and the Holocaust, was authored by Colin Barnes and published by KEDS..
Barnes' book explores the extent to which the European churches and their theology contributed to a mindset that permitted the genocide of six million Jews during the Holocaust. The Holocaust was a progression of increasingly lethal measures: vilification, boycotts, deportation, ghettoization and mass murder.
This pattern echoed the European churches’ own historical Jewish policy and underpinned their support for earlier Nazi Jewish policies. Thus, instead of opposing genocide they opted for a guilty, deliberate silence.
Particularly significant is how the book moves beyond an examination of Catholic responses to explore also Protestant, including Evangelical, responses and actions.
KEDS first became involved in the project in late 2009 when the author, having come across KEDS Principal Dr Calvin Smith's personal website and his work in the field of Jewish-Christian Studies, contacted Dr Smith with a copy of his manuscript (which was the product of a research degree dissertation). Barnes explained how none of the Christian publishers he had approached had expressed an interest in the manuscript. Dr Smith recalls:
When Colin contacted me and I first read through the manuscript, which provides a well-documented and researched study examining the role and mindset of Christians during the genociude of the Holocaust, I could understand why many Christian publishers would be unenthusiastic about publishing and trying to sell a book setting out another shameful episode of Christendom's treatment of the Jewish people.
Yet we felt that Colin's research yielded an important story that needed to be told. Thus, after a lengthy peer-review and production, process beset with delays and problems - not least raising the funds to publish such an unpopular topic - the book was eventually published. Importantly, it has been endorsed by several well-known scholars recognising the scholarly nature of the research it contains. I am delighted that it has since been shortlisted for this important Christian book prize.
Colin Barnes is now a tutor at KEDS contributing to modules in Jewish-Christian Studies.
The 2016 Australian Christian Book of the Year award is organised by SparkLit (the new name for the Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge [SPCK] Australia). This is the 35th annual event, with 57 entries in 2016. The winner of the final shortlist of ten titles will be announced on 18 August in Blackburn North, Victoria.
Full details of the book and how to purchase it are available on the book page of our website. A Kindle version is also scheduled for publication at the end of this month.
Dr Elvira King, who recently joined us here at KEDS, has had a new book published which explores religious lobbying within EU institutions. The book is entitled The pro-Israel Lobby in Europe: The Politics of Religion and Christian Zionism in the European Union and is published by IB Tauris. The publisher's website states:
"Through a detailed study of the European Coalition for Israel (ECI), the only Christian Zionist lobby in Brussels, Elvira King analyses whether and how a religious group can (and can fail to) influence decision-makers in the EU. By exploring the context of European relations with Israel as well as the mechanisms through which pressure groups are able to influence EU-wide policies, King offers an analysis which demonstrates how the EU can be a site where religion and politics meet, rather than just being a secular institution. It therefore contains vital primary research for both those interested in the pro-Israel lobby as well as those examining the role of religion in politics more generally."
Congratulations to Dr King for the publication of this important and scholarly piece of research.
KEDS is pleased to welcome Stephen D. Campbell to its faculty for the upcoming 2016-17 school term. Stephen and wife Beth originate from Texas; but, together with their one-year-old, Caleb, they are currently residing in Durham as Stephen is in the Integrated PhD program of the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University. Combined with two previously attained Master's degrees in theology, the estimated completion of his PhD is Fall 2019 with research concentrating on the topics of communal memory and the function of Deuteronomy 1–4.
Having a love for the Old Testament and a desire to train pastors how to read, understand and teach the Old Testament in meaningful ways, we look forward to Stephen's fervour for the Old Testament contributing to King's goal of offering innovative theological studies by distance learning.
KEDS Principal Dr Calvin Smith recently had two new chapters published in two volumes exploring Latin American Pentecostalism.
The first, in a volume edited by Néstor Medina and Sammy Alfaro, explores Pentecostalism and politics in revolutionay Nicararagua and is entitled, "Revivalism as Revolutionary, Reactionary, or Remote: Pentecostal Political Heterogeneity in Sandinista Nicaragua".
The second chapter, which explores a growing wave of Pentecostalism in Cuba and its relations with the revolutionary government of Fidel Castro, was published recently in a volume edited by Amos Yong, Vinson Synan and Miguel Alvarez. The title of the chapter is "Cuba's New Revolution: From Religious Apathy to Pentecostal Revival".
Dr Smith also has a forthcoming chapter in another volume exploring the history, nature and politics of European Pentecostalism. His chapter focuses on Pentecostalism in Spain, with a particular emphasis upon Evangelicals under the Franco regime (he was raised in Spain as the son of missionaries during the latter stages of the regime). That volume will be published later this year. Meanwhile, Dr Smith is currently researching for a book on Spanish Pentecostalism.