Tuesday, February 23, 2016

From the Scroll to the Book (March 10): Upcoming lecture at Christ Church in Columbia Satiation

Here is information about an upcoming lecture 
I am doing in Columbia Station.

Dr. John Byron, professor of New Testament at Ashland Theological Seminary, will speak on the topic, “From the Scroll to the Book,” on Thursday, March 10, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Christ Church, Main Campus, located at 23080 Royalton Road in Columbia Station.
In this lecture, which is free and open to the public, Byron will explain how the Bible evolved from scrolls and papyri written in numerous languages to the English Bible that is used today. At the conclusion of the lecture, the audience will be invited to view a selection of ancient Bibles and manuscripts including a fragment of the Dead Sea Scrolls and pages from the Wycliffe, Tyndale and Luther Bibles.
“The Bible is one of the most widely read books in the world. In North America, most homes have at least one copy of the Bible, but many probably have several,” Byron said. “Yet, it can be easy to take our possession of the Bible for granted. We don't often appreciate the long and sometimes di­fficult process that brought us the Bible we read today.”
Refreshments will be available following the lecture.
Those wanting more information can contact Angela Cirone at acirone@ashland.edu or 419.289.5926.

Ashland Theological Seminary is a graduate division of Ashland University. With campuses in Ashland, Detroit, Cleveland and Columbus, Ashland Theological Seminary integrates theological education with Christ-centered transformation as it equips men and women for ministry in the church and the world.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Corruption, Conspiracy and Confusion: Can we trust the New Testament?

Below is the video of my most recent lecture at Ashland Theological Seminary. 

Over the years various arguments have been mounted against the trustworthiness of the New Testament. Scholars have noted the fragmentary nature of the earliest copies of the New Testament and concluded the evidence is too corrupt to be trusted. Conspiracy theorists, influenced by popular books and movies, claim the Emperor Constantine and church councils decided what books should be in the Bible while suppressing others. And some, observing the multiplicity of available translations, have suggested there is too much confusion and disagreement over what the Bible “really says.” In this lecture Dr. Byron will demonstrate why the New Testament is reliable. He will explain how scholars reconstruct the New Testament from thousands of pieces of evidence, how the New Testament books came to be canonized and why modern translations are a reflection of longstanding Christian heritage, rather than a source of confusion. He will conclude with some thoughts on the nature of the Bible, inspiration and the role scripture plays in informing our faith. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I (Still) Believe only $9.99 in eBook format Nov 17-24!

The good people at Harper Collins have informed me that for the next week the recent volume I co-edited with Joel Lohr, is only $9.99.Click here for details.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Ashland Theological Seminary announces new partnership with Logos/Faithlife

By Dr. David deSilva
Many Bible students are familiar with Logos Bible Software, by far the leading system for digital Bible study on the market.  One of the features that makes Logos so attractive over its competitors is the extensive integration of the Bible software into a Logos Digital Library like the Logos Gold Library, a vast collection of digitized books, both classic and modern, in the areas of biblical studies, theology, and practical ministry.  With a few keystrokes and clicks, the user can gather together in one place literally every reference to, say, Galatians 3:1 in his or her digital library in addition to having the tools necessary for the study of the text itself.
But Faithlife, the company that created Logos Bible Software and its ever-expanding library potential, is always innovating.  One of its most recent developments is a division called Mobile Education, Mobile Ed for short.  This began as a vision for making seminary-quality instruction available informally to pastors and lay leaders who would never go to seminary but wanted to deepen their knowledge and hone their ministry skills.  Mobile Ed has been inviting established scholars to prepare video courses in their areas of greatest strength with the goal of creating a comprehensive curriculum, each video course being fully integrated into the Logos library and Bible software as well.
It was only natural, therefore, that a seminary like Ashland, several of whose faculty have been tapped to record courses, would partner with Faithlife to make formal theological educational opportunities available using the combined strengths of the Logos system with its Mobile Ed courseware and the live interaction with experienced faculty and fellow students that a seminary environment makes possible.  I am personally very excited to see us launching a “Graduate Diploma in New Testament”using a combination of our own online courses and “fused courses” built around Mobile Ed modules.  These fused courses will involve all of the components of our more traditional online courses – presentations by our faculty, group discussions, webinars, course readings (generally available within the Logos family of digital texts), and assessments – with the added benefit of a major guest lecturer via the Mobile Ed courseware plus instruction in, and experience with, using Logos to attain course objectives.  The entire program can be completed from a distance.
Students who complete this graduate diploma, which consists of five courses, will gain a solid footing in the study of the New Testament while earning Masters-level credit and becoming more proficient in the use of the Logos Gold Library, a valuable, potentially life-long tool for ministry.
It is my personal hope to see this partnership grow to include additional graduate diplomas that, when pieced together, can constitute a complete Masters degree that can be fully realized without a student ever needing to leave his or her zip code.
David A. deSilva, Ph.D. is a Trustees’ Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Greek.
More information about our Graduate Diploma in New Testament can be found here:
Learn more about Mobile Ed here: www.logos.com/mobile-ed

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Reviews of "I (Still) Believe"

Although the book hasn't yet been released yet, some have received advance copies of I (Still) Believe: Leading Biblical Scholars Share Their Stories of Faith and Scholarship (Zondervan, 2015).

At the Common Denominator Blog Ken Schenck has started a series reviewing each essay.

At the Cruxsola blog, Nijay Gupta has some good things to say as well.

Thanks guys!

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Two Greatest Theologians

The folks at Zondervan have been asking their authors to comment on what people or books were their greatest influences. Below is an interview in which I identify who I think are the two greatest theologians of all time.

Friday, July 10, 2015

I (Still) Believe: Leading Bible Scholars Share Their Stories of Faith and Scholarship

Like many students, our professors made quite an impression on us. Indeed, our lives have been enriched as a result of our time with them—in their writings, in the classroom, at seminars, tutorials, conferences, and so on—and it’s probably safe to say that we became scholars ourselves because of them.

It’s clear that our professors’ lives and faith have touched us. At the same time, we’ve regularly encountered stories in popular books and other media of prominent Bible scholars who have left the faith as a result of their scholarship. These accounts, at times moving and compelling, have reminded us of the tensions in our work, but also that there is more to be told. We know that even while there are those who have journeyed away from their faith, there are many who have not. Indeed, we are personally familiar with a great number of scholars who retained a vibrant, living faith, albeit changed and shaped by their experiences in life and as a scholar. In thinking about this all, we decided to approach some of these people and ask them to tell us their life stories—the stories of their lives as believers and biblical scholars, including the challenges and joys they faced in both areas.

The result is about to be published. It’s a collection of stories titled I (Still) Believe and it will published by Zondervan next month. The contributors make up a diverse group of prominent—indeed some of the world’s most influential and popular—senior Bible scholars, both women and men. All of them explore how faith and biblical scholarship intersect, each in their own way. All of them engage with the ever-important question of how serious study of the Bible affects, whether by threatening or enhancing (or both), one’s faith. More than anything this book affirms that testimony, or "witness" is an integral part of the Christian tradition. Testimony still matters. These unique testimonies, each in their own way, provide a mosaic of faith—beautiful, at times subtle, often sophisticated, wonder-filled statements of faith.

Here is what some have to say about I (Still) Believe:

This is a book that needed to be written, on behalf of all those who live in the pressing, sometimes unbearable tension of a life of scholarly pursuit and personal faith. Through their own diverse stories of faith and life, these stellar biblical scholars show us that their lasting legacy may not be simply their published works, but how they modeled navigating the tension with respect and authenticity, and thus the transformation of their faith rather than loss of it.
---Peter Enns, Abram S. Clemens Professor of Biblical Studies, Eastern Univeristy

This is a very important and salutary book for all who struggle holding the critical study of Scripture and a commitment to the apostolic faith together.  Scholars from a broad spectrum of denominational and institutional affiliations, who have distinguished themselves as "heavy hitters" in biblical studies, share how faith has been a driving force in their scholarship and how their scholarship has been formative for their faith and practice.  This cloud of witnesses, while diverse in so many ways, bears a unified testimony -- biblical scholarship, a living faith, and a commitment to the Church of God can dance hand-in-hand in ever richer and more nuanced steps rather than trip each other up.
---David A. deSilva, Trustees' Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Greek, Ashland Theological Seminary

The book will be released at the beginning of July and can be pre-ordered now

Below is a set of promotional videos in which the co-editors John Byron and Joel Lohr share some of their thoughts on the book.