Monday, February 02, 2009

A little snow and a bit of reading

It's been amazing listening to the news broadcasts through today - everyone seems to be looking for someone to blame for the traffic chaos and the fact that London has pretty much ground to a halt in the snow today.

Can you imagine the outcry from council tax payers if London bought the number of snow plows it'd need to clear the streets of what fell over the past 24 hours? We get a snow event of this magnitude of this magnitude once every 20 years or so. Can't we just take a day or two off, make sure the vulnerable have got everything they need and enjoy a snowball fight with bored kids in the streets?

Or am I missing something?

Anyway, I've been reading lots of stuff about 1 Thessalonians - getting ready for our men's Bible study (though it's been cancelled tonight because of the snow!); in particular stuff reconciling the Acts account of the founding of the church with what Paul says in his letter. Rainer Riesner makes a pretty good case for there being no contradiction between Luke's and Paul's versions of events.

It seems that 1 Thessalonians is not well-served in terms of studies looking at the social context of the community and the letter - certainly in comparison to 1 Corinthians or even Galatians. Richard Ascough has written some interesting stuff and Karl Donfried and Robert Jewett have too; Bruce Winter has written a couple of fascinating essays on the Greco-Roman background to some of what Paul says. But the literature is thin. if anyone knows of anything good, I'd love to hear about it.

I'm re-reading an essay by Justin hardin on the Acts account of the arrest of Justin which throws considerable light on the passage. One thing that intrigues me is that there seems to be a lot of attention paid to the political context Paul's mission in this section of Acts. Others have pointed out that Acts 16-18 contains a concentration of business language (Frederick Danker, in particular, in an essay I've not read but which looks really interesting), but it seems to me that there's an interesting study to be done on the use of political language in this section too.

Time for a hot toddy, I reckon - there are just so many good things about a cold snap...!

1 comment:

Stuart said...

I am with you on this one...about the snow I mean...although I am sure you are right also about the New Testament