Quick update. Still doing what I can to keep on my TO DO list. But lately I've also had a really exciting detour with bursts of insatiable Scripture (especially NT) study. My critical resources (and especially my knowledge of Greek!) are good (Greek NT, Septuagint, an NAB Bible, and the NIV Greek-Hebrew Key Study BIble), but I'd love to get my hands a few other resources. For example:
1) Word Study Greek-English New Testament - Paul McReynolds,
2) The Orthodox New Testament: Translated Out Of The Original Greek: The Text Of The 4 Gospels, Acts, 21 Epistles, And Revelation and
3) The Precise Parallel New Testament: Greek Text, King James Version, Rheims New Testament, Amplified Bible, New International Version, New Revised Standard Version, New American Bible.
It's really amazing to see all the connections beneath the translated surface. I've recently been working on another biblical primer, this one about the "religion" of Christianity. Many people (esp. fundamentalists ... and liberals, I guess, too) deny Christianity is "a religion," since it is "a relationship." This is true, but it's far truer to say it's a *religious* relationship. God, the object of all religion, the God of Triune inner-realtions, meets man relationally. Man, as a relational being, must however return God's embrace in a correspondingly divine, religious way. God "condescends" to meet us in "mere" human relationships; we for our part must be willing to ascend to him with the liturgical and ritual dimensions of our being. Religion is not a handicap on man's relationships, since man himself is religious, the homo religiosus. (I always think it's funny how skeptics and rationalists denounce religion as an oppression laid on man... but then rail against the power of man *himself* to create religions! External oppression or internal fulfillment? I guess it wouldn't matter to them if scoring points is the main goal, but oh well...)
At any rate, I've been compiling as many references to religion/piety (*eusebeia*) in the NT as I can find -- and surprisingly, to this former Evangelical, the great majority use the term very positively. I might post this primer in the near future.