Newest Issue of SWJT

The latest issue of the Southwestern Journal of Theology is now available. The theme of this issue is “The Bible” and is dedicated to the late L. Russ Bush. Three of the articles are available for free download, including one by me. Here is the Table of Contents:

Issue Theme: “The Bible

  • “Editorial,” by Malcolm B. Yarnell III
  • “In Memoriam,” by Mark Leeds
  • “Luther Russell Bush III,” by Jason G. Duesing
  • “Understanding Biblical Inerrancy,” by L. Russ Bush
  • “The Issue is Truth,” by Paige Patterson
  • “Is Inerrancy Sufficient? A Plea to Biblical Scholars,” by Denny R. Burk

The article that I wrote is an adaptation of a paper that I read at a regional meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society several years ago. The journal website also includes downloadable articles from past issues. This is a site you’ll want to visit.


  • jeff miller

    Hello Denny,

    It was interesting reading your article in which you make a plea to biblical scholars. “biblical scholar” is a title that could be equated with “scribe” in the New Testament and reading your article has made me think further through the nuanced and specialized way in which Jesus used the term “scribe” at the end of Matthew chapter 13. except for this odd and nuanced usage I would opine that the term should not be thought of as identical to “disciple of Jesus”. I think the distance between the two designations is where you and others in the ets may be misdirecting your energies. It seems to me that some are trying to make “biblical scholar” = “disciple of Jesus” or some would perhaps even do worse and make “biblical scholar” = “super-disciple” but these things cannot, and will not be identical (except for the strange sense Jesus speaks of in the unusual Matt. 13). The way men might define “biblical scholar” within a guild and the way the Lord defines “disciple of Jesus” are necessarily distinct. I have noticed that when I am trying to make “some title” (fill in the blank with whatever designation)= “disciple of Jesus” it is so that I can knowingly, or unknowingly, sidestep “loyalty-to-Jesus” as the defining, and circumambient, marker of what we, as disciples, ought to be.

    So as I read what you very helpfully trace as a continuum from Gabler(1787), to Wrede(1897), to the more recent Fox; I would defend an appreciation for the distinction between thorough scholarship and correct submission to God who has revealed truth in the prophetic scriptures.

    For example, you said, “According to Wrede, when the historical task of biblical theology concerns itself with dogmatic implications, ‘Biblical theology will be pressed for an answer to dogmatic questions which the biblical documents do not really give, and will endeavor to eliminate results which are troublesome for dogmatics’.” I would just want to point out that this is not merely the naked opinion of Wrede but it is a fact of ecclesial history. I find a benign example of this in your article when you speak of Wallace’s “decisive” work concerning “theoneustos” of 2 Timothy 3:16. Do we really think that Paul intends to say that “all writings” are inspired by God and therefore profitable, or would it make much better sense to hear him say “all inspired writings are profitable,” as my nasb offers in the margin?

    Denny you know I am much more comfortable with exegetes who are attempting to describe the explicit teachings of the Bible, than I am with the scholar who thinks of himself as thoroughly equipped to “construct Christian Dogma” (yuk!!!).
    Unfortunately this sort of thing makes its way directly into some of the modern discussions of the correct reading of biblical texts. And if I may say so, D.A.Carson himself has difficulty escaping the orbit of a “scholarly defined orthodoxy” when commenting on the secondary writings he has the responsibility over as editor (see Don Garlington’s review of “Variegated Nomism”), let alone his “systematic take” on all scripture.

    Am I over my head now or what?

    Anyway, your awesome for writing such thoughtful articles and giving us access to them through posts like this one.

    Thanks bro,

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