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Sorin Sabou

Letter to the Romans, Nicomachean Ethics, and more

The Christ event and life as a citizen

Philippians 2.5-11 is not a text about Christ as such, for the sake of Christ, but a text in which the thinking/the mindset of Christ is a model to be implemented among and in the members of the church at Philippi. If this, or a version of this hymn, was part of the early Christian worship it can be easily seen the development of thought and understanding in the first generation of Christians. Between the scenes in the Gospels and the sayings of Jesus, and a text like this about Christ there is a long way in terms of concepts, images, argument and relevance. The particularities of understanding and depiction have to receive full attention for offering a way forward in unpacking a mindset and its relevancy for others. This overall perspective of Christ's mindset/thinking has to be the main point of interpretation throughout the exposition. Read more...

Reading the Holy Scripture

I refer to the Bible as The Holy Scripture. This means that the biblical writings have a divine origin, and were given to the Christian community of faith. The triune God has revealed himself to his people. Thus, the text of the Holy Scripture is revealed, sanctified, and inspired by the triune God, and it must be preserved and approached as part of God’s redemptive, self-revelation received by his people; God’s saving revelation leads to God’s covenantal communion with his people. The Holy Scripture must be always understood, on the one hand, in the light of origin, function and goal of God’s self-communication, and, on the other hand, in the light of its reception by the people of God. Thus, the Holy Scripture is a word of supreme dignity, legitimacy and effectiveness. Read more...

U. Schnelle on North American Jesus Research

In some streams of North American Jesus research there was and is a clear tendency to promote real or postulated extra canonical tradition to a rank prior or parallel to the Jesus tradition of the Synoptics and the Johannine writings (H. Koester; J. M. Robinson; J. D. Crossan; B. L. Mack). The goal of such constructions is clearly to break the hold of the canonical gospels and to establish an alternative picture of Jesus based on other interpretations of the tradition. To do this, frequent use is made of the lust for sensationalism (Jesus and women; homosexual love; Jesus as prototype of alternative lifestyles; non theological, undogmatic beginnings of Christianity). Mere supposition and unproven postulates are asserted as stimulants for a debate intended to have public effects. Such constructions do not stand up to historical criticism, for neither the existence of a Secret Gospel of Mark nor a Signs Source can be made probable, and the Gospel of Thomas belongs to the second century.

Schnelle, U. (2007) Theology of the New Testament. Baker Academic, Grand Rapids, p. 65.


Thine is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory

- Thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory
- Augustus had brought peace to the whole wider Roman world; Augustus gave peace, as long as it was consistent with the interests of the Empire and the myth of his own glory
- the ambiguous structure of human empire, a kingdom of absolute power, bringing glory to the man at the top, and peace to those on whom his favor rested
- Augustus and Messiah; it is at his birth that the angels sing of glory and peace; which is the reality, and which the parody?
- Micah 5.2-4; and he shall be the man of peace Read more...

Deliver Us from Evil

- let us not be let into the testing - but deliver us from Evil
- firmly grounded in the life and work of Jesus himself; hopes and fears of first-century Israel, the people of true God
- the night would get darker, when hope had died and fear had conquered, the morning star would dawn at last
- the whole world, with Israel at its heart, would enter a period of tribulation, like that of a woman in labour; from this the new world would be born Read more...

Forgive Us Our Trespasses

- in Jesus’ world, the more senior you were in a community, the less likely you were even to walk fast; it shows a lack of dignity, a gravitas
- a man running to greet someone: someone who has put a curse on him, who has brought disgrace on the whole family; the Parable of the Prodigal Son
- to understand why this man is running
- once you replace morality with the philosophy that says ‘if it feels good, do it’, there isn’t anything to forgive; instead of genuine forgiveness, our generation has been taught the vague notion of ‘tolerance’
- how can we turn that story, and the reality to which it points, into a prayer, as we pray the prayer Jesus taught us? Read more...

Silence is a woman's glory

The title of this post is an exact quote from Aristotle's Politics 1.1260a. Aristotle himself quotes a poet. Here are his exact words: 'All classes must be deemed to have their special attributes; as the poet says of women, 'Silence is a woman's glory,' (γυναικὶ κόσμον ἡ σιγὴ φέρει) but this is not equally the glory of man.'
These ideas are part of the Athenian stock and used by Aristotle in his argument on the virtues in the state. He explores the differences and common ground between men, women, slaves in the larger context of the virtues of the ruler.
It can be seen that these affirmations are echoed and shared in what Paul writes several centuries later in 1 Corinthians 11:7 and 14:34. Phrases like 'the woman is the glory of man,' and 'they are not permitted to speak' are part of the similar stock of ideas peculiar to the hellenistic vision, about the life in the city/state, as we have it in Aristotle.


The Son from Above

SABOU, Sorin. “The Son from Above.” Jurnal teologic Vol 12, Nr 1 (2013): 43-58.

Abstract: This paper is a theological comparative study of the two New Testament texts: Philippians 2 and John 1. These portrayals of the Son of God show the common ground of communion, divinity, and of coming down to us, but also show the particularities of revelation, life, humility, and honor. These glimpses of the Son from above are the starting point for a New Testament understanding of God, history of salvation, and life in the family of God and in the city.

The Law, the Flesh, and the Spirit

SABOU, Sorin. "The Law, the Flesh, and the Spirit - Romans 8:1-13." Jurnal teologic Vol 11, Nr 2 (2012): 33-46.

Abstract: The dominion of the Spirit in the new realm of salvation is a vital element for having part in the eschatological life. The dominion of sin and death with its results in a mindset determined by the flesh is broken by the power of the Spirit of life which gives the covenant blessings to those who have a mindset determined by the Spirit.

The Christian Proclamation as Gospel

SABOU, Sorin. “The Christian Proclamation as Gospel, The Polemics, Politics and Praxis of euangelion in the Graeco-Roman World of the First Century.” Jurnal teologic 11.1 (2012): 72-81.

Abstract: The lexical choice made by the first Christians to present the Christian message as euangelion is a stark one. This is so because euangelion is used in Ancient Greek literature almost always as a technical term for the news of victory, a term used by those in power. This choice made by the first Christians leads to polemics with those in power. The politics and praxis of victory are affected too in this incursion of early Christianity in the area of power language. Thus, euangelion is captured and restructured as being the 'euangelion of the kingdom' and 'of Christ.' This leads to a different understanding of the way a citizen should live in the world.

Jurnal teologic, Vol 14, No 1 (2015)

This is to let you know that Jurnal teologic, Vol 14, No 1 (2015) was published at www.jurnalteologic.ro. This is the bibliographical information.

SABOU, Sorin. ‘John Locke and the Moral Value of Toleration.’ Jurnal teologic Vol. 14, No. 1 (2015): 5-13.

Baptist Theological Institute of Bucharest. Liberty University


The concept of freedom of conscience is in the religious affairs and political affairs at the core of Locke's understanding of tolerance. He redefined the church and the state accordingly. Even the effects of the church's discipline, and the way the state's laws have to be conceived and implemented, are seen from the perspective of tolerance. I argue that tolerance is the main lens through which Locke understands the identity and the relationship of the two. He builds a society with tolerance in view. Tolerance is the attitude that offers the context for freedom and peace.

Keywords: tolerance, religious freedom, Church and State

Our Daily Bread

- it is tempting to race through the Lord’s Prayer; do not let greed get in the face of grace
- spend time adoring our Father in heaven, seeking the honor of his name, and praying for his kingdom
- they said a lot of things about Jesus during his lifetime; ‘a glutton and a winebibber’
- a quote from Deuteronomy 21; what to do with a rebellious son; they will stone him to death
- he is disloyal to our traditions; he deserves to die
- but Jesus was following the agenda he set out in the Lord’s Prayer; he was not a rebellious son, he was loyal to the one he called ‘Father’ Read more...

Thy Kingdom Come

- what are we praying for when we pray for God’s Kingdom to come?
- heaven and earth are the two interlocking arenas of God’s good world: heaven is God’s space, where God’s word rules and his future purposes are waiting in the wings; earth is our world
- at the end the new Jerusalem is coming down from heaven to earth; in the new heaven and earth they will intertwine
- what will it mean, when Israel’s God returns as King?
a new Exodus: the evil empire will be defeated, and God’s people will be free; Isaiah 52:7-10 Read more...

Look who we killed (!?)

This slogan is popular this week in Chicagoland. I attended the Good Friday service in one of the mega churches in my area, and I was surprised by the theme of the message: ‘Look who we killed.’ The point was that ‘we killed Jesus.’ Is that accurate? No! We never find in the New Testament apostolic preaching of the cross of Christ such an affirmation. The apostles never say that ‘we killed Jesus.’ Apostle Peter says that ‘you killed him’ (as he address the people of Jerusalem, Acts 2.23, 3.15), but he never says that ‘I killed Jesus,’ even if he betrayed him three times. Read more...

The Ministry in Iconium - Acts 14

The way Paul and Barnabas spoke led many to faith. These were both Jews and Greeks. The Jews who did not believed stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. The narrator point of view is clearly on the side of the oppressed. They are described as brothers. The persecution comes from the unbelieving Jews. We are not told how they poisoned the souls (ἐκάκωσαν τὰς ψυχὰς) but perhaps this should be understood as referring to slander and contradicting the message/teaching of Paul and Barnabas.Read more...


The Scriptures present miracles as special signs of God’s presence, not as interruptions of the laws of nature. We do not have the question if such a thing took place, but what is the meaning of it.
In ancient times miracles were not accepted without question. In the case of Jesus the question was not ‘Did he perform miracles?’ but ‘On whose authority and with whose power he performed them?’ Are they the result of the presence of God’s kingdom or the result of his collusion with Beelzebul?

Historicity of Adam

The text in Genesis 1 describes the first week of history. The creation of man in God’s image is the climax of God’s creative activity. Adam and Eve are the first humans on the face of the earth. Their life in the Garden of Eden is brought to an abrupt end by their disobedience; this inaugurates the dominion of death. All humans are born in this type of environment, and, in the end, all sin. Read more...

Who Wrote 2 Peter?

Even if there is a direct statement of authorship in the letter (1.1), the authorship of 2 Peter is contested by many scholars on the grounds of style, the existence of fixed tradition, and the pseudepigraphical phenomenon in antiquity. However, these grounds are not conclusive.Read more...

The Guidance of the Spirit

Everyone need guidance. Nobody knows everything, that is why, help is needed. Christ knows this better than anyone. This is the reason for us not being left alone. We have a Counselor send into the world. His work of guidance is very respectful. He does not speak of himself, but he always takes from what Christ thought and brought into the world, and teaches us. The truth brought by Christ is sometimes incomprehensible and we need somebody to assist us; that is the role of the Spirit. Read more...

About Love in New Testament

Love is a fact of life. People are able to love. When people are in love they are captivated and they are totally for something or someone. That attitude is seen by others. Love is something that is recognized as such by other people. The New Testament writings speak about love. The main familes of words for love are phileō and agapaō. They are used almost interchangeably, but there are some differences.Read more...

Engaging with Wright, N. T. 2013. Paul and the Faithfulness of God. - Overview

This volume on Paul (Wright, 2013) is an event in the New Testament scholarship. N. T. Wright is a very respected scholar, and his writings were an inspiration to me over the years. I plan to write an analysis of his latest volume. Because of the structure of the volume I will split it accordingly (four posts) plus this introductory one. I will discuss his method and his outlook on the whole project and, from time to time, I will pronounce some evaluations. Read more...

Jurnal teologic Vol 12, Nr 2 (2013)

Jurnal teologic a fost publicat online la adresa www.jurnalteologic.ro. Aveți mai jos informația bibliografică a acestui număr. Jurnalul teologic este publicația academică a Institutului Teologic Baptist din București și a Facultății de Teologie Baptistă din Universitatea București. Soli Deo Gloria!

Jurnal teologic Vol 12, Nr 1 (2013)

The last issue of Jurnal teologic was published online at www.jurnalteologic.ro.
Please see below the bibliographic information and the direct links. Read more...

Membership in Chicago Society for Biblical Research

Yesterday at University of Valparaiso I was voted to become a member of this select group of Biblical scholars from Chicagoland. Many thanks to Prof. Troy Martin (St Xavier University) for nominating me to membership in CSBR.
The intention of CSBR is to provide a platform for presenting current academic research in the field of Biblical Studies. Follow this link for details about the society.

Jurnal teologic Vol 11, Nr 2 (2012)

Jurnal teologic Vol 11, Nr 2 (2012) [ISSN 1 844 7252] este publicat online la adresa www.jurnalteologic.ro.
Informația bibliografică, abstracte (în limba engleză), și termenii cheie pentru fiecare articol le aveți mai jos.

Jurnal teologic 11.1 (2012)

This is to inform you that the current issue of Jurnal teologic is published online at www.jurnalteologic. ro. The Content, Abstract and Keywords are as follows: Read more...

Being Taught about the Kingdom (2)

The Kingdom starts very small and outgrows everything. The mechanisms of growth are built in it. When the conditions are right, it grows. This our part: to plant, to water, and God makes it to grow; to hid the leaven in the flour and it will fill the whole bowl. These internal mechanisms give us hope and they keep us humble. The Kingdom does not grow because of us, but because of God. It is a privilege to be part of this expansion. Read more...

Being Taught about the Kingdom (1)

The ways of the Kingdom have to be grasped for being able to understand your place in it. The danger is that we think it works in a certain way, when it does not. Jesus taught his disciples to become scribes in knowing all what is necessary about the Kingdom.Read more...

The identity of the Church - Prayer

By prayer, the people of God expresses their communion with God. Jesus' disciples were taught how to pray. Through the prayer taught by Jesus, the Church aligns itself to the will of God. Praising the heavenly Father, asking for the coming of his kingdom, and for the daily bread, offering and receiving forgiveness, releasing from the power of evil are the main elements of Jesus' mission. Read more...

The identity of the Church - Breaking of Bread

Sharing a meal with somebody is a sign of communion and friendship. The Lord's Supper in Early Church was part of a meal. Communion and friendship was the social context for the breaking of bread. This somehow technical way of portraying the Lord Supper underlies the drama of salvation. Read more...

The Identity of the Church - Brotherly Relationships

The members of the Church call themselves brothers and sisters. Why? Because they have the same Father. When somebody believes/accepts the incarnated Word, the Son of God as his/her Savior and Lord, he/she receives the right to call himself/herself a child of God. That person enters into God's family, Jesus Christ being the older brother, the Son by excellence. Read more...

The Identity of the Church - The Apostles' Teaching

The identity of the Church

Acts 2:42 gives us right from the beginning the basic structure of Church's identity. We do not have there an order of worship, but some elements which show the Church as it is seen from the outside. The elements of theaching, relationships, breaking of bread and prayer give the Church the unique nature.

One Another

It is not easy to be among people. It is complex and unexpected things happen at times. That is why, we have to grasp the essential things about this daily challenge. Let us read what Jesus had to say about this. The results, in the beginning, are not very encouraging, but, in the end, they put us on the right track.Read more...

Christ about the future in John

Christ's mind about the future, as this is seen in the Gospel of John, is found in three main types of texts: chapters 14, 6, and 3. In these texts we find the majors affirmations on this subject.
The future is about the place which Christ prepares for those who belong to him. When that place is ready he will come to take us to be with him. The way toward that place is Christ himself.Read more...