The Paroikos Bible Blog exists as a resource to those interested in Biblical studies and Koine Greek. It is hoped that this blog will simultaneously provide food-for-thought to the reader while pointing him or her in the direction of valuable resources, both in print and on the internet, that will further help his or her studies in the Word.

Jan 13, 2023

Douglas Kennard's new Petrine Theology

True Petrine theologies are few and far between, whereas one cannot throw a rock without hitting a dozen Pauline theologies (or Pauline theologians, for that matter!) As somebody who has contributed a little bit to this neglected field, I am excited to have received a copy of Douglas W. Kennard's Petrine Theology (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2022).

Kennard is a professor at the Houston Graduate School of Theology, and in his previous writings he has specialized in biblical theology and hermeneutics. Along with Petrine Theology he has published a companion book entitled Petrine Studies (also with Wipf & Stock).

Kennard's Petrine Theology is about as holistic a "Petrine theology" as one could ask for, and that's a good thing. He utilizes 1 and 2 Peter, along with the Petrine material in Acts and the Gospels, to cover a variety of topics. These include broader theological categories ("God," "Christology") as well as more specific Petrine emphases ("Suffering," "False Teachers"). All of this is developed from the important premise that "The early church considered Peter to be the foundation for apostolic Christian tradition" (p. 1), and thus the modern church should not neglect the Apostle Peter's own specific perspectives.

The book is well-researched and well-thought out, with an excellent level of interaction with both primary and secondary sources. [Allow me, though, to express my irritation at having my own name misspelled as "Hines" in the bibliography; actually, he cites two works of mine, one of them as "Himes" and the other as "Hines." Another top-notch Petrine scholar, Benjamin Sargent, also misspells me as "Hines"; oh well. I'm sure I've done the same to some other author somewhere in my published works--my apologies if that is you, dear reader! And I'm happy that Kennard at least mentions my work. End of rant! ☺]

At times the book reads more like a systematic theology, e.g., chapter 2 on "God," which has a tendency to state a description about God and then bolster it with Petrine material, rather than tracing a Petrine theological theme per se). Even so, it is immensely valuable since it points us to the Apostle Peter's specific perspective while demonstrating how it is congruent with the rest of Scripture. Also, Kennard aptly embraces the important role that Old Testament theology plays in Peter's theology.

Books on the Apostle Peter's theology are rare, and books that take seriously the Petrine material in Acts and the Gospels as part of that theology are extremely rare. I am pleased to announce that Kennard joins the distinguished ranks of Larry Helyer (The Life and Witness of Peter), Pheme Perkins (Peter: Apostle for the Whole Church) and Gene Green (Vox Petri: A Theology of Peter) as an important advocate for the Apostle Peter's theology.