Jan 19, 2018

Latest Issue of Review of Biblical Literature

The latest issue of Review of Biblical Literature is out. Reviews can be accessed by clicking the links below but unfortunately you must be a SBL member. 

Bradford A. Anderson
An Introduction to the Study of the Pentateuch
Reviewed by Reinhard Achenbach

Pablo Andiñach
El Dios que está: Teología del Antiguo Testamento
Reviewed by Osvaldo D. Vena

Eugene Cruz-Uribe
The Demotic Graffiti from the Temple of Isis on Philae Island
Reviewed by John Gee

April D. DeConick
The Gnostic New Age: How a Countercultural Spirituality Revolutionized Religion From Antiquity to Today
Reviewed by James F. McGrath

Alan Kirk
Q in Matthew: Ancient Media, Memory, and Early Scribal Transmission of the Jesus Tradition
Reviewed by Akiva Cohen

Michael J. Kruger
The Question of Canon: Challenging the Status Quo in the New Testament Debate
Reviewed by Chris S. Stevens

Benjamin W. Porter
Complex Communities: The Archaeology of Early Iron Age West-Central Jordan
Reviewed by Ralph K. Hawkins

Brian S. Rosner, Andrew S. Malone, and Trevor J. Burke, eds.
Paul as Pastor
Reviewed by Scot McKnight

Lauri Thurén
Parables Unplugged: Reading the Lukan Parables in Their Rhetorical Context
Reviewed by Susana de Sola Funsten

David Willgren
The Formation of the ‘Book’ of Psalms: Reconsidering the Transmission and Canonization of Psalmody in Light of Material Culture and the Poetics of Anthologies
Reviewed by Erhard S. Gerstenberger

Jan 18, 2018

Three Books for Preaching Ecclesiastes

Matt Capps writes about three books that he found helpful for preaching Ecclesiastes here.

Jan 17, 2018

How to Read Faster in Seminary

Just in time for the spring semester, Seminary Survival Guide has some helpful infographic on surviving the reading demands of graduate school here. I question whether the 200 pages per week per course number for at least master's level students is correct. But I suppose this might vary quite a bit from class-to-class and institution-to-institution. 

One other point needs to be made. One has to be careful that if the professor requires you to report your reading, then integrity demands that you accurately report what you have read. Some professors will allow skimming, others will not.

That being said the information is helpful.

Jan 16, 2018

John Piper on the Value of the Old Testament

You can read or listen to John Piper's comments on the value of the Old Testament for the Christian life here.

Jan 15, 2018

The Complexity of Translation

The New Yorker has an interesting article here related to the recent translation of a Korean novel into English. This is a great illustration of the complexity of the process of translation, whether it relates to the Bible or a novel.

Jan 14, 2018

Donald Campbell (1926–2018)

Donald Campbell, former professor and president of Dallas Theological Seminary, has gone to be with the Lord. There is a nice write-up here. Although I met Dr. Campbell on a few occasions, I mainly profited from his preaching and popular level expositions.

Jan 13, 2018

Latest Issue of Review of Biblical Literature

The latest issue of Review of Biblical Literature is out. Reviews can be accessed by clicking the links below but unfortunately you must be a SBL member. 

Mark J. Boda, Michael H. Floyd, and Colin M. Toffelmire, eds.

The Book of the Twelve and the New Form Criticism
Reviewed by James M. Bos

Athalya Brenner-Idan and Archie Lee, eds.
Samuel, Kings and Chronicles I
Reviewed by John W. Herbst

Warren Carter
Telling Tales about Jesus: An Introduction to the New Testament Gospels
Reviewed by Marius J. Nel
Reviewed by Steven R. Shisley

Tat-siong Benny Liew and Erin Runions, eds.
Psychoanalytic Meditations between Marxist and Postcolonial Readings of the Bible
Reviewed by Rhiannon Graybill

Siobhán Dowling Long and John F. A. Sawyer
The Bible in Music: A Dictionary of Songs, Works, and More
Reviewed by James F. McGrath

Todd D. Still and David E. Wilhite, eds.
The Apostolic Fathers and Paul
Reviewed by Christopher T. Holmes
Reviewed by H. H. Drake Williams III

Henry Wansbrough
Introducing the New Testament
Reviewed by Ken Olson

Archie T. Wright
The Origin of Evil Spirits: The Reception of Genesis 6:1–4 in Early Jewish Literature
Reviewed by Michael B. Hundley

Grant Osborne on the Teacher as Pastor

Grant Osborne has some helpful advice or reminders about the role of the professor in the Bible college or seminary classroom here. Here is an excerpt.
"I have long felt that if all I was in the classroom was a disseminator of information, I would fail. The problem today is that the seminary (or college, or graduate school) classroom is often too academic, and too few students fall in love with the process of exegesis and feeding their flock—even looking upon the act of “feeding” in terms of delivering simple topical messages. We must show students the relevance of the biblical text for their lives, stimulating them spiritually as well as intellectually. The truth is that they can find everything we are going to say in commentaries and other sources. What we need to do is show them how practical and refreshing deep exegesis can be."

Jan 12, 2018

The Dating of Acts

This post, which is adapted from a course taught by Darrell Bock, covers the issue of the dating of Acts pretty well. 

Jan 11, 2018

Improving Your Speaking Skills

Although this post by Jason Shen is not specifically about teaching or preaching, there is some helpful advice about becoming a better speaker.

Jan 10, 2018

The Primacy of Peter

I do not hold to the primacy of Peter, at least in the Roman Catholic sense, or perhaps more accurately, the implications that they draw from it, namely, from the primacy to the papacy. But Dave Armstrong gives us fifty reasons supporting the primacy here and the twenty reasons he considers the best here

Jan 9, 2018

Writing Sermons with Integrity

Brad Whitt has a thoughtful and helpful post on avoiding sermon plagiarism here.

Jan 8, 2018

Journal of Biblical Literature 136:4

The lasted volume of the Journal of Biblical Literature is now out. Here is a list of the articles with links to abstracts.

Creating a New “Great Divide”: The Exoticization of Ancient Culture in Some Recent Applications of Orality Studies to the Bible
Paul S. Evans

The Date of the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4–5)
Nathan MacDonald

The Lists of Levitical Cities (Joshua 21, 1 Chronicles 6) and the Propagandistic Map for the Hasmonean Territorial Expansion
Yitzhak Lee-Sak

Hands, Heads, and Feet: Body Parts as Poetic Device in Judges 4–5
Karolien Vermeulen

“He Will Take the Best of Your Fields”: Royal Feasts and Rural Extraction
Gale A. Yee

Yahwistic Appropriation of Achaemenid Ideology and the Function of Nehemiah 9 in Ezra-Nehemiah
David Janzen

Job 2 and 42:7–10 as Narrative Bridge and Theological Pivot
Paul K.-K. Cho

[Hbl] as “Worthless” in Qoheleth: A Critique of Michael V. Fox’s “Absurd” Thesis
Mark Sneed

Naqia and Nineveh in Nahum: Ambiguity and the Prostitute Queen
Gregory D. Cook

A Newly Reconstructed Calendrical Scroll from Qumran in Cryptic Script
Eshbal Ratzon and Jonathan Ben-Dov

Jesus’s Question to Pilate in Mark 15:2
Jonathan Schwiebert

Slow Sailing in Acts: Suspense in the Final Sea Journey (Acts 27:1–28:15)
Troy M. Troftgruben

Is Every Sin outside the Body except Immoral Sex? Weighing Whether 1 Corinthians 6:18b Is Paul’s Statement or a Corinthian Slogan
Andrew David Naselli

James 3:13–4:10 and the Language of Envy in Proverbs 3
Benjamin Lappenga

Jan 6, 2018

Latest Issue of Review of Biblical Literature

The latest issue of Review of Biblical Literature is out. Reviews can be accessed by clicking the links below but unfortunately you must be a SBL member. 

Eric D. Barreto, Matthew L. Skinner, and Steve Walton, eds.
Reading Acts in the Discourses of Masculinity and Politics
Reviewed by Christy Cobb

Craig G. Bartholomew and Michael W. Goheen
The Drama of Scripture: Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story
Reviewed by Carl Long

Marie-Claire Beaulieu
The Sea in the Greek Imagination
Reviewed by Edmund P. Cueva

Daniel I. Block
For the Glory of God: Recovering a Biblical Theology of Worship
Reviewed by J. Michael Thigpen

Suzanne Boorer
The Vision of the Priestly Narrative: Its Genre and Hermeneutics of Time
Reviewed by Roy E. Garton
Reviewed by Brandon Grafius

Luc Dequeker
Studia Hierosolymitana
Reviewed by Jacques T. A. G. M. van Ruiten

Deena E. Grant
Divine Anger in the Hebrew Bible
Reviewed by Bruce E. Baloian

John Paul Heil
The Letter of James: Worship to Live By
Reviewed by Patrick J. Hartin

Paul A. Himes
Foreknowledge and Social Identity in 1 Peter
Reviewed by Ruth Anne Reese

Mischa Hooker, trans.
Origen of Alexandria: Exegetical Works on Ezekiel
Reviewed by Peter W. Martens

Eric C. Lapp
Sepphoris II: The Clay Lamps from Ancient Sepphoris; Light Use and Regional Interactions
Reviewed by James Riley Strange

Jens-Christian Maschmeier
Rechtfertigung bei Paulus: Eine Kritik alter und neuer Paulusperspektiven
Reviewed by James D. G. Dunn

Vincent K. H. Ooi
Scripture and Its Readers: Readings of Israel’s Story in Nehemiah 9, Ezekiel 20, and Acts 7
Reviewed by Steve Smith

Benjamin Porter and Alexis Boutin, eds.
Remembering the Dead in the Ancient Near East: Recent Contributions from Bioarchaeology and Mortuary Archaeology
Reviewed by Kristine Henriksen Garroway

Charles M. Stang
Apophasis and Pseudonymity in Dionysius the Areopagite: “No Longer I”
Reviewed by Hennie Stander

Jan 5, 2018

Free Commentaries on 1-2 Kings

Rob Bradshaw has posted about four free commentaries and other resources on these books here.

Jan 3, 2018

Douglas Campbell on 1 Corinthians

The Christian Century has a good article written by Douglas Campbell on 1 Corinthians here. Is a fairly lengthy article so here are two paragraphs that I appreciated. 
"The church at Corinth was a mess. I count 15 distinguishable problems that Paul addresses in 1 Corinthians: partisanship, with the Corinthians factionalizing behind rival leaders (1:10–4:21; 16:10–18); incest (5:1–13); prostitution (6:12–21); celibacy within marriage (7:1–7); Christians married to one another asking about divorce (7:8–11, 39); Christians married to pagans asking about divorce (7:12–16); questions surrounding marriage and remarriage (7:25–40); lawsuits (6:1–11); idolatry (8:1–11:1); concerns about women praying and prophesying in immodest ways (11:2–16); chaos in worship, with speaking in tongues and competing voices (chapter 14); inequality in the communal meal (11:17–34); denials of the bodily resurrection of Jesus and of Christians (15:1–58); the collection of a large sum of money to be sent to Jerusalem (16:1–4); and a change in Paul’s travel plans (16:5–9).
 "Underlying this mess, there were four main difficulties: a basic failure in relating to one another in love; a dramatic failure of the local church leaders to act considerately in the face of their competition for status and influence; arrogant theological reasoning that denied the importance of the body (which we might call “Christian intellectualism”); and tensions arising from the pressures that Paul’s teaching about sex placed on his converts. Each of these problems would have been bad enough, but when they were all present together, the combination was toxic."

Jan 2, 2018

Free Audio Book of the Month: Twelve Ways Your Phone Is Changing You

Christianaudio.com is offering Tony Reinke's Twelve Ways Your Phone Is Changing You as their free audio download for the month of January. To read more about this resource and to get your free audio download in either MP3 or M4B formats go here.

Jan 1, 2018

Free Logos Book for January: Galatians in Preaching the Word

The free Logos Book for the Month for January is Todd Wilson's Galatians commentary in the Preaching the Word Series. You can also purchase Ray Orland's Proverbs volume in the same series for $1.99 and Martyn Lloyd-Jones' Acts: Chapters 1-8 for $9.99. There is also a contest to win a 7 volume D. A. Carson collection. For all these offers, go to the Logos' Free Book of Month page here.

Dec 30, 2017

Interview with Mark Keown on Philippians

Todd Scacewater has a pretty interesting interview here with Mark Keown on Philippians. Keown has written a two-volume commentary on Philippians in the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary series.

Dec 29, 2017

Questioning Apocalyptic

I have long struggled with apocalyptic both as a phenomenon and as a genre. It is not so much that I don't understand what is said about these but rather how the term apocalyptic and the baggage that comes with it is applied to books in the Bible (e.g., Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah, Revelation). Too often it seems that the label is used much like a hermeneutical trump card. Merely playing the card means this or that. But labeling a text is not interpreting it. There also seems to be a fair amount of circularity in the process. Certain texts are determined to be apocalyptic and therefore we derive a definition of apocalyptic based on characteristics noted in the books. In turn we say that a certain book is apocalyptic because it fits a definition that we derived from books we have already determined were apocalyptic. I hope that makes sense. In any case, Paul Henenbury raises some issues here that resonate with me. But I will have to wait until his forthcoming fuller discussion is available to assess his critique overall.