Jul 31, 2014

Proverbs on Work and Laziness-Part 3

This is the final part of a three-part series on proverbs related to work and laziness.

Proverbs on Work and Laziness
Text (NASB)
He who tills his land will have plenty of bread,
But he who pursues vain things lacks sense.
The hand of the diligent will rule,
But the slack hand will be put to forced labor.
A slothful man does not roast his prey,
But the precious possession of a man is diligence.
Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles,
But the one who gathers by labor increases it.
He who tills his land will have plenty of food,
But he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty.
The way of the sluggard is as a hedge of thorns,
But the path of the upright is a highway.
Do not love sleep, lest you become poor;
Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with food.
25 The desire of the sluggard puts him to death,
For his hands refuse to work;
26 All day long he is craving,
While the righteous gives and does not hold back.
4Poor is he who works with a negligent hand,
But the hand of the diligent makes rich.
5He who gathers in summer is a son who acts wisely,
But he who sleeps in harvest is a son who acts shamefully.
The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing,
But the soul of the diligent is made fat.
In all labor there is profit,
But mere talk leads only to poverty.

Jul 30, 2014

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. 

Robert L. Cole
Psalms 1–2: Gateway to the Psalter
Reviewed by Richard S. Briggs

Avraham Faust
The Archaeology of Israelite Society in Iron Age II
Reviewed by William G. Dever

Gregory P. Fewster
Creation Language in Romans 8: A Study in Monosemy
Reviewed by Andrew W. Pitts

Steven Fine
Art, History and the Historiography of Judaism in Roman Antiquity
Reviewed by Yael Wilfand

Christian Frevel and Christophe Nihan, eds.
Purity and the Forming of Religious Traditions in the Ancient Mediterranean World and Ancient Judaism
Reviewed by Jason M. Silverman

Jey J. Kanagaraj
Reviewed by Nijay Gupta

John S. Kloppenborg and Judith H. Newman, eds.
Editing the Bible: Assessing the Task Past and Present
Reviewed by Scott Charlesworth

Cynthia Miller-Naudé and Ziony Zevit, eds.
Diachrony in Biblical Hebrew
Reviewed by Stephen A. Kaufman

Yann Redalié
La deuxième épître aux Thessaloniciens
Reviewed by Abson Joseph

Carolyn J. Sharp
Wrestling the Word: The Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Believer
Reviewed by Robert Wafawanaka

Proverbs on Work and Laziness-Part 2

Yesterday, I started a three-part series on proverbs related to work and laziness.

Proverbs Solely on Laziness

Text (NASB)
6 Go to the ant, O sluggard,
Observe her ways and be wise,
7 Which, having no chief,
Officer or ruler,
8 Prepares her food in the summer,
And gathers her provision in the harvest.
9 How long will you lie down, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?
10 "A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest"--
11 And your poverty will come in like a vagabond,
And your need like an armed man.
Comparative Antithetic
He also who is slack in his work
Is brother to him who destroys.
Laziness casts into a deep sleep,
And an idle man will suffer hunger.
The sluggard buries his hand in the dish,
And will not even bring it back to his mouth.
The sluggard does not plow after the autumn,
So he begs during the harvest and has nothing.
He who loves pleasure will become a poor man;
He who loves wine and oil will not become rich.
The sluggard says, "There is a lion outside;
I shall be slain in the streets!"
30 I passed by the field of the sluggard,
And by the vineyard of the man lacking sense;
31 And behold, it was completely overgrown with thistles,
Its surface was covered with nettles,
And its stone wall was broken down.
32 When I saw, I reflected upon it;
I looked, and received instruction.
33 "A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest,"
34 Then your poverty will come as a robber,
And your want like an armed man.
Example Story
13 The sluggard says, "There is a lion in the road!
A lion is in the open square!"
14 As the door turns on its hinges,
So does the sluggard on his bed.
15 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
He is weary of bringing it to his mouth again.
16 The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes
Than seven men who can give a discreet answer.

Jul 29, 2014

Proverbs on Work and Laziness-Part 1

I was looking through some materials that I created some time back related to the book of Proverbs. I will post three tables related to work and laziness.

Proverbs Solely on Work

Text (NASB)
Commit your works to the LORD,
And your plans will be established.
A worker's appetite works for him,
For his hunger urges him on.
Do you see a man skilled in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before obscure men.
Rhetorical Question
Prepare your work outside,
And make it ready for yourself in the field;
Afterwards, then, build your house.

Jul 28, 2014

Notes on 1 John 3:11-18

David Allen continues to post some good stuff on his blog. Check out his sermon notes on 1 John 3:11-18 here.

Jul 27, 2014

Responding to Praise

Brian Croft has some good advice here on how one should respond to praise that is received after preaching a sermon. This would also be applicable, with some modification, to other areas of ministry as well.  

Jul 26, 2014

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. 

T. Desmond Alexander
From Paradise to the Promised Land: An Introduction to the Pentateuch
Reviewed by Keith Bodner

Ronald J. Allen
Reading the New Testament for the First Time
Reviewed by Peter J. Judge

Daniel I. Block
By the River Chebar: Historical, Literary, and Theological Studies in the Book of Ezekiel
Reviewed by Ananda Geyser-Fouche

Dave Brunn
One Bible, Many Versions: Are All Translations Created Equal?
Reviewed by Patrick Schreiner

Richard J. Dillon
The Hymns of Saint Luke: Lyricism and Narrative Strategy in Luke 1–2
Reviewed by Robert O'Toole

Stephen E. Fowl
Ephesians: A Commentary
Reviewed by Thomas Slater

Susan Mathew
Women in the Greetings of Romans 16.1–16: A Study of Mutuality and Women’s Ministry in the Letter to the Romans
Reviewed by Kathy Ehrensperger

Frederick J. Murphy
Apocalypticism in the Bible and Its World: A Comprehensive Introduction
Reviewed by J. Todd Hibbard

David C. Tollerton
The Book of Job in Post-Holocaust Thought
Reviewed by Bradley Embry

Josef Wiesehöfer and Thomas Krüger, eds.
Periodisierung und Epochenbewusstsein im Alten Testament und in seinem Umfeld
Reviewed by Thomas L. Thompson

Jul 25, 2014

Daniel Study Guide

The nice folks at Kregel recently sent me a copy of Sue Edwards' recent study guide on the book of Daniel. I am not a big user of guides like this, but a quick scan of the contents suggests that there is some good stuff here. The questions are straightforward and typically relevant to the text. The guide has helpful "digging deeper" sidebars and there are occasional QR codes that link to YouTube videos. If study guides are your thing you might want to take a look at this one. You can read an excerpt here

Jul 24, 2014

Free: Greg Beale on Biblical Theology

You can download 22-lecture Biblical Theology course by Greg Beale for free on iTunes U. Use this link. Here is a list of the 22 lectures.

1: Introduction; Inaugurated Eschatology I
2: Inaugurated Eschatology II
3: Inaugurated Eschatology III 4: Inaugurated Eschatology IV
5: Inaugurated Eschatology V; Biblical Theology of the Gospels I
6: Biblical Theology of the Gospels II
7: Biblical Theology of the Gospels III
8: Biblical Theology of the Gospels IV
9: Biblical Theology of the Gospels
10: Biblical Theology of the Gospels VI V
11: A Redemptive Historical Perspective of the Temple I
12: A Redemptive Historical Perspective of the Temple II
13: The Damascus Road Resurrection Christophany I
14: The Damascus Road Resurrection Christophany II
15: The Eschatological Nature of Paul’s Anthropology and Relationship of New Creation to Reconciliation I
16: The Eschatological Nature of Paul’s Anthropology and Relationship of New Creation to Reconciliation II
17: Sanctification, Justification, and the Relationship of Christ to the Law I
18: Sanctification, Justification, and the Relationship of Christ to the Law II
19: The Eschatological Conception of the Church I
20: The Eschatological Conception of the Church II
21: The Eschatological Role of the Holy Spirit I
22: The Eschatological Role of the Holy Spirit II

HT: John Wayne Coatney

A Reflection on Older Commentaries

Contemporary students of the Bible often ignore or disparage older commentators and commentaries. But I try to make them a regular part of my study. While these older works may be bereft of the latest research, they are often rich sources of pastoral wisdom and spiritual depth. As a case in point, note the following words from William Jenkyn's dedication to his exposition of Jude.
"My aim in publishing these Lectures is to advance holiness, and, as far as I could do it, by following the mind of the apostle, to oppose those sins, which if people hate not most, are like to hurt them most; and to advance those duties with which, if people be not most in love, yet in which they are most defective, and thereby most endangered. And now again, I beseech you, that I may testify my unfeigned affection as well by my epistle as my book —labour to keep close to God in a loose age; spend not your time in complaining of the licentiousness of the times, in the mean while setting up a toleration in your own hearts and lives. That private Christian who does not labour to oppose profaneness with a river of tears, would never, if he could, bear it down with a stream of power. Lay the foundation of mortification deep. Reserve no lust from the stroke of Jesus Christ. Take heed of pleasing yourselves in a bare formal profession. Labour to be rooted in Christ. He who is but a visible Christian, may in a short time cease to be so much as visible; he who speaks of Christ but notionally, may in time be won to speak against him. Love not the world. Beware of scandals; take them not where they are, make them not where they are not. The common sin of our times, is to blacken religion, and then to fear and hate it. Despise not the providences of God in the world; they are signs of God's mind, though not of his love. Delight in the public ordinances, and highly esteem faithful ministers; they and religion are commonly blasted together. Shun seducers. Sit down under a minister as well as under a preacher. He who will hear every one, may at length be brought to hear none; and lie who will hear him preach who ought not, may soon be left to learn that which he ought not. Preserve a tender conscience; every step you take fear a snare; read your own hearts in the wickedness of others. Be not slight in closet services; and oft think of God in your shops, for there you think you have least leisure, but sure you have most need to do so. Let your speech be alway with grace, and a word or two of Christ in every company, if possible; and yet not out of form, but feeling."
Jenkyn, William and Jean Daillé, Exposition of the Epistle of Jude and the Epistles to the Philippians and Colossians (Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1865), vii.

Jul 23, 2014

Elijah on Mt. Carmel

The newest issue of Bibliotheca Sacra has a fascinating article entitled, "Pyrotechnics on Mount Carmel." The author begins by noting that,
"Three biblical fire miracles involve the prophet Elijah: fire from heaven  that consumed a water-soaked sacrifice and altar on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:146), fire from heaven that consumed two sets of fifty soldiers (2 Kings 1:1–18), and a chariot of fire that carried Elijah to heaven at the end of his earthly life (2:1–18)."
But what I found most interesting is the scientific insights related to fire and combustion brought by the author, Charles Baukal, is a combustion engineer. So if you get a chance, check out the article in the July-September 2014 issue. While your at it, you might want to look at the April-June which contains an article by the same author on Nebuchadnezzar's furnace from Daniel 3.

Jul 22, 2014

DBTS Recommended Booklist

Here is a recommended booklist produced by the faculty of the Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary.

Jul 21, 2014

Paul, Rhodes, and the Colossus-ians

Near the end of Paul's third missionary journey, Luke mentions the city of Rhodes (Acts 21:1). I found the following statement interesting on a variety of levels.

"Next day they sailed and passing Cape Triopium where Cnidus is situated and spotting the islands of Tylos and Nisyros to the southwest and Syria in the opposite direction arrived at Rhodes, the capital of the island of the same name. Founded toward the end of the fifth century BCE at the crossroad of the east and the west the island had a well-known maritime history. It was famous for the Colossus which was the work of the sculptor Chares of Lindos. In antiquity the statue was regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The fame of the Colossus led some people in the Middle Ages to think that Colossians to whom Paul had written were the inhabitants of Rhodes. At the time of Paul's visit the Colossus was already pieces lying buried where it had crashed in about 227 BCE. This was a gigantic bronze statue of Helios. It was some 40 m high and 250 tons,  standing on the mole or the hill overlooking the harbour where the Costello stands today. A Rhodian tradition places it where St Paul's gate is now. The statue commemorated the defeat of the seige of Demetrius Poliorcetes who failed to capture the city, his nickname 'Poliorcetes' standing for 'Besieger of Cities.' The bronze statue showed the god naked and wearing a gold crown of rays with his arms stretched in front. It is said that it could be seen from a distance of some 100 km." 

Fatih Cimok, Journeys of Paul: From Tarsus to the Ends of the Earth (Istanbul: A Turizm Yayinlari, 2004), 200. 

Jul 20, 2014

Steve Walton's Acts Materials

Steve Walton has provided this link handouts and videos from his study on Acts at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity.

Jul 19, 2014

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. 

Jason D. BeDuhn
The First New Testament: Marcion's Scriptural Canon
Reviewed by Richard I. Pervo

Joseph Blenkinsopp
David Remembered: Kingship and National Identity in Ancient Israel
Reviewed by Walter Dietrich
Reviewed by Ralph K. Hawkins

Claudia V. Camp
Ben Sira and the Men Who Handle Books: Gender and the Rise of Canon-Consciousness
Reviewed by Ibolya Balla

Esther G. Chazon and Betsy Halpern-Amaru, eds.
New Perspectives on Old Texts: Proceedings of the Tenth International Symposium of the Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature, 9–11 January, 2005
Reviewed by Bennie H. Reynolds III

Terence E. Fretheim
Reading Hosea–Micah: A Literary and Theological Commentary
Reviewed by David W. Baker

W. Edward Glenny
Hosea: A Commentary based on Hosea in Codex Vaticanus
Reviewed by Richard G. Smith

Giovanni B. Lanfranchi, Daniele Morandi Bonacossi, Cinzia Pappi, and Simonetta Ponchia, eds.
Leggo! Studies Presented to Frederick Mario Fales on the Occasion of His 65th Birthday
Reviewed by Michael S. Moore

Néstor O. Míguez
The Practice of Hope: Ideology and Intention in 1 Thessalonians
Reviewed by Raymond F. Collins

Jane Dewar Schaberg; Holly E. Hearon, ed.
The Death and Resurrection of the Author and Other Feminist Essays on the Bible
Reviewed by Susanne Scholz

Jul 18, 2014

The Syllabus

Those involved in the academic side of things might want to read Allan Metcalf's examination of the origin of the word syllabus here.

Jul 17, 2014

Review of Elders in the Life of the Church

Phil A. Newton and Matt Schmucker, Elders in the Life of the Church: Rediscovering the Biblical Model for Church Leadership, updated ed. (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2014).

Elders in the Life of the Church is an updated edition of the 2005 Elders in the Congregational Life. Not only has Matt Schmucker been added as a contributor, but the content has been significantly bolstered by at least eighty pages. In essence the book examines elder plurality from three angles: historical, biblical, and practical.

The historical angle is primarily concerned with Baptist history. A short but enlightening survey of statements and confessions make a solid case that at least some of the Baptist forebears believed in a polity that included plurality of elders.

In the biblical section, the authors focus on four key texts: Acts 20:17–31; 1 Timothy 3:1–7; Hebrews 13:17–19; and 1 Peter 5:1–5. Strangely, Titus 1 is not treated independently in this section, although the authors do interact with Titus a number of times in the book.

Newton and Schmucker also discuss practical issues related to the elder model. This discussion really involves two aspects. First, the authors unpack the practical advantages of elder plurality. Second, significant attention is paid to practical implementation, that is, how one makes the shift from the more common single pastor plus deacons to the elder model.

This book is easy to read, with short chapters. The authors’ call to consider the elder model is one worth hearing. There is a transparency in the discussions with frequent references to personal anecdotes highlighting Newton and Schmucker’s successes and failures in taking their own churches through a transition to the elder model. Those seeking to make a similar transition will find plenty of practical advice. Even those already in elder-led churches will probably find at least some of the suggestions to be helpful.

The greatest weakness in the book is the biblical section. It is not that a biblical case cannot be made, but ironically, insufficient attention is paid to the details and specifics of the biblical text. Also puzzling is the omission of Titus 1, even if there are parallels to the 1 Timothy passage. The placement of some of the chapters appears to be strange or forced. For example, it is unclear how chapter 2 flows from chapter 1 or transitions to chapter 3. 

Nonetheless, Elders in the Life of the Church is a helpful primer to the plurality of elders model, especially from a Baptist context. Baptist pastors and leaders who want to know more about the elder model or how to transition to such a model should find help here.

You can read an excerpt here

Thanks to Kregel for providing the free review copy used in this unbiased review.

Jul 16, 2014

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. 

Thomas L. Brodie
Beyond the Quest for the Historical Jesus: Memoir of a Discovery
Reviewed by Benjamin I. Simpson

Richard J. Clifford
Reviewed by Lawrence M. Wills

David J. A. Clines and J. Cheryl Exum, eds.
The Reception of the Hebrew Bible in the Septuagint and the New Testament: Essays in Memory of Aileen Guilding
Reviewed by Benjamin J. M. Johnson

Joan E. Cook
Reviewed by Jonathan L. Huddleston

Avraham Faust
Judah in the Neo-Babylonian Period: The Archaeology of Desolation
Reviewed by Gert T. M. Prinsloo

James E. Harding
The Love of David and Jonathan: Ideology, Text, Reception
Reviewed by Katherine Low

Charles E. Hill and Michael J. Kruger, eds.
The Early Text of the New Testament
Reviewed by Amy M. Donaldson

Irene Nowell
Reviewed by Timothy R. Ashley

Naomi Steinberg
The World of the Child in the Hebrew Bible
Reviewed by Karin Finsterbusch

Joshua Marshall Strahan
The Limits of a Text: Luke 23:34a as a Case Study in Theological Interpretation
Reviewed by Claire Clivaz

Jul 15, 2014

Three Ways to Incorporate Psalm Singing into Worship Services

Brian Croft has identified three helpful ways to incorporate singing the Psalms into a worship service here.

Jul 14, 2014

Five Suggestions for Studying and Retaining Your Greek

Andreas J. Köstenberger, Benjamin L. Merkle, and Rob Plummer offer five suggestions for studying and retaining  your Greek here. Make sure to read the explanations in the post but here are the five suggestions.

1. Read the GNT in your daily devotions.

2. Include Greek study in your weekly ministerial preparations.

3. Take a “Greek retreat” once or twice a year in which you read longer sections of the GNT, a technical Greek resource, or a Greek grammar.

4. Consider what elements of accountability and self-discipline may be applied to incorporate study of the GNT into your life.

5. Teach Greek.