Jan 17, 2022

Jan 15, 2022

The Latest Issue of the 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 to read them.

Hannes Bezzel and Reinhard G. Kratz, eds., David in the Desert: Tradition and Redaction in the “History of David’s Rise”
David G. Firth

Christa Gray and James Corke-Webster, eds., The Hagiographical Experiment: Developing Discourses of Sainthood
Jennifer Barry

Daniel M. Gurtner, Introducing the Pseudepigrapha of Second Temple Judaism: Message, Context, and Significance
Lydia Gore-Jones

Johan Leemans, Geert Roskam, and Josien Segers, eds., John Chrysostom and Severian of Gabala: Homilists, Exegetes and Theologians
Robert Edwards

Tobias Nicklas, Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr, and Mikhail Seleznev, eds., History and Theology in the Gospels: Seventh International East–West Symposium of New Testament Scholars, Moscow, September 26 to October 1, 2016
Andrew McGowan

Wesley G. Olmstead, Matthew: A Handbook on the Greek Text
Olegs Andrejevs

Aaron Ricker, Ancient Letters and the Purpose of Romans: The Law of the Membrane
William Horst

Dalit Rom-Shiloni, Voices from the Ruins: Theodicy and the Fall of Jerusalem in the Hebrew Bible
Jina Kang

Loren R. Spielman, Jews and Entertainment in the Ancient World
Joshua Schwartz

Bruce K. Waltke and Ivan D. V. De Silva, Proverbs: A Shorter Commentary
David Penchansky

Jan 14, 2022

Deborah, Jael and Sisera’s Mother, Themech

This is an interesting post that looks at the retelling of the story of Jael (or Yael) in Judges 4 and 5 in the first century AD document Biblical Antiquities. Even though I I am  not convinced by some of the article's conclusions, there are lessons to be learned about what happens when we as preachers and teachers retell biblical stories.

Jan 13, 2022

Most Embarrassing Pastoral Wedding Mistakes

Ed Stetzer asked pastors to share their most embarrassing wedding mistakes and this article shares some of the responses.

Jan 12, 2022

Free Tutku Webinar

Tutku, and education travel company is hosting a free webinar via Zoom on Bible and Holy Land related topics. Here are the details.

Date and Time: January 16, 2022, 14:00 - 17:45 (Turkey time)
Zoom link:https://us06web.zoom.us/j/6297308579...
Meeting ID: 629 730 8579
Passcode: tutku


Jan 11, 2022

Six Stone Water Jars in John 2

Ian Paul has a good post here related to interpreting the six water jars in the water to wine sign of John 2:6. I especially appreciate his recognition of the historical veracity of John's Gospel. 

But I would add that one needs to wrestle with why the author mentions that the jars were made of stone and why there were six of them. If one simply wanted to relay the miracle of water to wine, then the author could have said there were several water jars and still conveyed the basic essence of the story. As good writers know, the inclusion or exclusion of details can make or break a story. Too many or too few can have a negative impact on the story. 

The details for me echo creation and Genesis 1–2. For example, the similarity of John 1:1 to Genesis 1:1 sets things up, the reference to “day” (2:1), the reference to water (Gen 1:2), the number six (six days of creation), the stone vessels representing purity echoing the repeated refrain of “good” or “very good,” the presence of God implied in the first “marriage” (Gen 2:22-24), the fact that speech is involved in the creative act (2:5, 7, 8) as it is in Genesis (“and God said,” ) suggest to me that there are intended allusions to creation and Genesis 1–2. And creation is a divine prerogative. As such, this dovetails with the author stated purpose that his readers might know that Jesus is “the Son of God” (20:31).

Jan 10, 2022

The Latest Issue of the 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 to read them.

Lisa M. Bowens, African American Readings of Paul: Reception, Resistance, and Transformation
Neil Elliott

Walter Brueggemann and Tod Linafelt, An Introduction to the Old Testament: The Canon and Christian Imagination
Jordan M. Scheetz

Nikolaos Domazakis, The Neologisms in 2 Maccabees
Joshua Alfaro

Amiel Drimbe, The Church of Antioch and the Eucharistic Traditions (ca. 35–130 CE)
H. H. Drake Williams III

Sandra Huebenthal, Reading Mark’s Gospel as a Text from Collective Memory
Richard Horsley

Libor Marek, A Star from Jacob, a Sceptre from Israel: Balaam’s Oracle as Rewritten Scripture in the Dead Sea Scrolls
Franziska Ede

Eric F. Mason and Darian R. Lockett, eds., Reading the Epistle of James: A Resource for Students
Wesley H. Wachob

Christina Petterson, Acts of Empire: The Acts of the Apostles and Imperial Ideology
Steve Walton

Christopher R. Seitz, Convergences: Canon and Catholicity
Rick Wadholm Jr.

Bruce K. Waltke and Ivan D. V. De Silva, Proverbs: A Shorter Commentary
Mark Sneed

Jan 9, 2022

What the Prophets Might Say To Us

Peter Mead identifies the following seven. Make sure to read his explanation here.

1. Get something from God and give it to others.
2. Why don’t you grab attention and hold it?
3. When did popularity become the measure of success in ministry?
4. When did now become God’s timeframe?
5. Why are you so afraid of speaking to the specific issues of today’s culture?
6. Where is your confidence in what you are saying?
7. Keep going!

Jan 8, 2022

Video: Dead Sea Scrolls Conference

Free video of last year's Dead Sea Scrolls conference sponsored by the NYU Skirball Department of Hebrew & Judaic Studies, Israel Antiquities Authority, and Friends of the Israel Antiquities Authority is available for viewing here.

Jan 7, 2022

Free Webinar: 12 Steps to Sermon Preparation

David Allen is offering a free webinar on the 12 steps to sermon preparation that he uses. Dr. Allen is a gifted expository preacher. You can sign up here.

Jan 6, 2022

Acts: Transitional Versus Programmatic

Patrick Schreiner does a good job showing why the book of Acts is canonically important here. But I am not sure his application drawn between Acts as "transitional" and Acts as  "programmatic" (terminology borrowed from B. Crowe) is altogether helpful. 

Schreiner notes that, "As a transitional book, Acts recounts non-repeatable events that establish the community of faith. For example, Pentecost is an unrepeatable event, but also not retractable. The reestablishment of the twelve apostles is exclusive to the period of Acts. The fate of Ananias and Sapphira is not likely to be seen requiring the immediate termination of liars in the church today."

All historical events are transitional (they take moving from one event to the next) and non-repeatable. But that is not to say that historical narratives lack applicational value. History is told to do more than inform. In speech act terms, what is the illocutionary and perlocutionary intention of the recounting of the historical event. So the issue is not simply that Acts records the demise of Ananias and Sapphira but that record is meant to be applied in some way. How one applies this event is open for discussion for discussion but not whether it applies. Second Timothy 3:16 reminds us that "all Scripture," including historical narratives, are "profitable" for life transformation.

Schreiner adds, "Acts also confronts Christians as a programmatic book. It provides guidance for the church in every age." I wholeheartedly agree, but it is not clear whether he views Ananias and Sapphira as programmatic and if so, how so. The fact is that if Acts is programmatic then it is also "transitional" since the book was written and the entire history it records took place in space in time (i.e., not chronologically static).

Jan 5, 2022

Free eBook: Theology and Science Fiction

It might not be everybody's cup of tea, but Wipf and Stock is offering a free eBook copy of Theology and Science Fiction by James McGrath. The offer is only available until Januray15. Here are the instructions to get your copy.

1. Click on this link.
2. Click "ADD TO CART" on the eBook option.
3. Use the code "
4. Upon checkout completion, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions of how to download your free eBook.                                                

Jan 4, 2022

The New Vocabulary of 2021

This article on the new vocabulary of 2021 in The Wall Street Journal is a good reminder of the complexities of language and how current circumstances can resulting in the creation of new words, and shape how and how often existing words are used. Good biblical interpretation should be aware of such things.

Jan 3, 2022

The Length of the Egyptian Sojourn

One might not agree with the author's conclusions but this post has a good discussion (especially involving Jewish tradition) in seeking to answer the question, "How Many Years Were the Israelites in Egypt?"

Jan 2, 2022

The Latest Issue of the 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 to read them.

Andrew T. Abernathy and Gregory Goswell, God’s Messiah in the Old Testament: Expectations of a Coming
Antti Laato

Cilliers Breytenbach, Von Texten zu Geschichten: Aufsätze zur Konzeption und Geschichte der Wissenschaft vom Neuen Testament
Oda Wischmeyer

Mary Dzon, The Quest for the Christ Child in the Later Middle Ages
Brandon W. Hawk

Amy Erickson, Jonah: Introduction and Commentary
Steven L. McKenzie

Zev Garber and Kenneth Hanson, Judaism and Jesus
Joshua Schwartz

Matthias Henze and Rodney A. Werline, eds., Early Judaism and Its Modern Interpreters
Blake Jurgens

M. Andrew Holowchak, Thomas Jefferson’s Bible: With Introduction and Critical Commentary
Jeffrey M. Tripp

Tobias Nicklas and Jens Schröter, eds., Authoritative Writings in Early Judaism and Early Christianity: Their Origin, Collection, and Meaning
Frédérique Dantonel

Wongi Park, The Politics of Race and Ethnicity in Matthew’s Passion Narrative
Mitzi J. Smith

Anthony C. Thiselton, 2 Corinthians: A Short Exegetical and Pastoral Commentary
H. H. Drake Williams III