Jul 5, 2015

Reverse Etymological Fallacy

Robert Plummer has a nice description and illustration below of the reverse etymological fallacy.

Jul 4, 2015

Paul’s Areopagus Speech and Socrates

Matthew Malcolm has some healthy push-back here to those who argue that Paul’s Areopagus speech in Acts 17 alludes to Socrates’ Athenian trial defense speech.

Jul 3, 2015

Tools for Studying the Hebrew Bible

I am not sure how long this website has been up and running, but you might want to check out Marc Brettler's Tools for Studying the Hebrew Bible here.

HT: Gary Gromacki

Jul 2, 2015

Exegetical Tools Quarterly

Readers will want to check out a new online publication called Exegetical Tools Quarterly. My initial impressions are "Wow." This appears to be a helpful resource. So check out the work of Todd Scacewater and others here

Jul 1, 2015

Free Logos Book for July: 40 Questions about Christians and Biblical Law

The free Logos Book for July is Tom Schreiner’s book 40 Questions about Christians and Biblical Law in the 40 Questions and Answers series. This is an excellent resource. You can also purchase Four Views on the Warning Passages in Hebrews edited by Herb Bateman for .99 cents. This is another good resource. Or you can enter to win the Logos 6 Bronze package and the entire 40 Questions and Answers Series. Go to the Logos' Free Book of Month page here to enter and download your free book today!

Jun 30, 2015

Why Ministers Don’t Use Libraries

I am not sure how old this article is, but "Ministers Don’t Use Libraries, and Nobody Knows Why" does ask some important questions.

HT: Jeremiah Mutie

Jun 29, 2015

Reading Romans in Context

Zondervan just sent me a copy of Reading Romans in Context: Paul and Second Temple Judaism. The volume contains a foreword by Francis Watson and twenty essays edited by Ben. C. Blackwell, John K. Goodrich, and Jason Maston.  I haven't had a chance to read the essays but a number look fairly interesting. Each essay also concludes with a brief listing of additional ancient texts, English translations and critical editions of the primary sources, and relevant secondary literature.

Jun 28, 2015

The Geographical Setting of King Saul's Final Battle Against the Philistines

Leon Mauldin has a nice write-up here on King Saul's final battle against the Philistines. This is a good example of how one can use geography to enhance one's understanding of events in the Bible.

Jun 27, 2015

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.

Herbert W. Bateman IV
Interpreting the General Letters: An Exegetical Handbook
Reviewed by Brian C. Small

Maurice Casey
Jesus: Evidence and Argument or Mythicist Myths?
Reviewed by James F. McGrath

L. Juliana Claassens and Klaas Spronk, eds.
Fragile Dignity: Intercontextual Conversations on Scriptures, Family, and Violence
Reviewed by Marta Høyland Lavik

Michael Coogan
The Ten Commandments: A Short History of an Ancient Text
Reviewed by Ralph K. Hawkins
Reviewed by Zev Garber

Walter Farber
Lamaštu: An Edition of the Canonical Series of Lamaštu Incantations and Rituals and Related Texts from the Second and First Millennia B.C.
Reviewed by Michael S. Moore

Jack J. Gibson
Peter between Jerusalem and Antioch: Peter, James and the Gentiles
Reviewed by Timothy P. Henderson

Oliver Glanz
Understanding Participant-Reference Shifts in the Book of Jeremiah: A Study of Exegetical Method and Its Consequences for the Interpretation of Referential Incoherence
Reviewed by Kelly A. Whitcomb

Philip Goodwin
Translating the English Bible: From Relevance to Deconstruction
Reviewed by Clement Tong

Ryan Leif Hansen
Silence and Praise: Rhetorical Cosmology and Political Theology in the Book of Revelation
Reviewed by Shane J. Wood

Mark Harris
The Nature of Creation: Examining the Bible and Science
Reviewed by Graham B. Walker Jr.

Carl R. Holladay, John T. Fitzgerald, Gregory E. Sterling, and James W. Thompson, eds.
Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays, 1959–2012, by Abraham J. Malherbe
Reviewed by Matthew V. Novenson

S. R. Llewelyn and J. R. Harrison, eds.
New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity: Greek and Other Inscriptions and Papyri Published 1988–1992
Reviewed by Thomas J. Kraus

Marvin W. Meyer
The Gospels of the Marginalized: The Redemption of Doubting Thomas, Mary Magdalene, and Judas Iscariot in Early Christian Literature
Reviewed by Arie W. Zwiep

Christopher T. Paris
Narrative Obtrusion in the Hebrew Bible
Reviewed by Karolien Vermeulen
Reviewed by Benjamin J.M. Johnson

Robert F. Stoops
The Acts of Peter
Reviewed by Jason Sturdevant

Alexa F. Wilke
Die Gebete der Propheten: Anrufungen Gottes im ‘corpus propheticum’ der Hebräischen Bibel
Reviewed by Gert Kwakkel

Jacob L. Wright
David, King of Israel, and Caleb in Biblical Memory
Reviewed by A. Graeme Auld
Reviewed by Bob Becking

Jun 26, 2015

The Red Heifer

Jonathan Sacks has an interesting discussion of Chukkim, "commands that seem to have no obvious reason – either in terms of social justice or historical memory." One example that I found most interesting was the Chukkim concerning the red heifer (Num 19). You can check out the discussion here.

Jun 25, 2015


Ferrell Jenkins has a nice post here related to a recent visit to Samaria. It has been about four years since I was there so his comments were interesting to me. By the way, if you have any interest in the Holy Lands you might want to visit Ferrell's blog on a regular basis as I do.

Jun 24, 2015

One Way to Develop as a Preacher

A couple of days ago, I provided an extended quote from
William Bruinsma's recent article entitled, "The Minister's Development of His Preaching after Seminary." Here is another quote worth considering.

"There are a few practical methods that ministers can use to develop in their preaching. The first means is one that is pounded into the head of every seminary student: read! Obviously, when a pastor reads, he is exposed in his reading to different ideas and different styles of conveying the Word. Depending on what books we are reading—and we need to read a wide variety of books—we can learn how to improve both the delivery and content of sermons. Doctrinal books will help improve our understanding of the doctrinal issues afloat in our present church world. Books of a practical nature will help us develop in our ministry at large, but also in our ability to feed the sheep. There are pastoral books, books on missions, books on church history, church polity, doctrine, social issues, and so the list can go on. We need to read. That is a must in our development as preachers. 

"The ability to read varies from one pastor to another. Some can zip through a book swiftly and effortlessly, while others take more time to read a book. The retention of some is beyond that of others. Even in this area talents vary. Some can read a book in hours; for others it may take a few days. But that ought never deter the pastor from reading. Reading is the chief means of development in our preaching."

Protestant Reformed Theological Journal (April 2015): 9.

Jun 23, 2015

Paul and Ancient Coins

Those with an interest in the apostle Paul and ancient coins might be interested in this site created by Breck Breckinridge. According to the website,
This is a survey of those Roman Provincial coins which the Apostle Paul would have seen and even possibly handled during his lifetime and especially during the four missionary journeys he undertook to spread the gospel of Christ Jesus to the Gentile (i.e. non-Jewish) World during the First Century A.D. It is set out in the form of a chronological and geographical essay, with special note of which Roman Emperors were ruling the Empire at those times.

HT: Russell Atherton

Jun 22, 2015

The Importance of Developing Your Own Preaching Style

"In the first place, there is a need soon after seminary to develop our own style. I realize there are some students who already begin to do this in seminary. But that is not true for most. And even for those who do begin to develop this already in seminary, they must be aware of their need to continue to develop their style after they have begun their ministry. This is true from the point of view of one’s delivery. Students who have graduated from seminary often mimic the stance, facial expressions, and even the voice inflections of one or another of their professors. This is not a bad thing, of course. But there is a need to develop in our delivery in order to reveal to God’s saints who we are. The same is true of the content of our preaching. Different ministers have different ways of presenting the truth. And that is a good thing. Each of us has our own personality and characteristics. The beauty and wonder of the preaching is that every minister of the gospel leaves the imprint of his own personality and study on what he proclaims. This needs to be evident in our preaching. This does not mean that a minister may stray from the clear meaning of the Word of God he preaches in order to be unique in his presentation of the gospel. The Word of God is the objective standard of truth. The meaning of God’s Word does not vary from one person to the next. Nevertheless, the unique quality that is ours in delivering the Word of God must shine forth through our preaching. That is the beauty of God’s use of many different men to expound his Word."

William Bruinsma, "The Minister's Development of His Preaching after Seminary," Protestant Reformed Theological Journal (April 2015): 7.

Jun 20, 2015

A Bereavement Ministry Resource

Dealing with grief is a reality that must be faced in every kind of ministry. It can also one of the more difficult pastoral skills to develop and I know that I have often felt woefully
inadequate in seeking to mediate comfort. So I was delighted to receive a copy of Larry J. Michael's book, A Necessary Grief: Essential Tools for Leadership in Bereavement Ministry. Although other responsibilities have prevented me from a careful reading, what I have seen seems quite helpful. There are numerous lists (e.g., questions children might ask at the death of a loved one, p. 167) and helpful appendices (e.g. funeral planning checklist, pp. 153-55). You can check out the book and read a 32-page excerpt here.

Jun 19, 2015

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. 

Peter Bing and Regina Höschele
Aristaenetus, Erotic Letters
Reviewed by Richard I. Pervo

David E. Briones
Paul’s Financial Policy: A Socio-theological Approach
Reviewed by Julien M. Ogereau

Brandon D. Crowe
The Obedient Son: Deuteronomy and Christology in the Gospel of Matthew
Reviewed by Don Garlington

Philip R. Davies
On the Origins of Judaism
Reviewed by Daniel Boyarin

Patricia Dutcher-Walls
Reading the Historical Books: A Student’s Guide to Engaging the Biblical Text
Reviewed by Iain Provan

J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays
Living God’s Word: Discovering Our Place in the Great Story of Scripture
Reviewed by James W. Thompson

Jörg Frey and Angela Standhartinger, eds.
Neues Testament und frührabbinisches Judentum
Reviewed by Judith M. Lieu

Joel B. Green and Tim Meadowcroft, eds.
Ears That Hear: Explorations in Theological Interpretation of the Bible
Reviewed by Craig L. Blomberg

Martin Hengel
Between Jesus and Paul: Studies in the Earliest History of Christianity
Reviewed by Timothy P. Henderson

Pieter W. van der Horst
Studies in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity
Reviewed by Matthew J. Grey

Alexander Kyrychenko
The Roman Army and the Expansion of the Gospel: The Role of the Centurion in Luke-Acts
Reviewed by James M. Morgan

Clemens Leonhard and Hermut Lohr, eds.
Literature or Liturgy?
Reviewed by Thomas Bergholz

Jared L. Miller
Royal Hittite Instructions and Related Administrative Texts
Reviewed by Michael S. Moore

Birger Olsson
A Commentary on the Letters of John: An Intra-Jewish Approach
Reviewed by Daniel R. Streett

Stanley E. Porter and Cynthia Long Westfall, eds.
The Church, Then and Now
Reviewed by Nijay Gupta

Rafael Rodríguez
Oral Tradition and the New Testament: A Guide for the Perplexed
Reviewed by Werner H. Kelber

Michael Tuval
From Jerusalem Priest to Roman Jew: On Josephus and the Paradigms of Ancient Judaism
Reviewed by Jonathan Klawans

David R. Wallace
Election of the Lesser Son: Paul’s Lament-Midrash in Romans 9–11
Reviewed by A. Chadwick Thornhill

Matt Waters
Ancient Persia: A Concise History of the Achaemenid Empire, 550–330 BCE
Reviewed by Jason Silverman

Ola Wikander
Drought, Death, and the Sun in Ugarit and Ancient Israel: A Philological and Comparative Study
Reviewed by Laura Quick

Jun 18, 2015

Lucas on Proverbs

Ernest Lucas, the author of the forthcoming commentary on Proverbs in the Two Horizons series discusses the book here.

Jun 17, 2015

Revelation's Interpretive Challenges

Ian Paul has an interesting and helpful post here on some of the interpretive challenges presented by the way language is used in Revelation.

Jun 16, 2015

Upcoming Lectures at the Lanier Theological Library

If you live in or around the Houston area you might be interested in some upcoming lectures at the Lanier Theological Library

9/12/15 – Lynn Cohick
September 12 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
“We are the Circumcision:” Philippians 3 and the Christian Life"

10/30/15 – Lecture by Peter Williams
October 30 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
"Does the Bible Support Slavery?"

2/6/16 – Lecture by Michael Bird
February 6, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
"An Invasive Story: Paul’s Theology between Messianic Event and Salvation-History"

Jun 15, 2015

Reading Josephus

Philip Jenkins has a helpful introduction to reading Josephus here.

Jun 12, 2015

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. 

George Aichele
The Letters of Jude and Second Peter: Paranoia and the Slaves of Christ
Reviewed by Andrew Mbuvi

Warren Carter
Seven Events That Shaped the New Testament World
Reviewed by Richard Johnson

Bruce Chilton
Visions of the Apocalypse: Receptions of John’s Revelation in Western Imagination
Reviewed by Ian Boxall

Louis H. Feldman, James L. Kugel, and Lawrence H. Schiffman, eds.
Outside the Bible: Ancient Jewish Writing Related to Scripture
Reviewed by Igal German

Michael Graves
The Inspiration and Interpretation of Scripture: What the Early Church Can Teach Us
Reviewed by Kenneth D. Litwak

A. Kirk Grayson and Jamie Novotny
The Royal Inscriptions of Sennacherib, King of Assyria (704–681 BC), Part 2
Reviewed by Michael S. Moore

Lowell K. Handy
Psalm 29 through Time and Tradition
Reviewed by Wojciech Wegrzyniak

Franz D. Hubmann; ed. Werner Urbanz
Prophetie an der Grenze: Studien zum Jeremiabuch und zum Corpus Propheticum
Reviewed by Mark E. Biddle

Michael B. Hundley
Keeping Heaven on Earth: Safeguarding the Divine Presence in the Priestly Tabernacle
Reviewed by Nevada L. DeLapp

Craig S. Keener
Acts: An Exegetical Commentary (3:1–14:28)
Reviewed by Joshua L. Mann
Reviewed by Justin A. Mihoc

Amy-Jill Levine
Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi
Reviewed by Jessica Tinklenberg

Shelly Matthews
The Acts of the Apostles: Taming the Tongues of Fire
Reviewed by Brian LePort

David Miano
Shadow on the Steps: Time Measurement in Ancient Israel
Reviewed by Trent C. Butler

Heinz-Dieter Neef
Die Prüfung Abrahams: Eine exegetisch-theologische Studie zu Gen 22,1–19
Reviewed by Thomas Hieke

C. Marvin Pate
Apostle of the Last Days: The Life, Letters, and Theology of Paul
Reviewed by James Hanson

Daniel Patte, ed.
The Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity
Reviewed by Valeriy Alikin

Daniel Patte and Vasile Mihoc, eds.
Greek Patristic and Eastern Orthodox Interpretations of Romans
Reviewed by Michael F. Bird

Abraham Sung-Ho Oh
Oh, That You Would Rend the Heavens and Come Down! The Eschatological Theology of Third Isaiah (Isaiah 56–66)
Reviewed by Klaus Koenen

Eric D. Reymond
Qumran Hebrew: An Overview of Orthography, Phonology, and Morphology
Reviewed by Emanuel Tov

Brian C. Small
The Characterization of Jesus in the Book of Hebrews
Reviewed by Felix H. Cortez

Joan E. Taylor, ed.
The Body in Biblical, Christian and Jewish Texts
Reviewed by Joshua Schwartz

Alexander J. M. Wedderburn
The Death of Jesus: Some Reflections on Jesus-Traditions and Paul
Reviewed by Peter Frick

Jun 11, 2015

The Radical Perspective on Paul?

There is an interesting discussion taking place at the Euangelion blog here and here on the so-called "Radical Perspective on Paul."