Apr 16, 2014

10 Kinds of Pastors to Be Concerned About

Scott Postma has some challenging but insightful words in his post: "10 Pastors I'm Concerned About." You can read it here.

Apr 15, 2014

A Training Manual for Demons

Jared Moore has a Screwtape Letters-like post that is worth reading here. In the post, Jared mentions 20 ways to lead God's people astray. One might not agree with all 20 points but I think Jared nails it more often than not. In any case, here is his list but you really must read the entire post.

1. Christianize popular ideas.
2. Put heresy in a Christian song with Christian lingo and a good beat.
3. Appeal to adolescence.
4. Put heresy in a song with some sentimentality.
5. Create an atmosphere that makes people feel good.
6. Appeal to the sinful nature.
7. Tell amazing stories.
8. Appeal to the idolatry of your hearers.
9. Speak in non-absolutes.
10. Dress it up in new clothes.
11. Major on specific Bible verses while intentionally ignoring those that contradict your interpretation.
12. Change definitions.
13. Accustom your hearers to statements you tout as facts that cannot be proven.
14. Appear cool, sweet, hip, or simply different from other pastors.
15. Pray like you’re a priest in the pulpit.
16. Get everyone to like your personality.
17. Create a CANON within the Canon.
18. Grow the crowd numerically.
19. Speak of previous heretics as martyrs.
20. Increase giving and baptisms.

Apr 13, 2014

Starting a Mid-Week Sermon Feedback Meeting

Eric McKiddie argues that pastors really should consider starting a mid-week sermon feedback meeting. You can read his thoughts here.

Apr 12, 2014

Journal for the Study of the New Testament 36:3

The latest issue of the Journal for the Study of the New Testament is out. Here is a list of the articles and links to abstracts.

Tyrant or Servant? Roman Political Ideology and Mark 10.42-45
Adam Winn

The Eschatological Conversion of ‘All the Nations’ in Matthew 28.19-20: (Mis)reading Matthew through Paul
Benjamin L. White

Jesus as 'The One who Entered his Rest': The Christological Reading of Hebrews 4.10
Nicholas J. Moore

Fashions, Fallacies and Future Prospects in New Testament Studies
Larry W. Hurtado

Happy Blogiversary

This blog has now completed six years with my first post being on this day in 2008. In 2008, the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots 17-14 in Super Bowl XLII, Bill Gates stepped down as Chairman of Microsoft Corporation, and Barack Obama became the first African-American to be elected President of the United States. While the start of this blog does not compare in significance to these events, it has been a blessing to me and I hope of some benefit to the body of Christ.

Apr 11, 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. 

Herbert W. Bateman
Charts on the Book of Hebrews
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=9123
Reviewed by Philip Church

Michaela Bauks, Wayne Horowitz, and Armin Lange, eds.
Between Text and Text: The Hermeneutics of Intertextuality in Ancient Cultures and Their Afterlife in Medieval and Modern Times
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=9350
Reviewed by Geoffrey Miller

C. Clifton Black
The Disciples according to Mark: Markan Redaction in Current Debate
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=8784
Reviewed by Michael Kok

Gerald Hammond and Austin Busch, eds.
The English Bible, King James Version: The New Testament and the Apocrypha
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=8524
Reviewed by Stephen Pattemore

Israel Kamudzandu
Abraham Our Father: Paul and the Ancestors in Postcolonial Africa
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=9237
Reviewed by David M. Crump
Reviewed by Daniel Darko

Nicola Denzey Lewis
Cosmology and Fate in Gnosticism and Graeco-Roman Antiquity: Under Pitiless Skies
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=9286
Reviewed by Timothy Pettipiece

Eric M. Meyers and Mark A. Chancey
Alexander to Constantine: Archaeology of the Land of the Bible
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=8690
Reviewed by Lee M. Jefferson

Andrei A. Orlov and Gabriele Boccaccini, eds.
New Perspectives on 2 Enoch: No Longer Slavonic Only
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=8885
Reviewed by Thomas J. Kraus

Lorne R. Zelyck
John among the Other Gospels: The Reception of the Fourth Gospel in the Extra-canonical Gospels
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=9327
Reviewed by Jason Sturdevant

Apr 8, 2014

2013 Preaching Survey of the Year’s Best Books for Preachers

See the article in Preaching magazine entitled, "The 2013 Preaching Survey of the Year’s Best Books for Preachers" here.

Apr 7, 2014

Genesis: A Theological Commentary for Preachers

Dr. Abraham Kuruvilla's new commentary on Genesis is now out. Check out this link at the author's own website devoted to preaching: Homiletix. You can download a chapter and there are links to purchase the book. You might also want to check out the author's commentary on the Gospel of Mark here. I hope to feature Dr. Kuruvilla in an interview soon.

Apr 4, 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. 

Angelika Berlejung and Michael P. Streck, eds.
Arameans, Chaldeans, and Arabs in Babylonia and Palestine in the First Millennium B.C.
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=9425
Reviewed by John MacGinnis

David Alan Black
Paul, Apostle of Weakness: Astheneia and Its Cognates in the Pauline Literature
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=8827
Reviewed by H. H. Drake Williams III

James M. Bos
Reconsidering the Date and Provenance of the Book of Hosea: The Case for Persian-Period Yehud
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=9302
Reviewed by Pamela J. Scalise

J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays
Grasping God’s Word: A Hands-On Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=8594
Reviewed by Frank England

Sebastian Fuhrmann and Regina Grundmann, eds.
Martyriumsvorstellungen in Antike und Mittelalter: Leben oder sterben für Gott?
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=8746
Reviewed by Thomas J. Kraus

Mercedes L. García Bachmann
Women at Work in the Deuteronomistic History
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=9191
Reviewed by Ralph K. Hawkins

Joel B. Green, ed.
Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=8928
Reviewed by Kevin Jung

Kyoung-Shik Kim
God Will Judge Each One according to Works: Judgment according to Works and Psalm 62 in Early Judaism and the New Testament
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=8647
Reviewed by Travis B. Williams

Dominik Markl, ed.
The Decalogue and Its Cultural Influence
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=9419
Reviewed by Bernhard Lang

David T. Runia and Gregory E. Sterling, eds.
Studia Philonica Annual: Studies in Hellenistic Judaism, Volume XXII, 2010
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=7898
Reviewed by John Martens

Apr 3, 2014

Herod Agrippa I at the Eretz Israel Museum

A few days ago, I posted about a Sidonian coin that was on display at the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv. Today, I will post about another item at the museum. It is a bust of King Herod Agrippa I. This sculpted head was prepared by the Israel Museum Restoration Laboratories in which a three dimensional head was created from a coin containing Agrippa's likeness. Among other things, King Agrippa I (AD 41-44) was the notorious king who put the apostle James to death and had Peter imprisoned (Acts 12:1-4).

Apr 2, 2014

Hurtado on N. T. Wright's Discussion of Paul's Eschatology

Larry Hurtado has some interesting and insightful comments here related to N. T. Wright's treatment of Paul's eschatology in his Paul and the People of God.

Apr 1, 2014

Free Logos Book for April: Jesus and Scripture

The free Logos Book for April is Jesus and Scripture by Steve Moyise. You can also enter to win the entire 6-volume Jesus Studies series. Go the Logos' Free Book of Month page to enter and download your free book today!

Mar 31, 2014

Reading Fiction and Preaching

See this helpful post entitled "How to Read Fiction and Become a More Interesting Preacher." One might be able to adapt some of these thoughts as it relations to movies and music as well.

Mar 29, 2014

A Sidonian Coin

One of the places that I visited in my most recent trip to Israel was the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv. Among other things, this museum has a nice collection of ancient coins. I was particularly interested in the coin pictured below. The picture is from a postcard from the museum related to a special exhibit.


The scan did not turn out at clear as I would have liked. You can see the coin well enough but the writing is hard to read. So this is what it states.
Special Exhibit:
Sidon, silver double shekel, 27.63 gms, c. 400 BC.
War-galley lying before the towered fortress of Sidon, beneath two lions tail to tail.The King of Persia in a chariot driven by a charioteer and inscription in Phoenician letters.
The city of Sidon is mentioned a number of times in Scripture. For example, Ezekiel prophesies against the city (28:20-23). Many Interpreters understand the fulfillment of this prophecy to relate to the conquests of the Babylonians or Greeks. Nonetheless, the Persians also subdued Tyre. This is apparently reflected by this coin.

Mar 28, 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. 

Mark J. Boda and Lissa M. Wray Beal, eds.
Prophets, Prophecy, and Ancient Israelite Historiography
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=9204
Reviewed by Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer

Walter Brueggemann
The Practice of Prophetic Imagination: Preaching an Emancipating Word
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=8481
Reviewed by Ron Clark

Constantine R. Campbell
Paul and Union with Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Study
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=8689
Reviewed by Jonathon Lookadoo

Ron Clark
The God of Second Chances: Finding Hope through the Prophets of Exile
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=8834
Reviewed by Gerda de Villiers

Zeba A. Crook
Parallel Gospels: A Synopsis of Early Christian Writing
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=8404
Reviewed by Thomas Bergholz

J. K. Elliott
New Testament Textual Criticism: The Application of Thoroughgoing Principles
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=8709
Reviewed by Daniel B. Wallace

Jeffrey S. Lamp
The Greening of Hebrews? Ecological Readings in the Letter to the Hebrews
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=8865
Reviewed by Amy L. B. Peeler

Paul L. Redditt
Zechariah 9–14
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=8813
Reviewed by Ralph K. Hawkins

Helen Rhee
Loving the Poor, Saving the Rich: Wealth, Poverty, and Early Christian Formation
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=8778
Reviewed by Michael S. Moore

Joseph Verheyden, ed.
The Figure of Solomon in Jewish, Christian and Islamic Tradition: King, Sage and Architect
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=9211
Reviewed by Anthony Swindell

Mar 27, 2014

Resources for After Your Holy Land Tour (or Before)

Wayne Stiles has a great post entitled, "Great Resources to Get After Your Holy Land Tour." He does not mention magazine resources so I would add Biblical Archaeology Review and Bible and Spade. By the way, if you are interested in the Holy Land you really should be reading Wayne's blog.

Mar 26, 2014

A Museum to Visit

This article highlights a New York museum, the Living Torah Museum, that I would like to visit at some point. The museum contains a walk-in replica of the biblical Tabernacle, an intact three-handled clay wine storage jug purportedly used by Judean soldiers from the reign of Hezekiah, and an ivory seal, with the bird-image imprimatur as well as the name of King Ahab. Since this is a private collection, provenance might be an issue for some of the items. But it would be interesting to see nonetheless. The museum's website allows you to take a virtual tour of some of the artifacts. Have any of my readers been to this museum?

Mar 24, 2014

New Bibliographic Resource for 1 and 2 Corinthians

See this post by David Pettegrew related to a bibliographic resource for 1-2 Corinthians using Zotero. This looks like a great resource for those working in and and with 1 and 2 Corinthians,