May 24, 2019

Psalm West

I imagine most of the readers of this blog do not keep up with the Kardashians. However, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian named their newest child Psalm West. As you may have guessed, they named their son after the biblical book. People magazine has an explanation here.

May 23, 2019

Preaching Versus Teaching?

I have often been asked about the difference between preaching and teaching. I usually mumble that one is more informational and the other more transformational and hope that I do not get pressed too hard to explain how preaching does not involve information and how teaching is not intended for transformation. Or I might say that the difference involves delivery but again the distinction can be hard to break down. Preachers and preaching books also often want to maintain this distinction. But the older I get, I wonder about the value and validity of maintaining such a distinction. 

Hughes Oliphant Old in his magisterial work on the history of preaching states, “The earliest church understood preaching to be at the heart of its mission. The Great Commission had made it clear: “‘Make disciples of all nations, baptizing them . . . teaching [διδάσκω] them to observe all that I have commanded you’” (Matt 28:18-20)” (The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church: Volume 1: The Biblical Period [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998], 7, my bold and insertion of Greek). This quote seems to suggest that perhaps the distinction between preaching and teaching is unimportant or at least not as great as some suggest.

May 22, 2019

Bad Biblical Theology Preaching

Samuel Enmadi identifies four ways that bad biblical theology leads to bad preaching here.

May 21, 2019

Weights and Measures

Claude Mariottini posts about how ancient Israel established weights and measures here.

May 20, 2019

The Book of James

Preaching Source has recently posted a series of blog posts on the book of James.

  • Mark Taylor discusses the themes in James here.
  • Kie Bowman discusses the genre of James here.
  • Matt Emerson discusses how to find pericopes in James here.
  • Craig Etheredge discusses the context of James here
  • Jason Kees discusses important words in James here
  • Scott Pace discusses some potential "potholes" in explaining the text of James here.
  • David Goza discusses ways to illustrate James here.

May 18, 2019

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.

Lori Baron, Jill Hicks-Keeton, and Matthew Thiessen, eds., The Ways That Often Parted: Essays in Honor of Joel Marcus
Reviewed by Adele Reinhartz

George Bristow, Sharing Abraham? Narrative Worldview, Biblical and Qur’anic Interpretation and Comparative Theology in Turkey
Reviewed by John W. Fadden

Rhonda Burnette-Bletsch, ed., The Bible in Motion: A Handbook of the Bible and Its Reception in Film (Part 1 and 2)
Reviewed by Laura Copier

Michael Carasik, ed., The Commentator’s Bible: Genesis: The Rubin JPS Miqra‘ot Gedolot
Reviewed by S. David Sperling

Juan David Figueroa Flórez, “Con la diestra en la espalda”: Estudio sobre las imagenes de Dios y su actuar en Lamentaciones
Reviewed by Claude F. Mariottini

Louise J. Lawrence, Bible and Bedlam: Madness, Sanism, and New Testament Interpretation
Reviewed by Robert J. Myles

Scott D. Mackie, ed., The Letter to the Hebrews: Critical Readings
Reviewed by Madison N. Pierce

Charles L. Quarles, Matthew
Reviewed by Akiva Cohen

Benjamin E. Reynolds, ed., The Son of Man Problem: Critical Readings
Reviewed by Russell Morton

Matthew J. Suriano, A History of Death in the Hebrew Bible
Reviewed by Philip S. Johnston

Eric J. Tully, Hosea: A Handbook on the Hebrew Text
Reviewed by Barry A. Jones

Jacques Vermeylen, Métamorphoses: Les rédactions successives du livre de Job
Reviewed by Philippe Guillaume

May 17, 2019

Hosea's Marriage to Gomer

Derek Bass asks and answers the question, "Why did God command Hosea to marry an immoral woman?" here. This post assumes that Gomer was immoral rather than idolatrous as some like Douglas Stuart argue.

May 15, 2019

Picturing Daniel

I have spent a fair amount of time teaching the book of Daniel. Finding pictures and artwork is fairly easy whether it involves paintings of Daniel in the lion's den or Daniel 2's  statue as empires. It seems that this book has captured the imagination of not a few artists. But if you are looking for photos related to the archaeological backgrounds the options are more limited. 

So this is one reason I am very excited about the new Photo Companion to the Bible on the Book of Daniel. This resource contains over 1,000 images related to the book. These images are annotated and available on PowerPoint presentations arranged by chapter and verse. This makes it really easy to use. My PowerPoint on Daniel has over 400 slides but it will be getting bigger as I add some of this material. There really is nothing else like this anywhere else.

So check out this wonderful resource on Daniel here. It looks like it is even on sale for over 40%-off at $39.

May 14, 2019

The Big Debate over the Big Idea

Last year Abraham Kuruvilla proposed last year that it might be time to kill the "big idea" approach that is so commonly taught and utilized in preaching (e.g., Haddon Robinson, Don Sunukjian, et al.). Now, Steven Mathewson is proposing that we ought to let the "big idea" live. You can read Mathewson's proposal in the Journal of the Evangelical Homiletical Society here. Unfortunately, Kuruvilla's article in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 61:4 (2018) is not yet available for free to non-members.

May 13, 2019

Linguistics & New Testament Greek Conference Video

Video for the 2019 Linguistics & New Testament Greek: Key Issues in the Current Debate Conference is available here.

HT: Dave Black

May 12, 2019

Ancient Israelite Cosmology

Justin Taylor discusses here Vern Poythress's recent book on Genesis 1–3, in particular how it challenges some widely-held views of ancient Israelite cosmology. It sounds like this is some much needed push back on some aspects concerning ancient cosmology that needs to be reexamined and not just reiterated.

May 11, 2019

Proverbs 31 and the Church

Chad Ashby suggests here that Proverbs 31 should be mainly applied to the Church. The dogmatic subtitle states, "The ‘wife of noble character’ is rarely applied to whom it was meant to describe." Unfortunately such a meaning would be quite foreign to the original Israelite audience. One might tease out implications for the Church from Proverbs 31 but to go there running roughshod over the original meaning is problematic at best.

May 10, 2019

May 9, 2019

Free Acts Class Taught by Craig Keener is offering a free new class on Acts taught by Craig Keener. This includes 24-hours of lectures, transcriptions, and outlines. You can check it out here.

May 8, 2019

Hurtado on the Divine Name in Second-Temple Jewish Biblical Texts

Larry Hurtado identifies five “pre-Christian” Jewish biblical manuscripts in Greek that contain the  Divine Name here.

Using Personal Illustrations

Ian Paul has some pretty good advice here on using personal illustrations in preaching.

May 7, 2019

Free Ebook: Fee's Revelation Commentary

Wipf & Stock is offering Gordon Fee's Revelation commentary as a free eBook. Acts fast since the offer is only good until 5/13.  Use the following instructions.

1. Click on this link
2. Click "ADD TO CART" on the eBook option
3. Code "ebookfree" is automatically applied within the shopping cart
4. Upon checkout completion, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to download your free eBook

May 6, 2019

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.

Vincenzo Anselmo, Fece ciò che è male agli occhi di Yhwh: La figura narrativa di Acab in 1 Re
Reviewed by Andrea Ravasco

Simon Chi-Chung Cheung, Wisdom Intoned: A Reappraisal of the Genre ‘Wisdom Psalms’
Reviewed by Scott C. Jones

Maria Conterno, Temistio Orientale: Orazioni temistiane nella tradizione siriaca e araba
Reviewed by Ilaria L. E. Ramelli

Adam Copenhaver, Reconstructing the Historical Background of Paul’s Rhetoric in the Letter to the Colossians
Reviewed by Matthew S. Collins

Jennie Ebeling, J. Edward Wright, Mark Elliott, and Paul V. M. Flesher, eds., The Old Testament in Archaeology and History
Reviewed by Lester L. Grabbe

Karin Finsterbusch and Norbert Jacoby, MT-Jeremia und LXX-Jeremia 25–52: Synoptische Übersetzung und Analyse der Kommunikationsstruktur
Reviewed by Georg A. Walser

Brandon R. Grafius, Reading Phinehas, Watching Slashers: Horror Theory and Numbers 25
Reviewed by Richard Walsh

Gerhard Karner, Frank Ueberschaer, and Burkard M. Zapff, eds., Texts and Contexts of the Book of Sirach/Texte und Kontexte des Sirachbuches
Reviewed by Ibolya Balla

James Chukwuma Okoye, Genesis 1–11: A Narrative-Theological Commentary
Reviewed by Joan Cook

Mark Alan Powell, Introducing the New Testament: A Historical, Literary, and Theological Survey
Reviewed by Jay Harrington

Matthew L. Skinner, A Companion to the New Testament: The General Letters and Revelation
Reviewed by J. Michael McKay Jr.

Olivia Stewart Lester, Prophetic Rivalry, Gender, and Economics: A Study in Revelation and Sibylline Oracles 4–5
Reviewed by Jonathan Groce

May 5, 2019

How Can I Regain the Use of Greek and Hebrew?

Steve Mathewson answers the question with some suggestions here.

May 4, 2019

Online Medieval Psalms Commentaries

Willem-Jan de Wit has compiled a helpful list of online Medieval Psalms commentaries on here.

May 3, 2019

Warren Wiersbe (1929–2019)

Justin Taylor has noted the death of Warren Wiersbe. I never met the man personally but have used and benefited from his many books. While his commentaries were usually more devotional than exegetical, I often appreciated Wiersbe's clarity, pastoral insights, and ability to turn a phrase.

May 2, 2019

Scholars Now Believe Job's Friends Were First-Year Seminary Students

I know that The Babylon Bee is satire but this is funny and sadly might not be to far off the mark.

May 1, 2019

Free Logos Book for May: ICC on the Pastoral Epistles

The free Logos Book for the Month for May is I. Howard Marshall's Pastoral Epistles in the ICC series You can also purchase C. K. Barrett's two ICC volumes on Acts  for $1.99 and $2.99. While you are at it, register for a chance win the eight-volume Dictionary of Classical Hebrew. For all these offers, go to the Logos' Free Book of Month page here.