Apr 17, 2015

Matthew 11:31-32: The Unpardonable Sin

Here is a table outlining various views concerning the unpardonable sin in Matthew 11:31-32.
 
The Unpardonable Sin: Three Questions
What is it?
Why is it unpardonable?
Can it be committed today?
Rejection of the work of the Spirit through Christ and attributing it to Beelzebub
Rejecting the work of the Spirit through Christ is equivalent to rejecting Christ
Yes by rejecting the person of Christ
Rejecting Jesus’ by attributing his Spirit-empowered exorcisms to Satan
Rejecting the work of the Spirit entails rejecting His work in the human heart
Yes by continuing in unbelief
Rejecting God the Father by rejecting His work in the Son by the Spirit

No, the unpardonable sin requires seeing Christ perform miracles through the Spirit and attributing those miracles to Satan

Apr 16, 2015

Ancient Lamps

In a recent article in Near Eastern Archaeology, Ameera Elrasheedy and Daniel Schindler have a fascinating article on ancient oil lamps that look to me to be Iron Age and Hellenistic (“Illuminating the past: Exploring the Function of Ancient Lamps,” Near Eastern Archaeology 78:1 [March 2015]: 36–42). The article not only discusses how lamps and wicks were made, but also the amount of light produced by a typical lamp. As it turns out, the ancient lamps produced the equivalent to or double the light of an eight inch modern wax candle (closed style lamps producing twice as much as open style lamps. Based on this relatively limited illumination, the authors conclude that lamps probably did not provide ideal illumination for many tasks that required detail or the discernment of colors. Rather lamps were probably used to provide light in a supportive capacity like provide ambiance, to help light large candelabras or torches, and religious purposes. All-in-all, I just found the whole discussion fascinating.

Apr 15, 2015

Creative Sermon Titles

A number of years ago, I used to receive an email “update and ezine” called The Preacher’s Study by Dave Redick. These updates often provided helpful information and addressed practical topics related to preaching. I am not sure if it is still being put out and a quick Google search was inconclusive. In any case, while going through some of my old files, I came across a good discussion on “The Art of Creatively Naming Your Sermons.” I thought I might share a bit from that article.

Redick notes that, “a good title draws attention to what is going to be said in the sermon.” Attention can be drawn in one of three ways: (1) provoking curiosity, (2) promising answers, and (3) providing explanations.”
In discussing the first way, provoking curiosity, Redick provides some examples of titles that might provoke curiosity.
  • “Running All the Red Lights” (The high cost of disregarding the commandments of God)
  • “Going to the Dogs” (2 Pet 2:22 - apostasy)
  • “Acts: The Book of Non-conversions” (A look at those in Acts who were not converted.) “Nearsighted People Can't Add” (2 Pet 1:3-10)
  • “The Little Red Devil Behind the Pearly White Gates” (The tongue)
  • “Forty Thousand Pounds of Deviled Ham Lost At Sea” (An expository sermon on the two demoniacs in Gergasa - Matt 8:28-34)
  • “One Meal You Can't Eat in the Kitchen” - (The story of Mary and Martha)
  • "The Church of the Living Dead” (An exposition of the account of the church at Sardis in Revelation)
  • “Don't Bite the Apple until You Check for Worms” (On finding a mate)
  • “Eighty Words of Terror from the Depths of Hades” (A sermon on Hell from Luke 16)

Sermon titles can also generate interest by promising answers. Such titles might include something like these listed by Redick.

  • “You Can Beat Depression”
  • “Seven Ways to Affair Proof Your Marriage”
  • “How to Win Over Worry”
  • “How to Sweeten a Sour Marriage”
  • “Nine Good Habits That Will Make Your Marriage Sing.”
  • “How to Stay Up When Your Work Has You Down.”
  • "Seven Ways to Win Your Parents Over to Your Way of Thinking.”
  • “How to Quiet a Noisy Rooster” (Conscience, based on Peter's Denial of Jesus)
  • “Three Secrets of a Great Life”
  • “Seven Habits of Highly Spiritual People”
  • “What Every Wife Would Like Her Husband to Know”
  • “What Every Husband Would Like His Wife to Know”
  • “What Every Boy Wants His Dad to Know”
  • “What Every Girl Wants Her Dad to Know”
  • “Five Steps to a Happier Life”
  • “How to Get Your Life Together and Prepare for Eternity”
  • “You Can Overcome Your Bad Habits”
  • Redick summarizes the characteristics common to these titles. That is, they begin with a “how to,” with a number (“Nine things,” “Seven Ways,” “Three Secrets”), and they are plain and simple (“sometimes the plainer they are, the better”)

Finally, Redick suggests that a good sermon title can attract attention by providing explanations. These titles often include “why” or “what” and include the sermon’s proposition. Here are some examples
  • “Why Does God Allow His People to Suffer?”
  • “We’re Under Grace So Why Bother to Overcome Sin?”
  • “What God Looks for in an Employee”
  • “What Happens Five Minutes after I Die?”

In conclusion, Redick does offer some cautions against being too cute, clever, or trite. One also needs to be careful that the title doesn’t over-promise that which the sermon under-delivers. I would also add that one should not spend an inordinate time of the title. Unless your sermons are going to be published, then there are more important elements in your message to focus on. But if you the time, then know that a captivating title is preferable to a pedestrian one.

Apr 14, 2015

Matthew 6:9: “Our Father”

Yesterday, I commented on the use of Lord's prayer. Today, I want to make a simpler but more profound point, or three. As many know, the Lord's Prayer is also called, Pater Noster (Latin) or "Our Father" based on the first words of this well-known prayer. But these words are significant not just because they are used as a title but also in what they communicate to God's people. At least four points can be noted.

The words "our Father" remind us that prayer is conversational. While there are aspects of prayer that are mysterious and sacred, at its root, prayer is talking to God. 

The word ”our” suggests that prayer is communal. Prayer is practiced when the church is gathered, that is when an “our” would be present.

The word "Father" teaches us that God is personal. Consider all the titles that the Lord could have used here (God, Master, Most Exalted, Omnipotent, etc.) but he uses the personal designation "Father."
The Title is quite significant and distinctive. God is referred to as “Father” about fourteen times in the entire Old Testament but Jesus addresses the Father more than sixty times in the Gospels.

 
The word "our" instructs us that the basis of the prayer is relational. Prayer is primarily for those who have a relationship with the Father through Jesus. This is not to deny that those outside the family of faith cannot pray or that God does not hear their prayers. But that the Lord's Prayer is for the Lord's people. It is for those who can rightly claim "Our Father."

Apr 13, 2015

The Lord’s Prayer: What to Pray or How to Pray?

The so called Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9–13 and Luke 11:2–4 has often been used as a prayer to be recited. There is evidence from as early as the second century that Christians would recite the prayer three times a day (Did. 8.1–3). While reciting Scripture is a good thing, was this the Lord’s intention in giving the prayer? Four arguments can be given to suggest that it was not.

First, “like” or “in this manner” (Matt 6:9) seems to suggest this prayer is to be understood as model.

Second, the preceding section condemns formulaic and repetitive prayer (Matt 6:7–8).

Third, Luke 11:1 seems to suggest that the disciples wanted to be taught how to pray.

And fourth, the Lord’s prayer is absent outside of Matthew and Luke. One would think that if the prayer was to be recited habitually, that it would be found somewhere among the many prayer admonitions in the epistles.

At bottom, it seems best to understand the Lord’s prayer more as how to pray than what to pray.

Apr 12, 2015

Happy Blogaversary

I started posting on this blog on this day and at this time in 2008. This calculates to seven years, 2556 days, 61,344 hours, 3,680,640 minutes, and 220,838,400 seconds. I am thankful to the Lord that he has enabled this blog to reach this milestone. 

Apr 11, 2015

Tertullian on the Apostolic Decree

J. Julius Scott has an interesting discussion on Tertullian's view of the Apostolic Decree in Acts 15. According to Scott,
He calls the decree the "pristine law" and the "compendia of discipline" that relaxes the OT law but binds 'from the more noxious' actions that were also prohibited by the OT. He believes the decree is "ever immutable" and exists "in perpetuity." Tertullian affirms that it "will cease [only] with
the world."
Does Tertullian interpret the decree as the basis of a new, Christian legalism? If by "legalism" we mean becoming a Christian, earning God's favor by observing laws. the answer. is negative. It would be a mistake to interpret any version of the decree, including Tertullian's, as legalism in this sense. The thrust of the earlier part of the record of the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 rejects that possibility. Salvation is clearly defined as a state received "by faith" (v 9) "through grace" (v 11). It is true that the provisions of the decree are called "necessary things" (15:28), but the letter containing them concludes with the statement that they are "necessary" in order that the Gentiles "will do well" (15:29). There is no hint in Acts that the decree was considered necessary for salvation, and Tertullian does not appear to introduce any such idea into his discussion of it.

"Legalism" may also refer to precise definition and regulation of the conduct of one already a Christian through stated ordinances. Tertullian's insistence upon the decree as a "compendium of discipline" and an irrevocable law for believers seems to indicate that he did regard it as the standard for a Christian legalism of this sort.

Scott, J. Julius, Jr. “Textual Variants of the Apostolic Decree and Their Setting in the Early Church,” In The Living and Active Word of God: Studies in Honor of Samuel J. Schultz, ed. Morris Inch and Ronald Youngblood (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1983), 179.

Apr 10, 2015

The Titles for Christ in 1 Corinthians

Some time back, I began digitizing material that I had in my multiple file cabinets. Occasionally, I have posted material from these articles here. Today, I have an extended quote from an article by Stewart Custer entitled “The Theology of First Corinthians” (Biblical Viewpoint 7 [1973]: 137–38). Here Custer discusses the titles of Christ used in 1 Corinthians.
Christ. This is the most frequent title of the Lord in I Corinthians (as in most of the Epistles), occurring sixty-two times. It occurs alone forty-four times; “Christ Jesus” occurs six times; “Jesus Christ” occurs twice; and the full title “Lord Jesus Christ” occurs ten times. “Christ” identifies the Lord as the Messiah, the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy.
Lord. Paul applies the title “Lord” to Jesus fifty-nine times. The full title “Lord Jesus Christ” occurs ten times; “Lord Jesus” occurs six times (5:4 [2]; 9:1; 11:23; 12:3; 16:23). The title ''Lord” alone is applied to Jesus forty-two times in the Greek text (1:31; 3:5; 4:4, 5, 17; 6:13 [2], 14, 7:10, 12, 17, 22 [2], 25 [2], 32 [2], 34, 35, 39; 9:2, 5, 14; 10:9, 21 [2], 22; 11:11, 23, 26, 27 [2], 32; 12:5; 14:37; 15:58 [2]; 16:7, 10, 19, 22).

Maran (Aramaic for “Lord”). This title is found in the watchword Maranatha (I Cor. 16:22). The phrase can be interpreted as a prayer, “Our Lord come,” or as a promise of the second coming, “Our Lord comes.” Either view makes good sense. The term demonstrates that the Lord Jesus was called “Lord” by the Aramaic-speaking church before the gospel moved to Gentile lands.

Jesus. It is used alone in only one passage (12:3) in a set phrase for either confession or repudiation. The other uses are all in combination with other titles, as mentioned above.

Son. Paul teaches that believers are called into the fellowship of God's Son (1:9). When all the universe is brought into subjection to God, the Son also will be subjected, that God may be all in all (15:28). This does not mean that the Son is less than God, but that the Son will bring to a triumphal conclusion the mediatorial office which He now holds.

Power of God. Once the Lord Jesus is called “the Power of God” (1:24). He is the One who has created the universe and now sustains it (Col. 1:16-17). The message about the Lord Jesus is the power to save (Rom. 1:16).

Wisdom of God. In the same passage (1:24) the Lord Jesus is called “the Wisdom of God.” He has made foolish the wisdom of men (1:27), and He is Himself the Wisdom which all believers need (1:30).

Our Passover. The Lord Jesus is the fulfillment of all the typical teaching in the Old Testament concerning the necessity of blood sacrifice. Just as the lamb was sacrificed to avert the judgment of God in Old Testament times, so the Lord Jesus sacrificed Himself as the Lamb of God (John 1:29) to deliver all believers from the judgment of God. Thus He is “Our Passover” (5:7).

The Rock. One passage identifies the Lord Jesus with the great image of the Rock, which occurs throughout Scripture. He is “the Rock” for all God's people, whether in Old Testament or New Testament times (10:4).

The Last Adam. The first man, Adam, was created by the Lord as a living soul, but he soon forfeited life; “the Last Adam” is a life giving Spirit, since eternal life flows through Him to every believer (15:45).

Apr 9, 2015

Pilate's Wife (Matt 27:19)

“Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, "Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream" (Matt 27:19, ESV). 

One of the unique contributions of Matthew’s account of the Passion is the reference to Pilate’s wife. Here is a list of observations concerning this brief but intriguing reference.

Matthew does note the name of Pilate’s wife but church tradition calls her Claudia, Claudia Procula, or Claudia Villa Procula. However, the name Claudia was apparently introduced rather late (1619) In the Acts of Pilate in the Gospel of Nicodemus, she is said to be a proselyte or God-fearer (Act. Pil. 2.1). Origen suggested that she later became a convert to Christianity (Comm. ser. Matt. 122) and she was canonized as a Saint in the Greek Orthodox Church. According to Michael Green, she was, “the illegitimate daughter of Claudia, the Emperor Tiberius’ third wife, and so she was a grand-daughter of Augustus. She was therefore much better connected than her husband, and it may be that it was due to her that in ad 26 he gained the appointment as “prefect of Judea” (The Message of Matthew: The Kingdom of Heaven, BST [Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2001], 290).

Pilate’s wife refers to Jesus as a “righteous man.” “Wordsworth well remarks, “In the whole history of the Passion of Christ no one pleads for him but a woman, the wife of a heathen governor, the deputy of the emperor of the world” (H. D. M. Spence-Jones, ed., St. Matthew, vol. 2, The Pulpit Commentary [London: Funk & Wagnalls, 1909], 585. The affirmation of Jesus also undergirds the righteous Gentile motif in the Gospel. As Ulrich Luz states, “Against the dark background of the increasingly obvious Jewish guilt the message of the Gentile woman appears as a ‘bright foil’ (Matthew 21–28: A Commentary, Herm, ed. Helmut Koester [Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg, 2005], 498).”
 


The reference to a “dream” (or perhaps more technically a nightmare) is consistent with Matthew’s interest in dreams which is particularly prevalent in the birth and infancy narratives (cf. 1:20; 2:12, 13, 19, 22). So dreams bookend Jesus’ life. The implication that this was a revelatory dream emphasizes the spiritual context of the scene even as it is being played out on a political or civic stage.

From a narratival perspective, v. 19 serves as an interruption to the trial narrative. But it is an important one theologically. At the same time it affirms the innocence of Jesus, the travesty of justice that is about to take place, and the guilt of Pilate as a participant in the murder of Jesus.

Apr 8, 2015

Romans: The Musical

Trevin Wax has an interview with Cody Curtis, a musician who has set the epistle to the Romans to music. Check it out here.

Apr 7, 2015

Free Audio: David Platt's Radical

Christianaudio.com is offering David Platt's Radical for free for three days only (ending April 9). Go here.

Apr 6, 2015

Blue Jean Theology!

See this funny article on, "What Your Pastor’s Jeans Say About Their Theology" here.

Apr 5, 2015

He is Risen!

And as Jaroslav Pelikan proclaims, “If Christ is risen—then nothing else matters. And if Christ is not risen—then nothing else matters.”

Apr 4, 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. 

Itzhak Benyamini
Narcissist Universalism: A Psychoanalytic Reading of Paul’s Epistles
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=9210
Reviewed by Kari Syreeni

Wim M. de Bruin
Isaiah 1–12 as Written and Read in Antiquity
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=9336
Reviewed by Ibolya Balla

Trevor J. Burke and Brian S. Rosner, eds.
Paul as Missionary: Identity, Activity, Theology, and Practice
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=8162
Reviewed by Ronald R. Clark

J. Patout Burns Jr.
Romans: Interpreted by Early Christian Commentators
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=8926
Reviewed by Daniel Patte
Reviewed by Adam Ployd

Beverly Roberts Gaventa, ed.
Apocalyptic Paul: Cosmos and Anthropos in Romans 5–8
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=9455
Reviewed by Timothy Gombis

Barbara Green
Jeremiah and God’s Plans of Well-Being
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=9526
Reviewed by Lissa M. Wray Beal

Richard H. Hiers
Women’s Rights and the Bible: Implications for Christian Ethics and Social Policy
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=8975
Reviewed by L. Juliana Claassens

William S. Kurz
Acts of the Apostles
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=9676
Reviewed by Thomas E. Phillips
Reviewed by Troy M. Troftgruben

A. James Murphy
Kids and Kingdom: The Precarious Presence of Children in the Synoptic Gospels
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=9502
Reviewed by Marianne Blickenstaff

Ruth Poser
Das Ezechielbuch als Trauma-Literatur
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=9785
Reviewed by Michael S. Moore

Robert M. Price
The Amazing Colossal Apostle: The Search for the Historical Paul
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=8790
Reviewed by Corneliu Constantineanu
Reviewed by Glenn E. Snyder
 

Ephraim Stern
The Material Culture of the Northern Sea Peoples in Israel
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=9578
Reviewed by Raz Kletter

Apr 3, 2015

Review of Acts by Guy Prentiss Waters

Guy Prentiss Waters, Acts, EP Study Commentary (Holywell: EP Books, 2015).  

Students of the Book of Acts have many options related to commentaries. Indeed, one is almost overwhelmed by the plethora of choices and new works continue to be added to the options. One is the volume presently under consideration. It is written by Guy Prentiss Waters, a Professor of New Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, MS.
 

The commentary itself falls in the middle of a spectrum that stretches from the devotional end to the technical end. At 614 pages, it is definitely more than a devotional commentary although there are devotional-type thoughts in the “application” sections. But this is also not a technical commentary since most technical issues are not discussed, but rather, the interested reader is referred to other resources through the copious footnotes. These footnotes provide ample evidence that the author is familiar with the standard commentaries and that his explanations have been informed by them. All this is important to state so that this work can be evaluated for what it is rather than what it is not.

As a mid-range commentary, there is a brief but serviceable introduction that will resonate with most Evangelicals. He holds to Lukan authorship, a date of writing ranging from AD 61–100, and affirms the book’s historical reliability. The outline is simple but I am not sure that it adequately captures the major movements in the book. In the commentary proper, Waters does a nice job in providing a general explanation. His writing is clear and succinct. Greek references are sparse and always transliterated. Waters generally reaches a typically Reformed Evangelical conclusions in regard to some of the debated texts. For example, in Acts 2 he apparently takes a cessationist approach to tongues and rejects baptismal regeneration. Each outline section concludes with an application. This is commendable since many preachers, teachers, and readers need some help in moving from text to life, especially in narrative literature. The “applications” here are generally good but in many cases, the applications are really principles rather than applications. So it might be better to call these sections, “Principles and Applications.” All-in-all there is much to commend in this commentary. However, a bibliography (or at least a work cited) had been included since those who would likely benefit most from this work are also those less likely to be familiar with the broader literature.

In sum, Waters’s commentary meets a need for someone looking for an in-between resource. This volume provides an adequate, conservative, and helpful examination of Acts and its implications for Christians today.


Much thanks to EP Books for providing the copy used in this unbiased review.

Apr 2, 2015

Gordon Fee Videos

Matthew Montinini has posted three videos here of a younger Gordon Fee teaching on 1 Corinthians.

Apr 1, 2015

Free Logos Book for April: Isaiah by Bevard Childs

The free Logos Book for April is Brevard Child’s commentary on Isaiah in the Old Testament Library series. You can also purchase Jeremiah in the same series for .99 cents. While you are at it, you can enter to win  7 volumes from the OTL series. Go the Logos' Free Book of Month page here to enter and download your free book today!

Mar 30, 2015

Picturing the Triumphal Entry in a Sermon

Yesterday I preached on the Triumphal Entry from Matthew 21:1–11. Among other things in my PowerPoint, I was able to use several photographs from Todd Bolen’s excellent Pictorial Library of Bible Lands (PLBL). I thought I might share a few thoughts on how I used this resource in preaching.

First, I wanted to show an overview of the area mentioned in Matthew 21:1: “Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives.” Although, Matthew does not mention Bethany as part of the story, I wanted to include it as well since it is noted in both Mark and Luke (Mark 11:1; Luke 19:29). I found what I was looking for in the PLBL Volume on Jerusalem, in particular in the PowerPoint on the Mount of Olives (slide 38). This slide helpfully labels a number of locations. I removed all the labels except for Bethany, Bethphage, and the Dome of the Rock (representing Jerusalem since the others labels were not pertinent to the message. I also changed the labeling slightly to make it easier to see. I then took a photo of the church in Bethphage from volume 17: Cultural Images of the Holy Land in the Christian Holidays-Palm Sunday folder and used it an inset to the overview slide. Here are the before and after slides.
    



After talking about Matthew 21:1–3, I also used a PLBL photo of a donkey in Bethphage from the Mount of Olives folder in the Jerusalem volume. In my message, I noted that although this was not the Triumphal Entry donkey, I would like to think that maybe it was its great, great, great, great ancestor!
 


In sum, these photos were not essential for the message but I do think that they helped people to better visualize the scene in the text. They also added a level of realism that the Triumphal Entry occurred in a real place and not in some Neverland. Next time you are preaching (especially from a narrative) and you plan to use a presentation, then you might want to take a look at the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands. You might find exactly what you are looking for.

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. 

Miryam T. Brand
Evil Within and Without: The Source of Sin and Its Nature as Portrayed in Second Temple Literature
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=9294
Reviewed by Rodney A. Werline

Ronald E. Clements
Jerusalem and the Nations: Studies in the Book of Isaiah
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=8960
Reviewed by Bo H. Lim

John A. Cook and Robert D. Holmstedt
Beginning Biblical Hebrew: A Grammar and Illustrated Reader
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=9382
Reviewed by Bálint Károly Zabán

Jason von Ehrenkrook
Sculpting Idolatry in Flavian Rome: (An)Iconic Rhetoric in the Writings of Flavius Josephus
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=8370
Reviewed by Patrick McCullough

David A. Fiensy and Ralph K. Hawkins, eds.
The Galilean Economy in the Time of Jesus
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=9307
Reviewed by Ulrich Busse
Reviewed by Sarah E. Rollens

André Gagné and Jean-François Racine, eds.
En marge du canon: Études sur les écrits apocryphes juifs et chrétiens
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=8981
Reviewed by Edmon L. Gallagher

Jonathan S. Greer
Dinner at Dan: Biblical and Archaeological Evidence for Sacred Feasts at Iron Age II Tel Dan and Their Significance
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=9485
Reviewed by Aren M. Maeir

Helen R. Jacobus, Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme, and Philippe Guillaume, eds.
Studies on Magic and Divination in the Biblical World
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=9671
Reviewed by Craig A. Evans

David Marcus
Scribal Wit: Aramaic Mnemonics in the Leningrad Codex
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=9670
Reviewed by Christopher Dost

Susan Marks
First Came Marriage: The Rabbinic Appropriation of Early Jewish Wedding Ritual
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=9142
Reviewed by Joshua Schwartz

David R. Nienhuis and Robert W. Wall
Reading the Epistles of James, Peter, John and Jude as Scripture: The Shaping and Shape of a Canonical Collection
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=9632
Reviewed by John Kloppenborg

John Painter and David A. deSilva
James and Jude
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=8804
Reviewed by Darian Lockett

Luis Sánchez Navarro
Escudriñar las Escrituras: Verbum Domini y la interpretación bíblica
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=8626
Reviewed by Jeffrey L. Morrow

C. S. Song
In the Beginning Were Stories, Not Texts: Story Theology
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=8841
Reviewed by Michelle J. Morris

Mar 29, 2015

Note Taking During Sermons?

Jared Wilson has some interesting thoughts here on whether to encourage or discourage note-taking during sermons. To be honest, I have not really done either one and have left it to my hearers to decide what they want to do,

Mar 27, 2015

The Problem of Footnotes in a Digital Age

HistoryToday has an interesting article about the problem of footnotes related especially to online documents using permalinks here. According to the article, 
Digital library researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory found in a survey of three and a half million scholarly articles from scientific journals between 1997 and 2012 that one in five links provided in the footnotes suffered from ‘reference rot.’ Another survey, this time of law and policy publications, revealed that after six years nearly half of URLs cited had become inaccessible.
An American study of two leading history journals found that in articles published seven years earlier, 38 percent of web citations were dead.

A Defense of a Baptistic View of Baptism

David Allen has an extensive twelve-part series of posts on water baptism defending a Baptistic perspective. "These articles are a slightly revised version of my chapter “Dipped for Dead: The Proper Mode of Baptism,” in Restoring Integrity in Baptist Churches, Thomas White, Jason Duesing, Malcolm Yarnell, eds., (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2008), 81-106. Here are the individual titles with links.