Jun 28, 2008
Jun 27, 2008
See this interesting article suggesting that Medieval monks may have actually been poisoned in the process of creating biblical manuscripts the monks. According to the article,
Medieval bones from six different Danish cemeteries reveal that monks who wrote Biblical texts and other religious materials may have been exposed to toxic mercury, which was used to formulate just one of their ink colors: red.
The meaning of authenteō in 1 Timothy 2:12 is one of key points of contention in the current gender debate between Egalitarians and Complimentarians. Denny Burk's blog has a nice summary of some of the argumentation of Henry Scott Baldwin concerning this term. It is worth checking out here.
Ligonier Ministries has a list and discussion of their top five commentaries on Leviticus. I personally would rank Milgrom higher and prefer his Anchor volumes to the shorter volume in the Continental series. In any case, the top five they have listed are:
1. Gordon J. Wenham -- The Book of Leviticus (The New International Commentary on the Old Testament, 1979).
2. John E. Hartley -- Leviticus (Word Biblical Commentary, 1992).
3. Mark F. Rooker -- Leviticus (New American Commentary, 2000).
4. Jacob Milgrom -- Leviticus (Continental Commentary, 2004).
5. Baruch A. Levine -- Leviticus (JPS Torah Commentary, 1989).
Jun 26, 2008
Dr. Bob Utley, retired Professor of Hermeneutics, has made all of his Bible commentaries available free online here. The site also contains free audio and video of Dr. Utley's work as well. Check it out.
Jun 25, 2008
Ben Reaoch at the Desiring God blog has a helpful if convicting post on twelve sins we blame on others.
I wouldn’t lose my temper if my co-workers were easier to get along with, or if my kids behaved better, or if my spouse were more considerate.
I would be a very patient person if it weren’t for traffic jams and long lines in the grocery store. If I didn’t have so many things to do, and if the people around me weren’t so slow, I would never become impatient!
I would have a pure mind if there weren’t so many sensual images in our culture.
I wouldn’t worry about the future if my life were just a little more secure—if I had more money, and no health problems.
5) Spiritual Apathy
My spiritual life would be so much more vibrant and I would struggle with sin less if my small group were more encouraging, or if Sunday school were more engaging, or if the music in the worship service were more lively, or if the sermons were better.
If my parents/bosses/elders were godly leaders, then I would joyfully follow them.
7) A Critical Spirit
It’s not my fault that the people around me are ignorant and inexperienced.
If you knew what that person did to me, you would understand my bitterness. How could I forgive something like that?
My wife/husband/roommate/friend is a wonderful cook! The things they make are impossible to resist.
It’s the people around me who start the conversations. There’s no way to avoid hearing what others happen to say. And when others ask me questions, I can’t avoid sharing what I know.
I’ll never be happy, because my marriage/family/job/ministry is so difficult.
I would be more generous if we had more money.
Richard Anderson has a nice post on the theme of blindness in Luke-Acts. In his final major paragraph he suggests,
Identifying and using blindness as a synecdochic metaphor for the theme of the lack of understanding makes it possible to recognize the significance of the Isaiah reading as an interpretative guide to the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles.
According to the Church Leaders Intelligence Report,
A study published in the June 2008 Journal of Marriage and Family found that strong faith in God by itself won’t protect against marital infidelity. But a study by Fuller Seminary researchers David Atkins and Deborah Kessel found that regular church attendance does make a difference. People who rarely attend services are four times more likely to have an affair than those who attend more often. Frequent churchgoers hear sermons about the moral aspect of marital infidelity and are likely to practice what is preached. Other activities such as prayer do not make a statistical difference in marital faithfulness.
By Cal Thomas
Syndicated Columnist/FOX News Contributor
I am shocked and appalled over a newly published survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. It finds most Americans believe there are many ways to salvation besides their own faith. Most disturbing of all is the majority of self-identified evangelical Christians who believe this.
Apparently they must think Jesus was a liar, or mistaken, when he said: “I am the way, the truth and the life; no man comes to the Father but by me.” Look it up.
This theological ignorance is a product of several things. It is surely a product of biblical illiteracy by people who don’t read, or selectively read scripture. It is also fallout from the political correctness vice that says you are intolerant if you believe anything to be true, because people who have another truth, or no truth, might feel bad and experience rejection.
If they feel rejection now, wait until they hear “away from me, I never knew you.”
Tolerance is a good thing. People should tolerate and respect people of different faiths, or no faith. But watering down your own set of professed doctrines in order to appeal to the lowest spiritual common denominator is akin to Peter denying Christ three times.
If there are many paths to heaven, Jesus suffered and died for nothing. He could have stayed in heaven, sent down a book of sayings and avoided crucifixion. Orthodox Christians have always believed – and their Bible teaches them — there is only one path to heaven and it is through Jesus Christ and him alone. One can believe whatever one wishes, but you can’t be considered a Christian without believing in this fundamental doctrine.
Christian churches have a lot of work to do in addressing biblical illiteracy, ignorance and, yes, heresy, in their midst. They might want to pay more attention to fixing what’s gone wrong among their members before expending too much energy on politics and politicians.
Jun 24, 2008
The latest issue of the Review of Biblical Literature is out. Reviews that may be of interest to those interested in Bible exposition include:
Hans Dieter Betz, Don S. Browning, Bernd Janowski, and Eberhard Jüngel, eds.
Religion Past and Present: Encyclopedia of Theology and Religion: Volume 1: A-Bhu
Reviewed by Dirk van der Merwe
Bradford B. Blaine Jr.
Peter in the Gospel of John: The Making of an Authentic Disciple
Reviewed by Stephan Witetschek
Markus Bockmuehl and Donald A. Hagner, eds.
The Written Gospel
Reviewed by David C. Sim
The Bible in the Syriac Tradition
Reviewed by H. F. van Rooy
Jack Cheng and Marian Feldman, eds.
Ancient Near Eastern Art in Context: Studies in Honor of Irene J. Winter by Her Students
Reviewed by Aren Maeir
Gregory W. Dawes
Introduction to the Bible
Reviewed by Randall L. McKinion
Jane DeRose Evans
The Coins and the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Economy of Palestine
Reviewed by Mark A. Chancey
Victor Paul Furnish
1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians
Reviewed by Eduard Verhoef
Mark D. Futato
Interpreting the Psalms: An Exegetical Handbook
Reviewed by Howard N. Wallace
John Goldingay and David Payne
Isaiah 40-55: A Critical and Exegetical Commentary
Reviewed by Chris Franke
Job: Ses précurseurs et ses épigones ou comment faire du nouveau avec de l'ancien
Reviewed by James L. Crenshaw
Nathaniel Helfgot, ed.
The Tanakh Companion to the Book of Samuel
Reviewed by Ralph K. Hawkins
Paul M. Hoskins
Jesus as the Fulfillment of the Temple in the Gospel of John
Reviewed by Mary L. Coloe
Reviewed by Nicholas H. Taylor
Ådna Jostein, ed.
The Formation of the Early Church
Reviewed by Markus Oehler
Bart J. Koet
Dreams and Scripture in Luke-Acts: Collected Essays
Reviewed by David L. Tiede
Jerome H. Neyrey
Give God the Glory: Ancient Prayer and Worship in Cultural Perspective
Reviewed by Tony Costa
Birger A. Pearson
Ancient Gnosticism: Traditions and Literature
Reviewed by James F. McGrath
Calvin J. Roetzel
Reviewed by Frank J. Matera
Karl Friedrich Ulrichs
Christusglaube: Studien zum Syntagma pistis Christou und zum paulinischen Verständnis von Glaube und Rechtfertigung
Reviewed by Günter Röhser
Jun 23, 2008
The following was posted by John Piper on the Desiring God blog.
Every day is the Lord’s day just like all your money is the Lord’s money.
Nevertheless one day in seven is called “the Lord’s Day” in a special sense (Revelation 1:10; cf. 1 Corinthians 16:2; Acts 20:7). We set this day aside for a special focus on corporate worship and spiritual refreshment.
Similarly, some of the Lord’s money that you manage should be set aside for the Lord’s church and his mission in the world.
I write this today because I received $1,500 in the mail last Tuesday from the U. S. Government. It is not my money. It is the Lord’s. All of it. I know how much of it I will give to the Lord’s church. Noël and I are agreed.How about you?
See this associated press article on young Baptist preachers and their different approaches to ministry. It is interesting to me that both approaches are reactionary and counter-cultural in their own ways. The contemporary approach is a reaction against more traditional expressions of Christianity and a counter to traditional Christian culture. The traditional approach is a reaction against contemporary approaches and counter to contemporary culture.
Jun 22, 2008
Here is a nice article about a student in Israel who found a LMLK jar handle among some discarded pottery fragments. By the way, the tour leader Steve Sanchez was a former fellow student with me at DTS.
Peter Mead provides a helpful reminder here of the tendency to say to much in preaching. He writes,
Most of us, in our first sermon, tried to say too much. We tried to cram in all we knew on that subject. We tried to miss nothing, preached dense and probably missed everyone listening. Keep that in mind today. Don’t try and say so much that you end up effectively saying nothing. Don’t feel the need to prove how many hours of exegetical work you put in, or what exegetical bunny trails you pursued to no avail. Say one thing, and say it well. Say it clear. Say it more than once. But don’t say too much!