Aug 16, 2008
See this post on the forthcoming publication of the Anchor Bible commentary series for Libronix. The prepublication price is $1499.95. That is a lot, but you are also getting quite a bit as well. Anyone who has had to deal with any significant biblical research in English is already familiar with this series. Maybe one needs to think about it in comparison to the current price of gasoline. Are you going to get more mileage out of $1500 worth of gasoline or $1500 worth of important biblical scholarship? By the way, just to clear–I receive no royalties from Logos.
Ligonier Ministries has a list and discussion of their top five commentaries on Ruth.The list is solid. However, I would probably trade out Duguid with Tod Linafelt's work in the Berit Olam series and add F. B. Huey (EBC). Nielsen (OTL), and Sakenfeld (Interpretation) to the runner-up list. In any case, the top five they have listed are:
1. Robert L. Hubbard, Jr. -- The Book of Ruth (New International Commentary on the Old Testament, 1989).
2. Daniel I. Block -- Judges, Ruth (New American Commentary, 1999).
3. Frederic W. Bush. -- Ruth, Esther (Word Biblical Commentary, 1996).
4. Iain M. Duguid -- Esther & Ruth (Reformed Expository Commentary, 2005).
5. K. Lawson Younger, Jr. -- Judges, Ruth (NIV Application Commentary, 2002).
Aug 15, 2008
Milton Stanley has compiled a nifty list of links to the best free, online Bible study resources for sermon preparation called Links for Expository Preaching. So far he has Jude and Revelation. Check it out here.
Aug 14, 2008
Ligonier Ministries has a list and discussion of their top five commentaries on Judges.The list is good, but I would not place Davis at #1 and I would include Matthews in the top five. T. J. Scneider's work in the Berit Olam series might also merit inclusion in the top five. I would also include Wolf (EBC) to the runner-up list. In any case, the top five they have listed are:
1. Dale Ralph Davis -- Judges (Focus on the Bible, 2000).
2. Daniel I. Block -- Judges, Ruth (New American Commentary, 1999).
3. K. Lawson Younger, Jr. -- Judges, Ruth (NIV Application Commentary, 2002).
4. Arthur E. Cundall & Leon Morris -- Judges & Ruth (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, 1968).
5. Michael Wilcock -- The Message of Judges (The Bible Speaks Today, 1993).
Aug 13, 2008
John Walton has an interesting post on hermeneutics and children's curricula. According to Walton,
It has been my practice over the years to work with the Children’s education program in my church to evaluate curriculum and train teachers for the pre-school through elementary grades. What I find in curricula is consistently shocking from a hermeneutical standpoint. I should hasten to say that curricula are often excellent from an educational standpoint—for that is the expertise of those producing curriculum. Walton goes onto identify I five basic and typical fallacies.
1. Promotion of the Trivial: The lesson is based on what is a passing comment in the text (Josh 9:13, they did not consult the Lord), a casual observation about the text (Moses persevered in going back before Pharaoh over and over) or even a deduction supplied in the text (Joshua and Caleb were brave and strong). The Bible is not being properly taught if we are teaching virtues that the text does not have in focus in that passage. We would like children to be virtuous, but we dare not teach virtues rather than the Bible. The plague narratives are not teaching perseverance nor is the feeding of the multitude teaching sharing (as done by the little boy in one of the accounts).
2. Illegitimate extrapolation: The lesson is improperly expanded from a specific situation to all general situations (God helped Moses do a hard thing, so God will help you do a hard thing. But the hard thing Moses was doing was something commanded by God whereas in the lesson the hard thing becomes anything the child wants to achieve). In these cases what the text is teaching is passed by in favor of what the curriculum wants to teach and biblical authority is neglected.
3. Reading Between the Lines: This occurs when teachers or students are asked to analyze what the characters are thinking, speculate on their motives, or fill in details of the plot that the story does not give. When such speculations become the center of the lesson, the authority of the biblical teaching is lost because the teaching is centered on what the reader provided.
4. Missing important nuance: This occurs when the curriculum pinpoints an appropriate lesson but misses a connection that should be made to drive the point home accurately. It is not enough, for instance to say that God wants us to keep his rules—it is important to realize that God has given us a sense of who he is and how we ought to respond in our lives. It is not just an issue of obeying rules—God wants us to know him and respond to him by following in his ways and being like him.
5. Focus on people rather than God: The Bible is God’s revelation of himself and its message and teaching is largely based on what it tells us about God. This is particularly true of narrative (stories). While we are drawn to observe the people in the stories, we cannot forget that the stories are intended to teach us about God more than about people. If in the end, the final point is “We should/shouldn’t be like X (= some biblical character)” there is probably a problem unless the “X” is Jesus or God. Better is “we can learn through X’s story that God . . .”
…the exegetical carefulness of Don Carson …the expositional clarity of John Stott …the assiduous attention to context of Dick Lucas …the cross-referencing knowledge of John MacArthur …the ‘outlining’ skills of Warren Wiersbe …the doctrinal precision of RC Sproul …the bible-critiquing-culture abilities of Al Mohler …the delivery of James Montgomery Boice …the vocabulary of R Kent Hughes …the simple yet powerful illustrations of CH Spurgeon …the winsome yet pointed humor of Alistair Begg …the applicational focus of CJ Mahaney …the apologetical ’side-bars’ of Tim Keller …the sheer Scriptural coverage of Mark Dever …the heart for the lost of George Whitefield …the compassion for the flock of Charles Simeon …the unbridled passion for God of John Piper …the gravity of Doctor Martyn Lloyd Jones
Peter Mead has some good advice on using quotations in preaching. Below are four quotes of his main points.
1. Make sure you are genuinely comfortable with the quote and its author.
2. Strive to use quotes from well-known folks.
3. Keep quotes punchy.
4. Verbally frame your quote.
Read the entire article here.
The latest Church Leader's Intelligence Report notes,
The position of "pastor/minister/clergy" is the eighth most prestigious occupation in the U.S., according to a Harris poll in a list of 23 American occupations. The top-five ranked jobs in the poll were: 1) Firefighter 2) Scientist 3) Doctor 4) Nurse 5) Teacher. The least prestigious jobs were: 1) Real estate agent/broker 2) Stock broker 3) Banker 4) Accountant 5) Entertainer.
Aug 11, 2008
James T. Sparks, Ph.D. (Theology) an 0rdained minister in the Baptist churches of Western Australia and pastor at Wattle Grove Baptist Church has written a book on the genealogies in Chronicles 1-9. According to the publishers blurb,
Thanks to Matthew Burgess for the heads-up.
The genealogies of 1 Chronicles 1–9 have typically been seen to have no internal consistency or purpose and little relation to the narrative portions of Chronicles. In contrast, this study shows that the genealogical section of the Chronicler’s work is an ordered, well-structured, unified whole. The Chronicler presents his genealogies chiastically, with the aim of the chiasm to uphold the cult and cultic officials as the center of the nation’s life. The genealogies indicate that society is sent into exile because of the unfaithfulness of the people and their leaders. Only through the proper attention to the cult and its elements can atonement be made and the people possess their land.