Aug 30, 2008
Ligonier Ministries has a list and discussion of their top five commentaries on 1-2 Chronicles.It is hard to find too much fault with the list given the relative paucity of solid commentaries on Chronicles. That being said, I think that I would move J. A. Thompson from the runners-up to the top five, probably replacing Pratt. Also it would be hard to exclude Gary Knoppers' two volume work in the Anchor Bible series. To the runners-up list I would add J. B. Payne (EBC), Eugene Merril, and Tuell (Interpretation). In any case, the top five Keith Mathison has listed are:
1. Roddy L. Braun and Raymond B. Dillard -- 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles (Word Biblical Commentary, 1986, 1987).
2. Richard L. Pratt -- 1 & 2 Chronicles (Mentor Commentary, 1998).
3. Martin Selman. -- 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries 1994).
4. Andrew E. Hill -- 1 & 2 Chronicles (NIV Application Commentary, 2003).
5. Sara Japhet -- 1 & 2 Chronicles (Old Testament Library, 1993).
Aug 29, 2008
I recently posted on four suggestions from Peter Mead on planning a preaching series on a Gospel book. Peter has now offered four more helpful suggestions. They are,
Decide how many messages the series will last, then select accordingly. You might only deal with a part of the gospel (such as the Upper Room Discourse). You might select exemplary units that point to the flow in which they sit (such as Luke 19:1-10 with reference to the preceding flow of stories). You might choose to preach larger chunks in order to cover the whole text in some way.
Commit to learning the theology and terminology of whichever gospel writer you are preaching. Try to preach John in John’s terms and emphasizing John’s theology. Luke has his own distinctive set of vocabulary. Mark has his own style. Try to let the details of the messages reflect the book from which they are taken.
Preach the gospel you are in, not all four. Use cross-checks in a gospel harmony only to make sure you see what is emphasized in your focus gospel, and to make sure you don’t preach historical inaccuracy. Avoid the temptation to preach the event rather than the text (the latter is inspired).
Try to plan the series to consistently reflect the uniqueness of the gospel. For instance, Matthew alternates between discourse and narrative sections – you might alternate messages from these sections (samples from within the two or three chapter chunks, or overview messages of those sections).
Aug 28, 2008
Scientists in Israel are taking digital photographs of the Dead Sea Scrolls with the aim of making the 2,000-year-old documents available to the public and researchers on the Internet. Read it here.
Chris Lee has provided the following helpful links for studying the relationship between the Christian and the Old Testament Law.
Christians are not directly “under” the Old Testament Law.
Chris Poteet, Why the law then? A Biblical Theology of Law in Galatians, (Beginning With Moses) - link updated
Glen Scrivener, Old Testament Law Seminar (notes and MP3), (Christ the Truth)
David Dorsey, The Law of Moses and the Christian, (Between Two Worlds)
Christians are still under the “moral” aspects of the Old Testament Law.
Jonathan F. Bayes, The Threefold Division of the Law, (Christian Institute)
David Philips, The Old not contrary to The New, (Church Society)
How do Christians apply the Old Testament Law?
Peter Jensen, The Law in the Life of a Christian, Four talks on the Ten Commandments, four talks availble to dow (The Theologian)
The latest issue of Review of Biblical Literature is out. Reviews that may be of interest from a Bible Exposition perspective include:
Michael F. Bird
The Saving Righteousness of God: Studies on Paul, Justification and the New
Reviewed by Martin Meiser
William P. Brown, ed.
Engaging Biblical Authority: Perspectives on the Bible as Scripture
Reviewed by Craig L. Blomberg
Reta Halteman Finger
Of Widows and Meals: Communal Meals in the Book of Acts
Reviewed by Steve Walton
Ronald E. Heine
Reading the Old Testament with the Ancient Church: Exploring the Formation of
Early Christian Thought
Reviewed by Martin C. Albl
Reviewed by Jurie le Roux
Joel S. Kaminsky
Yet I Loved Jacob: Reclaiming the Biblical Concept of Election
Reviewed by B. J. Oropeza
James A. Metzger
Consumption and Wealth in Luke's Travel Narrative
Reviewed by Kenneth Litwak
Ruth Anne Reese
2 Peter and Jude
Reviewed by Wilhelm Pratscher
David M. Scholer, ed.
Social Distinctives of the Christians in the First Century: Pivotal Essays by
E. A. Judge
Reviewed by Tsalampouni Ekaterini
Aug 27, 2008
Peter Mead has some good advice for planning a preaching series in a Gospel. His first four points are:
Get to grips with the gospel before you plan the series. Some good study in a gospel will give you a sense of the flow and structure, of the big themes, the major chunks and so on. This will all help to plan the series creatively.
Recognize that individual units are strung together to make a broader point. As I presented here recently, Luke 18:9 reaches on through 19:10 at least. Seeing how these units work together will help to understand the larger sweep of the book.
Wrestle with the flow of the whole. John’s themes of the deity of Christ, belief and life, recur throughout the book of signs, culminating in the climactic miracle of the raising of Lazarus. Mark’s two overarching questions of who is Jesus and what does it mean to follow him control content throughout the gospel. Once the disciples finally recognize and declare who Jesus is, they discover that they cannot have the Messiah without the cross – so in the end it is the climactic statement of the Centurion that pulls it all together. Try to relate the parts to the whole so that the series has evidence of unity in the way it is presented.
Consider giving an overview sermon at the start and/or end of the series. This can really help listeners to see the flow of the whole and orient them to the message of the book.
Aug 26, 2008
The following was posted recently on the Logos blog.
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Michael Bird has written an interesting piece on some things that he learned in the process of writing a commentary on Colossians and Philemon. Read about what he has learned here.
Dustin Benge has provided a helpful set of links from the Ministry Referral Office of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to help those looking for ministry positions.
Aug 25, 2008
Ligonier Ministries has a list and discussion of their top five commentaries on Acts.The list is solid but I would suggest that Polhill (NAC) and Luke Timothy Johnson (Sacra Pagina) probably belong in the top five, perhaps replacing Bruce and Marshall. In the runners-up I would include Stanley Toussaint's work in The Bible Knowledge Commentary. In any case, the top five they have listed are:
1. Darrell L. Bock -- Acts (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, 2007).
2. F.F. Bruce -- The Book of the Acts (New International Commentary on the New Testament, 1988).
3. C.K. Barrett. -- Acts 1-14, Acts 15-28 (International Critical Commentary, 2004).
Like the commentary on Matthew by Davies and Allison, this two-volume commentary 4. Ben Witherington -- The Acts of the Apostles (1997).
Aug 24, 2008
John Walton has posted on reclaiming the Old Testament for the Church. Here are a couple of paragraphs from his admonition.
Read the entire post here.
What would account for how few sermons are preached on the Old Testament? Its canonical status is no less than that of the New Testament, and it comprises two-thirds of our authoritative revelation from God. So why is it preached so infrequently? I am persuaded that much of the explanation is found in the fact that we simply don’t know what to do with it. Every person reading through the Bible has experienced at one point or another that uncomfortable feeling of wondering, “What is this doing in my Bible?” Maybe they are reading Leviticus or Song of Songs. Perhaps they experience it even in some of the narratives of Genesis.
The key to approaching the Old Testament is to remember that at every point it is God’s revelation of himself to us. Our first question, therefore, should always be, “What does this passage tell me about God?” It is interesting that what is preached most are the Old Testament stories. Unfortunately, when we read them, we are often drawn to the characters in the narratives as we seek to have the faith of Abraham, the courage of Esther, the loyalty of Ruth, the heart of David, etc. There is nothing wrong with challenges to have more of those qualities in our lives. But in the end, these are stories about God more than about Abraham, Esther, Ruth or David.