Oct 4, 2008
The latest issue of Review of Biblical Literature is out. Reviews that may be of interest from a Bible Exposition perspective include:
Other Early Christian Gospels: A Critical Edition of the Surviving Greek Manuscripts
Reviewed by Christopher Tuckett
Katharine J. Dell
The Book of Proverbs in Social and Theological Context
Reviewed by Dorothy Akoto
Karin Finsterbusch, Armin Lange, and K.F. Diethard Römheld, eds.
Human Sacrifice in Jewish and Christian Tradition
Reviewed by James W. Watts
Joel B. Green
Reviewed by Paul J. Achtemeier
John Paul Hozvicka
A Primer on Biblical Studies
Reviewed by John Vassar
Steven L. McKenzie and John Kaltner
The Old Testament: Its Background, Growth, and Content
Reviewed by Francis Dalrymple-Hamilton
Daniel Patte, ed.
Global Bible Commentary
Reviewed by Alexander Negrov
The Origins of Pauline Pneumatology: The Eschatological Bestowal of the Spirit upon Gentiles in Judaism and in the Early Development of Paul's Theology
Reviewed by Justin K. Hardin
Oil-Lamps in the Holy Land: Saucer Lamps: From the Beginning to the Hellenistic Period: Collections of the Israel Antiquities Authority
Reviewed by Noam Adler
Ben Witherington III
Reviewed by David C. Sim
Oct 3, 2008
Andreas Köstenberger offers twelve theses on the church’s mission in the twenty-first century. The theses are:
1) The church’s mission-in both belief and practice-should be grounded in the biblical theology of mission.
(2) Reflection on the church’s mission should be predicated upon the affirmation of the full and sole authority of Scripture.
(3) The church’s mission should be conceived primarily in terms of the church’s faithfulness and responsiveness to the missionary mandate given by the Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in Scripture.
(4) The church’s understanding of its mission should be hermeneutically sound.
(5) The church’s mission is to be conceived ultimately in theocentric rather than anthropocentric terms.
(6) The church’s mission, properly and biblically conceived, is to be trinitarian in its orientation, but not at the expense of neglecting the distinct roles of the three persons within the Godhead.
(7) The contemporary context of the church’s mission, while important, ought not to override the church’s commitment to the authority of Scripture, its need to be grounded in the biblical theology of mission, and the understanding of its task in terms of faithfulness to the gospel.
(8) The church is the God-ordained agent of his mission in this world today.
(9) The way in which the kingdom of God is extended in this world today is through regenerate believers acting out their Christian faith in their God-assigned spheres of life: the church, their families, their workplace, the societies in which they live (Eph 5:18-6:9; 1 Pet 2:13-3:7).
(10) There is no true lasting social transformation apart from personal conversion through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
(11) Human organization does not necessarily entail a lack of acknowledgment of God and his initiative in mission.
(12) The church’s task today is to nurture, renew, and plant churches composed of a spiritually regenerate membership and constituted in keeping with the biblical teaching regarding church leadership.
The rest of the post and further explanation of these theses can be found here.
John Walton has posted a discussion on the designation "a man after God's own heart in 1 Samuel 13:14. Walton rightly argues that this designation relates to God's heart for David rather than David's heart for God. Walton notes:
How do we know that the interpretation should go this direction?
By other uses of similar phrasing. One should particularly note the usage of Jeremiah 3:15, but also Psalm 20:4 (Hebrew, v.3). In addition we would find that this is standard rhetoric in the ancient Near East as a reference to covenant alignment when a king replaces a rebellious vassal with one who will be more compliant and cooperative. Likewise Mesopotamian gods such as Enlil and Shamash are said to install kings of their own choosing using a similar phrase. (Commentaries offering more information include K. McCarter’s Anchor commentary on 1 Samuel and the forthcoming Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary on the Old Testament.
Finally it should be said that this interpretation does not eliminate every aspect of David’s loyalty to Yahweh. Indeed, his loyalty and alignment are the most likely criteria referred to. But that should be differentiated from our common understandings of piety, devotion and spiritual maturity. It is our careful study of Hebrew usage—supported by background information—that helps us to arrive at this interpretation.
Read the entire post here.
Oct 2, 2008
Take an online hermeneutics quiz on the New Testament use of the Old Testament that tests whether you are most closely aligned with the interpretive approaches of Darrell Bock, Walter Kaiser, or Peter Enns. Take it here.
Oct 1, 2008
Sep 30, 2008
Sep 29, 2008
Randy L. Stinson and Christopher w. Cowan in the latest issue of CBMW Journal identify seven reasons why we cannot legitimately call God Mother.
1. There is no biblical precedent for referring to God with feminine terms such as "Mother" or "she."
2. Biblical, masculine language for God is not culture-dependent, but rather is God's chosen self-revelation of his identity.
3. The use of "feminine imagery" for God in the Bible does not demand or even imply that we may refer to God with feminine terms such as "Mother" or "she."
4. All feminine metaphors for God in the Bible are verbal-none are names or titles for God (like "Father").
5. "Father" is a name or title that communicates something real about God's nature.
6. Calling God "Mother" may require an unbiblical revision regarding how God relates to the world.7. Calling God "Mother" calls into question the sufficiency of the biblical revelation.
To read the entire article here.
Sep 28, 2008
John Walton's post (here) on Psalm 139 provides a helpful illustration of the important role and interpretive challenges that Psalm forms play in interpretation.