Nov 1, 2008

The Future of Biblical Commentaries?

Nijay Gupta has some interesting
proposals/suggestions related to the possible alternatives to the formats of traditional biblical commentaries. While the comments are appreciated, I wonder if what what is being envisioned isn't already being done in a way through monographs. Also, I am not sure that such supplements would really be all that cheaper, at least for the end user, since such supplements would appeal mostly to the specialists, who are fewer in number. That being said, I do like the suggestion concerning stand alone commentaries on some of the less-covered books.

Oct 31, 2008

Khirbet Qeiyafa Inscription

There has been considerable activity in the media and blogging wo
rld in the last few days concerning what is being called the Khirbet Qeiyafa inscription.This ostracon (a potsherd with writing on it) containing five lines of what is being called Proto-Canaanite or Hebrew script has been tentatively dated to 1,000 and 975 B.C. The dating is significant because it is around the time that King David would have lived. For a Fox News article of this find go here. For pictures of the ostracon go here, here, here, and here. A short video on Youtube can be seen here.

Todd Bolen at the Bibleplaces blog also has a couple of helpful posts here and here.

Oct 30, 2008

Questioning the Questions of Postmodernity

Michael Bird posts the following thoughts questioning the questions of postmodernity.

My good friend Denny Burke gives a quote from Abraham Piper about the postmodern ethos of our day: “If you ask questions but you reject answers, you’re not actually asking anything. You’re just festooning tired, old propositions with trendier punctuation.” I agree entirely. I am highly unimpressed with the pomo obsession with questions that no-one answers and being-on-the-journey that doesn't go any where (or any where worth going to). Don't get me wrong, questions are a great way to do theology (see Thomas Aquinas no less), but without stating answers, even provisionally, it comes down to a meaningless word game. I say this because questions without answers (1) lead to indecision, inaction or inconsistency since the rationale to act is never established, and (2) little pomo popes wonder the country thinking that the more people they can confuse with their word games the greater their acumen and intelligence. Teachers should teach. They shoud not try to clone themselves nor aim to confuse. As Karl Barth once said to a student, we don't have time to play the devil's advocate!
You can read the entire post here.

Oct 29, 2008

Mounce on the Greek Participle as Imperative

Bob Mounce has a nice post on the use of the Greek participle as an imperative in the New Testament. You can read it

Oct 28, 2008

King Solomon's Copper Mines

A number of stories have been circulating regarding the discovery of what is being called "King Solomon's Copper Mines." What apparently has been discovered at Khirbat en-Nahas ("the ruins of copper")in modern day Jordan, is a copper mining and smelting complex dating to the tenth century. You can read Leen Ritmeyer's take on the story
here. A twelve minute video providing a general historical overview and an examination of Khirbat en-Nahas in particular can be viewed here.

Oct 27, 2008

Top Five Commentaries on Ecclesiastes

Ligonier Ministries has a
list and discussion of their top five commentaries on Ecclesiastes. I would replace Eaton, Kidner, and Hubbard with Fox, Murphy, and Kruger respectively
. I would also add Seow (Anchor), Brown (Interpretation), and Glenn in The Bible Knowledge Commentary to the runners-up. In any case, the top five Keith Mathison has listed are:

1. Derek Kidner -- The Message of Ecclesiastes (The Bible Speaks Today, 1984).
2. Michael A. Eaton -- Ecclesiastes (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, 1983).
3. Iain Provan -- Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs (NIV Application Commentary, 2001).
4. David A. Hubbard -- Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon (The Preacher's Commentary, 2002).
5. Tremper Longman -- The Book of Ecclesiastes (The New International Commentary on the Old Testament, 1997).

Oct 26, 2008

Four Preacher Criticisms

Cal Habig has posted a discussion on four criticisms of preachers based on the work of Zach Eswine, P
reaching to a Post-Everything World. The four kinds of personal criticisms are:

1. You don’t do it the way my favorite preacher does it. This is a criticism of personal preaching style or handling of a passage. There’s nothing we can do about our personality. The criticism is essentially correct; we are not like the other preacher. This comparison stings. When given outside the context of friendship, it shows a shallow understanding of calling and gifts. But we can shrug our shoulders and say, “You are right. I’m not like that other person.”

2. You could have done better. This is a criticism of clarity or competence with the text and the sermon. Every sermon technically warrants this criticism. j There is always something we could have explained more clearly or illustrated better. This criticism hurts. When given outside the context of friendship, it shows a shallow understanding of what preaching requires and how preachers are limited. But we can shrug our shoulders and say, “You are right. This passage has more to say than I can match.

3. Your motives are wrong. This is an accusation of character. It puts the criticizer into the position of knowing the heart. It puts the preacher into an indefensible position. How does one defend when accused of preaching a particular sermon with pride? Do you try to prove your humility? To do so only confirms the suspicions of the accuser.

4. You shouldn’t preach at all. This is an accusation of calling. Challenge to ones character and calling perhaps hurt the most . No individual Christian has the authority to determine whether another person is called or not. This authority resides with Christ alone and is demonstrated through the community of believers, not individuals.

You can read the entire post here.

Top Five Commentaries on Proverbs

Ligonier Ministries has a
list and discussion of their top five commentaries on Proverbs.
I am not familiar with Van Leeuwen's work But I would replace Hubbard and Kidner with Fox and Longman. I would also add Clifford (OTL) to the runners-up. In any case, the top five Keith Mathison has listed are:

1. Bruce K. Waltke -- The Book of Proverbs: Chapters 1-15; The Book of Proverbs: Chapters 15-31 (New International Commentary on the Old Testament, 2004, 2005).
2. David A. Hubbard -- Proverbs (The Preacher's Commentary, 2002).
3. Raymond C. Van Leeuwen -- "Proverbs" in The New Interpreter's Bible (1997).
4. Tremper Longman III -- Proverbs (Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms, 2006).
5. Derek Kidner -- Proverbs (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, 1964).