Feb 28, 2009

Recent and Forthcoming Commentaries on Genesis

Tyler Williams has posted on recent and forthcoming commentaries on Genesis

Forthcoming commentaries on Genesis include:

  • David Baker. Apollos Old Testament Commentary (Apollos/InterVarsity Press). A semi-popular series based on the author’s own translation of the Hebrew text. This volume is several years down the road.
  • Erhard Blum. Historical Commentary on the Old Testament (Peeters). The title of this series is a bit misleading if you are expecting a history of interpretation. The series is more of a historical-critical commentary aimed at scholars and ministers.
  • Richard Clifford. Hermeneia (Fortress). This is one of the premier critical commentaries available in English (and it’s beautifully typeset). If Clifford’s volume on The Creation Accounts in the Ancient Near East and in the Bible (Catholic Biblical Association, 1994; Buy from Amazon.ca or Amazon.com) is any indication, this should be a very good critical commentary. It is a few years from publication.
  • Blackwell Bible Commentaries (Blackwell). This series looks more at the reception history of the book under study. As such it is of primary interest to scholars and teachers. This one was assigned to Danna Fewell and Gary Phillips, but they have since dropped out and I don’t think the commentary has been reassigned yet (at least there is no indication on the Blackwell site)
  • Duane Garrett. Kregel Expository Commentary on the Old Testament (Kregel; note the title of the series is still tentative). This is a conservative evangelical series geared for pastors and laypeople. Garrett is author of Rethinking Genesis, The Sources and Authorship of the First Book of the Pentateuch (Baker Book, 1991; Buy from Amazon.ca or Amazon.com), which I reviewed a number of years back. The commentary is at least two years from completion.
  • Ronald S. Hendel. Anchor Bible (2 volumes, Doubleday). The new volumes in this series are excellent critical commentaries. The first volume on Genesis 1-11 was projected to be available in 2008 but it is behind schedule.
  • Theodore Hiebert. Abingdon Old Testament Commentary (Abingdon). A popular series aimed at pastors and laypeople.
  • Kathleen M. O’Connor. Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary (Smyth & Helwys). This is a unique series aimed at pastors and laypeople that includes insightful sidebars, fine art visuals, and a CD-Rom containing all the text and images of the volume in a searchable format.
  • Russell R. Reno. Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible (Brazos/Baker). A series designed to serve the church; appropriate for pastors, teachers, and laypeople. This volume was projected to be released in late 2008, but is behind schedule.

Dan Wallace on His Work with New Testament Manuscripts

Dan Wallace has posted on his recent work with the Center for the Study of New Testament.

Feb 27, 2009

Advice for Student Preachers

R Scott Clark offers some excellent advice for student preachers. He offers the following eight suggestions:

1. Determine from the text the one, central, unifying theme of your passage.
2. Preach only one sermon at a time.
3. Remember your congregation.
4. Keep your head up (and leave the manuscript at home).
5. Smile.
6. Relax.
7. Learn the difference between law and gospel and how those two “words” relate in your passage.
8. Be careful in application.

Read the entire post with further explanations here.

Gary Burge on Key Books on Johannine Studies

Gary Burge, who has authored the New International Version Application Commentaries on the Gospel of John and the Epistles of John, has posted a discussion of what he considers some of the more important books in Johannine studies. Books mentioned by Burge include:

  • Raymond Brown, The Gospel According to John: Introduction, Translation, and Notes(1966, 1970)
  • C. K. Barrett, The Gospel According to St. John: An Introduction With Commentary and Notes on the Greek Text (1970 [rev. 1978]).
  • Craig Keener, The Gospel of John (2004)
  • Lesslie Newbigin, The Light Has Come: An Exposition on the Fourth Gospel (1982)
  • Edwin Hoskyns and Noel Davey, The Fourth Gospel (1947).
  • A. E. Harvey’s Jesus on Trial: A Study of the Fourth Gospel (1976).
  • Andrew Lincoln, Truth on Trial: The Lawsuit Motif in the Fourth Gospel (2000)
  • Alan Culpepper, The Anatomy of the Fourth Gospel (1983).
  • Raymond. E. Brown, The Community of the Beloved Disciple (1979).
  • John A. T. Robinson, The Priority of John (1985).
  • Craig Blomberg, The Historical Reliability of John’s Gospel (2001)
  • Richard Bauckham, The Testimony of the Beloved Disciple: Narrative, History and Theology in the Gospel of John (2007).
Read the entire post here.

Feb 26, 2009

Cups in the Old Testament

Claude Mariottini has posted on the figurative use of cups in the Old Testament. He identifies the following "cup" passages.

A Drinking Cup (Gen 40:11).
The Cup of the Evil-doers (Ps 11:6).
The Cup in the Lord’s Hand (Ps 75:8).
The Cup of the Lord’s Wrath (Isa 51:17).
The Cup of the Lord’s Fury (Jer 25:15).
The Cup of Staggering (Isa 51:17).
The Believer’s Cup (Ps 16:5).
The Cup of Blessings (Ps 23:5).
The Cup of Salvation (Ps 116:13 ESV).
The Cup of Consolation (Jer 16:7).
The Golden Cup (Jer 51:7).
The Cup of Suffering (Lam 4:21).
The Cup of Terror (Ezek 23:32).
The Cup of Horror and Desolation (Ezek 23:33).
The Cup from the Lord’s Right Hand (Hab 2:16).
The Cup of Trembling (Isa 51:22).

This might make for an interesting sermon series.

Headcoverings and 1 Corinthians 11

Matthew Malcolm tackles some of the broader issues related to the very difficult passage concerning women and head coverings in 1 Corinthians 11:2-16. Malcom doesn't really explain his interprtetation of the passage, but rather what he sees as some of the broader issues undergirding the passage. You can read his post

Feb 25, 2009

Mounce on Apollumi and Annihilationism

Bill Mounce has an interesting post on
apollumi and annihilationism. Mounce does a good job in explaining some of the difficulties of teasing the correct nuance out of a word in a given context. But it would have been better if he had actually taken a stand on how he believes that apollumi is being used in passages like Matthew 10:28.

Feb 24, 2009

Reading Through Leviticus

Many people who have attempted to read through the Bible start to get stuck around Leviticus. This is unfortunate for at least two reasons. First, the reader might not complete their reading through of the Bible. Second, the reader might remain unexposed to the historical and spiritual richness of Leviticus. To this end Julian Freeman offers the following three suggestions to help one read through Leviticus.

1.Buy an ESV Study Bible. This is going to sound funny, but it’s not intended to be: There are pictures in this Bible. It seriously helps. As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. I feel like I understand the layout of the tabernacle better now than after any other time making it through Exodus.

2. Look for Patterns. When going through a book like Leviticus, it is easy to get caught up in the details and miss the big point. For example, did you notice any recurring phrases as you read through the last 3/4 of Leviticus? From chapter 11 on the phrase ‘I am the Lord’ is repeated 49 times. That’s significant. You’ll want to read the book noticing those kinds of patterns and asking, ‘Why is this said so many times?’ That will help you understand the book as a whole.

3. Read it as Literature. While there are so many lists of laws, they are not randomly strewn together. There are particular narrative incidents given in between particular laws and commands. Why? What’s the point in putting that particular story right where it is, after that particular event? Those are the types of questions that will help you benefit from Leviticus, because they’ll keep you focused on big picture issues, rather than particular case laws.

To these suggestions I would add this. Keep a notepad and pen nearby for jotting down passages or questions that you have as you read. This allows you to keep reading without getting bogged down by looking to a commentary or some other resource. After you have accumulated a number of questions then look for answers in commentaries, study guides, etc. all at the same time. For a good mid-level commentary I would suggest Mark Rooker's commentary on Leviticus in the New American Commentary series.

HT: Tim Challies

Feb 23, 2009

Walton on Milk and Honey

John Walton has an interesting
post on the background of repeated phrase "a land flowing with milk and honey" (Exod 3:8, 17; 13:5; 33:3; Lev 20:24; Num 13:27; 14:8; 16:13, 14; Deut 6:3; 11:9; 26:9, 15; 27:3; 31:20; Jer 11:5; 32:22; Ezek 20:6, 15; cf. Deut 8:8; Job 20:17).

A Response to Burk

Jin Yang Kim has responded to Denny Burk's post on the Exodus and free will using Ben Sira. You can see my previous post on Burk
here and can find Kim's post here.

Feb 22, 2009

Commentaries on Lamentations

Keith Mathison Ligonier Ministries has a list and discussion of his top five commentaries on Lamentations at the Ligonier Ministries blog. The WBC by House is a good choice at number one, but Berlin and Huey deserve to be in the top five. I would then move Ryken and Mackay to the Runners Up category. Speaking of the Runners Up category, I would include Bergant. In any case, the top five Mathison listed are:

1. Duane Garrett and Paul House -- Song of Songs / Lamentations (Word Biblical Commentary, 2004).
2. J. Andrew Dearman -- Jeremiah / Lamentations (NIV Application Commentary, 2002).
3. Philip Graham Ryken -- Jeremiah and Lamentations (Preaching the Word, 2001).
4. Tremper Longman -- Jeremiah, Lamentations (New International Biblical Commentary, 2008).
5. John Mackay -- Lamentations (Mentor Commentary, 2008).