Mar 14, 2009
Peter Mead takes a shot at the problems associated with preaching difficult passages. In my opinion, this is one way that preaching is different from teaching. In teaching, the context better allows for the pursuit of different views and positions because questions can be asked and answered. But preaching is more of a monologue than a dialogue. I would suggest that in preaching you acknowledge the differences of opinion and then stress the position that you prefer and why you prefer it. You do not want people walking away from a sermon remembering the problems, but rather remembering the broader message and application of the text as a whole.
Mar 13, 2009
Matthew Malcolm has an interesting post concerning the Ten Commandments, sin and extra-biblical documents. I am not sure what to make of it.
Mar 12, 2009
According to a story in the IndyStar, a church in Indianapolis church is promising to return refund any money given to the church if the giver loses their job. This may make for good P.R., but it is problematic theologyically for at least three reasons. First, giving is an act of worship, and worship is not returnable. Second, giving should be an act of faith. This promise removes at least some of the faith element. Third, the gifts given to the church are actually given to God through the church. In a very real sense, it is not the church's money, it is God's money. In addition to these theological concerns, there might be legal ramifications. I am not a tex-expert, but I suspect that the IRS will have some problems with this kind of giving.
See this article by Robin Foster on OpenText.org, a free site that that displays New Testament Greektext (and some NT Apocrypha and Apostolic Fathers texts) in semantic structural layout form.
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 Perspective
Reviewed by James P. Sweeney
James H. Charlesworth
The Historical Jesus: An Essential Guide
Reviewed by Peter J. Judge
Andrew D. Clarke
A Pauline Theology of Church Leadership
Reviewed by Jens Herzer
The Mystery of the House of Royal Women: Royal Pilagsim as Secondary Wives in the Old Testament
Reviewed by Yael Shemesh
The First English Bible: The Text and Context of the Wycliffite Versions
Reviewed by Francis Dalrymple-Hamilton
Reviewed by Christo H. J. van der Merwe
David Flood, ed.
Peter of John Olivi on Genesis
Reviewed by Mark Elliott
David Flusser; translated by Azzan Yadin
Judaism of the Second Temple Period, Volume 1: Qumran and Apocalypticism
Reviewed by Joshua Schwartz
Richard S. Hess and Elmer A. Martens, eds.
War in the Bible and Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century
Reviewed by Brad E. Kelle
Alistair G. Hunter
An Introduction to the Psalms
Reviewed by Gert T. M. Prinsloo
Reviewed by John S. Vassar
Barclay M. Newman, ed.
The UBS Greek New Testament: A Reader's Edition
Reviewed by Cynthia Long Westfall
Anita Norich and Yaron Z. Eliav, eds.
Robert B. Wright, ed.
The Psalms of Solomon: A Critical Edition of the Greek Text
Reviewed by Rodney A. Werline
Reviewed by Joel Willitts
Mar 11, 2009
Tim Chester offers the following six words for Christian leaders drawn from Acts 20.
1. Both feed and guard the flock (28-31)
2. Never shrink back (20, 26-27)
3. Trust grace (21, 24, 32)
4. Guard yourselves (28)
5. Sacrifice (24, 33-35)
6. Shed tears (19, 31)
You can read Tim's entire post here.
The Sacred Sandwich has a funny piece on the possible letters to the editor if Galatians had been published in Christianity Today. Check it out here.
HT: Wes Bolton
Mar 10, 2009
Read this interesting and provocative post on Christocentricity and the Hermeneutics of the Reformers. The basic point is that this hermeneutic was Christocentric and ours should be as well.
Keith Mathison Ligonier Ministries has a list and discussion of his top five commentaries on Ezekiel at the Ligonier Ministries blog. Block's two volumes at the top spot is hard to argue with. But I would suggest that Lamar Cooper's commentary in the NAC series is better than either Duguid or Stuart and that although they are more critical in orientation, Allen (WBC) and Zimmerli (Hermeneia) deserve a place in the top five. I would also add Feinberg to th Runners Up category. In any case, the Mathison’s top five are:
1. Daniel I. Block -- The Book of Ezekiel: Chapters 1-24; The Book of Ezekiel: Chapters 25-48 (New International Commentary on the Old Testament, 1997, 1998). 2. Iain M. Duguid -- Ezekiel (NIV Application Commentary, 1999).
3. Douglas Stuart -- Ezekiel (The Preacher's Commentary, 2002).
4. Derek Thomas -- God Strengthens: Ezekiel Simply Explained (Welwyn Commentary Series, 1993).
5. Patrick Fairbairn -- The Visions of Ezekiel (1842).
Mar 9, 2009
Mar 8, 2009
AnimatedHebrew.com has a neat interactive Hebrew Jonah comic. According to the instructions,
Every word of the Hebrew text is included in this Jonah comic in multiple scripts (square, cursive, paleo-Hebrew) and multiple forms (consonantal, pointed, cantillated). You can also listen to my slow, deliberate read of the Hebrew text, and pause or repeat at any time. At the bottom of the screen you'll find ancient and modern translations that you can compare with the Hebrew text (Aramaic, Syriac, Greek, Latin, German, French, and 3 English translations). This comic is a great way to learn or practice your biblical Hebrew. It will help you develop an “ear” for the language and wean your dependence on pointed texts. For an extra challenge, use the 'no text' option to try memorizing the whole book. :)
Check it out here.