Mar 14, 2009

Passing the Plate has a fascinating article on the history of the weekly offering in America. You can read it here.

Hobbins on Habakkuk 2:4

John Hobbins has a nice post on translating/interpreting the Hebrew of Habakkuk 2:4. Read it

Preaching Difficult Passages

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

The Rejection of Cain's Sacrifice

Jin Yang Kim has a good
discussion on the rejection of Cain's sacrifice. Although, I would hold a mixture of the first two views (see his post) that he rejects.

The Ten Commandments and Extra-Biblical Documents

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

Church Giving and a Money-Back Guarantee

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.

Sennacharib's Invasion of Judah

See Craig Broyle's interactive discussion of Sennacharib's invasion of Judah (2 Kgs 18-19).

Sennacherib's Invasion of Judah -- at

A Resource for Text-Driven Preaching

See this
article by Robin Foster on, a free site that that displays New Testament Greektext (and some NT Apocrypha and Apostolic Fathers texts) in semantic structural layout form.

Latest Issue of Review of Biblical Literature

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

Tal Davidovich
The Mystery of the House of Royal Women: Royal Pilagsim as Secondary Wives in the Old Testament
Reviewed by Yael Shemesh

Mary Dove
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

Six Words to Leaders from Acts 20

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.

What if Galatians had been Published in Christianity Today?

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

HT: Wes Bolton

Praying the Psalms

Here is one way to pray through the Psalms.

Mar 10, 2009

Christocentricity and the Hermeneutics of the Reformers

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.

Commentaries on Ezekiel

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

Pritchard on Twenty-One Ways to Prepare for Ministry

Ray Pritchard has written a helpful article on twenty-one ways to prepare for ministry. You can read it

Mounce on 1 Timothy 3:2

Bill Mounce has a helpful discussion on the qualification of elders as it pertians to marriage/divorce/remarriage (1 Tim 3:2). Read it

Mar 8, 2009

Hebrew Jonah Comic 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.