Mar 28, 2009

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:

Stephen P. Ahearne-Kroll
The Psalms of Lament in Mark's Passion: Jesus' Davidic Suffering
Reviewed by Steve Moyise
Reviewed by Adam Winn

Adele Berlin
The Dynamics of Biblical Parallelism
Reviewed by Allan Rosengren

Gabriele Boccaccini and John J. Collins, eds.
The Early Enoch Literature
Reviewed by William Loader

Michael Dübbers
Christologie und Existenz im Kolosserbrief: Exegetische und semantische Untersuchungen zur Intention des Kolosserbriefs
Reviewed by Christoph Stenschke

Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Andrea Weiss, eds.
The Torah: A Women's Commentary
Reviewed by Yael Shemesh

Yosef Garfinkel and Susan Cohen, eds.
The Middle Bronze Age IIA Cemetary at Gesher: Final Report
Reviewed by Ralph K. Hawkins

Pauline Nigh Hogan
"No Longer Male and Female": Interpreting Galatians 3.28 in Early Christianity
Reviewed by Susan G. Eastman

Jill Middlemas
The Templeless Age: An Introduction to the History, Literature, and Theology of the Exile
Reviewed by Flemming A. J. Nielsen

Uwe-Karsten Plisch
The Gospel of Thomas: Original Text with Commentary
Reviewed by Tobias Nicklas

Jean-Louis Ska
Introduction to Reading the Pentateuch
Reviewed by Reinhard Achenbach

Bruce Wells
The Law of Testimony in the Pentateuchal Codes
Reviewed by Jeffrey Stackert

Mar 27, 2009

Preaching for Eternity

Jonathan Leeman has an interesting post about preaching for eternity, with a particular emphasis on using church history. Read the post

McKnight on Commentaries on Mark

ee this post for Scot Mcknight's recommendations concerning commentaries on Mark.

Theology of Encouragement in Hebrews

See this
post by Alan Knox on a biblical theology of encouragement in Hebrews.

HT: Brian Small

Mar 26, 2009

Finding and Using Online Reading Materials

The Tyndale Tech blog has a helpful post on finding and using online reading materials.

Mar 25, 2009

The Ending of Romans

One of the most difficult literary issues related to the Epistle to the Romans is the unity of the epistle, in particular the end of the epistle (i.e. chapters 15–16). Some have concluded that the content of chapter 16 is not original to this epistle. Namely, the number of personal greetings in the chapter appear to be out of place given the fact that at the time Romans was written Paul had never visited Rome and thus would not likely know so many people in the church there. Another issue is that some manuscript evidence suggests that there was more than one recension of the epistle. The problem is that different manuscripts place the doxology at the end of chapter 16, at the end of chapter 14, at the end of chapter 15, at the end of both chapters 14 and 15, and some do not include it at all. So, some have suggested that a shorter form that lacked the two final chapters (except for the doxology in 16:25–27) was in circulation at least by the second and third centuries. See this post
for. F. C. Baur's reasons for rejecting the ending and see this post for accepting the ending. For what its worth, I hold that Romans 15-16 are authentic and were originally part of the epistle for many of the same reasons in the second post noted above.

Mar 24, 2009


See this article on an atheist who is calling for "debaptisms," complete with its own certificate. This is apparently directed against the practice of infant baptism.

Don't Waste Your Pulpit

See Kar Yong's post and a John Piper video

Books on Baptism

James Grant has a nice survey and discussion on different books related to water baptism. You can read the post

Mounce on the "ei me" in John 3:13

See Bill Mounce's discussion of the translation of
ei me in John 3:13 here.

Mar 23, 2009

Some Biblical Studies Bibliographies Around the Web

Mark Hoffman has a nice set of links to biblical studies bibliographies currently available around the web. Check it out here.

Mar 22, 2009

A Bibliography on the Trinity

Nick Norelli has a pretty comprehensive bibliography on the Trinity and Trinitarian concerns. You can access this thirty-six page document here.

Tricks for Memorizing Scripture

Demian Franworth offers eighteen tricks to help in the memorization of Scripture.

1. Read it repeatedly. Did you know you can memorize Scripture during your morning devotion? Instead of zipping through your reading for the day, pause and camp on one verse for a long time. You won’t regret it.

2. Pay attention. Sounds obvious, but often ignored. Simply forcing yourself to be aware of what you are reading can help you internalize the words. Repetition will make the mind wander. What you have to do is bring it back.

3. Visualize what you are reading. Take Psalm 1:1 for example. “Blessed is the man who does not walk with the wicked nor stand in the way of the sinner nor sit in the seat of the mocker.” Your first tasks is to see the three actions here: walking, standing and sitting. If you can see the three main actions, then you can start to memorize the surrounding words.

4. Create anchor words. In the above example, your anchor words are “walking,” “standing” and “seating.” In Colossians 1:15, my anchor words are image, invisible and firstborn. Whenever I get lost while reciting a passage I look for my anchor words to orient myself.

5. Recognize patterns. In Psalm 1:1, after the first line, the next three sentences follow this pattern: a verb, a noun and a modifier. Think of each of these as a bucket you drop the appropriate word into.

6. Start with the easy. Now, some passages are easier to remember than others. Psalm 1, easy. A page from Romans, hard. On your first effort at memorizing large chunks of Scriptures, don’t tackle Romans. Build some confidence first by memorizing Psalm 1 or the Sermon on the Mount.

7. Stagger. Sorry, not like you were drunk. What I mean is memorize an easy passage then a hard passage then an easy. Give your brain a break. This way you’ll avoid burnout.

8. Build memorable associations. If you want to remember difficult section of scripture like Romans 1:18-20, it helps to imagine God hovering like a brooding mountain over the world to represent all three verses. This is a robust picture hard to forget.

9. Anchor memorable associations in chapters. These rich word pictures can also help you when you’re trying to memorize entire chapters of the Bible. They orient you on a larger scale.

10. Cheat a little. Once you’ve absorbed a hunk of Scripture, don’t be afraid to keep a sheet of paper nearby with keywords or section headings to help you out when you need a reminder.

11. Narrate. Sometimes it helps to describe in your own words what you are trying to memorize. This will also help you build memorable associations, spot keywords and develop anchor words.

12. Stick to a ritual. I find it easier to memorize Scripture in my car–I have a long commute–and before I sleep. Especially early on in the process of memorizing, I can’t remember my passage as easily anywhere else except these places. So, until I gain more confidence, I stick to this ritual.

13. Sing it. Try opera. Or a musical. The point is to be dramatic. As if you were in a play. [This is my favorite trick, by the way.]

14. Try mnemonic devices. Many of us learned ROY G BIV to remember the colors of the rainbow. Make up your own device to memorize anchor words or more. In Psalm 1:1, your device would be WSS, or walk, stand and sit.

15. Enlist your body. If mnemonic devices aren’t your cup of tea, use body parts. Classic example of this is Ephesians 6:10-18, the armor of God. Waist, chest, feet, forearm and head complete the armor and can help you navigate through this lengthy passage.

16. Repeat the alphabet. Say you just can’t remember that big word in 1 John 2:2. Run through your ABCs. When you get to P, it should trigger the word escaping you: propitiation.

17. Type it. One way to memorize something like John 1:1-3 is to type it into your computer. Not once. Not twice. But ten times. Maybe more. Your call.

18. Hear it. After you’ve typed it, next, read it aloud and record it. Then listen to the recording several times.

Read the entire post here.

HT: Abraham Piper