May 9, 2009

Craig Keener on the Bible

The Koinonia blog has posted a brief interview with Craig Keener on his literary influences, first and foremost of which is the Bible. Keener is best known for his exhaustive, and sometimes exhausting, work with background material (see his commentary on John). Yet, in the interview he notes that at times he has read as much as forty chapters a day out the New Testament!

May 8, 2009

Preaching Versus Lecturing: A False Dichotomy?

There has been a recent discussion in the blogging world about the difference between lecturing and preaching (see here). My problem with the discussion is that this perceived dichotomy assumes too much and draws lines where I am not sure they ought to be. Preaching is presented as being driven by conviction and passionate in delivery. On the other hand, lecturing is presented as being driven by formality and lifeless in delivery. While such distinctions can sometime be true, these distinctions are not necessarily true. Both preaching and lecturing are acts of communication and both can by heartfelt and life-changing. Rather than drawing distinctions, maybe we ought to embrace the differences and the fact that preachers and preaching styles are varied. People tend to prefer some preachers and preaching styles and I think that is okay. I suspect that is why God calls and uses all kinds. I also have my preferences, but I am learning to realize that God has called only one Chuck Swindoll, Mark Dever, or John MacArthur, and I am not any of these men and neither are you. Be who you are and preach the Word!

May 7, 2009

How to Read Theology Books

Michael Jensen has som helpful advice on how to read theology books

How to Choose a Sermon Series

Colin Adams has posted some helpful advice on how to choose a sermon series. He lists the following four major factors involved in the decision.

1. The profile of a particular church (know your church)
2. The challenges/message to THE Church (which can/should be preached in every church)
3. The diet for a congregation
4. Who is involved in the decision about what to preach on?

For further explanation read the entire post here.

McKnight and Commentaries on Romans

See this
post for Scot Mcknight's recommendations concerning commentaries on Romans. He lists:

James D. G. Dunn:Romans (WBC).
Douglas Moo: The Epistle to the Romans (NICNT).
Robert Jewett: Romans (Hermenia) .
J. A. Fitzmyer: Romans (Anchor).
N. T. Wright: The New Interpreter's Bible: Romans.

May 6, 2009

Biblical Genealogies: Genealogies in the Ancient Near East

This post concludes a series on biblical genealogies (see here, here, here, here). Today, I will discuss the genealogies in the ancient Near East.

Much work has been done in attempting to correlate genealogical records from the ancient Near East with biblical genealogies.[1] Formal comparisons have included Sumerian and Akkadian king lists, genealogies in Mesopotamian royal inscriptions, the genealogy of Hammurapi,[2] and others.[3] Malamat’s seminal article has motivated a number of scholars to pursue the parallels of scriptural genealogies with ancient Near Eastern texts.[4] However, other scholars such as Hartman, Hasel and Hess, have been quick to point to dissimilarities between ancient Near Eastern texts and Scriptural genealogies.[5] The situation is further complicated by the fact that biblical genealogies, especially in the Pentateuch are rather unique.[6] As Wright notes, “Extensive genealogies were not a prominent feature of the ancient Near Eastern literary culture . . . Unlike the Pentateuch, ancient Near Eastern genealogies generally appear within broader literary contexts as brief insertions rather than as an integral part of a larger narrative.”[7] That being said, the study of ancient Near Eastern evidence is helpful but perhaps not determinative in interpretive issues. At the very least the existence of extra-biblical genealogies (some very early) indicate that biblical genealogies need not be considered a late phenomena.
[1] For a survey (albeit somewhat dated) of what has been done see Robert R. Wilson, “The Old Testament Genealogies in Recent Research,” Journal of Biblical Literature 94 (1975): 169–89.
[2] See especially J. J. Finkelstein, “The Genealogy of the Hammurapi Dynasty,” Journal of Cuneiform Studies 20 (1966): 95–118.
[3] For a more comprehensive list and discussion see Johnson, The Purpose of Biblical Genealogies, 57-72, 114-32.
[4] Abraham Malamat, “King Lists of the Old Babylonian period and Biblical Genealogies,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 88 (1968): 163-73. For an even more comprehensive treatment see Wilson, Genealogy and History in the Biblical World, 56-136.
[5] See Thomas C. Hartman, “Some Thoughts on the Sumerian King List and Genesis 5 and 11B,” Journal of Biblical Literature 91 (1972): 25–32, Gerhard F. Hasel, “The Genealogies of Gen 5 and 11 and Their Alleged Babylonian Background,” Andrews University Seminary Studies 16 (1978): 361–74, and Richard S. Hess, “The Genealogies of Genesis 1–11 and Comparative Literature,” Biblica 70 (1989): 241–54.
[6] For example, ancient Near Eastern literature contains very few segmented genealogies. Wilson, Genealogy and History in the Biblical World, 134.
[7] Wright, “Genealogies,” 346–47.

May 5, 2009

The Emerging Church is Dead?

Michael Patton has written an interesting post suggesting that the emerging church movement is dead. Might be a bit premature but check it out here. Read through the comment thread as well.

May 4, 2009

Bible Exposition Workshop on Zechariah

Colin Adams has posted links to a Bible Exposition workshop which focused on the book of Zechariah. To access the messages go

Mounce on 1 Timothy 2:15

Bill Mounce has
posted on the 1 Timothy 2:15 which states that women will be saved through childbirth. Mounce's treatment is pretty basic though. I would suggest that a much better treatment of this difficult passage by Terri Moore can be found here.

May 3, 2009

Hermeneutical Treatment of "Israel"

In his book, We have heard that God is with You: Preaching the Old Testament (p. 98), Rein Bos notes the following:

“All hermeneutical models teat Israel in one way or another as a symbol or cipher without a theological identity of its own. I discovered the following patterns describing and interpreting the relation between Israel and the church.

-The church has taken over the role of Israel (model of substitution);
-Israel became part of the church as the new people of God (model of integration);
-Israel in Old Testament times was the preliminary phase before the era of the church (model of development);
-Israel is the shadow of the reality of the church (typological model);
-Israel is the negative example as warning for the church (warning model);
-Israel is God’s experimental garden (failure model);
-Israel is an illustration of the generally human (illustration model)."