Sep 5, 2009

Canaanite Wall in Jerusalem

Here is a clip from CNN on the massive Canaanite wall discovered recently in Jerusalem.

HT: Claude Mariottini

The Theology of James

Craig Blomberg and Mariam Kamell, James, Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008), 254–61, identify the following as major theological themes in the book, moving from “the most central to the most peripheral,”

Wealth and Poverty
Trials and Temptations
Wisdom and Speech
Faith and Works
Law and Word
Other Themes (e.g., sin, salvation, growth in maturity, mercy, community, grace, repentance)

Blomberg and Kamell go on to take a stab at the unifying theological motif. To this end, they suggest that “when we examine the attribute of God’s simplicity or single-mindlessness and the way in which Christians ought to imitate it, we discover potentially unifying motif or subtheme running throughout the epistle. Because God never wavers in his allegiance and obedience to Christ an emulate God’s trustworthy consistency. In short, they should become people of integrity.”

What do you think?

Sep 4, 2009

The Centrality of Acts 15

“Acts 15 forms the center of the book, structurally and theologically. The First half traces the movement of the gospel from a Jewish to a universal context. Following the Jerusalem Council, the Progress of the gospel concerns primarily geographical boundaries rather than ethnic or relational ones.”

David Peterson, “Luke’s Theological Enterprise,” in Witness to the Gospel: The Theology of Acts, ed. I. Howard Marshall and David Peterson (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998), 527.

ESV Study Bible

Some readers might be interested to know that Christian Book Distributors is offering the ESV Study Bible for $24.99 as part of its Fabulous Friday Specials. There are also other books on sale. You can access the sale

Sep 3, 2009

Audio of Panel Discussion on N. T. Wright

See this link for free audio to
SBTS’s Thursday chapel discussion in which R. Albert Mohler moderates a panel discussion on N. T. Wright’s views on justification with Denny Burk, Tom Schreiner, Mark Seifrid, Brian Vickers.

HT: Denny Burk

Piper on How Paul Worked to Overcome Slavery

See John Piper's post on how Paul worked to overcome slavery here.

The Social Setting of the Book of Proverbs

While there are many aspects that I appreciate about Michael V. Fox’s commentary on Proverbs 1–9, I found myself disagreeing with the following quotation from the introductory section on social setting.

“The social setting of the book of Proverbs is open to dispute, but it is clearly a secular work. It makes no pretense to an origin in divine revelation or inspiration. God is never quoted or addressed. It never had a role in the ritual life of Israel, in neither temple nor synagogue. In fact, it never was, and still is not, a subject of deliberate study in the rabbinic academies. With the exception of a few passages, it treats everyday life, not the grand affairs of state, history, cult, or law. It gives guidance in challenges we all face: how to get along with people, how to be a good decent person, how to make the right choices in personal and business affairs, how to win God’s favor and avoid disaster–all issues of great importance, but still modest and prosaic ones” (Michael V. Fox, Proverbs 1–9: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, Anchor Bible, ed. William F. Albright and David Noel Freedman [New York: Doubleday, 2000], 7).

My disagreement with Fox is at least fourfold. First, I do not think that this conclusion really squares with the numerous occurrences of the “Fear of YHWH” passages in the book (1:7; 2:5; 3:7; 9:10; 10:27; 14:2, 27; 15:16, 33; 16:6; 19:23; 22:4; 23:17; cf. also 1:29; 8:13; 14:26; 24:21; 28:14; 29:25; 31:30). Second, Fox’s statement does not appear to acknowledge the close connection between Proverbs and Torah both in terminology used and content (see Tremper Longman, III, Proverbs, Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms, ed. Tremper Longman III [Grand Rapids: Baker, 2006], 80–1). Third, the association of Proverbs with Solomon would seem to undermine a purely secular document. While Scripture presents Solomon as a mixed character spiritually, the reason that he is a mixed character is that he should have been a king obedient to Torah. Fourthly, I think it unlikely that a book as secular as Fox suggests would have made it into the Hebrew Canon.

Sep 2, 2009

Expositors Conference Audio

Colin Adams has posted links to free audio download of the Edinburgh Expositors' Conference. You can see Colin's post and links

Wisdom Psalms

John Anderson has a nice
discussion on wisdom psalms, namely, is wisdom psalms a legitimate category.

Sep 1, 2009

Reading the Psalms Corporately

See this blog
post on how one church read a psalm a week, for 150 weeks, as part of the corporate worship.

HT: Justin Taylor

Free Audio Download of God's Word Heard translation of the New Testament is offering a free audio download of God's Word Heard translation of the New Testament
. Go here and use the coupon code SEP2009.

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:

Margaret Barker
Temple Themes in Christian Worship
Reviewed by Albert Hogeterp

John Carroll
The Existential Jesus
Reviewed by Stephan Joubert

Hemchand Gossai
Barrenness and Blessing: Abraham, Sarah, and the Journey of Faith
Reviewed by Dorothea Erbele-Kuester

David Hamidovic
Les traditions du jubilé à Qumrân
Reviewed by Jan Dusek

Steven R. Johnson
Seeking the Imperishable Treasure: Wealth, Wisdom, and a Jesus Saying
Reviewed by Ken Olson

Craig R. Koester
The Word of Life: A Theology of John's Gospel
Reviewed by Cornelis Bennema

Matthew J. Marohl
Joseph's Dilemma: "Honor Killing" in the Birth Narrative of Matthew
Reviewed by Caryn Reeder

I. Howard Marshall
A Concise New Testament Theology
Reviewed by Mark R. Fairchild

Ehud Netzer
The Architecture of Herod, the Great Builder
Reviewed by David Chapman

D. C. Parker
An Introduction to the New Testament Manuscripts and Their Texts
Reviewed by Matteo Grosso

Stanley E. Porter and Christopher D. Stanley, eds.
As It Is Written: Studying Paul's Use of Scripture
Reviewed by H. H. Drake Williams III

John Reumann
Philippians: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary
Reviewed by James Dunn

James M. Robinson
Jesus according to the Earliest Witnesses
Reviewed by Petri Luomanen

Reuben J. Swanson
Reflections on Biblical Themes by an Octogenarian
Reviewed by Peter Penner

Joel Willitts
Matthew's Messianic Shepherd-King: In Search of "the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel"
Reviewed by Donald Senior

Constantino Ziccardi
The Relationship of Jesus and the Kingdom of God according to Luke-Acts
Reviewed by Joel B. Green

Aug 31, 2009

Timothy George on Baptist's and the Lord's Supper

See these thoughtful remarks by Timothy George on Baptists and the Lord's Supper.

HT: Justin Taylor

Jezebel Killing the Prophets

See this discussion on the possible socio-political motivations for Jezebel's killing of the prophets of YHWH (1 Kgs 18:4, 13).

The Death of Jesus in Acts

See David Miller's interesting post on the death of Jesus in Acts. Miller concludes that, "the missing references to the significance of Jesus' death in Acts are found in the portrayal of Jesus' followers, who suffer like he did." You can read the entire post

Aug 30, 2009

Wilson on the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15

“The council handed down its decision: Non-Jews entering the Church should not have the Jewish rite of circumcision imposed on them. In its decision the council emphasized the principle of God's free grace in Christ. Gentiles were to know that to stand in the liberty of Christ meant no preconditions or potentially entangling qualifications. So stated, the council ruled out any ‘theological necessity of circumcision for righteousness’ Gentiles should be clear on this point: Salvation was a gift of God; one could not procure or obtain it by mere conformity to any ceremonial ritual.”

”While Gentiles were not subject to the ceremonial law, the council did request that they support Jewish-Gentile fellowship in the Church, that is, that they respect and honor the conscience of their Jewish brothers and sisters. Accordingly, the Jerusalem apostles specified four areas- most of which were associated with pagan or idolatrous practices- Gentiles should avoid: (1) food polluted by idols, (2) eating blood or meat from which the blood had not been drained in a kosher manner, (3) the meat of strangled animals (a guideline similar to the preceding), and (4) fornication- that is, pagan standards concerning sex (see Acts 15:20, 29). Furthermore, in the apostolic declaration it is probably correct to see ‘a form current in the first century.’ The rabbis defined the Noachian commandments as seven commandments binding on the descendants of Noah (Gentiles), that is, on all mankind.”

Marvin R. Wilson, Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989), 48–9.