Sep 26, 2009
My article "Canonical and Extracanonical Portraits of Balaam" is now out in the Oct-Dec 2009 edition of Bibliotheca Sacra. Other articles in this issue are:
“The Literary and Theological Significance of the Johannine Prologue” by Stephen S. Kim
“The New Testament Church as a Mystery” by Gary W. Derickson
“The Temple of God in the Book of Revelation” by R. Larry Overstreet
“The Future of National Israel” by H. Wayne House
You can access a free download of House's article here.
Sep 25, 2009
Rodney Decker has posted has recently delivered paper entitled "The Law, the New Covenant, and the Christian: Hebrews 7-10." You can download it here.
Sep 24, 2009
Rene Lopez has posted the Fall edition of his Scripture Unlocked Ministries newsletter. The newsletter has articles on whether prayer is essential for salvation and the identity of the overcomers in Revelation 2-3. You can access the newsletter at the Scripture Unlocked Ministries website here.
There has been a fair amount of discussion in the Bible blogging world about this recent video with Tremper Longman III on whether the Adam of Genesis was a literal and historical human being or a literary construct.
One of the best refutations of Longman that I have read can be found here.
Guy Davies has a helpful discussion on sermon preparation in general and the use of commentaries in particular. In the post, Guy notes nine "dangers of commentaries." I have reproduced an edited form of his comments below.
Commentators sometimes go to great lengths on "easy bits" of the Bible, while passing over more difficult passages where most help is needed.
2) Vain discussion
Some commentaries pay too much attention to scholarly fads. Biblical scholars should write with pastors in mind and pay attention to 1 Timothy 1:4 & 1 Timothy 6:20.
3) Weak exegesis
Even the best commentators may be wrong.
4) Weak in biblical integration Little feel for redemptive-historical issues.
No suggestions as to how OT texts speak to NT believers. Preachers are especially in need this kind of help.
5) Failure to point to Christ A sad failing in some modern evangelical OT commentaries. Symptomatic of the influence of unbelieving scholarship. The Old Testament is about Christ (John 5:46). Evangelical commentators above all should attempt to show how the OT is fulfilled in Jesus (Luke 24:44).
6) Often weak in application
As John Frame says, "meaning = application." A commentary that fails to apply the text has not made the meaning clear. Another area where pastors look for help.
7) Concessions to unbelieving theology
Historicity of OT events questioned. Pauline authorship denied.
Scholarly commentaries can sometimes be a little dull. Preachers must not be. Avoid the danger of "the bland leading the bland."
9) Turn the handle mentality
Commentaries are no substitute for a prayerful and reflective engagement with Holy Scripture.
Read the entire post here.
Sep 23, 2009
Sep 22, 2009
Tim Chester has a nice discussion of themes in Luke. In the post he highlights three themes that he believes highlights the radical nature of Luke's Gospel. The three themes are:
1. Inclusion and reversals
2. The importance of God’s Word
3. The dangers of wealth You can read Tim's explanation here. Readers might also want to check out this older post from my blog.
Sep 21, 2009
William Varner has an interesting post which argues that the context for James 2:1-4 is not a worship service but rather a church court. This view is also advocated by Blomberg and Kamell's recent commentary (pp. 110-11). In any case you can read Dr. Varner's post here.
Sep 20, 2009
“On the basis of this New Testament testimony, we can sketch the contours of what ‘preaching Christ’ means. To clear the deck, it may be well to state first what it is not. Preaching Christ is not, of course, merely mentioning the name of Jesus or Christ in the sermon. It is not identifying Christ with Yahweh in the Old Testament, or the Angel of Yahweh, or the Commander of the Lord’s army, or the Wisdom of God. It is not simply pointing to Christ from a distance or ‘drawing lines to Christ’ by way of typology.
“Positively, preaching Christ is as broad as preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God. One has only to look at a concordance to see how often the New Testament speaks of ‘the gospel of the kingdom,’ ‘the gospel of Christ,’ ‘the gospel of Jesus Christ,’ ‘the gospel of the grace of God,’ and ‘the gospel of peace.’ In these terms two characteristics stand out. Preaching Christ is good news for people, and preaching Christ is as broad as preaching the gospel of the kingdom—as long as this kingdom is related to its King, Jesus.
“More specifically, to preach Christ is to proclaim some facet of the person, work, or teaching of Jesus of Nazareth so that people may believe him, trust him, love him, and obey him. We shall take a closer look at each of these aspects.”
Sidney Greidanus, Preaching Christ from the Old Testament: A Contemporary Hermeneutical Method (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999), 8.