Oct 17, 2009

How Long Should a Sermon Be?

Peter Mead has five helpful thoughts on the right length of a sermon. Read it

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:

Rein Bos
We Have Heard That God Is with You: Preaching the Old Testament
Reviewed by Jordan M. Scheetz

Brevard Childs
The Church's Guide for Reading Paul: The Canonical Shaping of the Pauline Corpus
Reviewed by Paul E. Trainor

Billie Jean Collins
The Hittites and Their World
Reviewed by Dirk Paul Mielke

Desta Heliso
Pistis and the Righteous One: A Study of Romans 1:17 against the Background of Scripture and Second Temple Jewish Literature
Reviewed by Lars Kierspel

Jörg Lanckau
Der Herr der Träume: Eine Studie zur Funktion des Traumes in der Josefsgeschichte der Hebräischen Bibel
Reviewed by Bart J. Koet

Nicola Laneri, ed.
Performing Death: Social Analyses of Funerary Traditions in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean
Reviewed by Aren Maeir

Pekka Lindqvist
Sin at Sinai: Early Judaism Encounters Exodus 32
Reviewed by James N. Rhodes

Martin Mosse
The Three Gospels: New Testament History Introduced by the Synoptic Problem
Reviewed by Pheme Perkins

Charles Puskas
The Conclusion of Luke-Acts: The Significance of Acts 28:16-31
Reviewed by Deborah Thompson Prince

Huub van de Sandt and Jürgen Zangenberg, eds.
Matthew, James, and Didache: Three Related Documents in Their Jewish and Christian Settings
Reviewed by William Varner

Werner Schmidt
Das Buch Jeremia: Kapitel 1-20
Reviewed by Wilhelm J. Wessels

Herman J. Selderhuis
Calvin's Theology of the Psalms
Reviewed by Randall McKinion

Andrew Sloane
At Home in a Strange Land: Using the Old Testament in Christian Ethics
Reviewed by Andrew Davies

Robert Stein
Reviewed by Joel F. Williams

Alan Thompson
One Lord, One People: The Unity of the Church in Acts in Its Literary Setting
Reviewed by Bobby Kelly

Saul: A Tale of Two Saul Posts

There have been two interesting posts recently on King Saul. See Tyler Williams here and Claude Mariottini here.

Kevin Vanhoozer: Ten Theses on Theological Interpretation

Michael Bird has posted "Ten Theses on Theological Interpretation" articulated by Kevin Vanhoozer: in a recent paper. The ten theses are:

1. The nature and function of the Bible are insufficiently grasped unless and until we see the Bible as an element in the economy of triune discourse.

2. An appreciation of the theological nature of the Bible entails a rejection of a methodological atheism that treats the texts as having a “natural history” only.

3. The message of the Bible is “finally” about the loving power of God for salvation (Rom. 1:16), the definitive or final gospel Word of God that comes to brightest light in the word’s final form.

4. Because God acts in space-time (of Israel, Jesus Christ, and the church), theological interpretation requires thick descriptions that plumb the height and depth of history, not only its length.

5. Theological interpreters view the historical events recounted in Scripture as ingredients in a unified story ordered by an economy of triune providence.

6. The Old Testament testifies to the same drama of redemption as the New, hence the church rightly reads both Testaments together, two parts of a single authoritative script.

7. The Spirit who speaks with magisterial authority in the Scripture speaks with ministerial authority in church tradition.

8. In an era marked by the conflict of interpretations, there is good reason provisionally to acknowledge the superiority of catholic interpretation.

9. The end of biblical interpretation is not simply communication - the sharing of information - but communion, a sharing in the light, life, and love of God.

10. The church is that community where good habits of theological interpretation are best formed and where the fruit of these habits are best exhibited.

Make sure to read the rest of the post here.

Oct 16, 2009

The Binding of Satan in Revelation 20

See this
post on he binding of Satan in Revelation 20.

Introduction to the Parables

J. Brian Tucker has a nice video introduction to the parables which you can access

The Message of Proverbs

Trying to identify a single message for Proverbs can be a challenge. First, Proverbs is not a book but a collection of books written or collected by different people. Second, the rich variety of subject matter also complicates the task of identifying a single message. Thus, the material has forced us to look at a broader message than you might have in other books. That being said, we suggest that the message of the book is, “A wise life is the desirable expression of the fear of YHWH.”

Oct 15, 2009

Shillington on Acts 15 and the Jerusalem Council

"The book of Acts falls essentially into two principal parts: (1) narrated activities of the Apostles up to the crucial Jerusalem conference of chapter 15; and (2) narrated activities of Paul and companions from chapter 15 to Paul’s preaching under house arrest in Rome. Chapter 15 marks the turning point in the development of the story of the church. Historically, the decision coming out of the Jerusalem conference (c.49 CE) was pivotal for the success – or failure – of the mission to bring non-Jewish people to faith in Jesus Christ."

V. George Shillington, The New Testament in Context: A Literary and Theological Textbook (London: T & T Clark, 2008), 133.

The Angel of the Lord in the Old Testament

David Melvin has an interesting post on the angel of the Lord (מלאכים) in the Old Testament. There is a nice table listing every instance to the divine מלאכים in the Old Testament. You can access the post here.

Oct 14, 2009

McKnight Recommended Commentaries on 1-2 Peter and Jude

See this post for Scot McKnight's recommendations concerning commentaries on 1-2 Peter and Jude. McKnight lists:

John H. Elliott: 1 Peter (Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) .

Paul J. Achtemeier: 1 Peter: A Commentary on First Peter (Hermeneia).

J. Ramsey Michaels: 1 Peter (Word).

Karen Jobes: 1 Peter (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament)

Joel B. Green: 1 Peter (Two Horizons New Testament Commentary) .

R Bauckham: 2 Peter, Jude (Word).

J. N. D. Kelly: Epistles of Peter and Jude (NT in Context Commentaries).

Jerome Neyrey: 2 Peter, Jude (Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries).

Gene Green: Jude and 2 Peter (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament).

Clarity in Preaching: Ten Commandments

Peter Mead has an excellent post on "Ten Commandments for Clarity" in preaching. His ten points are:

1. Clarity comes from preaching the one big idea of the text, not several ideas.
2. Clarity comes from well-structured thought.
3. Clarity comes from expulsion of unnecessary content.
4. Clarity comes from choosing words that communicate.
5. Clarity comes from repeating and raining down words to unify the message.
6. Clarity comes from restatement of important sentences.
7. Clarity comes from carefully planned and executed transitions.
8. Clarity comes from effective use of variation in delivery.
9. Clarity comes from effective use of physical movement.
10. Clarity comes from effective engagement with the listener (energy, enthusiasm, etc.)

For further elaboration of the points see the post here.

Hansen's Philippians Commentary

Nijay Gupta has pointed out that that G. Walter Hansen's new 2009 commentary in the Pillar New Testament Commentary series can be viewed at Google Books here.

Oct 13, 2009

Prayer: Jesus and the Roman World

Josh Mann has a nice post contrsating Jesus' statement concerning prayer in Matthew 6:7 and some practices of prayer from the Roman world. Read it

Holy Land Pictures: Southern Palestine

I previously noted that Todd Bolen at Bibleplaces.com and Lifeintheho
lyland.com had produced a new set of pictures of the Holy Land: “The American Colony and the Eric Matson Collection." The entire collection was five years in the making and contains 4,300 images from 1898 to the 1940’s in jpg and PowerPoint format, spanning eight CD volumes. This is a great resource for Bible teachers or simply anyone interested in the history of the Holy Land.

Individual CD’s will be released at the rate of one volume a month. Or you can purchase the entire collection now at the discounted price of $99 here. This month’s release is the Southern Palestine which is on sale for $20 (regularly $25) here.

Varner on Romans 7

William Varner has a helpful enumerated discussion of the two basic views of Paul's condition in Romans 7:14-25. Read it

Oct 12, 2009

Witherington on the Indelible Image

See this
interview of Ben Witherington III on his recent work in New Testament ethics which is being published in two volumes called The Indelible Image (v
ol. 1 is out already, vol. 2 appears to be forthcoming). One thing in the interview that I particularly appreciate is Witherington's desire to shed light on the ethical contributions of "the lesser-know and lesser-appreciated witnesses in the New Testament," in particular James, 1-2 Peter, and Jude. I am excited with Witherington's statement since I have spent a fair amount of time studying and teaching these books. By the way, I am in the process of reviewing the first volume.

James 5:1-6

Chris Spinks has a couple of interesting posts on James 5:1-6. Although these posts are not exactly recent, they are new to me. In any case, he discusses preliminary concerns
here and structural observations here.

The Population of the Roman Empire in the First Century

Although, this is not strictly a biblical issue, the size of the population of the Roman Empire does provide some background for understanding the New Testament. A recent study based on coin counts posted at Yahoo.com concludes that "the entire population of the Roman Empire - and not just its male population - was somewhere around 4 million to 5 million people by the end of the first century B.C. " You can read the post

HT: Jim West

Hebrew Vocabulary Resources Again

Karyn Traphagen has a another informative post identifying even more Hebrew vocabulary resources. See it here. You can see an earlier post

Powell's New Testament Introduction

I’ve not seen Mark Allan Powell’s new Introducing the New Testament: A Historical, Literary, and Theological Survey published by Baker, but there are a lot of resources available at the book’s website. Check it out here.

Oct 11, 2009

God's Will

Mark Earngey has a good discussion on the will of God. You can access it


There is an interesting article in the Dallas Morning News on metaphors. While the article is not specifically related to biblical studies, there is food for thought here which may relate to both hermeneutics and homiletics. You can access the article here.

Hebrew Vocabulary Resources

Karyn Traphagen has a nice
post on Hebrew vocabulary resources. Things have come a long way to the simple paper flashcards that I first purchased.