Oct 31, 2009
I will be reviewing volume 5 of the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary Old Testament (ZIBBCOT) in the near future (thanks to Jesse Hillman at Zondervan for the free review copy). But for now here is a brief overview of the entire series.
General Overview from Zondervan:
This series brings to life the world of the Old Testament through informative entries and full-color photos and graphics. Here readers find the premier commentary set for connecting with the historical and cultural context of the Old Testament.
• Over 2000 photographs, drawings, maps, diagrams and charts provide a visual feast that breathes fresh life into the text.
• Passage-by-passage commentary presents archaeological findings, historical explanations, geographic insights, notes on manners and customs, and more.
• Analysis into the literature of the ancient Near East will open your eyes to new depths of understanding both familiar and unfamiliar passages.
Contributors (in alphabetical order):
David W. Baker (Isaiah)
Daniel I. Block (Judges)
Daniel Bodi (Ezekiel)
Eugene E. Carpenter (Deuteronomy)
Mark W. Chavalas (Joel/Zephaniah)
R. Dennis Cole (Numbers)
Izak Cornelius (Job)
Paul Ferris Jr. (Lamentations)
Roy E. Gane (Leviticus)
Duane Garrett (Ecclesiastes/Song of Songs)
Richard S. Hess (Joshua)
John Hilber (Psalms)
Andrew E. Hill (Malachi)
Kenneth Hoglund (Haggai/Zechariah)
Philip S. Johnston (Amos)
V. Philips Long (1 & 2 Samuel)
Tremper Longman III (Psalms)
Ernest C. Lucas (Daniel)
Frederick J. Mabie (2 Chronicles)
Dale W. Manor (Ruth)
Daniel M. Master (Micah)
Victor H. Matthews (Habakkuk)
Alan R. Millard (Obadiah/Nahum)
John M. Monson (1 Kings)
Iain Provan (2 Kings)
Simon Sherwin (1 Chronicles)
J. Glen Taylor (Hosea)
Anthony Tomasino (Esther)
Steven M. Voth (Jeremiah)
John H. Walton (General Editor and Genesis/Jonah/Zechariah)
Bruce Wells (Exodus)
Edwin M. Yamauchi (Ezra/Nehemiah)
"A holy life isn’t the automatic consequence of reading the right books, listening to the right tapes, or attending the right meetings. It’s the result of a living, loving union with Jesus Christ and a life marked by godly discipline. It means setting the alarm clock so we can begin the day with God and pray and meditate on the Word. It means following Paul’s example of consecration and concentration and saying with him, ‘One thing I do’ (Phil. 3:12–14)."
Warren W. Wiersbe, On Being a Servant of God (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1993), 44.
Oct 30, 2009
Richard Longenecker states the following in connection with the relationship between Acts 15 and Galatians 2.
Richard N. Longenecker, “Acts,” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, vol. 10, rev. ed., ed. Tremper Longman III and David E. Garland (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007), 939–40.
Longenecker goes with option 2. I concur.
Oct 29, 2009
I am currently reading Thomas E. Phillips' 2009 book Paul, His Letters, and Acts. I have included the publishers product description below.
"Aside from Jesus, the Apostle Paul had the greatest formative influence on the early Christian movement. Yet who was this passionate missionary who carried the message of Christ throughout the Mediterranean world? The New Testament writings give us not one but two portraits of Paul. We read numerous details of Paul’s life and relationships in the Book of Acts, and we also find an additional set of details about Paul’s activities in his letters. Yet how consistent are these two portraits? And which one gives us the most accurate picture of the historical Paul? In this volume Thomas E. Phillips examines the portrayals of Paul in recent biblical scholarship in the light of these two major NT portraits. Believing the apostolic conference at Jerusalem to be a watershed event, Phillips draws conclusions that help contemporary readers get a more accurate picture of Paul."
To view the table of contents, introduction, and a a sample chapter see the link above.
Oct 28, 2009
See this post for Scot McKnight's recommendations concerning commentaries on Revelation. McKnight lists:
David DeSilva, Seeing Things John's Way: The Rhetoric of the Book of Revelation .
Thomas Phillips in his recent book Paul, His Letters, and Acts, suggests three interrelated “tendencies” concerning the major characters involved in the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15).
1. “Leadership functions and theological authority tend to be more concentrated and less diversifies in Acts than in Paul’s letters.”
2. “Paul tends to portray his gospel, particularly his message of a law-free inclusion of Gentiles into the church, as more independent than does Acts.”
3. “Relations between Paul and other recognized authorities of early Christianity tend to be more contentious and uneven in Paul’s letters than in Acts.”
Thomas E. Phillips, Paul, His Letters, and Acts, Library of Pauline Studies, ed. Stanley E. Porter (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2009), 146-7.
Oct 27, 2009
I am currently finishing a review of Samuel Meier's Themes and Transformations in Old Testament Prophecy. Because this review is for a journal I cannot share it here. But here is the publisher's note about the book and the table of contents.
We meet the prophets of
In this book, Sam Meier explores some recurring themes and features--such as angels, writing, miracles, the future and kingmaking–all with an eye on their transformation over time. And the defining event in this transformation turns out to be the great convulsive event of the story of
2. The Prophet and the Divine Council
3. Is the Future Determined?
4. What Do You See?
5. The Manner of Revelation
7.Thus Said Yahweh
8. Poetry, Prose, and the Prophets
9. Writing the Prophets
10. Dating the Prophets
12. Prophets as King-Makers
13. The Chariots of Men and of God
14. Continuities in History
15. Reliable Prophets in the Context of Change
Bibliography of Cited Words
Biblical and Ancient Text Index
Oct 26, 2009
Bill Mounce provides a helpful explanation of what happens when you have conflicting translation procedures as illustrated in the ESV's translation of Romans 2:27,29. Read it here.
Oct 25, 2009
“The book of Ecclesiastes has a sullied reputation due in no small part to popular perceptions of its keyword, hebel, traditionally translated as “vanity.” No other work in the Bible is as readily identified, indeed, caricatured by perceptions of a single term. The word is not the most common in the book by any means, although its 39 occurrences-over half the total of 73 in the entire Hebrew Bible-is certainly considerable. It is the keyword in Ecclesiastes inasmuch as it appears in strategic places, frequently marking the beginning or the end of discrete units and sub-units” (p. 1).
"Throughout Ecclesiastes, then, one finds a picture of a world that is in every sense imprehensible-not apprehensible and/or not comprehensible. Nothing that human beings accomplish or possess or tries to grapple with is ultimately within mortal grasp. The only response for humanity - and it is a God-given response-is to enjoy life under the sun, whenever it is possible to do so” (p. 15).