Dec 5, 2009

The Meaning of a Preposition in Leviticus

Maer dos Santos has an interesting post on and the meaning of מ
ן (min) in Leviticus, particularly as it relates to the purification offering (e.g., Lev 14:19). Read it here.

For those Who Must Know . . .

Rod Decker has identified the seven shortest sentences in the Greek New Testament in this

Free Audio of Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov

Though it is not a Christian or ministry book per se, some might be interested that is offering a free audio download of
Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov as a free audio download. Go here and use the coupon code DEC2009.

The Glory of Preaching

I am looking forward to providing a fuller interaction with Darrell Johnson's
The Glory of Preaching soon. But in the meantime I thought I would introduce the book. Here is the publishers introduction of the book.

In these pages you will find a vision of preaching that is both illuminating and inspiring. Drawing from biblical and theological resources as well as years in the pulpit, Darrell Johnson takes us far beyond the mere mechanics of delivering sermons. He dynamically unpacks the link between the human task of speaking to a congregation and the real, gracious action and presence of the living Christ in and through our proclamation.

Johnson assists preachers to profoundly engage the biblical text and then liberates them to make use of their own personality, gifts and abilities as they communicate that message.

This book is for any pastor or student who wants to cultivate a deeper pulpit approach, one that participates in the transforming mystery of God working through our less-than-perfect proclamation. Here is a solid foundation for preaching the good news as if God was living, Jesus was resurrected and the Holy Spirit was faithfully at work among us.

Here is the table of contents:

Prologue: Something Always Happens
Part 1:Theoretical Foundations for Participating
1 Why Does It Happen: A Vision (Ezekiel 37)
2 Does It Really Always Happen?: A Parable (Matthew 13)
3 Where Does It Happen?: A Paradigm for Expository Preaching
4 How Does It Happen?: Verbs of Participation
Part 2: Human Mechanics of Participating
5 Moving from Text to Sermon: Inhabiting the Text
6 Moving into the Sermon: Ordering for Orality
7 Walking the Sermon into Every Life: Implications and Application
8 The Person of the Preacher: Truth Through Personhood
9 The Life of the Preacher: Living In
Part 3: Theoretical Foundations Again
10 Standing In the Mystery: The Space in Which We Preach
Epilogue: A Sermon--The Main Thing: Included! (Matthew 11:25-30)
Author and Subject Index
Scripture Index

You can read portions of the book here.

Much Thanks to Adrianna Wright at IVP for the review copy.

Dec 4, 2009

Preaching That Sticks

See Ed Stetzer's artcle, "Preaching that Sticks"

Dec 3, 2009

Dunn on the New Testament and a Biblical Theology of Israel

James D. G. Dunn suggests that the New Testament authors inherited four distinct elements related to a biblical theology of Israel. These elements are:

A. The election of Israel
B. Separation, zeal and blessing
C. Jewish factionalism

D. Israel's eschatological hope.

Dunn also states that the New Testament authors, influenced by the “impact” of Jesus and the Spirit, contributed the following elements to the inherited biblical theological concerning Israel.

A. The restoration of Israel
B. Jesus, Gentiles, and ‘sinners’
C. ‘Even on the Gentiles’
D. The fulfillment of Israel's mission
E. The body of Christ
F. The supersession or (re)definition of Israel?
G. One covenant or two?

James D. G. Dunn, New Testament Theology: An Introduction, Library of Biblical Theology, ed. James D. G. Dunn (Nashville: Abingdon, 2009), 98.

Dec 2, 2009

The Ezra / Nehemiah Commentary from ZIBBCOT

The Ezra / Nehemiah commentary by Edwin Yamauchi from the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Background Commentary Old Testament has been made available free online

Paul's Ethical Strategy

"In general, Paul's ethical strategy is to urge his audiences to (1) imitate Christ
, following and fulfilling the normative pattern of Christ’s teaching and life; (2) walk in the spirit, not fulfilling the works of the flesh; (3) live as a community in unity. The Christian life, then, has theological, cognitive, experiential, and social dimensions."

Ben Witherington III, The Indelible Image: The Theological and Ethical Thought World of the New Testament, Volume One: The Individual Witnesses (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2009), 244.

Dec 1, 2009

The Mystery of Goliath's Head

See Todd Bolen's interesting
post on Goliath's head.

Seventeen Propositions about God in the Letter of James

God gives to all, generously and ungrudgingly (1:5).

God has promised a crown of life to those who love
God (1:12).
God cannot be tempted by evil, and God tempts no one (1:13).
God is “the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow”
God created us by the word of truth (1:18).

God favors the poor (2:5).
God is one (
God is the “Lord and Father” and has made humans in the likeness of God (3:9).

God answers the prayers of the righteous (4:2–3; 5:16–18).

God yearns jealou
sly for our spiritual devotion (4:5).
God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (4:6, 10).

God draws near to those who draw near to God (4:8).

God is both lawgiver and judge, able to save and destroy (4:12).

God’s will trumps all human plans (4:13–15).

God hears the cries of the exploited and oppressed (5:4).

God is compassionate and merciful to the patient (5:11).

God heals the sick and forgives sins (5:15).

Mark Allan Powell, Introducing the New Testament: A Historical, Literary, and Theological Survey (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2009), 454.

Nov 30, 2009

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:

Stephanie Dalley
Esther's Revenge at Susa: From Sennacherib to Ahasuerus
Reviewed by Aaron Koller

Susan R. Garrett
No Ordinary Angel: Celestial Spirits and Christian Claims about Jesus
Reviewed by Tobias Nicklas

Beverly Roberts Gaventa
Our Mother Saint Paul
Reviewed by Pamela Eisenbaum

James M. Howard
Paul, the Community, and Progressive Sanctification: An Exploration into Community-Based Transformation within Pauline Theology
Reviewed by Ron Clark

Jeremy F. Hultin
The Ethics of Obscene Speech in Early Christianity and Its Environment
Reviewed by Stephan Witetschek

Christine E. Joynes, ed.
Perspectives on the Passion: Encountering the Bible through the Arts
Reviewed by Christopher Rowland

André LaCocque
Onslaught against Innocence: Cain, Abel, and the Yahwist
Reviewed by Mark McEntire

Bernard M. Levinson
Legal Revision and Religious Renewal in Ancient Israel
Reviewed by Karla Suomala

Thomas E. Levy, P. M. Michele Daviau, Randall W. Younker, and May Shaer, eds.
Crossing Jordan: North American Contributions to the Archaeology of Jordan
Reviewed by Aren Maeir

Steve Mason
Josephus, Judea, and Christian Origins: Methods and Categories
Reviewed by Sean Freyne

Tim Newton
The Forgotten Gospels: Life and Teachings of Jesus Supplementary to the New Testament: A New Translation
Reviewed by Thomas Bergholz

Maria-Zoe Petropoulou
Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Greek Religion, Judaism, and Christianity, 100 BC to AD 200
Reviewed by Adele Reinhartz

John F. A. Sawyer
A Concise Dictionary of the Bible and Its Reception
Reviewed by C. L. Seow

Stephen Sizer
Zion's Christian Soldiers? The Bible, Israel and the Church
Reviewed by Faydra Shapiro

Gerhard H. Visscher
Romans 4 and the New Perspective on Paul: Faith Embraces the Promise
Reviewed by Don Garlington

Dawn Ottoni Wilhelm
Preaching the Gospel of Mark: Proclaiming the Power of God
Reviewed by Antipas L. Harris

Mounce on Identifying and Translating Greek Idioms

See Bill Mounce's post on identifying and translating Greek idioms.

Personal Independence: An Oxymoron?

“Most of us, especially the believers among us, won’t deny God’s existence in order to secure our independence, instead, we think that we can have it both ways. We believe that we can stand on our own two feet, independent of God, and still affirm that God is the creator of everything. But that doesn't make sense. We can be both dependent on God and free; dependence on God is the source of our being, and therefore, our freedom. But we can’t be created by God and independent; God sustains creatures in being and in freedom.”

Miroslav Volf, Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005), 35.

Nov 29, 2009

Paul, Theology, and Ethics,

“Theology and ethics are intertwined in Paul’s thought for good reason: salvation involves both, not just one or the other, and Christology provides a pattern for Christian
behavior, and righteousness and holiness define both the character of God and the intended character of his people. To be an image bearer, one must clothe oneself with Christlike behavior and become an image wearer.”

Ben Witherington III, The Indelible Image: The Theological and Ethical Thought World of the New Testament, Volume One: The Individual Witne
sses (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2009), 241–2.