Apr 17, 2010
Jesse Hillman at Zondervan was kind enough to send a copy of the brand new A Reader's Hebrew and Greek Bible. Here are a four things I like about it.
1. It looks like a Bible. This means that I can take it to church without feeling self-conscious about carry an original language text. I am not embarrassed about knowing the languages, I just think that one needs to be careful about how's actions can be perceived and we certainly want to avoid any suggestion that people cannot trust the English translations that they are using.
2. I like the fact that has both Hebrew and Greek. I am a proud owner of Zondervan's separate volumes of Hebrew and Greek, but now I have them both in one volume.
3. I like the fact that the Bible appears to be well-made and sturdy.
4. I like the good-size Hebrew font, although I do wish the Greek font were a bit larger.
Concerning the actual content, here is the product description:
This combined A Reader's Greek New Testament and A Reader’s Hebrew Bible offers the following features: • Complete text of the Hebrew and Aramaic Bible, using the Westminister Leningrad Codex
• Greek text underlying Today’s New International Version—with footnotes comparing wherever this text is different from the UBS4 text • Footnoted definitions of all Hebrew words occurring 100 times or less—twenty-five or less for Aramaic words—with context-specific glosses • Footnoted definitions of all Greek words occurring thirty times or less • Lexicons of all Hebrew words occurring more than 100 times and Greek words occurring more than thirty times • Eight pages of full-color maps separate the OT and NT sections Ideal for students, pastors, and instructors, A Reader’s Hebrew and Greek Bible saves time and effort in studying the Hebrew Old Testament and Greek New Testament. By eliminating the need to look up definitions, the footnotes allow you to more quickly read the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek text. Featuring fine-grain black European leather binding, A Reader’s Hebrew and Greek Bible is a practical, attractive, and surprisingly affordable resource.
Apr 16, 2010
“Spiritualizing involves turning the physical realities of a biblical text into unwarranted spiritual analogies and applications. When preaching about Jesus calming the storm on Galilee, for example, a preacher might say, ‘This storm represents the storms that we often face on the sea of life.’ Or, when discussing the Israelites' seven-circuit march around the walls of Jericho, he might spiritualize the event by listing seven acts of obedience in response to which God will remove the obstacles that stand in our way. When preaching about God's parting the Red Sea, he might spiritualize the text by saying, ‘The Red Sea represents the difficulties in your life. This text teaches that God will carve a path straight through them.’
When we spiritualize the details of a text, we divorce that text from the original author's meaning and purpose. We snatch the authority from the inspired pen of the biblical writer and invest it in our own imaginations. Though the advice we give and applications we make may provide help to our listeners, we inadvertently put words into God’s mouth that He never spoke. We attach a ‘thus saith the Lord’ to an application that would cause the original writer to scratch his head.”
Daniel Overdorf, Applying the Sermon: How to Balance Biblical Integrity and Cultural Relevance (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2009), 74-5.
Apr 15, 2010
I'm not sure whether I have mentioned this before, but LibriVox provides free audiobooks from works that are in the public domain. There provide several downloading and listening options. You can access the site here. Most of the books are not Christian or theological but it could be a great way for the busy pastor or student to be exposed to some of the great literature of the past.
Apr 14, 2010
Peter Mead makes some helpful observations/suggestions about preaching narrative. I particularly like his first point (reproduced below).
"1. If the message structure reflects the story structure, then some points may be better stated in historical terms. What I mean is that in an attempt to be contemporary, we can end up making three or four life principles out of the developing elements of the story, rather than allowing the story to be told properly. The problem then becomes a moralizing approach to the details of a story, rather than allowing the force of the story to stand behind the main point, which itself might best be the only focus of application. Stories that are told effectively will hold attention, so it is not necessary to generate points of relevance or application throughout the detail of the story. Pay careful attention to the introduction, generating a definite sense of sermon relevance there, then feel free to be in the world of the narrative for a large part of the message, continually building to the relevance that may only become overt in point 3 or 4 (i.e. whenever the main idea is revealed with its abiding theological thrust)."
Read the entire post here.
Bill Mounce has a good discussion on the text-critical issue involving 1 Corinthians 7:5, namely does Paul mention only prayer or prayer and fasting. Read Mounce's post here.
Apr 13, 2010
This is something you don't see every day, but something that I believe we should see more of. An Arminian's list of favorite Calvinist books and authors. The list is not extensive but I appreciate those who are willing to read outside of their theological tradition or position.
Apr 12, 2010
Apr 11, 2010
"In reading Luke and particularly in following the events of Acts, one becomes increasingly aware of the pervasive theme of the divine purpose. This author, more than any other in the New Testament, is consumed by this concept, which he introduces in a variety of ways: by employing terms expressing necessity, through some type of supernatural intervention (voice from heaven, activity of the Spirit, angels, demons, appearances of the risen Christ, dreams or visions, etc.), by using various temporal expressions, or by appealing to the Old Testament and its interpretation."
Earl Richard, "The Divine Purpose: The Jews and the Gentile Mission (Acts 15)," in Luke-Acts: New Perspectives from the Society of Biblical Literature Seminar, ed Charles H. Talbert (New York: Crossroad, 1984), 192.