Jul 10, 2010

Interesting Approach to Writing a Commentary

Ruth Anne Reese, in her commentary on 2 Peter and Jude writes:

“Many commentaries are available on both of these books, each with its own emphasis. This commentary is unique because it seeks to bring together exegesis and theology in a partnership that illuminates the epistles under consideration and the process of interpretation itself. Human beings are creatures of intellect, emotion, and experience; the process of studying Scripture should speak to all three. The studies we undertake together in this volume can draw on the following metaphor: exegesis, theology, and communities of faith are joining hands in a dancing circle around the Trinity. These children dance, and their hands break apart to welcome others into the circle. The volume is an invitation to join in the dance by participating in the study of these two epistles. Theology and exegesis are sometimes understood as intellectual tasks that belong to the enclave of the seminaries, colleges, and universities, but if we understand the writers of the New Testament to be engaged in the writing of theology, then the theology demonstrated in the biblical text is one that is worked out in the context of the everyday, workday world. It is lived out and worked out around meals and journeys and conversations and disagreements and betrayal and division and reconciliation. The separation of theology from the lives of faith communities and from interaction with rigorous and systematic study of Scripture has left all three dancers spinning off in solo dances competing for the spotlight. The separation of exegesis from theology and far too frequently from the needs of confessional communities has led the individual dancers to a false sense of importance, to a sense of relevance apart from the other dancers. All three are needed to form a truly exceptional company of dancers. It is time for the soloists to return to the company and dance together a dance they could never undertake alone. The very action of coming together in the dance is part of the interpretive work done in people's lives, whether students of scholars or plumbers or homemakers or field-hands or pastors or child-care-givers, and the living out of one's understanding of the Bible and its theology is a living out of the life which God gives us and to which we are called.”

Ruth Anne Reese, 2 Peter and Jude, Two Horizons New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007), 1–2.

Jul 9, 2010

Free E-Books

Borders is offering over a million free public domain e-books. You can check it out here.

Resources for Studying Wisdom and Prophecy

See Nijay Gupta's recommendations for studying the Wisdom and Prophetic books

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:

Frederick William Danker
The Concise Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament
Reviewed by Paul Elbert

Andreas Dettwiler and Daniel Marguerat, eds.
La source des paroles de Jésus (Q): Aux origines du christianisme
Reviewed by Daniel A. Smith

James R. Edwards
The Hebrew Gospel and the Development of the Synoptic Tradition
Reviewed by Timothy A. Friedrichsen

Patrick J. Hartin
Apollos: Paul's Partner or Rival?
Reviewed by Raymond F. Collins

Susannah Heschel
The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany
Reviewed by Bernard M. Levinson and Tina Sherman

Edmée Kingsmill
The Song of Songs and the Eros of God: A Study in Biblical Intertextuality
Reviewed by Ellen F. Davis

Elizabeth Struthers Malbon
Mark's Jesus: Characterization as Narrative Christology
Reviewed by M. Eugene Boring

Samuel M. Ngewa
1 and 2 Timothy and Titus
Reviewed by Teresa Okure

Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr and Robert W. Wall, eds.
The Catholic Epistles and Apostolic Tradition
Reviewed by John H. Elliott

Kirsten Nielsen, ed.
Receptions and Transformations of the Bible
Reviewed by Michael Labahn

Jul 8, 2010

Paul's View of God

"God’s ways for Paul are ‘unsearchable’ and ‘inexhaustible’ (Rom. 11.33). He
agreed with the Old Testament legacy that God is holy and ‘other’ or transcendent (cf. Isa. 6.2–5). Through Christ God, however, is also approachable, or in the words of Eberhard Jungel today, also ‘thinkable’ or ‘conceivable.’ Through Christ God becomes a daily reality in Paul’s life. God the Father is ultimately the Creator of the universe, but he created everything that exists through Christ (Col. 1.15–17; 1 Cor. 8.4–6; cf. Rom. 11.33–36). Paul knows God daily especially through prayer."

Anthony C. Thiselton, The Living Paul: An Introduction to the Apostles Life and Thought (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2009), 49.

Jul 7, 2010

Not Always as It Seams

See Michael Barber's post on literary seams vs. literary artistry. I tend to agree with Barber.

Jul 6, 2010

Larry Hurtado has a Blog

Larry Hurtado now has a blog. Check it out

HT: Stephen Carlson

Dearman on Reading Jeremiah as a Christian

"Reading Jeremiah as instruction for Christian faith means reading the book as the revelation of the God and Father of Jesus Christ, as an anticipation of the gospel revealed in and through Christ the Redeemer, and in dependence on the Holy Spirit, who convicts one of sinfulness and assures one of forgiveness in Christ. Stated differently, a Christian hermeneutic for interpreting Scripture should be consistent with God’s triunity, a formulation of the early church that ultimately makes a doctrine of God specifically Christian. An adequate mode of interpreting Scripture for Christian faith, therefore, places Christ at the center of confession while affirming that the Old Testament revelation is an authoritative disclosure of God in pre-Christian form."

J. Andrew Dearman, Jeremiah/Lamentations, NIVAC (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002), 24.

Jul 5, 2010

Grace at the Table

Dr. James Allman continues to post interesting pieces on his blog Grace at the Table. Check it out here.

Three Questions Concerning the Old Testament Law

In his helpful study, Robert Banks asks three important questions concerning the Old Testament Law.

1. The basis of Law. Is it to be viewed as a means of winning Yahweh’s favour, or as a response of gratitude to the favour he has already shown?

2. The character of Law. Is it an embodiment of timeless norms embracing the whole of life, or does it consist of regulations that are historically conditioned, capable of modification and applicable to some, but not all, spheres of human behaviour?

3. The permanence of Law. Is it an immutable and eternal order that will persist into the Age to Come, or does it possess only provisional and this-worldly significance.

Robert Banks, Jesus and the Law in the Synoptic Tradition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975), 13.

Jul 4, 2010

Ecclesiastes an Intense Exhortation

"A substantial potion of the wisdom literature gives very practical instruction for
the daily subduing of the apparently random challenges we face between waking and sleeping. these instructions in turn are synchronized with God's sovereign administration of the planet through his built-in physical, social, psychological and spiritual principles
"Ecclesiastes is an intense exhortation along these lines. But what throws us off in this speech called Ecclesiastes is its uncensored, bottom-line assessment of reality based on an exploration autonomous from special revelation. Furthermore, the book is not palatable to those steeped in theological platitudes and whose theology never travels a block past Justification Street. Yet those who thirst for the required wisdom for holistic sanctification will listen exhaustively to the teachings of this biblical sage."