Oct 2, 2010

How to Name an Evangelical Church

See this "helpful" article on how to come up with a name for your new church.


Free Access to Holman New Testament Commentaries

The website for the the the Holman Christian Standard Bible has a number of resources including what appears to be full access to the Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John commentaries in the Holman New Testament Commentary series here. (Under the library tab go to commentaries.) While you will need to turn to other commentaries for detailed exegetical work, the HNTC series does provide a number of features helpful for the preacher and teacher, including teaching outlines, prayers, illustrations, and applications, Check it out. 

Biblical Illiteracy: The Church's Dirty Little Secret?

See this article.

Oct 1, 2010

Interpreting Proverbs

David Murray has posted a nice handout on Exegetical Guidelines for Interpreting Proverbs, You can access it here.

Exodus in Acts

Nicholas Batzig has an interesting post tracing the Exodus motif in Acts. Read it here.

Free Audio of Gary Chapmans' Love Is a Verb

Christianaudio.com is offering a free audio download of Gary Chapman's Love Is a Verb. The folks have made it even easier since you no longer need a coupon code. Simply go here and download. 

David Alan Black on Thirteen Things Your Greek Teachers Won't Tell You

David Alan Black has posted "13 Things Your Greek Teachers Won't Tell You." Unfortunately Dr. Black's blog is sort of a running post and you can link to individual entries so here is the post in its entirety.

12:20 PM The latest issue of The Reader's Digest has an interesting article entitled "13 Things Used Car Salesmen Won't Tell You." Here are "13 Things Your Greek Teachers Won't Tell You":

1. Greek is not the only tool you need to interpret your New Testament. In fact, it's only one component in a panoply of a myriad of tools. Get Greek, but don't stop there. (You'll need, for example, a Hebrew New Testament as well.)

2. Greek is not the Open Sesame of biblical interpretation. All it does is limit your options. It tells you what's possible, then the context and other factors kick in to disambiguate the text.

3. Greek is not superior to other languages in the world. Don't believe it when you are told that Greek is more logical than, say, Hebrew. Not true.

4. Greek had to be the language in which God inscripturated New Testament truth because of its complicated syntax. Truth be told, there's only one reason why the New Testament was written in Greek and not in another language (say, Latin), and that is a man named Alexander the Great, whose vision was to conquer the inhabited world and then unite it through a process known as Hellenization. To a large degree he succeeded, and therefore the use of Greek as the common lingua franca throughout the Mediterranean world in the first century AD should come as no surprise to us today. I emphasize this point only because there are some today who would seek to resurrect the notion of "Holy Ghost" Greek. Their view is, in my view, a demonstrable cul-de-sac.

5. Greek words do not have one meaning. Yet how many times do we hear in a sermon, "The word in the Greek means..."? Most Greek words are polysemous, that is, they have many possible meanings, only one of which is its semantic contribution to any passage in which it occurs. (In case you were wondering: Reading all of the meanings of a Greek word into any particular passage in which it occurs is called "illegitimate totality transfer" by linguists.)

6. Greek is not difficult to learn. I'll say it again: Greek is not difficult to learn. I like to tell my students, "Greek is an easy language; it's us Greek teachers who get in the way." The point is that anyone can learn Greek, even a poorly-educated surfer from Hawaii. If I can master Greek, anyone can!

7. Greek can be acquired through any number of means, including most beginning textbooks. Yes, I prefer to use my own Learn to Read New Testament Greek in my classes, but mine is not the only good textbook out there. When I was in California I taught in an institution that required all of its Greek teachers to use the same textbook for beginning Greek. I adamantly opposed that policy. I feel very strongly that teachers should have the right to use whichever textbook they prefer. Thankfully, the year I left California to move to North Carolina that policy was reversed, and now teachers can select their own beginning grammars. (By the way, the textbook that had been required was mine!)

8. Greek students think they can get away with falling behind in their studies. Folks, you can't. I tell my students that it's almost impossible to catch up if you get behind even one chapter in our textbook. Language study requires discipline and time management skills perhaps more than any other course of study in school.

9. Greek is fun! At least when it's taught in a fun way.

10. Greek is good for more than word studies. In fact, in the past few years I've embarked on a crusade to get my students to move away from word-bound exegesis. When I was in seminary I was taught little more than how to do word studies from the Greek. Hence, I thought I had "used Greek in ministry" if I had consulted my Wuest, Robertson, Kittle, Brown, Vincent, or Vines. Since then I've discovered that lexical analysis is the handmaiden and not the queen of New Testament exegesis. Greek enables us to see how a text is structured, how it includes rhetorical devices, how syntactical constructions are often hermeneutical keys, etc.

11. Greek can cause you to lose your faith. It happened to one famous New Testament professor in the US when he discovered that there were textual variants in his Greek New Testament, and it can happen to you. When the text of Scripture becomes nothing more than "another analyzable datum of linguistic interpretation" then it loses its power as the Word of God. That's why I'm so excited about my Greek students at the seminary, most of whom are eager to place their considerable learning at the feet of Jesus in humble service to His upside-down kingdom.

12. Greek can be learned in an informal setting. The truth is that you do not need to take a formal class in this subject or in any subject for that matter. I know gobs of homeschoolers who are using my grammar in self-study, many of whom are also using my Greek DVDs in the process. If anyone wants to join the club, let me know and I will send you, gratis, a pronunciation CD and a handout called "Additional Exercises."

13. Greek is not Greek. In other words, Modern Greek and Koine Greek are two quite different languages. So don't expect to be able to order a burrito in Athens just because you've had me for first year Greek. On the other hand, once you have mastered Koine Greek it is fairly easy to work backwards (and learn Classical Greek) and forwards (and learn Modern Greek).

Okay, I'm done. And yes, I'm exaggerating. Many Greek teachers do in fact tell their students these things. May their tribe increase!

Now who wants to tackle "13 Things Your Hebrew Teachers Won't Tell You"?

Sep 30, 2010

The Book of Esther and a Computer Virus

See this New York times story.

HT: Claude Mariottini

The Need for a Gospel Centered Hermeneutic

A few days ago I introduced Graeme Goldsworthy's Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics which has just been released in paperback. I have just started reading the book, but was struck by the first paragraph from the preface which echoes some of my own propectives. Goldsworthy states:

"Since 1995 I have taught a fourth-year BD elective in hermeneutics at Moore Theological College. After a couple of years the college agreed to my request to a change in the course from a general study of hermeneutics to one designated as ‘Principles of Evangelical Hermeneutics.’ My main motivation in seeking the change was a pastoral one. I was concerned that the possession of the Bible by the people of God, the so-called people in the pews, was being eroded by the tremendous upsurge of interest in hermeneutics at the academic level. Not that the subject itself is illegitimate, but the regressive nature of much modern hermeneutics under the influence of the latest philosophical moods has contributed to the eclipse of the gospel in biblical interpretation. Sooner or later, the concerns of academia begin to affect the pastors and teachers exposed to them during their time as students, and are passed on through sermons and Christian education to the laity."

Sep 29, 2010

Advanced Expository Preaching Workshop Featuring the Book of Hebrews

The one day Advanced Expository Preaching Workshop Featuring the Book of Hebrews is only a few days away. Today is the last day to register. The workshop is only $25 and includes lunch and handouts.So this workshop is easy on your schedule (only one day) and easy on your pocketbook (only $25) and you get to learn from skilled expositors as they unpack a great book. 

Sep 28, 2010

Evangelical Theological Society Program

I am not sure when it was posted, but for those of you who can't wait until October for your hard copy, a PDF of the 2010 Annual Meeting program for this year's Evangelical Theological Society meeting is now available for download. The online version includes the front matter, daily presentation schedules, participant index, session index, maps, and exhibitor list. Click here to view the program.

Learning Greek

Here is another exhortation for learning Greek. Sooner the better.

Sep 27, 2010

Quest for the Historical Adam

Go here to access David Murray's nine-page handout for a recent address entitled "The Quest for the Historical Adam." 

Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics


It is hard to overestimate the importance of having a proper hermeneutic in studying the Bible. In fact, I contend that one's hermeneutic will have a greater impact on one's interpretations of Scripture than almost anything else. So I am always interested in reading books on hermeneutics and was delighted to receive a copy of Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics: Foundations and Principles of Evangelical Biblical Interpretation (which is now available in paperback)  from the kind folks at InterVarsity Press. I plan to provide further interaction with the book, but here is the publisher's description and table of contents.


While there are many books on hermeneutics, Graeme Goldsworthy's perception is that evangelical contributions often do not give sufficient attention to the vital relationship between hermeneutics and theology, both systematic and biblical.

In this new paperback edition of Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics, Goldsworthy moves beyond a reiteration of the usual arguments to concentrate on the theological questions of presuppositions, and the implications of the Christian gospel for hermeneutics. In doing so, he brings fresh perspectives on some well-worn pathways.

Part I examines the foundations and presuppositions of evangelical belief, particularly with regard to biblical interpretation.

Part II offers a selective overview of important hermeneutical developments from the sub-apostolic age to the present, as a means of identifying some significant influences that have been alien to the gospel.

Part III evaluates ways and means of reconstructing truly gospel-centered hermeneutics.

Goldsworthy's aim throughout is to commend the much-neglected role of biblical theology in hermeneutical practice, with pastoral concern for the people of God as they read, interpret and seek to live by his written Word.

Table of Contents:

Introduction: Can hermeneutics be saved?

Part I - Evangelical Prolegomena to Hermeneutics

Introduction to Part I

1. The necessity for hermeneutics

2. Presuppositions in reading and understanding
3. Gospel-centred hermeneutics
4. Towards a biblical theology of interpretation

Part II - Challenges to Evangelical Hermeneutics

Introduction to Part II

5. The eclipse of the gospel in the early church

6. The eclipse of the gospel in the mediaeval church
7. The eclipse of the gospel in Roman Catholicism
8. The eclipse of the gospel in Liberalism
9. The eclipse of the gospel in philosophical hermeneutics
10. The eclipse of the gospel in historical criticism
11. The eclipse of the gospel in literary criticism
12. The eclipse of the gospel in Evangelicalism

Part III - Reconstructing Evangelical Hermeneutics

Introduction to Part III

13. Pre- and post-Enlightenment evangelical interpretation

14. The gospel and the literary dimension
15. The gospel and the historical dimension
16. The gospel and the theological dimension, I: the two Testaments and Typology
17. The gospel and the theological dimension, II: biblical and systematic theology
18. The gospel and contextualization
19. The hermeneutics of Christ



Digitized Manuscripts

The British Library has digitized 284 Greek manuscripts and made them available online. I could not access the site to provide more information, but here is the link.

Sep 26, 2010

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:

Pierre Bordreuil and Dennis Pardee
A Manual of Ugaritic
Reviewed by Jeremy Hutton
Paul Borgman
David, Saul, and God: Rediscovering an Ancient Story
Reviewed by Peter S. Hawkins
Curtiss Paul DeYoung
Coming Together in the 21st Century: The Bible's Message in an Age of Diversity
Reviewed by Celucien L. Joseph
Hubertus Drobner, ed.
Opera exegetica In Genesim: Volume 1: Gregorii Nysseni In Hexaemeron
Reviewed by Jeffrey L. Morrow
Michel Gourgues
Les deux lettres à Timothée, La lettre à Tite
Reviewed by Sylvie Raquel
Samuel Jackson
A Comparison of Ancient Near Eastern Law Collections Prior to the First Millennium BC
Reviewed by Anselm Hagedorn
Corin Mihaila
The Paul-Apollos Relationship and Paul's Stance toward Greco-Roman Rhetoric: An Exegetical and Socio-historical Study of 1 Corinthians 1-4
Reviewed by Keith A. Reich
Roberta Sabbath, ed.
Sacred Tropes: Tanakh, New Testament, and Qur'an as Literature and Culture
Reviewed by Maire Byrne
Minna Shkul
Reading Ephesians: Exploring Social Entrepreneurship in the Text
Reviewed by Daniel Darko
Shera Aranoff Tuchman and Sandra E. Rapoport
Moses' Women
Reviewed by Claudia Bergmann