Dec 18, 2010

Training Video for BibleWorks 8

Here is a video of a recent BibleWorks 8 training session at Luther Seminary.

Dec 17, 2010

BiblePlaces Give-Away: Pictorial Library of Bible Lands

Todd Bolen at is giving away a complete ten volume set of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands. In my opinion, this is the finest set of pictures of the Holy Land available. To read about the give-away and to enter go here.

Osborne on on Matthew 1:1–17

Two days ago, I posted some initial thoughts on Grant Osborne’s new commentary on Matthew in Zondervan’s Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series. Today I thought I would make some observations about Osborne’s section on Matthew 1:1–17. I will make my cursory comments on the sections as they occur in the commentary.

Literary context

This is an important feature lacking in some commentaries, namely, explaining how the section at hand fits with what has gone before and what follows. In the case of Matthew 1:1–17, nothing has preceded the section, but Osborne points out that the section sets the tome for the Gospel: “Matthew begins with genealogical proof that Jesus is indeed the Davidic Messiah and that God has sovereignly controlled his ancestry. This proves that Jesus is the son of Abraham and of David and sets the tome for the rest of the book” (p. 57).

Main Idea

Again, this is an important feature. One key to doing exposition is asking and answering the question, “What is the main or central idea of the passage at hand.” Osborne suggests that the main idea is that, “Matthew shows that Jesus is the expected Davidic Messiah, whose pedigree demonstrates his claim. At the same time he shows that the lineage of Jesus goes beyond Jewish heritage to embrace the Gentiles as well, thereby preparing for his theme of universal mission” (p. 57). The only observation that I would make is that Osborne try to synthesize the main idea into one sentence.


I like the fact that Osborne has provided his own translation. It is helpful to see how different scholars translate the text in comparison to major English translations. I also appreciate that in this series the author’s translation is formatted in graphical (or structural) layout form.

Structure and Literary Form

Osborne provides a good discussion of the “fourteen” structure of the genealogy. I do wonder why Osborne does not discuss the genealogical literary form. He does discuss the differences in genealogical forms in his explanation of the text, but this section seems like the more logical place to put that discussion.

Explanation of the Text

Osborne provides a fairly thorough discussion of the text. Some might be surprised by how much can be said about a genealogy. On a formatting note, not all readers will appreciate the editorial decision to include the English translation and Greek text at the beginning of the individual comments. But, I find this feature helpful, although it surely adds to the length of the book.

Theology in Application

I applaud the inclusion of this section. It has always seemed strange to me that some commentaries ignore the theology of the theological texts that they are commenting on. However, I wonder whether if this section is a bit misnamed. A better designation might be “Theological Contribution” or “Theological Principles,” since there is very little actual application. Readers will probably be disappointed if they look to this section for insights into how to apply the text to their lives.

Dec 16, 2010

Hebrews 2:1–4: The Danger of Drifting

The preposition διά and the pronoun τοῦτο often translated “therefore” suggests that a conclusion is drawn from the fact of Christ’s superiority over angels. In essence, if the Mosaic Law which was mediated by angels required uncompromising obedience how much more the revelation brought by the Son of God (cf. 1:1, 2), confirmed by the original believers, and underscored by divine manifestations. “Since the purpose of this evidence is the validation that God has spoken definitively in Christ, unbelief and carelessness can only be regarded as the expression of an utterly incomprehensible hardness of heart (cf. 3:7–8, 12, 15: 4:7).”[1] The author wants to make it very clear that the person who neglects the message and work of Christ does so at great personal peril. The argument is summarized in the table below.
Old Testament Law
New Testament Gospel
The Son
Just Punishment
[No] Escape
    Lesser to Greater

[1] William L. Lane, Hebrews 1–8, Word Biblical Commentary, ed. Ralph P. Martin, vol. 47A (Dallas: Word Books, 1991), 40.

Dec 15, 2010

Osborne's New Commentary on Matthew

A newer commentary series that I am really excited about is Zondervan's Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (ZECNT).

The features of this commentary series that I am most excited about include the discussions on the literary context, the identification of the main idea, the graphical (or structural) layout of the author’s translation, and theology in application. All of these features are valuable for preachers and teachers interested in doing serious exposition.

One of the most recent volumes in ZECNT is Grant Osborne's commentary on Matthew. My initial response to receiving the commentary is "this is heavy" (literally). The book is 4.5 lbs. and clocks in at 1,152 pages. Having read Osborne before I should not be surprised. Another initial observation which should not be surprising to those familiar with Osborne's work in hermeneutics is that he begins the commentary with seven pages on how to study and preach Matthew. This is well worth reading.

David Instone-Brewer on BibleWorks 8

See this very helpful post by David Instone-Brewer on BibleWorks 8.

The Standard of Preaching

"Faithful engagement with Scripture is a standard by which preaching should be measured, and the normal week-in, week-out practice of preaching should consist of sermons drawn from specific biblical texts. Biblical preaching in this strict sense should be the rule and not the exception."

Thomas G. Long, The Witness of Preaching, 2nd ed. (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2005), 54.

Dec 14, 2010

Denny Burk on 2 Timothy 2:2

See Denny Burk's post on 2 Timothy 2:2.

A Sermon Series on Exodus

If you are like me, you are interested in seeing how other preachers preach through a book expositionally. So you might be interested in Tim Strickland's approach here. Tim has provided links for the audio and sermon notes as well. I haven't gone through the audio or notes in detail, but it looks pretty good.

Dec 13, 2010

Roger Nicole (1915-2010)

The Baptist theologian Roger Nicole died this past Saturday. See this article.

What is on BibleWorks 8

A few days ago, I posted some initial thoughts on BibleWorks 8. Here is a link to resources that are included in BibleWorks 8.