Jul 2, 2011

Mark Hitchcock on John Walvoord and Walvoord's Revelation Commentary

John Walvoord’s Revelation, a commentary originally published in 1966, has served pastors and Bible teachers for some forty-five years. The author went to be with the Lord in 2002, but recently Philip E. Rawley and Mark Hitchcock were tasked with revising and updating Dr. Walvoord’s commentary. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Mark Hitchcock about his work with the commentary.
Mark Hitchcock has earned a degree from Oklahoma State University and holds a law degree from Oklahoma City University and a Th.M. and Ph.D., both from Dallas Theological Seminary. Mark has been serving as senior pastor of Faith Bible Church in Edmond, Oklahoma since October 1992. He has authored over twenty books related to end time Bible prophecy.

1. How did you first meet Dr. Walvoord and how has he most influenced your life?

I first met Dr. Walvoord as a young boy when he would come and speak at the Metropolitan Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, OK. He would talk to me after the services. Of course, he had no idea then that someday I would be working on his commentary. Later when I became a Th.M. student at Dallas Theological Seminary I met with Dr. Walvoord several times. But it was during my years as a Ph.D. student at DTS that Dr. Walvoord and I would frequently have lunch at the Dixie House (a local restaurant).

Dr. Walvoord has influenced my life in at least three ways. He helped me to better appreciate biblical prophecy. Dr. Walvoord was also very unassuming and one of the least self-focused people I have ever met. He did not like to talk about himself. This was a great lesson for me. Dr. Walvoord was also very pragmatic and practical. Every great Christian leader that I have met has had this quality, a quality that I have tried to incorporate into my own ministry.

2. How has Dr. Walvoord’s commentary affected your own life and ministry?

For me, Walvoord’s commentary is still the standard Dispensational commentary on Revelation even though it was first published in 1966. As a pastor, I have preached through Revelation several times and Walvoord’s commentary has been my commentary of choice. I simply devoured it.

3. What was your role in the updating of this commentary?

Most of the major rewriting and editing was done by Philip Rawley. My primary role was to read the revised text to make sure it still faithfully represented the theology and interpretations of the original edition. I also added to the introductory material, especially the dating of the book (which was the subject of my Ph.D. dissertation) and the charts and diagrams throughout the book.

4. Who do you think would benefit most from use this commentary?

Pastors and teachers of the Bible would be the primary beneficiaries of this volume. But with the stylistic changes made in this volume, this work could benefit any reader interested in the book of Revelation or biblical prophecy. I believe that this commentary should really be in any pastor’s library.

5. Other than this commentary, what are some of your other favorite commentaries on Revelation?

I would probably choose Robert Thomas’ two volumes on Revelation, especially for the more technical discussions. Other pastorally friendly volumes might be the commentaries by Ryrie. MacArthur, Wiersbe, Stedman, Hindson, Phillips, and Morris.

Jul 1, 2011

Free Audio Download of The Millennials

Christianaudio.com is offering a free audio download of Tom S. Rainer and Jess Rainer's book The Millennials for the month of July. For more details and instructions go here.

Latest Issue of Review of Biblical Literature

The latest issue of Review of Biblical Literature is out. Reviews can be accessed by clicking the links below.

Jerome F. D. Creach
The Destiny of the Righteous in the Psalms
Reviewed by Johan H. Coetzee
Nicole Wilkinson Duran, Teresa Okure, and Daniel Patte, eds.
Reviewed by David J. Neville
Reviewed by Steve Smith
David G. Horrell
The Bible and the Environment: Towards a Critical Ecological Biblical Theology
Reviewed by Norman Habel
James L. Papandrea
The Wedding of the Lamb: A Historical Approach to the Book of Revelation
Reviewed by Russell Morton
John W. Rogerson
A Theology of the Old Testament: Cultural Memory, Communication, and Being Human
Reviewed by Robert L. Hubbard Jr.
Reviewed by Leonard Mare
Benjamin Edidin Scolnic
Judaism Defined: Mattathias and the Destiny of His People
Reviewed by Daniel R. Schwartz

Jun 30, 2011

Theological Education

Michael Jenson has a nice post on "Why Theological Education?" here.

Schreiner on Acts through Revelation

Biblicaltraining.org has just released of the second semester of Dr. Thomas Schreiner's New Testament Survey class that covers Acts through Revelation. For those not familiar with the program, Biblcal Training offers free online courses. Just follow the link above and check out what is available.

Jun 29, 2011

The Death of Paul

According to some church traditions, Paul was beheaded on on this date in AD 67. See here.

Jun 28, 2011

Galatians 2 and Acts 11

As some readers may be aware, I am not a proponent of the view that Galatians 2 and Acts 15 refer to the same event. I believe that Acts 11 is a better fit for Galatians 2. So I especially appreciated the following remarks from Michael Thompson.

“Those who claim that Gal 2 must be the Acts 15 visit typically observe that we have the same people in the same place for a similar issue, and in Acts 11 Luke does not mention a meeting between Paul and the apostles. But is it really credible that if that famine relief trip actually took place, the Jerusalem apostles would have been uninterested in interviewing a man who was preaching a message that did not require Gentiles to be circumcised? Barnabas, the leader of the expedition was deeply committed to the life of the church in Jerusalem, having already given much (Acts 4.36f); presumably there was some affection for him there. It would be very odd if he and the apostles did not want to see each other. Judging from what is said of Barnabas elsewhere, he would have wanted Paul to be included in any welcome (cf. Acts 9.27). The Paul who now proclaimed the same faith he once persecuted (Gal 1.23) would not simply have dropped off some money and walked away without contact with those who shared his basic allegiance to Christ.

“No, if a famine relief visit happened, the travellers would have been refreshed and thanked, and people will talk. The private conversation described in Gal 2 would not have settled the matter of the Jerusalem church’s attitude towards circumcision for the Gentiles; it would take a much larger meeting for that. When Galatians was written, the crucial council of Acts 15 was only about to take place.”

Michael B. Thompson, “Paul in the Book of Acts: Differences and Distances,” The Expository Times 122 (2011): 430–31.

Jun 27, 2011

Advanced Expository Preaching Workshop

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will be hosting their annual Advanced Expository Preaching Workshop on Monday, September 26, 2011 in The Riley Center. This workshop is designed to assist pastors in mastering the techniques of preaching and will focus this year on Genesis 1-11. 

The speakers are Drs. Allen Ross, Paige Patterson, Matthew McKellar, and David Allen.

Registration for the conference is only $25 and even includes lunch. For more information, see this link


Jun 26, 2011

The Book of Jude

“The book of Jude is a tragedy of sorts. It reminds us that there will be times when those who are the closest to us will seek our demise. It reminds us that often in our own households, even in the church of Jesus Christ, we should ‘beware the ides of March’ because the day is not yet over. It reminds us that to encourage one another, as we see the Day drawing near (Hebrews 10:25). It reminds us that the faith is to be defended and commended even to and among the Lord’s people.”

K. Scott Oliphint, The Battle Belongs to the Lord: The Power of Scripture for Defending Our Faith, vol. P & R (Phillipsburg, NJ, 2011), 44.