Dec 9, 2011

Commentary Closeout Sale

Christian Book Distributors is having a commentary closeout sale here. Discounts are 40% or higher.

Dec 8, 2011

Exodus as History?

Many people that I talk to are surprised to learn that a number of Jews are skeptical about the historicity of the Exodus. Unfortunately this is a sad fact. But see this editorial by Barnett Kamen. Kamen, teaches at Barrack Hebrew Academy, summarizes the issue quite well in stating: 

"When I teach biblical history to my students, I tell them that there are two issues that must be examined. First, did the event happen and were the characters real? And second, if they are, is the account of them historically accurate? Saying yes to both gives us an historical account. Saying yes to the first and no to the second gives us historical fiction, and saying no to the first gives us fiction. Minimalists, biblical scholars who deny the historicity of the biblical account, say we are dealing with fiction." 

You can read the rest of the editorial here.

Dec 7, 2011

Hamilton on the Book of Exodus

In his brand new commentary, Victor Hamilton makes the following astute observation.

“Why the Lord brings his people out of Egypt is as important, if not more important, than how he delivers Israel from Egypt. If the book of Exodus is about the exodus event, then the book should be concluded by the end of chap. 14, or by 15:21 if one wants to include Miriam's and Moses’s lyrical response. But what is one to do with 15:22–40:38, all of which are postexodus events in the Exodus book?”

Victor P. Hamilton, Exodus: An Exegetical Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2011), xxi. 


Dec 6, 2011


The Credo magazine/blog has a link to Brent Parker's recent Evangelical Theological Society paper on typology. I have not had the opportunity to go through all thirty-three pages of the paper, but I have enjoyed what I have read so far. You can access the Credo post and paper here.

Dec 5, 2011

Star Trek, Narratives, and Application

Trekkies out there might really appreciate this editorial in the Huffington Post: “Seven Lessons You Can Learn from Star Trek” by David Borgenicht. This post is interesting from a biblical studies and interpretation standpoint because it illustrates how we intuitively draw applications from narratives, even fictional ones. Having said that, properly applying narratives can be a bit tricky, but the issue is not whether we do it, but whether we do it well.

Biblical Preaching on Facebook

Readers of this blog know that I often link to Peter Mead's posts on preaching. Peter has now started a Facebook page for Biblical Preaching that some of you might be interested in. If so, go here.

Dec 4, 2011

The Better Way to Read the Bible

“There are differences of opinion among scholars about whether being aloof and detached is a better way to read ancient texts without bias, or whether being profoundly interested and passionate about getting at the truth about a text better propels one toward the goal of understanding the Bible. In my view, as long as you can take into account your own predilections, the latter orientation is more likely to produce an accurate result, not least because the person actually cares about the outcome and is willing to go the extra mile to get to the bottom of things. I like the dictum of Johannes Bengel that John Wesley was prone to cite: ‘Apply the whole of yourself to the text; apply the whole of the text to yourself.’ This latter phrase brings us to my next crucial point.”

Ben Witherington III, Is There a Doctor in the House? An Insider's Story and Advice on Becoming a Biblical Scholar (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011), 128. 

How to Half Preach the Text

Peter Mead has four excellent posts entitled "10 Ways to Half Preach the Text" here, here, here and here.Make sure to read Peter's entire posts, but here are the ten.

1. Say just enough about the text to introduce what you want to say.
2. Preach from the details, but don’t figure out how they work together to give the main idea.
3. Preach a generic message or idea from what could be any text.
4. Use the content, but ignore the context.
5. Use the context, but ignore the content.
6. Impose a sermon structure instead of letting the text’s structure influence your message.
7. Preach a preferred cross-reference.
8. Preach a plethora of cross-references.
9. Explain it, but don’t apply it.
10. Commentary it, but don’t proclaim it.