Dec 17, 2011

Dec 16, 2011

Journal for the Study of the New Testament 34:2

The latest issue of the Journal for the Study of the New Testament is out. Here is a list of the articles and links to abstracts.

Zeal for Paul but Not According to Knowledge: Douglas Campbell’s War on ‘Justification Theory’
R. Barry Matlock

Review Article: The Deliverance of God
Grant Macaskill

An Attempt to be Understood: A Response to the Concerns of Matlock and Macaskill with The Deliverance of God
Douglas A. Campbell
pp. 162–208

Dec 15, 2011

Tips for Using Ancient Near Eastern Material

Charles Halton has some excellent advice here for properly using ancient near Eastern material, especially in academic studies.

Almsgiving as the Commandment in 1 Timothy 6:14

Nathan Eubank makes an interesting case for understanding the commandment in 1 Timothy 6:14 as related to almsgiving. You can read his argument here.

The Firstborn as a Messianic Motif

See William Varner's post on Mary's Firstborn.

Preaching Proverbs

Peter Mead has three helpful posts on preaching from Proverbs, here, here, and here. I found the third post to be particularly helpful.

Dec 14, 2011

John Walvoord Online

Some readers might not be aware of the fact that there is a website devoted to John Walvoord, former professor, president (1952-1986), and chancellor at Dallas Theological Seminary. The website contains links to Dr. Walvoord's articles, audio, and books. Some complete commentaries and other books can be viewed in their entirety online. Here are links to two commentaries available for online viewing.

Dec 13, 2011

Geza Vermes on Jewish Christians

Geza Vermes writes about Jews, Christians Judaeo-Christians here.

Dec 12, 2011

Forthcoming Biography of F. F. Bruce

Readers interested in a forthcoming biography of F. F. Bruce might also be interested in this brief interview of the book's author Tim Grass.

Review of What the Bible Means to Me

I begin by confessing that I almost opted not to participate in this blog tour of What the Bible Means to Me. The title suggested to me that the book might be advocating a hermeneutic that I am uncomfortable with, namely a reader-response kind of approach. But there is great clarification in the subtitle: Testimonies of How God’s Word Impacts Lives. Or in Hirschian terms, this book is really less about meaning and more about significance

That being said, I was glad that that I did not follow my initial negative reflex. What the Bible Means to Me contains forty-four testimonies about the personal, powerful, and practical ways that the Bible has impacted lives of people all across the socio-economic spectrum. Contributors include a politician and preachers, authors and artists, a bus driver and barista, missionaries and a midwife, a translator and television producer, a chairman of the board and a chaplain, a principle and a professor, a nurse, a student, and others. Some of the names I recognized (e.g. J. I. Packer) but most I did not. Nonetheless, each person has their own story, and yet each story is connected to the others by a shared love and appreciation for the Scriptures. 

As might be expected in a diverse work like this, some of the stories resonated with me more than others. But the cumulative effect was uplifting. As one who has committed his life to the proclamation of the Scriptures, my heart was encouraged by the fact that the Bible appears to play such a profound role in the lives of so great a cloud of witnesses.

Thanks to Christian Focus Publications for the review copy and inviting me to participate in this blog tour.

Dec 11, 2011

God in Esther

"There is one other character in the book of Esther who keeps an even lower profile than the eunuchs, but who is even more important for the happy resolution of both Esther’s story and our own. That character is God."

. . . .

"All of this is to say that God is very much a character in this book, though one who evidently prefers to remain anonymous. This should be of considerable comfort to those of us who are struggling to remain faithful in the midst of an unfaithful culture. Like the Jews, the women, and the eunuchs in the book of Esther, we must make difficult decisions about whether to adopt, reject, or adapt to our situation. Yet God is with us in the midst of that struggle. We may wish at times that God’s presence and power were a little more obvious. But as the incarnation itself illustrates, even God sometimes chooses to steer from the front.”

Carol Bechtel, Esther, Interpretation (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2002), 13–14.