Dec 31, 2012

Theology as a Work in Progess

"What we call “theology” is a work in progress. It is not a fixed body of knowledge that can never grow or develop; it continues to expand as our relationship with God deepens. At the same time, it does not change, because God does not change. Theologians may have to express themselves in new ways when challenged by fresh discoveries that raise questions our ancestors never dreamed of. We may have to adapt our language to different circumstances and present the age-old message of Christ in ways previously unknown. Many theologians are goats, who relish these opportunities and use them to take the church away from its foundations. This has given theology a bad name in many circles. But these are false teachers who must be exposed and avoided. True theologians are sheep who hear their Shepherd’s voice and interpret his words for the benefit of the rest of the flock. In this task, theology will continue until the time comes when it will no longer be needed. When that happens we shall know all things, and be enfolded forever in the unchanging and all–encompassing love of God."

Gerald Bray, God Is Love: A Biblical and Systematic Theology (Wheaton: Crossway, 2012), 27.

Dec 30, 2012

Wallace: Five More Myths about Bible Translations

A few months ago I posted a link to fifteen myths about Bible translations from Dan Wallace (go here). He has now posted five more myths here.

Dec 29, 2012


I know that thinking positively about denominations has fallen on hard times. But I have long believed that on their best days they can still serve a helpful function. So it is nice to read someone else who sees denominations as a good thing.

Dec 28, 2012

Nestle-Aland 28 Available Online

The new Nestle-Aland 28 is now available online here.

HT: Michael Gorman

How to Become A Biblical Scholar

An interview with C. Clifton Black addresses the issue of becoming a biblical scholar here.

Dec 27, 2012

Review of The Handy Guide to New Testament Greek

Douglas S. Huffman, The Handy Guide to New Testament Greek: Grammar, Syntax, and Diagramming (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2012).

During my Bible college days I remember purchasing A Card-Guide to New Testament Greek by Benjamin Chapman and Gary Shogren. This was a laminated sheet, printed on the front and back, highlighting the basic information covered in first year Greek. Zondervan also now produces a four-page laminated overview produced by William Mounce.

Huffman’s work is more than these two resources but less than a first-year Greek grammar and/or a second-year Greek syntax. It is a supplemental resource designed to conveniently distill the information typically covered in first and second year Greek courses and texts. By this measure, Huffman’s guide is largely successful. There is a lot of information packed in these 112 pages. It is full without feeling cramped. The printing is easy on the eyes and the use of color is both attractive and helpful. This guide contains helpful definitions, explanations (simple without being simplistic), descriptions, examples, tables, and memory devices (e.g., “Old MacDonald nouns,” p. 10). The work is rounded out by a solid chapter on diagramming that reads more like a book than the first two chapters. The value of this resource is also enhanced by a fairly comprehensive and nicely organized bibliography (for the table of contents go here). I actually enjoyed going through this guide and my overall impression of this work is very positive. 

The main challenge as I see for this niche product is finding an audience outside of the Bible college or seminary classroom where it is a required text. If this resource is intended to be used after graduation then I suspect the best hope will be to put it out in the main ebook formats. 

Douglas Huffman is a Professor and associate Dean of Biblical and Theological Studies at Biola University. You can read an excerpt here.

Thanks to Kregel Academic for providing the free copy of this book used in writing this unbiased review. 


Dec 26, 2012

Luke Commentary on Sale

Christian Book Distributor's "Deal of the Day" is I. Howard Marshall's Luke Commentary.

3512: The Gospel of Luke: New International Greek Testament Commentary [NIGTC]The Gospel of Luke: New International Greek Testament Commentary [NIGTC]

CBD has the volume at $47% off or $35.99. This is about $20 better than either Amazon who has the same volume for $55.31 or the Westminster Bookstore at $56.91.

Dec 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Praise be to the Lord Jesus Christ in celebration of His birth and Merry Christmas to all from my family to yours.

Dec 24, 2012

Christmas in Koine

Daniel Streett has posted a collection of links for Christmas songs in Koine Greek here.

Dec 23, 2012

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.

Frederick Dale Bruner
The Gospel of John: A Commentary
Reviewed by Sonya S. Cronin

Georg Fischer and Dominik Markl
Das Buch Exodus
Reviewed by Paul Sanders

Peter Hon Wan Lau
Identity and Ethics in the Book of Ruth: A Social Identity Approach
Reviewed by Timothy Stone

Nancy C. Lee
Lyrics of Lament: From Tragedy to Transformation
Reviewed by Ulrich Berges
Reviewed by Leonard Mare

Mikeal C. Parsons
Body and Character in Luke and Acts: The Subversion of Physiognomy in Early Christianity
Reviewed by Stephan Witetschek

Matthew S. Rindge
Jesus' Parable of the Rich Fool: Luke 12:13-34 among Ancient Conversations on Death and Possessions
Reviewed by Matthew Hauge

John H. Sailhamer
The Meaning of the Pentateuch: Revelation, Composition and Interpretation
Reviewed by Andrew Steinmann

Simon P. Stocks
The Form and Function of the Tricolon in the Psalms of Ascents: Introducing a New Paradigm for Hebrew Poetic Line-form
Reviewed by Gert T. M. Prinsloo

Klaus Wachtel and Michael W. Holmes, eds.
The Textual History of the Greek New Testament: Changing Views in Contemporary Research
Reviewed by James Leonard

Dec 22, 2012

Upcoming Lectures at the Lanier Theological Library

Those in and around Houston, Texas might be interested in three upcoming free lectures at the Lanier Theological Library in 2013.

January 29, 2013: Paige Patterson speaking on "The Expectation of the Reign of Christ on a Millennial Earth"

March 23, 2013: Alister McGrath speaking on "C.S. on Lewis and the Post Modern Generation: His Message 50 Years Later"

April 27. 2013: D. A. Carson on a topic not yet announced

You can see more about the lectures and register to attend here.

Dec 21, 2012

Audio: Moo on Romans

Readers of this blog know that I have highlighted the work of It is a great resource. They have just announced the release a course by Doug Moo on Romans. All Biblical Training courses are free but you have to register. You can check out the Romans course here.

Dec 20, 2012

Top Ten End of the World Songs

In honor of all the hype about tomorrow, you can find suggestions for the top ten end of the world songs here, here, and here.

Dec 19, 2012

New Resource: Treaty, Law and Covenant in the Ancient Near East

A recent Tyndale House email noted the publication of Treaty, Law and Covenant in the Ancient Near East by Kenneth A. Kitchen and Paul J. N. Lawrence. The following is the publisher's description:

"This work presents a far-reaching social profile of life in the Ancient Near East, based on its wealth of law-collections, treaties and covenants through three millennia. Volume 1 sets out a uniquely comprehensive corpus of over 100 such documents in 10 languages, mostly displayed in facing-page transliterations and English translations with individual bibliographies. Volume 2 provides essential philological and background commentary to the texts, fully indexes their subject-matter, and concludes with a revolutionary and innovative series of full-colour diagrams of every text, vividly highlighting variations through the centuries. Finally, Volume 3 outlines the flowing interplay of political history, changing social norms and varying documentary formats throughout the whole period. Taken together, this tryptich offers a striking and indispensable new overview of its multifaceted world for Ancient Near-Eastern and biblical studies."

This looks like a wonderful resource but will beyond the budget of most folks. But perhaps your favorite university or seminary library will get a copy.

Dec 18, 2012

Wallace's Take on Nestle-Aland 28

Dan Wallace has provided one of the more comprehensive and interesting evaluations of the new 28th edition of Nestle-Aland that I have seen online. You can read it here.

Dead Sea Scrolls Online

A new website created jointly by Google and the Israel Antiquities Authority has now made thousands of Dead Sea Scroll fragments as high-resolution images available online.You can visit the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library here.


Dec 17, 2012

Top 12 Biblical Counseling Books of 2012

Counseling is not my area of specialty so I cannot vouch for this list, but it looks like there are some good resources here.

Dec 16, 2012

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.

Moshe Bar-Asher and Devorah Dimant, eds.
Meghillot [Hebrew]: Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls, VIII-IX
Reviewed by George Brooke
Radcliffe G. Edmonds III, ed.
The "Orphic" Gold Tablets and Greek Religion: Further along the Path
Reviewed by Timothy Pettipiece
Craig A. Evans, ed.
The World of Jesus and the Early Church: Identity and Interpretation in the Early Communities of Faith
Reviewed by Judith Lieu
Jonathan Knight
Reviewed by Michael Naylor
Te-Li Lau
The Politics of Peace: Ephesians, Dio Chrysostom, and the Confucian Four Books
Reviewed by Minna Shkul
Abigail Pelham
Contested Creations in the Book of Job: The-World-as-It-Ought- and-Ought-Not-to-Be
Reviewed by Norman Habel
Michael Peppard
The Son of God in the Roman World: Divine Sonship in its Social and Political Context
Reviewed by Matthew Forrest Lowe
Daniel B. Wallace, ed.
Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament: Manuscript, Patristic, and Apocryphal Evidence
Reviewed by J. K. Elliott
Beat Weber
Werkbuch Psalmen III: Theologie und Spiritualität des Psalters und seiner Psalmen
Reviewed by Mark Elliott
Ina Willi-Plein
Das Buch Genesis: Kapitel 12-50
Reviewed by Wolfgang Zwickel


Dec 15, 2012

Texts, Hermeneutics, Preaching, and Stained Glass

What do texts, hermeneutics, preaching, and stained glass have in common? Check out Abe Kuruvilla's interesting post here. Make sure to read the interaction in the comments as well.

Dec 14, 2012

Schnabel on the Authorship of Acts

I have long appreciated the work of Eckhard Schnabel which I have found to clear and helpful. So I am excited to be dipping into his brand new commentary on Acts. In his introduction to Acts he deals with the issue of authorship, noting that while the Gospels and Acts are technically anonymous there are two points worth making.Schnabel writes,

"First, neither the Gospels nor the book of Acts were "anonymous" in the first century. It can be reasonably assumed that the early churches knew-on the basis of personal relationships or oral tradition-the identity of the authors of these long books, which were foundational for the life and ministry of the churches. We may note the example of L. Flavius Arrianus of Nicomedia, who did not state his name in the preface of his description of the life of Alexander the Great, published in the first half of the second century AD under the title Anabasis; he explains this literary decision with the comment, "I need not write my name, for it is not at all unknown among men, nor my country nor my family."
"Second, the anonymity of the historical books of the New Testament is a literary feature that distinguishes them from contemporary Greco-Roman historical books. It has been suggested that this is a specifically Christian phenomenon, which can be explained with the authors' conviction that Jesus Christ is the exclusive authority besides whom any human authority should remain silent. Others assume that the anonymity of the historical books of the New Testament emphasizes "the complete dependence of their authors on tradition, rather than on any firsthand experience."

Eckhard Schnabel, Acts, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, ed. Clinton E. Arnold (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012), 23-24.

Dec 13, 2012

Website on Biblical Architecture

Recently while working on some teaching materials I came across this website related to biblical architecture. The site focuses on ancient housing in general, Jerusalem, Machaerus, Masada, Megiddo, Lachish, the Herodium, and Jericho. I do not know much about the site but I found some helpful material there. 

Dec 12, 2012

Review of Ruth: From Bitter to Sweet

Ruth: From Bitter to Sweet is part of the Welwyn Commentary Series, a series designed facilitate personal study, Bible class and sermon preparation. The author is John D. Currid is the Carl McMurray Professor of Old Testament at the Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi.

Currid begins his volume with a very brief introduction. His discussion is fairly straightforward. There are four major themes: (1) the cost of disobedience, (2) God’s sovereignty, (3) faithful living, and (4) redemption and the book is divided by Currid into five “acts.” Concerning this latter point the author seems to be following Frederick Bush (who sees 4 “acts”) and others who utilize a dramatic approach. While this approach may be didactically helpful it might be anachronistic since drama as a genre does not appear until well after Ruth was likely written.

The commentary proper is divided into thirteen short chapters that generally appear to follow paragraph divisions. Each chapter contains an introduction, commentary, and points to ponder. The explanations are easy to read, fairly thorough for a commentary of this kind, and helpful. Currid interacts with the Hebrew text but proficiency in Hebrew is not required. There is minimal interaction with other commentaries but there is a lot of bang for the buck here. Although this work is not intended to be an in-depth exegetical commentary on Ruth, many of the significant issues related to this book are addressed. For example, Currid notes the importance and function of the character’s names in the book

My criticisms are fairly minimal and will be limited to three points. First, I wish that Currid had been clearer on some points. For example, the subtitle of the book, From Bitter to Sweet, suggests that Currid views the main character of the book to be Naomi (who asks to be called Mara or “bitter”) but this is not really explained in the commentary. While a relatively short commentary such as this one cannot be expected to discuss everything, who one understands to be the main character of the story seems to be fairly important. Second, while preaching paragraphs is a sound expository practice in some genres, it really does not fit as well with narratives such as Ruth. Dividing this short story into thirteen parts seems disruptive to the flow of the story and leads to unnecessary redundancy (e.g., the remarks concerning the morality of the threshing floor scene). I realize that thirteen can be a magic number of sorts for Bible study scheduling purposes, but I think that this commentary could be stronger and more helpful by reducing the numbers of chapters by at least a half. Third, there are a few typos. An en dash is missing on page 30 and the page numbers are absent from pages 136–37.

But these criticisms notwithstanding, Ruth: From Bitter to Sweet would be a good basic resource for laymen, Sunday school teachers, and preachers interested in the Book of Ruth.

Thanks to Shaun Tabatt and Cross Focused Media for the free review copy.


Dec 11, 2012

Interview with Elliott Johnson

A few weeks ago I posted a notice of a new book entitled Dispensational Understanding of the New Covenant (see here). Today I am pleased to interview Dr. Elliott Johnson, one of the contributors to that book. Dr. Johnson joined the faculty of Dallas Theological Seminary in 1972 and currently serves as senior professor of Bible Exposition. He is also the founder of the Asian Theological Seminary and has taught extensively overseas, including the Philippines, Poland, the former Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Russia. He also has ministered in Austria, Brazil, England, Germany, Israel, and Scotland.

1. What was your contribution to Dispensational Understanding of the New Covenant?

Dispensationalism provides a model of biblical theology based on an exposition of texts. The most commonly recognized passage referring to the New Covenant is Jeremiah 31:31–34. While Jeremiah affirms that this covenant will be ratified with the house of Israel and Judah, yet the church today also seems to benefit from the covenant (Luke 22:20). How can that be? Three answers are offered in the book which attempt to be faithful to both the Old and New Testament contexts so that the reader can evaluate the answers and reach their own conclusions. My contribution relates to one of the proposed answers.

2. What is your view of the New Covenant?

My view sees the New Covenant as inaugurated with Israel in the Millennial Kingdom, when “all Israel will be saved” (Rom 11:27). Nonetheless, when Christ died on the cross the New Covenant was ratified (Heb. 9:15) as Christ is the mediator of the covenant. So through Christ, believers are beneficiaries of the New Covenant blessings today (Heb. 9:15–17) since Israel as the anticipated recipient rejected the covenant mediator.

3. Who do you think should read this book?

I believe that this book would be most helpful for leaders and teachers in churches which desire to teach the whole counsel of God. Also students desiring a grasp on a biblical theology and worldview that consistently applies Israel’s covenant to the church might also find this work helpful.

4. What one book or person has been most influential in shaping your understanding of the New Covenant?

I have found two works to be particularly influential. Charles Ryrie’s Dispensationalism is a classic treatment of issues related to dispensationalism, including the role of the New Covenant. Another work which I have found particularly helpful is Moshe Weinfeld’s article on berith “covenant” in the Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament edited by G. Johannes Botterweck and Helmer Ringgren, 2:253-79.

5. How does a proper understanding of the New Covenant affect the ministry of the church?

The gospel ministry includes New Covenant blessings (2 Cor 3:1–18). So to understand the church’s ministry today from a biblical point of view, one needs to understand both the gospel and the relationship of the church to these New Covenant blessings.

6. What one or two things have you learned while interacting with other Dispensational scholars on the New Covenant?

Working with other dispensational scholars has helped sharpen my thinking in two ways. First, it has helped me in better answering the question, “What is the relationship between Israel and the church?” This question is important because the answer helps to establish the identity and ministry of the church. Second, interactions with others have provided opportunities to focus on the argument of the Book of Hebrews, namely, “How are promises and covenants addressed to Israel applied to the church?” 

I am thankful to Dr. Johnson for his willingness to participate in this interview. I would encourage anyone interested in dispensationalism or the New Covenant to check out Dispensational Understanding of the New Covenant.

Dec 10, 2012

Ending a Sermon

John Acuff has a humorous but spot on article on Seven Signs a Sermon Is (Almost) Over." You can read it here.

Dec 9, 2012

Greidanus: Preaching Christ from Daniel

Sidney Greidanus' latest volume is Preaching Christ from Daniel: Foundations for Expository Sermons. The Eerdmans blog has a brief interview with Greidanus on the new volume here. I have found Greidanus'previous volumes on Preaching Christ from the Old Testament, Preaching Christ from Genesis, and Preaching Christ from Ecclesiastes to be helpful.

Dec 8, 2012

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.

David L. Balch and Jason T. Lamoreaux, eds.
Finding A Woman's Place: Essays in Honor of Carolyn Osiek
Reviewed by Ralph K. Hawkins
John Barton
The Theology of the Book of Amos
Reviewed by Tyler Mayfield
Reviewed by Heinz-Dieter Neef
Keith Bodner
Jeroboam's Royal Drama
Reviewed by Matthew Suriano
Michael D. Coogan and Mark S. Smith, eds.
Stories from Ancient Canaan: Second Edition
Reviewed by Henk Potgieter
Dean Flemming
Philippians: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition
Reviewed by Matt O'Reilly
Frank Lothar Hossfeld and Eric Zenger
Psalms 3: A Commentary on Psalms 101-150
Reviewed by Thomas Kraus
Alice L. Laffey
First and Second Kings
Reviewed by Ginny Brewer-Boydston
Thomas C. Oden
The African Memory of Mark: Reassessing Early Church Tradition
Reviewed by J. Christopher Edwards
Nicholas Perrin and Richard B. Hays, eds.
Jesus, Paul and the People of God: A Theological Dialogue with N. T. Wright
Reviewed by James P. Sweeney


Dec 7, 2012

Foundations: An International Journal of Evangelical Theology

A new issue of Foundations: An International Journal of Evangelical Theology is now out for free online here. This issue focuses on baptism.

HT: Guy Davies

Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible

The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible series now has its website here. I have not found this series to be particularly helpful but some might. Here are links to sample pdfs of some of the volumes.

1 Samuel
Ezra & Nehemiah
Proverbs & Ecclesiastes
Song of Songs
The Pastoral Epistles with Philemon & Jude
1 & 2 Peter

Dec 6, 2012

Themelios 37.3 is Out

The latest edition of Themelios, a 185 page PDF, is now available as as a free download here. Individual articles and features with links are as follows:

1. Andreas J. Köstenberger: The Present and Future of Biblical Theology

2. Rob Smith: Music, Singing, and Emotions: Exploring the Connections
3. Peter R. Schemm Jr. : The Writing Pastor: An Essay on Spiritual Formation

This issue also contains an editorial by D. A. Carson and some book reviews worth checking out. 

Dec 5, 2012

Christmas Traditions Infographic

Go here for a "History of the Christmas Traditions" infographic.

Dec 4, 2012

Some Books on Sale

The Westminster Bookstore has number of books on sale until December 11. Here are a few that I have selected.

A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life by Joel Beeke and Mark Jones and Meet the Puritans: With a Guide to Modern Reprints by Joel Beeke and Randall Pederson (2 Book Set) @ $45.00 - 53% Off

Inerrancy and the Gospels: A God-Centered Approach to the Challenges of Harmonization by Vern Poythress @ $9.00 - 50% off.

New Testament: A Historical and Theological Introduction by Donald Hagner @ $29.99 - 40% off. This is still not as good as the offer here but it is as good as was offered at ETS and SBL.


Dec 3, 2012

Lightning or Lightning Bug?

Mark Twain once intoned that “the difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” Bible teachers and preachers also know the importance and power of words. Indeed it is our stock-in-trade. But for some it is easier to turn a phrase in a sermon than it is to produce a timely word in a more personal setting. For those who struggle to find the perfect word on such occasions, Liz Duckworth has provided some help. Her brief, easy-to-read book APerfect Word for Every Occasion supplies practical suggestions for finding just the right word for most commonly occurring occasions. The occasions addressed in this work include grief, gratitude, sickness, suffering, birthdays, weddings, engagements, encouragements related to personal setbacks, celebrations, events, activities, words of truth and love (i.e., apologies, confrontations, etc.), and even a section devoted to using the right words in cyberspace. Each section typically includes guidelines for finding the right words, prompts to help you begin, words to make your own, a guide of what not to say, and quotes worth sharing. In general the author does a good job helping one find “apples of silver” (Prov 25:11). Not all the suggestions here are original, but even the familiar expressions seem to be appropriately chosen. At the end of the day, one has to own their own words for them to be authentic, but the author has given tangible assistance to those who are looking for the perfect word, or at least a better word, for those day-to-day opportunities to minister through one’s words.  

A free review copy of this book was provided by Bethany House Publishers. 

Dec 2, 2012

Jesus in the University

See this article concerning a recent survey of 316 religious courses from 12 universities across the country and the general absence of courses on the life and teachings of Christ. Here is the original article on which the above article was based.

Free Logos Resource of the Month: Dr. Ryrie's Articles

The free Logos "book" for the month of December is Charles Ryrie's Dr. Ryrie's Articles. I am not sure this really qualifies as a book since it appears to be a hodgepodge collection of 28 articles but it is free. You can read more about it here. You can also register to win Charles Ryrie's Legacy Collection.

Dec 1, 2012

Obadiah: A Jewish Perspective

Here is an interesting take on the prophet Obadiah. The author argues that according to the rabbis Obadiah was a Edomite who converted to Judaism. This was a new view to me and one in which I am a bit skeptical given the commonness of the name Obadiah and the uncertainties associated with the historical context of the book. 

Free Bonhoeffer Audio: God Is in the Manger's free audiobook download for the month of December is God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Here is the publisher's description:
"There are only two places where the powerful and great in this world lose their courage, tremble in the depths of their souls, and become truly afraid. These are the manger and the cross of Jesus Christ."
"No priest, no theologian stood at the cradle of Bethlehem. And yet, all Christian theology finds its beginnings in the miracle of miracles, that God became human."
These stirring words are among forty devotions that guide and inspire readers as they move thematically through the weeks of Advent and Christmas, from waiting and mystery to redemption, incarnation, and joy. Supplemented by an informative introduction, short excerpts from Bonhoeffer's letters, and passages from his Christmas sermons, these daily devotions are timeless and moving reminders of the true gift of Christmas.

For more information or to get your download go here.

Nov 30, 2012

Jude as Sermon

Thomas White has a six-part series on the Theological Matters blog concerning how the book of Jude demonstrates the qualities of a good sermon.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Nov 29, 2012

Journal for the Study of the New Testament 35:2

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.

Whose Abraham, Which Promise? Genesis 15.6 in Philo’s De Virtutibus and Romans 4
Orrey McFarland

A Bio-Bibliographical Study of James Rendel Harris (1852–1941), Illustrated from his Discovery and Investigation of the ‘Absolutely Unique’ Logion after Matthew 17.26

J. Lionel North

Who Wrote 2 Thessalonians? A Fresh Look at an Old Problem

Paul Foster
pp. 150-175

An Intercalation Revisited: Christology, Discipleship, and Dramatic Irony in Mark 6.6b-30

Geoffrey David Miller
pp. 176-195

This issue also contains one review article.

Basics of Verbal Aspect in Biblical Greek 

Robert Crellin
pp. 196-202


Nov 28, 2012

Pictorial Library of the Bible Lands

I have often used pictures from the Pictorial Library of the Bible Lands (PLBL) in the classroom. But last summer I used it in a way that I had not done previously. I was in Israel teaching a group about the Bible and the Bible lands, a group that was also very interested in photography. So in my preparation for our field trips to various sites I used the PLBL to help plan the trip and to help inform my picture-taking suggestions to the group. Now I have been to Israel a number of times prior to this trip but PLBL still proved to be a valuable resource in this regard. I was glad that I had decided to load the entire PLBL to my laptop before leaving home. If you teach the Bible, plan to go to the Bible lands, or have been there before, I would suggest you check this resource out (go here). 

Nov 27, 2012

Jesus' Prediction of the Fall of Jerusalem

Jimmy Akin has a nice post defending the idea that Jesus could predict the fall of Jerusalem here. Akin is largely correct here, but the reason that many in biblical studies who reject Jesus' prediction do so because of an a priori rejection of the possibility of predictive prophecy in general.  

Nov 26, 2012

Donald Hagner's New Testament Introduction

Christian Book Distributors Deal of the Day has Donald Hagner's brand new New Testament introduction at a 42% discount ($28.99). This is better than the 40% discount offered at ETS/SBL ($30.00). You can access the sale through the link below.

039317: The New Testament: A Historical and Theological IntroductionThe New Testament: A Historical and Theological Introduction

By Donald A. Hagner / Baker Academic

The capstone work from an esteemed evangelical scholar. Employing the framework of salvation history, Hagner treats the New Testament as a coherent body of texts, emphasizing its unity without neglecting its inherent variety. While addressing matters of authorship and historicity, he focuses primarily on understanding the theological content and meaning---especially with regard to Christianity's origins. 848 pages, hardcover from Baker.

ESV Bible Sale

The Westminster Bookstore is offering 60% off on select ESV Bibles. The sale is good until December 3.

ESV Study Bible (TruTone, Navy, Angle Design): $30.00 - 60% Off 

ESV Bible, Large Print Compact (TruTone, Navy/Taupe, Curve Design): $11.20 - 60% Off 

ESV Study Bible, Bonded Leather, Black/Saddle, Timeless Design: $30.00 - 60% Off 

ESV Bible, Classic Thinline Edition (Genuine Leather, Black, Red Letter): $18.00 - 60% Off


Audio Course on Revelation has posted a new audio course on Revelation taught by Robert Mulholland Jr. The course is free but you have to registered to download it. You can check out the course here.

Nov 25, 2012

Barkay on "Ten Key Points on Authenticity of Artifacts"

You can access free audio of Gabriel Barkay on “Ten Key Points on Authenticity of Artifacts” here. It looks like this audio has been out for a few months but it was new to me.

Nov 24, 2012

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.

Jan N. Bremmer
The Rise of Christianity through the Eyes of Gibbon, Harnack, and Rodney Stark
Reviewed by Brent Nongbri

Giovanni Garbini
Letteratura e politica nell'Israele antico
Reviewed by Dempsey Rosales Acosta

Randall Heskett and Brian P. Irwin, eds.
The Bible as a Human Witness to Divine Revelation: Hearing the Word of God through Historically Dissimilar Traditions
Reviewed by S. D. Giere

Benno Jacob; ed. Ernest Jacob and Walter Jacob
The First Book of the Bible: Genesis (Augmented Edition)
Reviewed by Joel S. Baden

Dale Launderville
Celibacy in the Ancient World: Its Ideal and Practice in Pre-Hellenistic Israel, Mesopotami, and Greece
Reviewed by Pancratius C. Beentjes

Erle Leichty
The Royal Inscriptions of Esarhaddon, King of Assyria (680-669 BC)
Reviewed by Paul Sanders

Frank J. Matera
Reviewed by Pablo T. Gadenz

Lauren A. S. Monroe
Josiah's Reform and the Dynamics of Defilement: Israelite Rites of Violence and the Making of a Biblical Text
Reviewed by Ovidiu Creanga

Rob Starner
Kingdom of Power, Power of Kingdom: The Opposing World Views of Mark and Chariton
Reviewed by Tom Nelligan

Stephen O. Stout
The "Man Christ Jesus": The Humanity of Jesus in the Teaching of the Apostle Paul
Reviewed by Tony Costa 

Nov 23, 2012

6 Deadly Lies We Believe about Church

Some might be interested in Nicolle Cottrell article, "6 Deadly Lies We Believe about Church." The six lies are:

1. Church is optional.
2. We go to church.
3. The church exists to reach the lost and unsaved.
4. A small group or Bible study is a perfectly acceptable replacement for “church.”
5. Hanging out with a group of individuals, just like us, is church.
6. We must grow the church.

I realize that some might not agree with this list, but make sure you read the entire article to understand what Cottrell is saying.

Nov 22, 2012

Bauckam on Names in the New Testament

Richard Bauckham presented an interesting paper last Thursday at the Evangelical Theological Society annual meeting entitled, “Naming Practices in Jewish Palestine in the late Second Period and their relevance for the New Testament.” Part of his presentation included a discussion of the variety of ways that people with common names are distinguished from others with the same names in the New Testament. Here is Backham's list.

James son of Zebedee
Levi son of Alphaeus

Place of origin (used when elsewhere)

Mary of Magdala
Joseph of Arimathea
Jesus of Nazareth
The Egyptian (Acts 21:38)


James the Little [not James the less]


Joseph the carpenter
Simon the tanner

Nickname used as family name

(Joseph) Caiaphas
Place of origin as family name
Judas Iscariot son of Simon Iscariot

Woman by husband

Mary (wife of) Clopas

Woman by son(s)

Mary mother of Jesus
Mary mother of James the Little and Jose
The mother of the sons of Zebedee

Nov 21, 2012

Hurtado on the Nestle-Aland 28

Now that a number of you have picked up your copies of the new NA28 at ETS or SBL, you might find it helpful as I did to revisit Larry Hurtado's review of it here.