Jan 6, 2012

Good Advice for Christian Teachers

“Christian teachers and scholars must be better than our cultured despisers or tormentors if we desire to be a good and godly Bible teacher or scholar. We must not let a wounded ego goad us into uncharitable and unloving remarks and behavior. Sometimes this is difficult, especially if we are deeply hurt by something said or done, but such is the high calling of a real Bible teacher or scholar. Let it not be said of you at the end of your career that you had more to repent of than to be proud of in your career. Let it rather be said that you manifested the fruit of the Spirit in all you did and said.”

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), 133. 

Jan 5, 2012

Get a Free Copy of the Jericho Unearthed DVD

The Associates of Biblical Research are offering a free copy of the Jericho Unearthed DVD to anyone who joins as a member or upgrades their current membership. There are three levels of membership. 
1. A Supporting Membership for $35 per year includes four issues of Bible and Spade, and a free copy of Jericho Unearthed. A portion is tax-deductible.

2. A
Sustaining Membership for $75 per year includes four issues of Bible and Spade, a free copy of Jericho Unearthed AND an additional surprise, free gift. A portion is tax-deductible.

Student Memberships are available at a reduced price of $20 per year, and also receive Jericho Unearthed for free.

I have been a member of ABR for a number of years. Here is a preview of the video.

Jan 4, 2012

A Review of the Life Application Study Bible Devotional

Life Application Study Bible Devotional: Daily Wisdom from the Life of Jesus (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House, 2011).

Tyndale House provided me a complimentary copy of the Life Application Study Bible Devotional to review sometime back. It has taken me awhile, but I thought that this review might be timely at the first of the year since some of you might be committing yourselves to work through the Scriptures in a deeper or different way in 2012.

I will start off with basic facts about the book. This book is limited to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. So if you decide to work through this book in 2012 then you will only be covering the Gospels. This is fine of course but just so that you will know. There are 52 chapters in the book. Each chapter is divided into six parts, a part for each day of the week with Saturday and Sunday combined together. For each day/weekend there are four separate components: (1) “Setting the Scene” in which the passage is described briefly, (2) “Reading the Word” which provides the passage for the day in the NLT, (3) Getting Personal” which most often takes the form of interactive questions, and (4) “Talking to God” which provides suggestions for how to pray in light of the passage.

This book contains a number of strengths. It is convenient. If you want to undertake a year-long devotional study of the Gospels then they have done most of the logistical work for you (deciding what passages to study, etc.). This book is easy to read. Theological jargon is kept to a minimum. This will make it easier for those unfamiliar with theological terms to make use of the book. This devotional is also easy to use. The days are clearly identified and the content is clearly defined by bold headings. Since the 52 chapters are not tied to months, you can actually start this book on any week of the year and then go one full calendar year from that date. There are also two helpful indices: topical and scriptural. A final strength is that this devotional is very much text centered. This work does not contain many illustrations, stories, humor, and the like that characterize some other devotional works.

As with any devotional, preferences will often be the final arbiter of one’s appreciation (or not) of this book. Those who prefer devotionals that use a Scripture text as an entrée into pastoral or spiritual insights (e.g., Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest) might prefer to use something else. One might also quibble here and there with the commentary in the “Setting the Scene” sections. Occasionally, the teacher in me would have emphasized, stated, concluded, etc. different points in some of the chapters. But that is par for the course with a work like this.Overall, I think that the
Life Application Study Bible Devotional could be a helpful resource for readers interested in growing spiritually by getting to know God, the Gospels, and themselves better. To get a feel for the content go here and check it out.

Jan 3, 2012

Jan 2, 2012

Some Great Questions

"Would you preach the Word of the Lord? Have you heard it? Do you hear it? How may I declare to you a little of that treasure? If in the Spirit you hear one word of Jesus today, your life will be transformed. Yet you may not stay with one word. You must, day by day hear and heed the voice of the Savior. Being a specialist in the Word does not mean that you specialize in precept only or in promise only or in pronouncement only. Preach the Word of the Lord that you have discovered afresh, or discover it for the first time. Bring from your treasure things both new and old. Drink from the fountain, feast on the banquet, fall down before the fire, draw near to the Lord." 

Edmund P. Clowney, Preaching Christ in All of Scripture (Wheaton: Crossway, 2003), 177.

Jan 1, 2012

Free Audio of J. I.. Packer's Knowing God

Christianaudio.com is offering a free audio download of J. I. Packer's classic book Knowing God during the month of January. Listening to this book would be a great way to start the year. 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.

Daniel Bodi
The Demise of the Warlord: A New Look at the David Story
Reviewed by Jeremy Hutton

M. Eugene Boring
Mark: A Commentary
Reviewed by W. R. Telford

Bruce Chilton and Deirdre J. Good
Studying the New Testament: A Fortress Introduction
Reviewed by Paul Foster

Hemchand Gossai
Power and Marginality in the Abraham Narrative
Reviewed by Thomas Hieke

David G. Horrell, Cherryl Hunt, and Christopher Southgate
Greening Paul: Rereading the Apostle in a Time of Ecological Crisis
Reviewed by Amy L. B. Peeler

André Lemaire, ed.
Congress Volume: Ljubljana 2007
Reviewed by Siegfried Kreuzer

Herbert Migsch
Studien zum Jeremiabuch und andere Beiträge zum Alten Testament
Reviewed by Hannes Bezzel

Carolyn J. Sharp
Wrestling the Word: The Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Believer
Reviewed by Phillip G. Camp

Matthew A. Thomas
These Are the Generations: Identity, Covenant, and the 'toledot' Formula
Reviewed by Mark McEntire

Eugene Ulrich and Peter W. Flint
Qumran Cave 1.II: The Isaiah Scrolls
Reviewed by Eibert Tigchelaar