Feb 18, 2012

Happy Birthday Pilgrim's Progress

John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress was published this day in 1678. You can read more about the book here. To access various formats of the book, with some for free, go here.

Feb 17, 2012

Luke’s Use of Sources in Acts 15

"To some extent the decisions of the exegetes on the nature of the assembly or assemblies in Acts 15 depend on their view of the use of sources in the chapter. ‘Minimalists,’ like Dibelius and Haenchen, who credit virtually the whole story to Lukan composition, tend to the view that the author has here created one of those “großen lebendigen und eindrucksvollen Szenen’ that Luke regards as suited to his audience. Those, on the other hand, who view Luke less as a freewheeling author and more as a redactor of sources, try to find in the seams and cracks of the narrative signs of the weaving together of various documents and traditions."

Linda M. Maloney, “All that God had Done with them”: The Narration of the Works of God in the Early Christian Community as Described in the Acts of the Apostles, American University Studies 91 (New York: Peter Lang, 1991), 145.


Feb 16, 2012

Piper on the Future Conversion of Israel

See this post by John Piper: "Five Reasons I Believe Romans 11:26 Means a Future Conversion for Israel."

Feb 15, 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.

Craig L. Blomberg, with Jennifer Foutz Markley
A Handbook of New Testament Exegesis
Reviewed by Jan G. van der Watt
John Drane
Introducing the Old Testament
Reviewed by Jordan M. Scheetz
Gregg Gardner and Kevin L. Osterloh, eds.
Antiquity in Antiquity: Jewish and Christian Pasts in the Greco-Roman World
Reviewed by Douglas Estes
Joze Krasovec
The Transformation of Biblical Proper Names
Reviewed by Jeremy Hutton
Michael C. Legaspi
The Death of Scripture and the Rise of Biblical Studies
Reviewed by Teresa Okure
Kevin B. McCruden
Solidarity Perfected: Beneficent Christology in the Epistle to the Hebrews
Reviewed by Craig R. Koester
Daniel O'Hare
"Have You Seen, Son of Man?": A Study of the Translation and Vorlage of LXX Ezekiel 40-48
Reviewed by William Tooman
Gert J. Steyn and Dirk J. Human, eds.
Psalms and Hebrews: Studies in Reception
Reviewed by Scott D. Mackie
Anthony C. Swindell
Reworking the Bible: The Literary Reception-History of Fourteen Biblical Stories
Reviewed by Frank H. Polak
Naomi Tadmor
The Social Universe of the English Bible: Scripture, Society, and Culture in Early Modern England
Reviewed by Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer

Feb 14, 2012

R. T. France (1938-2012)

Noted New Testament scholar R. T. France died last Friday, February 10. You can read more about his passing here.

Feb 13, 2012

Therapeutic Value of the Psalms

See David Murray's excellent post on the Psalms, in particular their therapeutic value. David brings out some of the reasons why the Psalms are often the favorite part of Scripture for many believers.

Not Sure How I Feel About This Sign

Read this story about an Anglican church in Australia that has created quite a stir by placing two signs with "OMG" on parts of its building. While such a move may generate discussion and interest in spiritual matters, I really wonder whether this panders to the baser aspects of our society and whether it truly glorifies God. The phrase has always seemed rather flippant to me and I often cringe when I hear people use it, especially Christians.

Feb 12, 2012

Building the Tabernacle

Having recently gone through a building program with my church, I found the following comments from Victor Hamilton's Exodus commentary to be interesting.

"It is also significant that Moses first asks for donations to fund the project before he talks to the people about the tabernacle’s design. One might expect that order to be reversed: first show them the plans, and then ask them to get behind it financially. Is that not how most religious communities wishing to construct a new building or expand and renovate an older building would go about it? Congregants tend to be more enthusiastic and generous when they can see, at least in blueprint, what their pledges and dollars are funding."

Victor P. Hamilton, Exodus: An Exegetical Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker), 2011), 456.

Having a Canonical "Conversation"

"While a number of metaphors work well to express the Bible’s theological plurality coherently and constructively, my preference for the interpreter’s practical task is conversation. Naturally, there are different kinds of conversations. A canonical approach to the NT’s pluriform subject matter envisages a conversation that is more complementary than adversarial. In one sense, the intercanonical conversation is very much like an intramural debate over the precise meaning of things generally agreed to be true and substantial. The purpose or outcome of debate is not to resolve firmly fixed disagreements among members of the same community or panel as though a normative synthesis were possible; rather, more often it is the sort of debate that clarifies the contested content of their common ground. Likewise, the biblical canon stabilizes and bears continuing witness to the historic disagreements between the traditions of the church’s first apostles, which were often creative and instructive (cf. Acts 15:1-21; Gal 2:1-15). Not only do these controversies acquire a permanent value within Scripture, but Scripture in turn commends these same controversies to its current readers, who are invited to engage in similar acts of what Karl Popper calls ‘mutual criticism’ in order to provide more balance to parochial interests or supply instruction to clarify the theological confession of a particular faith tradition."

Robert W. Wall, "Reading the New Testament in Canonical Context," in Hearing the New Testament: Strategies for Interpretation, 2nd ed., ed. Joel B. Green (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010), 384.