Apr 28, 2012

Lifting Torah Scrolls

The Wall Street Journal online has an interesting article about the challenges of lifting Torah scrolls during synagogue services. You can read it here. I guess I can longer complain about the bulk and the weight of some of the study Bibles that I own!

Apr 27, 2012


Douglas Sweeney has an interesting discussion here.

Clarity in Preaching

Peter Mead lists fifteen ways to be clear in your preaching 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.

Brian J. Abasciano
Paul's Use of the Old Testament in Romans 9.10-18: An Intertextual and Theological Exegesis
Reviewed by Stephen Moyise
Ron Cameron and Merrill P. Miller, eds.
Redescribing Paul and the Corinthians
Reviewed by Antoinette Clark Wire
Rob Dalrymple
Revelation and the Two Witnesses: The Implications for Understanding John's Depiction of the People of God and His Hortatory Intent
Reviewed by Russell Morton
Michaela Geiger
Gottesräume: Die literarische und theologische Konzeption von Raum im Deuteronomium
Reviewed by J. Cornelis De Vos
Anselm C. Hagedorn and Andrew Mein, eds.
Aspects of Amos: Exegesis and Interpretation
Reviewed by Tyler Mayfield
Conleth Kearns
The Expanded Text of Ecclesiasticus: Its Teaching on the Future Life as a Clue to Its Origin
Reviewed by Bradley C. Gregory
Gordon K. Oeste
Legitimacy, Illegitimacy, and the Right to Rule: Windows on Abimelech's Rise and Demise in Judges 9
Reviewed by Trent C. Butler
Isaac S. D. Sassoon
The Status of Women in Jewish Tradition
Reviewed by Yael Shemesh
Steven Weitzman
Solomon: The Lure of Wisdom
Reviewed by Craig Bartholomew
Christopher Zoccali
Whom God Has Called: The Relationship of Church and Israel in Pauline Interpretation, 1920 to the Present
Reviewed by James D. G. Dunn

Apr 26, 2012

Gareth Lee Cockerill Interview

The Eerdman's blog has a good two-part interview with Gareth Lee Cockerill concerning his Hebrews commentary in the New International Commentary on the New Testament series. You can read parts 1 and 2 here and here.

Apr 25, 2012

Free Witherington New Testament Introduction Audio

I am not sure how long ago this was uploaded, but Biblicaltraining.org has posted free audio for a New Testament Introduction course taught by Ben Witherington. You can check it out here.

Apr 24, 2012

Divine Providence and the Old Testament

Kevin DeYoung has a nice post on divine providence and the Old Testament here.

Sad and Strange News

“A Brazilian actor, who accidentally hanged himself while portraying Judas in a public presentation of the Passion of the Christ on Good Friday, has died, according to the Associated Press.” See this story.

Apr 23, 2012

German (and French) Commentaries

Some of you might be interested in this list compiled by Rod Decker of some of the better German (and some French) commentaries. You can read Rod's explanatory post here.

The Structure of Ecclesiastes

Anyone who has worked with Ecclesiastes knows, discerning the book's structure is very difficult once you get beyond the prologue and epilogue. Daniel Fredericks might be overstating things a bit, but he does sum up the challenges and frustrations faced by many interpreters. 

"It is the goal of every commentator to retain and reveal any and all strains of linear thought in a text. When it comes to Ecclesiastes, this is apparently impossible. A systemic, cumulative pregression in thought which is sustained to a climactic end is not found in the speech. Since the structure is so elusive, commentators have done their best to bind similar material together, stretching literary units to absorb as many verses as possible."

Daniel C. Fredericks and Daniel J. Estes, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs, Apollos Old Testament Commentary (Downers Grove: InterVarsity), 61-2.

Apr 22, 2012

Spirituality and 2 Corinthians

To be honest, spirituality is not the first word that comes to my mind when I think of 2 Corinthians. But I wonder whether Stegman does not have a point in suggesting that,

“What 2 Corinthians offers to people today is spirituality. By spirituality I mean a way of life that is inspired and empowered by the Holy Spirit. While Paul’s vocation as apostle and founder of churches has particular characteristics and responsibilities, he insists that all Christians are called to embody Jesus’ loving, self-giving way of life in their own lives, within their own life circumstances. The Paschal mystery—God’s bringing about new life through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus—is at the center of Paul’s understanding of life in the Spirit (1:3–7; 4:7–15). Christians participate in the paschal mystery by entering into the dynamic of Christ’s self-offering for the sake of others, trusting in God to bring life—to others and to oneself—out of one’s various ‘dyings.’ In these and so many other ways, 2 Corinthians —aptly called by a prominent commentator ‘the most extraordinary letter of the New Testament’[Jerome Murphy-O'Conner, Paul a Critical Life, 309 ]—is extremely relevant for Christian life today.”

Thomas D. Stegman, Second Corinthians, Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2009), 29–30.