Jun 2, 2012

Why People Visit Church Websites

See this article from the Christianity Today liveblog.

Preaching the Psalms

See Peter Mead's post on 5 reasons why he loves preaching the Psalms.

Jun 1, 2012

Free Audio of Hearing God by Dallas Willard

Christianaudio.com's free audiobook download for the month of June is Dallas Willard's book Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God.

For more information or to get your download go here

May 31, 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.

Michael F. Bird
Colossians and Philemon
Reviewed by Rosemary Canavan
Young Sook Choi
"Denn wenn ich schwach bin dann bin ich stark": Die paulinischen Peristasenkataloge und ihre Apostolatstheologie
Reviewed by Lars Kierspel
Barbara M. Leung Lai
Through the 'I'-Window: The Inner Life of Characters in the Hebrew Bible
Reviewed by Frank H. Polak
Henning Graf Reventlow; Leo G. Perdue, trans.
History of Biblical Interpretation, Volume 4: From the Englightenment to the Twentieth Century
Reviewed by Jeffrey L. Morrow
Jacques Schlosser
La première épître de Pierre
Reviewed by Jean-Paul Michaud
David I. Starling
Not My People: Gentiles as Exiles in Pauline Hermeneutics
Reviewed by Robert Foster
Daniel B. Stevick
Jesus and His Own: A Commentary on John 13-17
Reviewed by John Painter
R. S. Sugirtharajah
Exploring Postcolonial Biblical Criticism: History, Method, Practice
Reviewed by Jean Louis Ska
John Van Seters
Changing Perspectives I: Studies in the History, Literature and Religion of Biblical Israel
Reviewed by Diana Edelman
Michael Weigl
Die aramäischen Achikar-Sprüche aus Elephantine und die alttestamentliche Weisheitsliteratur
Reviewed by Mark W. Hamilton

May 30, 2012

Preaching from an iPad

Some of you might be interested in this article from Christian Computing Magazine.

May 29, 2012

Interview with Todd Bolen

Many readers are likely familiar with Todd Bolen, although some of you may not know it. His pictures have appeared in numerous publications including the Archaeological Study Bible and the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Background Commentary on the Old Testament. Todd has lived and taught in Israel and led numerous tours there (including one that I was on). He runs the BiblePlaces.com website, is a fellow blogger and a Ph.D. candidate at Dallas Theological Seminary. His most recent project is the revised and updated photo resource, Pictorial Library of Bible Lands. I am very thankful to Todd for taking the time to answer a few questions.

1. How does understanding the geography and archaeology of the Holy Lands contribute to the practice of Bible exposition?

Bible exposition is the practice of explaining a portion of Scripture, and to do correctly that one needs to know as much as possible about the text and the backgrounds of that text. The authors wrote to contemporaries who knew their land and their culture. Because we live thousands of years and thousands of miles away, we study geography and archaeology in order to try to reduce the distance between them and us. The more that we can “get into their world,” the more likely we will correctly understand what they wrote.

2. You have just released a revised and expanded edition of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands (PLBL). How have you used pictures like those in the PLBL in your own teaching and preaching ministry?

I started creating the Pictorial Library for my use. I was teaching college courses in Israel and while I often had the sites themselves as backdrops, I needed visual aids for the classroom lectures. Initially I used a slide projector and dreamed of a day when I wouldn’t have to sort slides for each lecture. I completed the first, rather modest, edition of the Pictorial Library in the year 2000 and I’ve been working on this new edition for the last 9 years. I taught a new course at church this spring and having the (almost finished) Pictorial Library available saved me a lot of time. Having a library of digital images allows me to illustrate sites, scenes, and cultural activities with ease.

3. The Pictorial Library of Bible Lands contains more than 17,500 images. Do you have any suggestions for relatively new Bible teachers on how best to use these images without getting overwhelmed?

I would suggest using the collection as a library, drawing out whatever images are useful for the situation. I recommend copying the disks to the hard drive and using a search program such as Picasa to quickly identify images by location and keyword. The PowerPoint presentations are easy to access as well, and you can open up the desired presentation and copy whatever slides you need into your own teaching PowerPoint.

4. How can a Bible teacher be more effective by using the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands?

Photos can help teachers in so many ways. They can help to create an atmosphere, such as what the Sea of Galilee looked like before and during a storm. They can communicate a concept better than words, such as revealing the size of the enormous Temple Mount instead of stating that it is 300 meters long or the size of 24 football fields. They can transport the viewer to the site itself, such as the Elah Valley where David confronted Goliath. They can demonstrate a practice, such as how a shepherd would shear his sheep. They can also correct misperceptions, such as what the Judean wilderness looks like where Jesus fasted and was tempted.

May 28, 2012

Witherington: A Week in the Life of Corinth

The nice folks at IVP Academic have sent me a copy of Ben Witherington III's latest book, A Week in the Life of Corinth. I have not read any of Witherington's fictional works, but this looks intriguing. According to the publisher, A Week in the Life of Corinth is about,"a fictitious Corinthian man named Nicanor through an eventful week of business dealings and conflict, you will encounter life at various levels of Roman society--eventually meeting Paul himself and gaining entrance into the Christian community there." The book also contains, "Numerous full-page text boxes expand on a variety of aspects of life and culture as we encounter them in the narrative."

May 27, 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.

Mary Dove, ed.
The Earliest Advocates of the English Bible: The Texts of the Medieval Debate
Reviewed by David G. Burke
Yitzhaq Feder
Blood Expiation in Hittite and Biblical Ritual: Origins, Context, and Meaning
Reviewed by Pekka Pitkänen
David Frankel
The Land of Canaan and the Destiny of Israel: Theologies of Territory in the Hebrew Bible
Reviewed by Phillip Sherman
Lisbeth S. Fried, ed.
Was 1 Esdras First? An Investigation into the Priority and Nature of 1 Esdras
Reviewed by Erik Eynikel
Dennis J. Horton
Death and Resurrection: The Shape and Function of a Literary Motif in the Book of Acts
Reviewed by Arie W. Zwiep
Elizabeth A. McCabe, ed.
Women in the Biblical World: A Survey of Old and New Testament Perspectives
Reviewed by Joseph Oryshak
Joshua N. Moon
Jeremiah's New Covenant: An Augustinian Reading
Reviewed by Bob Becking
Luis Sánchez Navarro
Testimonios del Reino: Evangelios Sinópticos y Hechos los Apóstoles
Reviewed by David E. C. Ford
Antoinette Clark Wire
The Case for Mark Composed in Performance
Reviewed by Larry W. Hurtado
Ben Witherington III
What's in the Word: Rethinking the Socio-rhetorical Character of the New Testament
Reviewed by Richard L. Rohrbaugh