Jun 16, 2012

Fortress Press Sale

Fortress Press has a number of their titles on sale 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 Britt
Biblical Curses and the Displacement of Tradition
Reviewed by Brian Doak
Sherri Brown
Gift upon Gift: Covenant through Word in the Gospel of John
Reviewed by Dirk van der Merwe
David M. Carr
The Formation of the Hebrew Bible: A New Reconstruction
Reviewed by Christoph Berner
Colin J. Humphreys
The Mystery of the Last Supper: Reconstructing the Final Days of Jesus
Reviewed by David A. Fiensy
Reviewed by Mary J. Marshall
Marjo Korpel and Johannes de Moor
The Silent God
Reviewed by Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer
Eric F. Mason and Kevin B. McCruden, eds.
Reading the Epistle to the Hebrews: A Resource for Students
Reviewed by Scott D. Mackie
Robert K. McIver
Memory, Jesus, and the Synoptic Gospels
Reviewed by Alan Kirk
Michael S. Moore
WealthWatch: A Study of Socioeconomic Conflict in the Bible
Reviewed by Matthew Coomber
Janet Smith
Dust or Dew: Immortality in the Ancient Near East and in Psalm 49
Reviewed by Philippus J. Botha

Jun 15, 2012

John the Baptist in the News

This story has all the earmarks of conclusions exceeding the evidence, but some might be interested in this story about the possible finding of John the Baptist's bones.

Interview with Dr. Abraham Kuruvilla on Preaching Mark

On Monday I introduced Mark: A Theological Commentary for Preachers. Today I want to share an interview with the book’s author, Dr. Abraham Kuruvilla. Abe is Associate Professor of Pastoral Ministries, at Dallas Theological Seminary and has a particular passion for the art and science of preaching. He has served as the President of the Evangelical Homiletics Society and as interim preacher of Houston International Christian Fellowship (TX), Watertown Evangelical Church (MA), Plano Bible Chapel (TX), Sherman Bible Church (TX), and Scofield Memorial Church (TX). Abe also blogs regularly at www.homiletix.com.

Question: How did Mark: A Theological Commentary for Preachers come about?

I firmly believe that biblical writers are not only giving us information, but are exhorting us to change our lives in particular ways for the glory of God. My goal in life is to grapple with the text to discover not only what is written, but how. Because the what + how combo invariably points us to the life-change intended by the author. And since I had taught Mark for several semesters and been intrigued by his style, I thought I’d give this Gospel a shot. It also helped that it was the shortest!

Question: Who do you think should read Mark: A Theological Commentary for Preachers?

It is primarily geared for preachers. But for any layperson interested in how valid application can be derived from the various portions of Mark’s Gospel—this includes Bible teachers, Sunday school teachers, and everyone keen on applying the biblical text—I think this book will prove to be helpful. Yes, it is somewhat technical, with Greek (and some Hebrew), but every foreign word is translated and transliterated, so even those without Greek/Hebrew can engage the work.

Hey, I’d love to get your readers’ feedback on it. Feel free to go to my website (www.homiletix.com) and comment, or shoot me an email.

Question:What do you hope to accomplish through this book?

I think that, unlike most commentaries, this one dissects out the how of the text—how the text is structured, how it says what it says. All to the goal of figuring out what Mark (with some help from the Holy Spirit!) is doing with what he is saying. Readers of the Gospel will note that it is a unique piece of writing, structured as a journey: Jesus and his company begin in Galilee and end in Jerusalem. It’s just one straight movement, all the way to the cross. Mark, then, is essentially a handbook of discipleship, teaching believers what it means to follow Jesus. Bit by bit, passage by passage, Mark unfolds facets of discipleship. And I’ve tried to track with Mark in the same fashion in my commentary, moving from one text to the next (or, to be technical, from one pericope to the next).

Question: Other than your book, what are some other resources that might help those who are interested in preaching or teaching Mark?

To be perfectly honest, I couldn’t find a whole lot of good resources to help me preach through Mark. That’s another reason I began this project (which will, God willing, continue on to other books; I’m already half way through the next one). One work that opened my eyes to the concepts I’ve written about was Mark As Story: An Introduction to the Narrative of a Gospel by David Rhoads, Joanna Dewey, and Donald Michie. Not very theologically conservative, but in terms of looking at narrative, terrific. Of course, there are a number of commentaries on Mark to help one teach it: those by Robert Stein, R. T. France, Adela Collins, and others. Not a whole lot of help in these for those preaching pericope by pericope, though.


Jun 14, 2012

Books to Read This Summer

Not really related to biblical studies, but some might be interested in this infographic on summer reading recommendations.

Jun 12, 2012

Paul and the Trinity

See this article in First Things.

Latest Issue of Bibliotheca Sacra

The July-September 2012 issue of Bibliotheca Sacra is now out. The issue contains the following articles.

The Day of the Lord and the Rapture, part 3 of 4 parts of "The Day of the Lord"
Craig A. Blaising

Premillenialism in the Ante-Nicene Church
H. wayne House

The Believer's Intermediate State after Death
Larry J. Waters

The Conquest of Jericho: A Narrative Paradigm for Theocratic Policy
Eugene H. Merrill

An Alternate Solution to an Alleged Contradiction in the Gospels
Monte A. Shanks

What is the Meaning of "Idols" in 1 John 5:21?
Benjamin L. Merkle

Have the Prophecies in Revelation 17–18 about Babylon been Fulfilled? Part 3
Andrew M Woods

Jun 11, 2012

A New Commentary for Preachers on Mark

Recently the kind folks at Wipf and Stock sent me a review copy of Abraham Kuruvilla’s Mark: A Theological Commentary for Preachers. Although I am planning a more formal review for a future post, a cursory examination of the contents has really wet my appetite. 

For starters, this work is very well laid out. The introduction clearly explains the various sections. While the sections are fairly standard, they are very well done. I really appreciate two features in particular. (1) Each pericope (or section of text) begins with a review, summary, and preview. That is, you are given a review of the theological content of the text that preceded the text at hand, a summary of the theological content of the text at hand, and a preview of the theological content of the text that follows. So right up front, the preacher is reminded of the importance of recognizing where he has been (assuming that he is preaching through a book consecutively), where he is, and where he will be going. This is an aspect of exposition that I find frequently lacking in many sermons. (2) I appreciate that the outline is in full sentence form. Phrase outlines are fine at times, but they often lack the precision that full sentence outlines have. A well written outline really takes the guesswork about what the author sees in a passage. You may disagree with the author’s description but you are less likely to have to guess at what the author meant. This feature serves as great model for preachers to create their own full sentence outlines. I could say more, but I will leave that for my forthcoming review.

Go here for to read more about the book. You can read a sample here and stay tuned for an interview with the author later this week.


Jun 10, 2012

Interview with Tom Schreiner on Biblical Law

Go here to listen or download Janet Mefford's interview of Tom Schreiner related to his recent book 40 Questions About Christians and Biblical Law.