Aug 4, 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.

Ann W. Astell and Sandor Goodhart, eds.
Sacrifice, Scripture, and Substitution: Readings in Ancient Judaism and Christianity
Reviewed by John Dunnill

Daniel Boyarin
The Jewish Gospels: The Story of the Jewish Christ
Reviewed by F. Stanley Jones

Jeffrey Brodd and Jonathan L. Reed, eds.
Rome and Religion: A Cross-Disciplinary Dialogue on the Imperial Cult
Reviewed by John Kloppenborg

Gonzalo Haya-Prats
Empowered Believers: The Holy Spirit in the Book of Acts
Reviewed by Nils Neumann

Larry W. Hurtado and Paul L. Owen, eds.
'Who Is This Son of Man?': The Latest Scholarship on a Puzzling Expression of the Historical Jesus
Reviewed by Christopher Tuckett

Yung Suk Kim
A Theological Introduction to Paul's Letters: Exploring a Threefold Theology of Paul
Reviewed by Jason Weaver

Stefanos Mihalios
The Danielic Eschatological Hour in the Johannine Literature
Reviewed by Dirk van der Merwe

Klaus Wachtel and Michael W. Holmes, eds.
The Textual History of the Greek New Testament: Changing Views in Contemporary Research
Reviewed by Jean-François Racine

James P. Ware
Paul and the Mission of the Church: Philippians in Ancient Jewish Context
Reviewed by Angela Standhartinger

John Morgan-Wynne
The Cross in the Johannine Writings
Reviewed by David Crump

Aug 3, 2012

Free Logos Book for August: Westcott's Commentary on Hebrews

The free Logos Book for August is B. F. Westcott's classic commentary The Epistle to the Hebrews. You can also enter to win a classic commentary set on Hebrews valued at $239.95. Go the Logos' Free Book of Month page to enter and download your free book today!

Journal for the Study of the New Testament 35:1

The latest issue of the Journal for the Study of the New Testament is out. Here is a list of the articles and links to abstracts.

The Roll, the Codex, the Wax Tablet and the Synoptic Problem, pp/ 3-30
John C. Poirier

Stylistic Levels in Hebrews 1.1–4 and John 1.1–18, pp. 31-53
Dan Nässelqvist

The Structure and Argument of 1 John, pp. 54-73

There is also a review article:
Marcion and the Resurrection: Some Thoughts on a Recent Book, pp. 74-102
James Carleton Paget

Aug 2, 2012

Hurtado on a Mythical Jesus

Larry Hurtado has some stinging remarks concerning the advocates of a mythical Jesus here.

Free Audio of The Disciplines of the Christian Life's free audiobook download for the month of August is The Disciplines of the Christian Life by Eric Liddell. Here is the publisher's description:

"Eric Henry Liddell was a Scottish athlete, rugby union international player, and missionary. He is perhaps most well known as the subject of the Oscar-winning 1981 film Chariots of Fire, which depicted his experiences training and racing in the Olympics and the religious convictions that influenced him. In his book about spiritual disciplines, he outlines his own pattern for living which has as its foundation a daily Bible reading plan."

For more information or to get your download go here

Aug 1, 2012

Imprecations in the Psalms

One of the more difficult issues in the study of the Psalms are the imprecations that are occur in various psalms (e.g., Pss 5:10; 10:15; 28:4; 31:17­–18; 35:4–6, 8, 26; 40:14–15; 69:22–28; 70:2–3; 71:13; 109:6–20, 29; 139:19–22; 140:9–10). Although I prefer to think of psalms with imprecations rather than imprecatory psalms, one still has to wrestle with how these imprecations can fit within a Christian ethic. How does the invoking of evil or misfortune upon someone or something fit within a  context in which believers are called upon to bless and not curse and to love and not hate one’s enemies? A number of answers could be given, but I think Gordon Wenham provides a helpful perspective in  noting that, “These appeals for divine intervention, often called ‘imprecatory psalms,’ are much more than curses parading as prayers. They are undergirded by the conviction that God is both sovereign and just, indeed that he cares about the injustice suffered by the poor and downtrodden. The psalmists cry out that God will treat the wrongdoers as they have treated others. In situations  where faith in God’s goodness seems to be disproved, the psalmist reassert that faith and place their trust in God to vindicate them rather than take revenge themselves."


Jul 31, 2012

The Eschatological Dimension of the Lord's Supper

I appreciated this comment by Robert Stein concerning the often neglected eschatological aspect of the Lord's Supper.

"The second dimension of the Lord's Supper points to the more distant future. Jesus looked to the cross with both horror and confidence. The horror of crucifixion is clearly understandable. Jesus' confidence is seen in his last saying. He goes to the cross knowing that he will be victorious. He will rise from the dead; he will ascend to the Father; he will return again in glory. Any celebration of the Lord's Supper that focuses only on thee horror of the cross is decidedly unbiblical. The Lord's Supper also speaks of a glorious reunion of Jesus with his followers. Even such a sad hymn as "'Man of Sorrows,' What a Name," which dolefully sings of Jesus' death, ends "When he comes, our glorious King, / All his ransomed home to bring, / Then anew this song we'll sing, / 'Hallelujah, what a Savior!'" The church must never lose sight of or minimize this dimension of the Lord's Supper."

Robert H. Stein, Jesus the Messiah: A Survey of the Life of Christ (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1996), 212-13.

Jul 30, 2012

Team Sermon Planning

The idea of team sermon planning might be very good idea. Read about it here.

Jul 29, 2012

Teaching vs. Preaching

Read the following carefully. I think Anderson makes some points worth considering.

“Take the question of preaching and teaching. Many have tried to distinguish between preaching and teaching as if teachers share information, while preachers change lives, but that distinction might not actually be helpful. When someone says, ‘George is a better teacher than he is a preacher,’ we think we understand. When pressed to articulate the difference, however, things become more complicated. It may be George is a little dry in his presentation or perhaps he is lacking in passion. That might leave him deficient in the preaching category, but does it automatically mean the man can teach?
One of the reasons preachers are unappreciated in contemporary culture is that they keep trying to change people’s lives. Teachers are better accepted because they are thought to be benign. The teacher shares information but isn’t concerned about persuading anyone, or so it is thought. Put it like that to a real teacher, however, and see how he or she responds.   
“Any teacher worth her whiteboard wants to change lives. Great teaching is not solely about information transfer, as if the lecture were a biotechnical cognitive download. There is that, of course, but teachers want so much more for their students. Teachers want to be dangerous. They actually want to change lives—just like preachers.

“Preachers and teachers have more in common than what is often thought. The teacher wants to change lives, and the cognitive preacher understands that lives will change once people have a correct understanding of truth.”

Kenton C. Anderson, Choosing to Preach (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006), 94–5.