Sep 22, 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.

François Bovon; Glenn E. Snyder, ed.
New Testament and Christian Apocrypha
Reviewed by Christopher Tuckett
Stanislas Breton
A Radical Philosophy of Saint Paul
Reviewed by Halvor Moxnes and Ole Jakob Løland
Mark Forman
The Politics of Inheritance in Romans
Reviewed by David J. Downs
Anselm Hagedorn and Henrik Pfeiffer, eds.
Die Erzväter in der biblischen Tradition: Festschrift für Matthias Köckert
Reviewed by Cynthia Edenburg
Martin Hengel
Saint Peter: The Underestimated Apostle
Reviewed by Timothy P. Henderson
Kelly R. Iverson and Christopher W. Skinner, eds.
Mark as Story: Retrospect and Prospect
Reviewed by Cornelis Bennema
James A. Kelhoffer
Persecution, Persuasion and Power: Readiness to Withstand Hardship as a Corroboration of Legitimacy in the New Testament
Reviewed by Brian J. Tabb
Cheryl A. Kirk-Duggan and Tina Pippin, eds.
Mother Goose, Mother Jones, Mommie Dearest: Biblical Mothers and Their Children
Reviewed by Vicki Phillips
Allan J. McNicol
The Conversion of the Nations in Revelation
Reviewed by Peter S. Perry
Adrian Schenker
Anfänge der Textgeschichte des Alten Testaments: Studien zu Entstehung und Verhältnis der frühesten Textformen
Reviewed by Marjo C. A. Korpel

Sep 21, 2012

Keener's First Volume of His Acts Commentary

Craig Keener's much anticipated first volume of his Acts commentary covering the introduction and the first two chapters of Acts is available now. The Westminster Bookstore has it at 47% off or $31.65. If you spend $49 you can get free shipping. This is better than Amazon's 46% discount or $32.25 and if you live in Texas, you wont have to pay sales tax either. But keep in mind that Amazon will have automatic free shipping on this book since it is over $25. The Westminster price is also better than Christian Book Distributors which has it for $31.99. Here is a Westminster link, Amazon link, and CBD link.

UPDATE: Amazon's price has gone up to $34.87 (42%).

Two Go Up and One Comes Down: Genesis 22:1-19

I was recently teaching Genesis 22:1–19, the so-called Akedah passage. Verse 19 has often interested me in that it records that only Abraham returns from Mount Moriah to his servants. This stands in contrast to Abraham’s statement in verse 5 to his servants that, “We [Abraham and Isaac] will worship and then we will come back to you.” Yet verse 19 does not mention that Isaac returns with his father. Now, I think that we can assume that Isaac did indeed return with Abraham. Then what is the point of omission? I would suggest that it is possible that Isaac’s absence from the narrative is not a oversight but is rather intentional. The omission serves to highlight Abraham’s obedience. That is, from a narratival standpoint, it is as if Isaac was truly offered as a burnt offering to God even though the reader knows that a ram had taken his place. Abraham coming down alone symbolically leaves Isaac on Moriah as a picture of the Patriarch’s absolute faithfulness.

Sep 20, 2012

Recommended Reading for New Testament Textual Criticism

See Tommy Wasserman's very thorough recommended reading list for studying New Testament textual criticism here. The comment section is worth checking out as well.

HT: Larry Hurtado

Sep 19, 2012

The Geography of Joshua

I recently posted on the importance of understanding geography for understanding the Bible (see here). So I was delighted to see that Joseph’s Coleson’s recent commentary on Joshua for Tyndale’s Cornerstone Biblical Commentary series devotes about ten pages in the introduction to explaining the physical geography of Canaan and about four pages on the cultural geography (the problems of rainfall, forest,  terrain and roads and travel). Coleson explains and justifies this attention to geography in noting that,

“Because humans live on the surface of the earth, geography is always important. Because every ancient Israelite, humble or great, lived in close and intimate relationship with the land, if we wish to understand ancient Israel, we need to learn ancient Israel’s geography. Canaan was the Land of Promise God gave to Israel through the events recorded in Joshua; if we want to understand the message of Joshua, we need to study both the physical and the human geography of ancient Israel God’s grand plan of redemption for the human race may transcend both time and space, but God has so far worked it out in a very definite, limited place through a sequence of events in history. To understand God's plan and its fulfillment, it helps to understand the timeline and the map” (p. 33).

Joseph Coleson, Lawson G. Stone, and Jason Driesbach, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, ed. Philip W. Comfort (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House, 2012), 20–33. 

Sep 18, 2012

The Focus of Acts

"Although many often approach the book of Acts by focusing primarily on the human participants in the narrative (such as Peter and the apostles, Paul, Stephen,  Cornelius), the focus in the book of Acts is actually on God. That Luke is highlighting the sovereignty of God in history is indicated by his use of key terms as well as the way in which he describes God's involvement in the history of Israel, the events surrounding the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and the subsequent developments in the history of the church that he is recounting."

Alan J. Thompson, The Acts of the Risen Lord Jesus: Luke's Account of God's Unfolding Plan, New Studies in Biblical Theology 27, ed. D. A. Carson (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2011), 29.

Sep 17, 2012

Free E-Book: Ancient Israel in Egypt and the Exodus

The Biblical Archaeology Society is offering a free e-book entitled Ancient Israel in Egypt and the Exodus. This book is drawn from articles in the Biblical Archaeology Review magazine. Contributors include James K. Hoffmeier, Abraham Malamat and Hershel Shanks. You can get more information and access the free e-book here.

Sep 16, 2012

Messianic Psalms

I have been thinking about messianic psalms recently. I know that not everyone agrees that messianic psalms are a legitimate category. But without getting into that debate, what would characterize a messianic psalm if the category were valid? Here are three possibilities. Are there others?

1. Psalms utilized by New Testament authors in relation to the person and work of Christ
2. Psalms containing elements that do not appear to find fulfillment in a mere person or king (e.g., Ps 16)
3. Psalms related to a or the suffering servant (e.g., Ps 22)