Dec 31, 2013

Top Ten Biblical Archaeology Discoveries of 2013

See this article by Gordon Govier on "Biblical Archaeology's Top Ten Discoveries of 2013." I have posted his list below. See his article for additional explanation.

1. The Egyptian Scarab of Khirbet el-Maqatir
2. Jezreel Winepress
3. The Wine Cellar of Tel Kabri
4. Royal Public Buildings at Khirbet Qeiyafa
5. The Sphinx of Hazor
6. Gold Hoard Found Near the Temple Mount
7. Roman Legion Base in Galilee
8. Mt. Zion Priestly Mansion
9. An Extra Destruction Level at Gezer 

10. Stone pyramid under the Sea of Galilee 

One could debate how biblically relevant some of these are since some post-date the biblical period. But I enjoy lists like this.

Dec 30, 2013

A Goal for Teaching Romans

“We need to show people that profitable Bible reading begins with careful Bible reading, reading the letter attentively as it stands. We want to show people that the youngest Christian can read Romans and profit by it. Of course we thank God for those who translate it reliably and for those who as it were, take us by the hand and guide us through the letter and link it to the other parts of Scripture. But the aim of scholars who do this is to put the Bible into the hands of the ordinary Christian reader. In this we are the heirs of the great Bible translators, whose aim was famously put by William Tyndale when he said to smug cleric that before long he would make the ploughman know more of the Bible than the clergyman. In our Bible teaching we are to continue what Tyndale began, putting the Bible into the hands of those who teach so that they may read it for themselves and be blessed in their reading.”

Christopher Ash, Teaching Romans: Volume One-Unlocking Romans 1–8 for the Bible Teacher (Ross-shire: Christian Focus, 2009, 19–20.

Dec 29, 2013

Free Audio: Grace and the Book of James

Regent Audio is offering a presentation by Miriam Kamell entitled "Surprised By Grace: The Overlooked Foundation of the Letter of James" for free download but the offer ends at midnight on December 30. Check it out here.

Dec 27, 2013

Marshall's Concise New Testament Theology

Christian Book Distributor's "Deal of the Day" is I. Howard Marshall's Concise New Testament Theology for $1.99 (originally $23). You can check it out here. If you spend $35 or more you can choose between free shipping (use promotion code 419677) or 10% off (use promotion code 419678).

What Do I Do?

I had a good chuckle when I read the Peanuts comic below. It reminds me a lot of the world of biblical studies.

Dec 26, 2013

Biblical Training Apps

Bill Mounce has just announced that BiblicalTraining now has iOS and Android apps that will allow you to access and listen to their lectures wherever you are. Go here to find out more.

Dec 24, 2013

Why Jesus Came

Peter Cockrell has a nice ten-point reminder explaining why Jesus came. Read it here.

Dec 23, 2013

Bible Land Blogs

Ferrell Jenkins has a nice annotated list of blogs devoted to the Bible lands here. By the way, if you are not reading Ferrell's blog you should be.

Dec 22, 2013

Productivity Principles from Proverbs

Eric McKiddie has a nice post here on "22 Productivity Principles from the Book of Proverbs."

Dec 21, 2013

Online Tools for Creating Infographics

See this post for five online tools for creating infographics.

Dec 20, 2013

Counting the Ten Commandments

Jason DeRouchie has posted a link to a PDF of his contribution to the recent festschrift to Dan Block entitled "Counting the Ten: An Investigation into the Numbering of the Decalogue."

Dec 19, 2013

Questions to Ask Before Preaching Your Christmas Sermon

This post identifies twenty questions to ask before preaching your Christmas sermon. In reality, these many of these questions ought to be asked before preaching any sermon.

Dec 18, 2013

Hurtado on Early High Christology

Larry Hurtado has a helpful post clarifying the ongoing discussion related to early high Christology here.

Dec 17, 2013

Defining Apocalypse or Apocalyptic

Mark Goodacre pokes a bit of fun at a oft-used definition of apocalypse here. Although the point Goodacre makes is interesting, I think that there are more serious methodological challenges based on how the definition was developed (descriptively) and how it is often used (prescriptively). That is, the definition appears to be developed from certain literature that one already determined was apocalyptic and then taking that very same definition and saying see these books are apocalyptic or that apocalyptic literature has to be characterized in this particular way.  

Dec 16, 2013

2014 Expository Preaching Conference

Those already starting to make plans for next year might be interested in the 2014 Expository Preaching Workshop to be held at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary on March 3-4, 2014. The workshop will run from 4:00-9:00 pm on Monday and 8:00 am-4:00 pm on Tuesday. The cost is $25 for students and $50 for non-students. The focus of this year's conference will be on 1 John. You can access more information here.

Dec 13, 2013

The Story of the Holy Land

The kind folks at Kregel recently sent me a copy of The Story of the Holy Land: A Visual History by Peter Walker. This is an attractive book. The selection of pictures and printing are outstanding. As a visual history, this work is divided into seven chapters.

1. Canaanites and Israelites (1950–1050 BC)

2. Tribes and Kings (1050–587 BC)

3. Refugees and Greeks (587–40 BC)

4. The Crucial Century (40 BC–AD 70)

5. Romans and Byzantines (AD 70–630)

6. Muslims and Crusaders (AD 630–1291)

7. Ottomans and Westerners (AD 1291–1948)

Not everyone will agree with some of the dates presented in the book (e.g., the late date of the Exodus) but this nice resource. 

You can access an excerpt here.

Dec 12, 2013

Bethlehemian Rhapsody and Passover Rhapsody Videos

Bethlemian Rhapsody
I have used this one before.

Passover Rhapsody
This was new to me.

HT: Ben Blackwell for the Passover rhapsody

Dec 11, 2013

Andreas Köstenberger's Best Books of 2013 List

Andreas Köstenberger has posted a best books of 2013 list here. I have summarized his list below but you really should read his full discussion.

1. William Baird, History of New Testament Research, vol. 3

2. Joel B. Green, gen. ed., Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, 2nd edition

3. N. T. Wright, Paul and the Faithfulness of God and Pauline Perspectives: Essays on Paul, 1978–2013

4. Thomas Schreiner, The King in His Beauty: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments

5. Michael Bird, Evangelical Theology: A Biblical and Systematic Introduction

6. James Hoffmeier and Dennis Magary, eds., Do Historical Matters Matter to Faith?

7. Steven Cowan and Terry Wilder, eds., In Defense of the Bible

8. Jason DeRouchie, ed., What the Old Testament Authors Really Cared About

9. Stanley Porter and Gregory Fewster, Paul and Pseudepigraphy 

10. David Trobisch, A User’s Guide to the Nestle-Aland 28 Greek New Testament 

I am happy to say that I have seven out of the eleven books listed (N. T. has two volumes under #3).

Dec 10, 2013

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous in Ancient Israel

Haaretz has an interesting article entitled "Lifestyles of the rich and famous in ancient Israel" here. You will have to register to read the full article.

Dec 9, 2013

Self-Editing for Better Writing

I found this piece on the value of self-editing as a means to better writing to be helpful. 

Dec 8, 2013

Poetry Infographic

The following infographic is interesting even if it totally ignores biblical poetry.

Dec 7, 2013

A Hardcover Edition of the Satellite Bible Atlas

If you are in the market for a good Bible atlas, I would encourage you to take a look at the new hardcover edition of the Satellite Bible Atlas. This is a nice resource. BiblePlaces now has the hardcover edition for $28. You can also buy a 55" x 20" wall/door map for $7. (Do note that the map is folded not rolled.) You can combine the atlas and the map for $32 (a savings of $3).  You can order the atlas and/or map here.

Dec 4, 2013

The Unique One: 18 Distinctives of Jesus Christ

My friend Cecil Price has just published The Unique One: 18 Distinctives of Jesus Christ. "In The Unique One, you will discover how:

  • the Bible compares to other ancient documents
  • Jesus Christ differs from the founders of other major religions
  • both Old and New Testaments harmonize the identity of the Messiah
  • major teachings of the Christian faith compare to other religions the words and works of Jesus can improve your life."
 You can get the book using this Amazon link.

Dec 3, 2013

Review of Preaching? Simple Teaching on Simply Preaching

Motyer, Alec. Preaching? Simple Teaching on Simply Preaching. Ross-shire: Christian Focus, 2013.

While this book is a about preaching, it is a bit different in its approach from other how-to volumes. It is mixture of preaching methodology and biblical exposition. In fact, expositions form a significant portion of the content. Also, unlike most texts on preaching, this one is more conversational in tone. It is like listening to an experienced preacher sharing his insights and advice. There is a logical progression in the order of the topics presented but I get a sense of disconnectedness and I am not sure what the appendices really do for this book (and these appendices are about 20% of the book). I am also a bit puzzled by the question mark in the title. What does it signify?

That being said, the patient reader will find plenty of sound advice about preaching and solid demonstrations of exposition. There is not much new here (as the author admits p. 8) but getting better at preaching often involves being reminded of the fundamentals. This is something that Motyer does well. The book is easy to read and the conversational tone makes one feel that author is talking with you and not merely at you. It is obvious that he cares deeply about preaching, preachers, and the Word of God. This fact alone should encourage one to give this volume a look.

Dr. Alec Motyer is a well-known Bible expositor and former principal of Trinity College, Bristol.

Thanks to Christian Focus Publications for providing the copy used in this unbiased review.

Dec 2, 2013

The State of Academic Publishing

Some readers might be interested in this in this article in Publishers Weekly about academic publishing and the recent AAR/SBL meeting. I guess I did my part in helping academic publishing to thrive, although I bought considerably less this year than in recent years.

Journal for the Study of the New Testament 36:2

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 Rock Was Christ’: The Fluidity of Christ’s Body in 1 Corinthians 10.4
Matthew Thiessen
pp. 103-126

(Why) Was Jesus the Galilean Crucified Alone? Solving a False Conundrum
Fernando Bermejo-Rubio
pp. 127-154

Apocalyptic and Covenant: Perspectives on Paul or Antinomies at War?
David A. Shaw
pp. 155-171

Taking the Jews out of the Equation: Galatians 6.12-17 as a Summons to Cease Evading Persecution
Alexander V. Prokhorov
pp. 172-188

Romans 4: A Critique of N.T. Wright
Jan Lambrecht
pp. 189-194

Nov 30, 2013

Two Possible Book Deals

Barnes & Nobel is offering a 30% off coupon through Sunday, December 1. This can turn out to be a good deal. Here are two examples to demonstrate what you might be able to do. 

N. T. Wright - Paul and the Faithfulness of God is listed at $53.93 or 39% off. This is already better than the $59 price offered at ETS/SBL. But when you add your 30% coupon, this drops the price to $37.75 or a 58% discount. You will probably have to pay your state sales tax but for those who live in Texas for example that would be $3.11. So it comes out to $40.86. But  since the total is over $25 it qualifies for free shipping. So the bottom line is that you get a 54% discount off the list price!

R. Bauckham, J. Davila, A. Panayalov - Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: More Noncanonical Scriptures is listed at $59.34 or 34% off. But if you use the 30% off coupon it drops the price to $41.54. Sales tax for those who live in Texas adds $3.54 for a total of 45.08 with free shipping. This is about 50% off which is still a better than the 40% discount offered at ETS/SBL.

To access the 30% discount enter the discount code BFRIDAY30 at checkout. Keep in mind that this coupon code can be redeemed only once per billing address.

Nov 28, 2013

Rahab's Lie

J. Carl Laney has a good discussion of the ethics of Rahab's lie (Josh 2:5). Laney notes that,

"Several key hermeneutical principles are helpful in responding to this question. First, it is important to remember that the Bible often records what God does not necessarily approve. Second, divine approval of an individual in one aspect or area of life does not mean there is divine approval in all aspects of character or conduct. Third, application should be made on the basis of what the Bible obviously blesses or commends, not every detail of the passage."

Read the rest of Laney's post here.

Nov 27, 2013

Guest Preaching Tips

See this blog post for eleven helpful and common-sense tips related to guest preaching opportunities. In the post, Brandon identifies the following eleven points.

1. Honor the senior pastor
2. Respect the time limit
3. Arrive early
4. Stay late
5. Know your audience
6. Honor the topic / text / series you are given.
7. Know the stage transitions
8. Say “Thank You”
9. Learn how to accept a compliment
10. Come prepared 

11. BONUS TIP: Ask for feedback

A commenter also added "dress appropriately." Read the entire post for additional explanation of the points.

Nov 26, 2013

Video Lecture by Udo Middelmann

You can access video of a lecture by Udo Middelmann given at the Lanier Theological Library. Here is a description of the contents of the lecture.

"The Bible teaches us that God is sovereign over all. Does that mean that in his sovereignty and foreknowledge, all events are determined? What about evil and the choices of man to disobey God or not believe in him at all, including the horrors of the 20th century? Do we have to choose between a good but weak God or a bad but strong God? The sovereignty of God, the existence of evil, the responsibility of man ... how do these work together to explain human history and the reality of the world around us? Belief in the sovereignty of God has led to extreme forms of determinism, while a rejection of God’s sovereignty has resulted in a view of history which assumes the idea of a God with limited power and knowledge. Udo Middelmann critiques both positions and demonstrates the continuing battle of a good and powerful God for his creation. Instead of blaming God, or his absence, Middelmann presents a startling catalyst for thoughtful dialogue. God admonishes us to seek justice, goodness and mercy in the continuing struggle against evil."

Go here to access the video.

Nov 25, 2013

In Defense of the Lecture

The lecture method of teaching has fallen into disfavor these days. But read Abigail Walthhausen's article entitled, "Don't Give Up on the Lecture" in the The Atlantic. See You can access the article here.

Nov 24, 2013

The Preacher as Realist

Warren Wiersbe in an essay entitled, "Your Preaching is Unique," provides the following helpful observation.

"God help the preacher who abandons his ideals! But, at the same time, God pity the preacher who is idealistic that he fails to be realistic. A realist is an idealist who has gone through the fire and been purified. A skeptic is an idealist who has gone through the fire and been burned. There is a difference."

Warren Wiersbe, "Your Preaching is Unique," in Preaching to Convince, ed. James D. Berkley (Waco: Word, 1986), 167.

Nov 23, 2013

James Hoffmeier and Stephen Moshier at the Lanier Theological Library

Those in the Houston area might be interested in registering for a free lecture on January 18, 2014 by James Hoffmeier and Stephen Moshier at the Lanier Theological Library.

The lecture is entitled, "Moses Did Not Sleep Here! A Critical Look at Some Sensational Exodus and Mt. Sinai Theories." Here is a brief description.

"Over the past 10-15 years there have been a number of sensational ideas advanced for where and how the Red Sea crossing occurred as the Hebrews departed Egypt and where Mt. Sinai is located. Many of these are known from popular TV programs on the History, Learning, Discovery and National Geographic Channels. Some of these theories, such as the one that has the Israelites crossing the Gulf of Aqaba and landing in Saudi Arabia will be examined biblically, archaeologically (Hoffmeier) and geologically (Moshier). Was Mt. Sinai a volcano? Is there any basis for identifying Mt. Sinai with the traditional site, Gebel Musa? These and other questions will be treated, using film clips, slides and maps." 

For additional information or to register go here.

Nov 22, 2013

Review of What the Old Testament Authors Really Cared About

Jason DeRouchie, ed., What the Old Testament Authors Really Cared About: A Survey of Jesus’ Bible (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2013). 

The Old Testament is unexplored territory for many Christians. So any resource that can help one to navigate through this part of Scripture should be appreciated. What the Old Testament Authors Really Cared About is just such a resource.
This work, the product of seventeen authors and edited by Jason DeRouchie, is concise, well-written, and pedagogically friendly. The book is arranged in Jewish canonical order with each book covered individually. There are numerous and helpful charts, diagrams, sidebars, maps, and photos. The book contains seven appendices (although the last two are really more indices). There is not much to criticize in this work. It is certainly not as detailed as some other surveys but what it does it typically does well. One chapter that I did find disappointing was the one on the Twelve (i.e. the twelve Minor Prophets). While one can justify treating the Minor Prophets as a single book, I think it would have been better to address each book individually. After all it is called the Twelve and not the One. Furthermore, since this is a survey of Jesus’ Bible, it might be worth noting that the New Testament never clearly refers to the Twelve collectively, but rather to individual prophets/books (e.g., Joel [Acts 2:16], Hosea [Rom 9:25], Jonah [Matt 12:39, etc.]).

But these criticisms do not outweigh the overall value of the book. Indeed, I wish that this book came with a CD or website access that would allow pastors and teachers to easily access the charts, diagrams, maps, and photos for presentation purposes.

I am thankful to Kregel for providing the review copy utilized in this unbiased review.

Nov 21, 2013

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.

Georg Fischer
Theologien des Alten Testaments
Reviewed by Martin Leuenberger

Mercedes L. García Bachmann
Women at Work in the Deuteronomistic History
Reviewed by Susanne Scholz

Yung Suk Kim, ed.
1 and 2 Corinthians: Texts @ Contexts
Reviewed by Matthew R. Malcolm

Yulin Liu
Temple Purity in 1–2 Corinthians
Reviewed by S. Aaron Son

Jodi Magness, Seth Schwartz, Zeev Weiss, and Oded Irshai, eds.
“Follow the Wise”: Studies in Jewish History and Culture in Honor of Lee I. Levine
Reviewed by Rami Arav

Susan E. Myers, ed.
Portraits of Jesus: Studies in Christology
Reviewed by Francis J. Moloney

Daniel C. Olson
A New Reading of the Animal Apocalypse of 1 Enoch: “All Nations Shall be Blessed”
Reviewed by David R. Jackson

Colleen Shantz and Rodney A. Werline, eds.
Experientia, Volume 2: Linking Text and Experience
Reviewed by Scott D. Mackie

Eric A. Seibert
The Violence of Scripture: Overcoming the Old Testament’s Troubling Legacy
Reviewed by Ralph K. Hawkins

Martin Williams
The Doctrine of Salvation in the First Letter of Peter
Reviewed by Jennifer G. Bird

Nov 20, 2013

What Drives Your Preaching Schedule?

" . . . a preaching schedule driven by the Bible rather than by perceived needs will over the long haul, stimulate greater maturity in a church. Substantial long-term growth requires a steady diet of the Word. Rather than beginning with our people's needs, therefore, the majority of our preaching schedule should balance the biblical diet we offer our listeners. Then, as we submit to the Word and the Spirit, giving these priority over our hobby horses, creativity, and even our desire to meet people's felt needs, God will permeate our preaching and perform whatever work He needs to perform in listeners' hearts and lives."

Daniel Overdorf, One Year to Better Preaching: 52 Exercises top Hone Your Skills (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2013), 22

Nov 19, 2013

Suggestions for Crafting Message Statements

Last week I had a brief post here on message statements for the books of the Bible. I noted that a message statement is a one-sentence summary consisting of a subject and compliment(s). In this post, I will offer a few suggestions for crafting message statements.
  1. The subject of your message statement needs to encapsulate the whole book otherwise it will better serve as a compliment.
  2. A message statement needs to cover the whole book but not every book of the Bible. Some message are so broad and generic that they are not really useful in capturing the the uniqueness of a book.
  3. Try to resist the temptation to use God as the subject. God, of course, is the presumed subject of every biblical book. However, if you make God the subject then you will likely have a problem with point 2. If you feel compelled to use God as the subject, then try and narrow it to a distinctive aspect or attribute of God that is central to the book (e.g., attributes like holiness, sovereignty, faithfulness, etc., or functions like God as judge, redeemer, warrior, etc.).
  4. Do your best to avoid a message statement that is is too historically grounded. For example, while one could argue that the subject of Lamentations is the destruction of Jerusalem, if you use that as the subject, then what is the message for all of us who are not Jewish or otherwise associated with Jerusalem? In these cases, it is better to abstract a more generic subject out of the historical subject. For Lamentations the subject might be something like "the tragic and destructive consequences of sin." Doing this will keep your message relevant to a contemporary audience. However, you will need to take care that you do not run into issues related to point 2.
  5. Understand that the Bible is inspired and inerrant but your message statements are not. Be willing to change your message statement as you gain a better appreciation of a book.
  6. Remember that you cannot improve or edit what has not been written. Do not let the fear and difficulty of composing message statements paralyze you. Simply do your best and keep point 5 in mind. 

Nov 17, 2013

Moo's Galatians Commentary

I hope to pick up a copy of Doug Moo's new Galatians commentary soon. But until then I will have to be content with this PDF excerpt. This excerpt contains a very good  treatment on the the issue of whether the Jerusalem visit of Galatians 2:1-10 should be equated with Acts 11:27-30 or Acts 15:1-29. I also happen to agree with Moo's conclusion.

Nov 16, 2013

Bruce Springsteen and the Bible

A number of years ago In Bible college, I had an assignment where among other things, I wrote about biblical references and theology that is woven through a number of Bruce Springsteen's songs. So it is with some interest that I note that Rutgers University is offering a one-hour college course entitled "Rock and Roll Theology" focusing on the theology of Bruce Springsteen. See this report and interview with the professor of the course. I am not sure what the syllabus looks like, but preachers and teachers familiar with the "Boss" already know that there are illustrations to be found in the music.

Nov 15, 2013

Blog Tour Review of Evangelical Theology

I am thankful to Zondervan and the Koinonia blog for allowing me to participate in the Evangelical Theology blog tour. I realize that I may be one of the last ones to contribute but in my defense, I was assigned to cover the longest part in the book! But having the longest part of the book is wholly appropriate in this case since it relates to theology proper or more properly, “The God of the Gospel: The Triune God in Being and Action.” Surely the measure of any systematic theology should be how it treats its most important Subject–God Himself.

In general, this was an enjoyable read. The author has an easy to read style that is clear and lively. Bird’s sidebar on “Evangelicals and Karl Barth” is a good example of this (pp. 191–93). He has a gift for making a serious point in a humorous way. Two examples of this should suffice.

“So the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo did not emerge ex nihilo” (p. 161).

“Giving a revelation to men and women alienated from God is a bit like trying to insert a DVD into a video cassette player; it won’t load” (p. 204).

This section was also fairly comprehensive. While footnotes are kept to a minimum, the content does not seem to suffer. Definitions are provided and different views are presented and Bird lets you know where he stands. There are also refreshing moments where the reader is reminded that theology is not merely a philosophical or theoretical construct but has significant implications for the Christian life. The author deserves kudos for presenting the practical implications of the Trinity in four areas: 1. prayer and worship, 2. ministry, 3. missions, and 4. community (pp. 122–24).

Of course with any work of this magnitude there will be points of disagreement here and there. I offer two examples. First, in his discussion of the Trinity, the author asserts that “the complexity of the subject means that the Trinity is not strictly a biblical doctrine, as there is no ‘Trinity’ in any biblical concordance” (p. 100). While this statement is true as far as it goes, I am not convinced that this statement is helpful. The fact is, there are few, if any, comprehensive doctrinal statements in the Bible and the mere mention of a term does not make a biblical doctrine. Furthermore, just about all, if not all, doctrines rely at some point on inferences. Second, I think there are problems with Bird’s portrayal of dispensationalism (pp. 220–21). While Bird is right in noting that there are different kinds of dispensationalists (p. 220) it is misleading at best to state that the sine qua non of dispensationalism is the distinction between Israel and the church when in fact it is only one of three identified by Ryrie in the source he has cited. Also, Bird states that “Dispensationalism has had bad consequences for Jewish evangelism” and then goes on to make reference to “extreme dispensational groups” (p. 221). While one cannot deny that there are extreme groups, is it good form to support one’s critique by utilizing the extremists within a group? It is akin to those who criticize Calvinists for not being interested in evangelism because they believe in unconditional election. One can find examples of this, but this does not mean that it is true of Calvinists in general. It is doubtful that one could write a history of modern Jewish evangelism without recognizing the significant contributions of dispensationalists.

These concerns aside, I appreciate what Evangelical Theology brings to the table. Like any conversation partner it has flaws, but one would be poorer for it by not listening to what this one has to say.

Nov 14, 2013

Free ESV App

To celebrate their 75th anniversary, Crossway is offering the ESV Study Bible Web App for free through the end of November. You can access this free app at

Nov 13, 2013

Just in Time for Christmas: The Incarnation of the Gospels

The Westminster Bookstore is offering The Incarnation in the Gospels by Daniel Doriani, Philip Ryken, and Richard Phillips for 52% off or $11. Use this link. This looks like a good resource that might come in handy for that Christmas series you are planning. You can access a PDF excerpt of the book here or listen to an interview related to the book with Doriani here.

Nov 12, 2013

Message Statements for Books of the Bible

As part of my doctoral work, I had to write an argument for every book of the Bible. In order to write an argument I needed to craft a one-sentence summary of what the book is about. This one-sentence summary consisting of a subject and compliment(s) is called a message statement. While some might assume that writing a single sentence like this should be easy. In reality, it is a challenging exercise. In essence, it is like trying to capture lightning in a bottle. So I was interested to read this post by Andy Naselli that lists all the message statements from the NIV Proclamation Bible. Some of the messages are very good but a few are not really message statements at all. In any case, I find that it sharpens my thinking to see how other interpreters understand the books of the Bible.

Nov 11, 2013

Jerome Murphy-O'Connor (1935-2013)

It is being reported that Jerome Murphy-O'Connor has died. I never had the privilege of meeting him, but two of his books have been particularly helpful to me.

  • St. Paul's Corinth: Texts and Archaeology, 3rd revised and expanded ed. (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical, 2002) 
  • The Holy Land: An Oxford Archaeological Guide from Earliest Times to 1700, 5th ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008).

The Biblical Story

If you are interested in the metanarrative of the Bible you might be interesting in The Biblical Story, a set of videos featuring Dr. Charles Baylis. Dr. Baylis is a Professor of Bible Exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary.