May 11, 2013

Commentary Recommendations

Gene Green offers brief but helpful recommendations for Hebrews-Revelation commentaries here. This completes a series on recommendations for building a New Testament library. You can also access Joel Green's recommendations on Matthew-Acts commentaries here, Nijay Gupta's recommendations on Romans-Ephesians here, and J. Christian Stratton's Philippians-Philemon recommendations  here.

HT: Nijay Gupta

May 10, 2013

James Luther Mays on the Torah Psalms

Here is another nice snippet from older articles from my files that I am in the process of scanning. After discussing the significance of the Torah psalms (1, 19, 119), Mays concludes that,

“The torah psalms point to a type of piety as setting-in-life for the Psalms, a piety that used the entire book as prayer and praise. That means this piety was quite different from any self-righteous, single-minded legalism. Its basic religious commitments were devotion to the instruction of the Lord and trust in the reign of the Lord. The two primary problems with which it lived were wickedness in self and society and the arrogance and power of the nations. The questions with which it wrestled were the incongruence of conduct and experience and the hiddenness of the purpose of God in history. Its way was faithfulness through study and obedience and hope through prayer and waiting. The Psalms were reread in the light of this piety and it in turn was constantly shaped by the use of the Psalms.” 

James Luther Mays, “The Place of the Torah-Psalms in the Psalter,” Journal of Biblical Literature 106 (1987): 12.

May 8, 2013

Ritmeyer on the Eastern Gate

Leen Ritmeyer has a fascinating post on the Eastern Gate of the Temple Mount here.

May 7, 2013

The Psalms and Heroes of the Faith

Here is a nice reminder about the focus in the Psalms from older articles that I am scanning from my files.

"One does not have to read very much in the Psalms before it becomes evident that the emphasis of this literature is upon the person of God. Worship would be very difficult without a clear picture of its object. The Psalms do not encourage any glorification of the great heroes of the faith. In fact, there is hardly any mention of some of the greatest names in Israel’s history. Only two Psalms name Abraham (47 and 105); the name of Moses occurs only in the title of Psalm 90, three times in Psalm 106, and one time each in Psalms 77, 99, 103, and 105—only nine times in all. The Psalter is entirely silent concerning Noah, Joshua, Gideon, Samson, Elijah, and Elisha. Solomon’s name appears only in titles of two Psalms. Even David’s name occurs only thirteen times apart from titles of Psalms."

Robert D. Bell, "The Theology of the Psalms, Part 2: The Pattern for Worship," Biblical Viewpoint 4 (1970):116.

May 6, 2013

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May 5, 2013

Murphy on the Presence of God

Here is another quote from the articles that I have been scanning. This one is from Roland Murphy in an article on the Psalms.

“While it seems platitudinous to underscore the sense of the Lord’s presence to the psalmist, the generation that has lived through the ‘God is dead’ movement needs to come to terms with Israel’s understanding of the divine presence. The prayer of Solomon (I Kings 8:27) recognized that Yahweh’s presence was a mystery, whether it be in the heavens which cannot contain him, much less in an earthly temple. But this did not prevent Israel from acknowledging his presence to them. This is a very basic fact; they were not talking to themselves, nor did they speak ‘as if’ the Lord were present. His reality is simply taken for granted by them.”

Roland E. Murphy, "The Faith of the Psalmist," Interpretation 24 (1980):231.