Jul 13, 2013

Technological Gratitude

"Thanks to Overhead Projectors" is a good reminder to be thankful about, and to have the right attitude toward, using technology in ministry.

Jul 12, 2013

Advice on Sermon Titles

See this blog post on writing better sermon titles.

Jul 11, 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.

Constantine R. Campbell

Paul and Union with Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Study
Reviewed by William Campbell

Daniel Epp-Tiessen
Concerning the Prophets: True and False Prophecy in Jeremiah 23:9–29:32
Reviewed by Kelvin Friebel

Judith Gärtner
Die Geschichtspsalmen: Eine Studie zu den Psalmen 78, 105, 106, 135 und 136 als hermeneutische Schlüsseltexte im Psalter
Reviewed by Susan Gillingham

Lee Martin McDonald
Formation of the Bible: The Story of the Church’s Canon
Reviewed by James Leonard

Matthew V. Novenson
Christ among the Messiahs: Christ Language in Paul and Messiah Language in Ancient Judaism
Reviewed by Nijay K. Gupta

Richard I. Pervo
Acts: A Commentary
Reviewed by Don Garlington

Karlheinz Schüssler
Biblia Coptica: Die koptischen Bibeltexte. Vollständiges Verzeichnis mit Standorten. Band 2/Lfg 1 sa 121–184
Reviewed by Elina Perttilä

Cynthia Shafer-Elliott
Food in Ancient Judah: Domestic Cooking in the Time of the Hebrew Bible
Reviewed by Stephen Reed

Caroline Vander Stichele and Hugh S. Pyper, eds.
Text, Image, and Otherness in Children's Bibles: What Is in the Picture?
Reviewed by Gottfried Adam

C. Richard Wells and Ray Van Neste, eds.
Forgotten Songs: Reclaiming the Psalms for Christian Worship
Reviewed by Leonard P. Maré 


Jul 10, 2013

Walt Kaiser on Christ-Centered Hermeneutics

See Walt Kaiser's post on Christ-centered hermeneutics here. The post is part of a larger series hosted on Ed Stetzer blog on Christ-centered hermeneutics. The four parts series has or will include posts by,

● Dr. Daniel Block (Wheaton College)
● Dr. David Murray (Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary)
● Dr. Walt Kaiser (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) 

● Dr. Bryan Chapell (Grace Presbyterian in Peoria, IL)

The first installment by Daniel Block can be read here and here. You can access Murray's post here, and here. Ed Stetzer provides a recap here and here.

Jul 9, 2013

Recent Discoveries at Tel Hazor

In this article, a recent discovery of a sphinx at Tel Hazor is described. According to the article,

"A team of researchers from the Institute of Archaeology, headed by Prof. Amnon Ben-Tor and Dr. Sharon Zuckerman found in Tel Hazor National Park a unique fracture of an Egyptian Sphinx. The Sphinx has between its front legs an hieroglyphic inscription which includes the name of the Egyptian king Mikrinos, who ruled during the ancient Egyptian kingdom and was one of the builders of the famous pyramids of Giza. He ruled the Egyptian kingdom in the third millennium BCE, more than 4,000 years ago.

"The Sphinx fragment discovered at Hazor is an unexpected and incredibly important discovery, since it is the only known Sphinx of this king discovered so far in the world, including in Egypt. Moreover, it is only fraction of the majestic monumental sculpture discovered in the entire Levant (the eastern shore of the Mediterranean)."


Jul 8, 2013

Review of Interpreting the Pauline Letters

Harvey, John D. Interpreting the Pauline Letters: An Exegetical Handbook. Handbook for New Testament Exegesis, ed. John D. Harvey. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2012.

The Pauline Epistles continue to be some of the most popular sections of Scripture to preach and teach and yet can also be some of the most daunting as well. John Harvey has provided a helpful entrée into the field.

The breadth and depth of John Harvey’s introduction to Pauline Letters is impressive given its relative brevity (224 pp.). In the first three chapters, Harvey discusses the genre, background, and theology of the Pauline epistles. Chapters four and five focus on issues related to interpretation (i.e. textual criticism and translation) and the interpretive process itself. This is followed by two chapters that explain and illustrate how one can move from text to sermon. Harvey rounds out the book with ten pages of suggested resources and a three-page glossary.

I like Interpreting the Pauline Letters for at least three reasons. First, as already noted, it is fairly comprehensive and yet succinct. But even with the brevity, the author is often able to address different options and views. Second, at a list price of $22.99 you get a fair amount of bang for the buck. It is a budget-friendly resource for financially challenged students, pastors, and others involved in ministry. Third, chapters six and seven emphasize the importance of preaching the text and preaching it well. The study of Paul’s letters is not an end, it is a means.

This volume could be made more helpful with a Scripture index. It would probably add only a few more pages but make this volume more user-friendly. A second point is not necessarily a criticism, but it is a concern. The emphasis on textual criticism and translation as preparatory to interpretation is ideal (this is what I was taught in seminary), but I wonder whether it is a realistic expectation for most pastors. I think a word from the author addressing this issue would have been valuable. As it stands, a reader of this work might conclude that he could not even begin interpreting without wrestling at depth with text-critical issues and creating a fresh translation. That being said, I would still recommend this volume for the reasons noted above.

Thanks to Kregel for the review copy used in this unbiased review.