Aug 17, 2013

Paul and the Road to Assos

Carl Rasmussen has an interesting post on Paul's journey on the road to Assos (Acts 20:13-14) here. The post contains some nice illustrations.

Aug 16, 2013

Review of The World of Jesus

William H. Marty, The World of Jesus: Making Sense of the People and Places of Jesus’ Day (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 2013). 

The World of Jesus is a popular-level introduction into the history and culture that serves as the context for the world of Jesus and the early church. Marty uses both biblical and extrabiblical sources to highlight the most significant persons, events, and philosophies for the thought world of the first century AD. The author’s approach is basically chronological, starting with the Persian period and ending with the Roman period. Each chapter concludes with helpful discussion questions. There is also a nine-page glossary to round out the study. 

This work is user-friendly in its brevity, readability, and use of timelines, tables, and various excurses. It is a fairly comprehensive but not exhaustive treatment. My only minor criticism is that each chapter typically begins with a vignette that mixes historical fact with a bit of artistic license (e.g., pp. 19-20, 103-4). This is okay, but a reader might be confused as to where the former ends and the latter begins. But this only barely diminishes the value of this work to introduce lay-readers to the world of Jesus. 

Thanks to Bethany House for providing the book used in this unbiased review.

Aug 15, 2013

Atonement App

G-dcast, a "nonprofit that uses new technology to do Jewish education, is synthesizing the scapegoat and in its “Atonement App,” which allows users to confess, anonymously, with the help of an animated goat who roams the web."

You can read more about this app here.

Christians and Cremation

Michael Svigel has a balanced discussion on Christians and cremation here.

Aug 14, 2013

Themelios 38:2

This announcement might be a bit late, but the latest issue of Themelios is available as a free PDF here.

Lost Faces of the Bible

National Geographic is planning to present a program during the Christmas season entitled, "The Lost Faces of the Bible." The four part series will include:

Lost Face of the Bible: Delilah Revealed
A 3,000-year-old female skull gives the forensic team the chance to reconstruct the face of a Philistine lady.

Lost Face of the Bible: Sacrifical Child
The discovery of a tiny infant in a clay jar leads the team to explore humanity's history of sacrifice, and put a face to the mysterious child.

Lost Face of the Bible: Ancient Warrior
Over 6,000 years after 'The Warrior' was laid to rest in a remote desert cave the team try to find out how he lived and what he looked like.

Lost Face of the Bible: The Man Who Saw Jesus
Archaeologists reconstruct the life of a skeleton found in Galilee as the forensic team prepares to unveil the 2,000-year-old man's face.

You can read more about the program at the National Geographic website here.

Aug 13, 2013

Back-to-School Sale on Pictorial Library of Bible Lands

Bible students and professors might be interested in a back-to-school sale on Pictorial Library of Bible Lands. In my opinion, this Pictorial Library is the best photographic resource available for teaching and personal study of the Holy Lands as it relates to the Bible.

For the next 10 days, 5 volumes are on sale for $100, including free shipping in the US. When the sale ends, the price will return to $170. To get the sale price, click here.

They are also offering a $100 discount on the complete 18-volume Pictorial Library of Bible Lands or only $289. This set includes 17,500 photographs in jpg and PowerPoint format, including detailed explanations about the sites, history, and biblical significance. To get $100 off, click here.

The Promise of Jeremiah 29:11

Last week while teaching through Jeremiah, I cautioned my students about claiming the promise found in Jeremiah 29:11. Here is a recent article on the controversy surrounding the Christian appropriation of the verse.

Aug 12, 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.

Judith Baskin and Kenneth Seeskin, eds.
The Cambridge Guide to Jewish History, Religion, and Culture
Reviewed by by Alan Avery-Peck

G. K. Beale
A New Testament Biblical Theology: The Unfolding of the Old Testament in the New
Reviewed by by Stephen Moyise

John T. Carroll
Luke: A Commentary
Reviewed by by Daniel L. Smith

Jan Joosten
Collected Studies on the Septuagint: From Language to Interpretation and Beyond
Reviewed by by Sean A. Adams

Ingrid E. Lilly
Two Books of Ezekiel: Papyrus 967 and the Masoretic Text as Variant Literary Editions
Reviewed by by John Engle

Marty Alan Michelson
Reconciling Violence and Kingship: A Study of Judges and 1 Samuel
Reviewed by by Gregory Mobley

John J. Pilch
A Cultural Handbook to the Bible
Reviewed by by Jacobus Kok

Konrad Schmid
The Old Testament: A Literary History
Reviewed by by Trent C. Butler

James W. Thompson
Moral Formation according to Paul: The Context and Coherence of Pauline Ethics
Reviewed by by David G. Horrell

Jane S. Webster and Glenn S. Holland, eds.
Teaching the Bible in the Liberal Arts Classroom
Reviewed by by Phillip Sherman

Aug 11, 2013

Facebook Tips for Pastors

Seven common-sense Facebook tips for pastors here.