May 24, 2014

John 6:27–59

I have restarted a project to digitize most of the hard copy material in my file cabinets. The table below represents my adaptation of a handout on John 6:27–59 created by the late Dr. Roy Zuck. He made some great handouts.

John 6:27–59
What did Jesus say He has done or will do?
What are individuals to do?
·     Gives life (vv. 27, 33, 40, 47, 53, 57, 58)
·     Came down from heaven (vv. 33, 38, 41, 42, 50, 51, 58)
·     Will never drive anyone away (v. 37)
·     Does the will of the Father (v. 38)
·     Will never lose anyone who comes to Him (v. 39)
·     Will raise believers on the last day (w. 39, 40, 44, 54)
·     Will give His flesh (v. 51)
·     Believe (vv. 29, 35, 40, 47)
·     Come to Christ (vv. 35, 37, 44, 45)
·     Look to the Son (v. 40)
·     Listen to the Father (v. 45)
·     Learn from the Father (v. 45)
·     Eat His flesh and drink His blood (vv. 50, 51, 53, 54, 56, 57, 58)
·     Abide in Christ (v. 56)
What did Jesus say the Father has done or will do?
What are the results of believing in Him?
·     Approved the Son (v. 27)
·     Sent the Son (w. 29, 38, 39, 44, 57)
·     Gives the true bread (v. 32)
·     Gives people to Christ (vv. 37, 39, 65)
·     Draws people to Christ (v. 44)
·     Will never be hungry or thirsty (v. 35)
·     Will be raised up, resurrected (vv. 39, 40, 44, 54)
·     Have eternal life (vv. 40, 47, 51, 54, 57, 58)
·     Will never die (v. 50)

May 22, 2014

Review of The Return of the Kosher Pig

Reading The Return of the Kosher Pig will leave some feeling a bit like Alice falling down the rabbit hole. Strange names, unfamiliar terms, an unconventional hermeneutic, and a challenging train of argumentation could prove to be a challenge. But if the reader is willing to enter into the world of this book, he or she will find truths worth considering.
The author states that this book is the result of his quest to discover the Jewish Messiah. The title is derived from a quote from the Rabbi Menachem Schneerson that, “In the Messianic Era, when the true divine nature of every creature will be openly revealed, the pig will stand vindicated as a kosher animal.” The author, Rabbi Itzhack Shapira, ties this idea in with the widely held view within Judaism that Jesus of Nazareth like a pig, is unclean. Shapira, does not intend this to be a derogatory connection. Indeed, his book is a sustained attempt to prove the idea of a divine Messiah and that Jesus is that Messiah, all from a Jewish perspective. Shapira’s argument is divided into five parts: (1) Framework—Defining the Historical and Theological Background of the Case of the Kosher Pig, (2) Identification—Understanding the Case of the Case of the Kosher Pig Within a Traditional Jewish Framework, (3) Evidence—Examining the Primary Evidence in the Case of the Divine Kosher Pig, Yeshua of Natzeret, (4) Exploration—Weighing the Secondary Evidence in the Case of the Kosher Pig, and (5) Reconciliation—Proposal for Reconciliation between the Kosher Pig(and His followers) and Traditional Judaism. The book also includes a glossary of over 300 terms (and most readers will need it), a directory of all major rabbinical works on the issue of Messiah in the last 2,000 years, an index of all references from the Torah, Prophets, Writings, New Testament, and the Talmud, and a fairly extensive bibliography.

By way of evaluation, I cannot but commend Rabbi Shapira for his desire and effort. Whether one is persuaded or not, he has presented a comprehensive case and amassed much evidence to support it. This book is not for the casual reader. It will require sustained effort. The author does try to define his terms an explain his concepts, but I did not always find these definitions or explanations to be sufficient. Shapira provides helpful summaries on pages 107, 137, 165, 192, 226, 263. It might be helpful to start with these summaries so that one would get a clearer idea of where the argument is going and what the main points are. The difficulties aside, I wish that there was more consistency in the Hebrew fonts that are used and a bit more consistency in the use of pointed and unpointed texts.

I see The Return of the Kosher Pig as having a fairly limited readership. But if one is interested in looking at a case for Jesus as a divine Messiah from a Jewish perspective, then this book may be for you.
Thanks to Lederer Press for providing the free review copy used in this review.

May 21, 2014

New SBL Research Website

The Society of Biblical Literature has launched a web page providing resources for text-critical research, writing, and collaboration. SBL members who log in will find the reading text (the upper text without critical apparatus) of four GBS editions available in several file formats, including downloadable PDFs and texts viewable via a GBS online platform:

• Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, 5th revised edition
• Septuaginta, edited by Alfred Rahlfs, 2nd revised edition
• Biblical Sacra luxta Vulgatam Versionem, 5th revised edition
• UBS Greek New Testament, 4th revised edition

This web page also includes links to the SBL Fonts and the SBL Greek New Testament.

You can access the website here

May 20, 2014

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. 

William Baird
History of New Testament Research, Volume 3: From C. H. Dodd to Hans Dieter Betz
Reviewed by Benjamin A. Edsall
Reviewed by Joshua Jay Stigall

Athalya Brenner and Gale A. Yee, eds.
Joshua and Judges
Reviewed by Ginny Brewer-Boydston

John K. Goodrich
Paul as an Administrator of God in 1 Corinthians
Reviewed by Kathy Ehrensperger
Reviewed by Korinna Zamfir
Reviewed by Jason Weaver

J. Edward Owens
Reviewed by H. F. van Rooy

Peter R. Rodgers
Text and Story: Narrative Studies in New Testament Textual Criticism
Reviewed by Thomas P. Nelligan

Luise Schottroff and Marie-Theres Wacker, eds.
Feminist Biblical Interpretation: A Compendium of Critical Commentary on the Books of the Bible and Related Literature
Reviewed by Lynn R. Huber 

Jens Schröter
From Jesus to the New Testament: Early Christian Theology and the Origin of the New Testament Canon
Reviewed by Lee Martin McDonald

May 19, 2014

The 10 Least Popular Books of the Bible

I am surprised to see Jonah in this list but not surprised by the rest. I am also a bit surprised that Chronicles did not make the list. Go here for a bit of explanation and the source of the infographic.

Infographic: least popular books of the Bible

HT: George Hillman.

May 18, 2014

Holman Bible Atlas

It looks like the Holman Bible Atlas has been revised or at least reformatted and repackaged. The 1998 edition was 11.25 X 8.75 X 1 inches and 256 pages. The 2014 edition is 11 X 8.5 X .75 inches 304 pages. But I see no indicated that this is a second edition or that the contents have been revised. I hope to have a hardcopy soon so I can make a comparison. For now you can access an excerpt here.