Aug 29, 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. 

Scott A. Ashmon
Birth Annunciations in the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near East: A Literary Analysis of the Forms and Functions of the Heavenly Foretelling of the Destiny of a Special Child
Reviewed by Paola Mollo

Matthew W. Bates
The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation: The Center of Paul’s Method of Scriptural Interpretation
Reviewed by Robert B. Foster

Gareth Lee Cockerill
The Epistle to the Hebrews
Reviewed by Gabriella Gelardini
Reviewed by Kevin B. McCruden

Dean B. Deppe
All Roads Lead to the Text: Eight Methods of Inquiry into the Bible
Reviewed by Nijay Gupta

Timo Nisula
Augustine and the Functions of Concupiscence
Reviewed by Anthony Dupont

Dennis Pardee
The Ugaritic Texts and the Origins of West-Semitic Literary Composition: The Schweich Lectures of the British Academy 2007
Reviewed by Jeremy M. Hutton

Ryan S. Schellenberg
Rethinking Paul’s Rhetorical Education: Comparative Rhetoric and 2 Corinthians 10–13
Reviewed by Fredrick J. Long
Reviewed by Duane F. Watson

Samuel Vollenweider and Eva Ebel, eds.
Wahrheit und Geschichte: Exegetische und hermeneutische Studien zu einer dialektischen Konstellation
Reviewed by Mark W. Elliott

Aug 28, 2014

Review of Mark Taylor's 1 Corinthians Commentary

Mark Taylor, 1 Corinthians, New American Commentary 28 (Nashville: B&H, 2014).

First Corinthians continues to draw significant commentary interest. Taylor’s work now joins the crowded field of recent efforts (since 2000) by Lockwood (Concordia 2000), Pratt (HNTC, 2000), Thiselton (NIGTC, 2000), Sampley (NIB, 2002), Garland (BECNT, 2003), N. T. Wright (Everyman, 2003), A. Johnson (IVPNTC, 2004), Naylor (2004), Keener (NCBC, 2005), Schenk (WesBC, 2006), Collins (SP, 2007), Verbrugge (EBC rev., 2007), Fitzmyer (AB, 2008), Ciampa and Rosner (Pillar, 2009), Montague (CCSS, 2011), Perkins (Paideia, 2012), and Vang (Teach the Text, 2014). Gordon Fee’s revised NICNT volume is also scheduled for 2014.

This latest volume in the New American Commentary series is a solid work. It consists of a brief 15-page introduction and a respectable commentary section of a little over 400 pages. The explanations are clear and concise, broad but not exhaustive. This is in keeping with the author’s intention to write for the “teaching pastor” and “produce an up-to-date commentary of mid-range length that interacts representatively with the most recent scholarship” (author’s preface). In many ways Taylor has achieved his stated goal.

However, I believe that this work could have been more helpful to the “teaching pastor” in two ways. First, while the author does a decent job in identifying differing interpretive views, he often does not explain which view he prefers and why. Helping the teaching pastor think through the various options would have enhanced this commentary’s value. I suspect that many who want more in-depth analysis will find this commentary to be too succinct and turn elsewhere. Second, students of 1 Corinthians know that the book addresses a number of issues that continue to have relevance today (e.g., lawsuits, church discipline, the role of women in the church, speaking in tongues, etc.). But this commentary does not really explore these issues at any depth. To be fair, many commentators limit themselves to interpretive issues and do not tease out the implications or theology of the text for their readers. But since this commentary has the stated intention of helping teaching pastors then it seems reasonable to expect this kind of help. Many pastors that I know appreciate at least some help in moving from exegesis to application. Again, pastors looking for this kind of assistance will likely be forced to seek other resources.

In sum, this commentary is solid but whether it does enough to find a sufficient niche within the crowded, and perhaps over saturated, field noted above remains to be seen.

Much thanks to B&H Publishing for providing the free review copy utilized in this review.

The Wine in a Middle Bronze Age Palace in Israel

Wine is referenced over 230 times in the Bible. So some readers might be interested in this post from the Smithsonian blog on the chemical analysis of the contents of large jars found at Tel Kabri, tentatively identified as a wine cellar of a Middle Bronze Age palace. The blog post summarizes more extensive and technical discussion found here.

Aug 27, 2014

Forthcoming: The Lost Sermons of Charles Spurgeon

This announcement was actually made a few weeks ago, but fans of Charles Spurgeon might be interested to know that B&H will be publishing The Lost Sermons of Charles Spurgeon, a multi-volume collection of over 400 sermons and outlines with critical commentary from his days as a young pastor outside of Cambridge.

Aug 26, 2014

Olson on the Wrong Side of History

Roger Olson has a good word here on the oft expressed concern, even by many evangeliicals, of being on the wrong side of history. Ultimately, we will not answer to "history" but to God.

Aug 25, 2014

Free: Paul Maier’s Pontius Pilate

Sorry for the late notice, but the Kregel Facebook page notes that Paul Maier’s Pontius Pilate is available as a free download today at Amazon here or Barnes and Noble Nook here.

Advice Related to Young Pastors

Deron Biles offers five good suggestions here to churches considering younger pastoral candidates.