Jun 6, 2015

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. 

Pablo R. Andiñach
Introducción hermenéutica al Antiguo Testamento
Reviewed by Diego Pérez Gondar
Reviewed by Edesio Sánchez-Cetina

Bradley Beach and Matthew Powell, eds.
Interpreting Abraham: Journeys to Moriah
Reviewed by Simon Lasair

Katell Berthelot, Joseph E. David, and Marc Hirshman, eds.
The Gift of the Land and the Fate of the Canaanites in Jewish Thought
Reviewed by Joshua Schwartz

James V. Brownson
Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church's Debate on Same-Sex Relationships
Reviewed by Hermias van Zyl

Walter Brueggemann
Reality, Grief, Hope: Three Urgent Prophetic Tasks
Reviewed by H. F. Van Rooy

Peter W. Flint
The Dead Sea Scrolls
Reviewed by Daniel K. Falk

R. Michael Fox
Reverberations of the Exodus in Scripture
Reviewed by Jordan M. Scheetz

Matthias Henze and Gabriele Boccaccini, eds.
Fourth Ezra and Second Baruch: Reconstruction after the Fall
Reviewed by Kai Akagi

Detlef Jericke
Die Ortsangaben im Buch Genesis: Ein historisch-topographischer und literarisch-topographischer Kommentar
Reviewed by Bálint Károly Zabán

Simon J. Joseph
The Nonviolent Messiah: Jesus, Q, and the Enochic Tradition
Reviewed by Sarah E. Rollens

Henk Leene
Newness in Old Testament Prophecy: An Intertextual Study
Reviewed by J. Michael Thigpen

Gerd Lüdemann
The Earliest Christian Text: 1 Thessalonians
Reviewed by Trevor J. Burke

M. Pina Scanu, ed.
Alla luce delle Scritture: Studi in onore di Giovanni Odasso
Reviewed by Andrea Ravasco

Werner H. Schmidt
Das Buch Jeremia: Kapitel 21–52
Reviewed by Bob Becking

Marty E. Stevens
Leadership Roles of the Old Testament: King, Prophet, Priest, Sage
Reviewed by Daniel S. Diffey

N. T. Wright
Paul and the Faithfulness of God
Reviewed by Russell Morton

Jun 5, 2015

The Structure of Romans: A Survey of Recent Commentaries

This post on the structure of Romans in recent commentaries came out last year but I must have missed it. But better late than never. 

Jun 4, 2015

Preaching on the Churches of Acts

Brian Harbour in his article "Preaching from Acts" notes several approaches to preaching the book. One interesting approach is to preach the churches in Acts. I like the idea, but this would have to be done very carefully since Acts only provides limited descriptions of the churches. One would also have to nuance carefully the descriptive versus prescriptive aspects of the book. In any case, here is what Harbour suggests.

Since the book of Acts focuses on God's work through the church, an informative homiletic approach would be to preach a series of sermons on the churches of the book of Acts. After carefully describing the characteristics of the churches of Acts, you would then apply these characteristics to the church today.
You could preach a series with the following messages: "The Church at Jerusalem" (Acts 2); "The Church at Antioch" (Acts 11:19-30); "The Church at Philippi" (Acts 16); "The Church at Thessalonica" (Acts 17); "The Church at Berea" (Acts 17:10-14); and "The Church at Corinth" (Acts 18:1-17).
As an example, you might preach a sermon on the church at Antioch entitled, "The Church of the New Age." Using the text of Acts 11:19-30, develop the following outline:

1. The church at Antioch was evangelistic in nature, 11:19-21. These Christians at Antioch understood their primary purpose to be sharing the message of Christ.

2. The church at Antioch was sound in doctrine, 11:26. Barnabas and Paul spent more than a year explaining the basics of the Christian faith. The church was not just interested in making converts. They wanted to make disciples.
3. The church at Antioch was bold in character, 11:26. The followers of Jesus were called Christians, belonging to the part of Christ, because of the boldness of their commitment. They lived their lives in such a way that others could tell they belonged to the party of Christ.

4. The church at Antioch was caring in attitude, 11:27-30. They responded to the prophet's announcement of a famine in Judea by giving generously of their own resources to meet that need.

5. The church at Antioch was missionary in spirit, 13:1-4. The full story of the church at Antioch is not told until we trace the missionary journeys of Paul, for it was out of this church that Paul was sent. The church at Antioch was a church with the world on its heart.

These churches of Acts were not perfect. They were like our churches today. They had their flaws and their conflicts. And each was unique. The Jerusalem church was conservative while the Antioch church was progressive. The Philippian church was warm-hearted while the Thessalonican church was impractical. Yet these churches were a vital part of the inauguration of the Christian faith. Understanding the dynamics of these churches can be informative for us today.

Jun 3, 2015

The Seminary Bookstore

Kenneth Mathews made the following observation concerning his seminary days.
When I was in seminary in the 1970s, the most popular facility on campus was not the break room, but the bookstore. Students spent hours browsing the stacks and would squeeze out of their meager incomes discretionary dollars for books-books that were not required for classes. That they would buy class textbooks was a given, but students studied additional volumes that would be instrumental to their life-long commitment to ministry. We learned at seminary that a long term investment in tools was needed to equip us for the life to which God had called us ("The Minister's Toolbox: Why Ministers But Books," Beeson [Spring 2011], 17).

My early seminary experience was fairly similar. The library was also fairly popular. But it seems that something has drastically changed. Maybe it was the idea of buying books more cheaply online or the use of the internet and Bible software as the research tool of choice. But I suspect that at bottom it is probably that books in general are being read less-and-less these days. If true, that is unfortunate.

Jun 2, 2015

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. 

Moshe Bar-Asher; Aaron Koller, ed.
Studies in Classical Hebrew
Reviewed by Jerome A. Lund

Sungho Choi
The Messianic Kingship of Jesus: A Study of Christology and Redemptive History in Matthew’s Gospel with Special Reference to the “Royal Enthronment” Psalms
Reviewed by Robert L. Foster

S. Min Chun
Ethics and Biblical Narrative: A Literary and Discourse-Analytical Approach to the Story of Josiah
Reviewed by Benjamin J. M. Johnson

Lutz Doering
Ancient Jewish Letters and the Beginnings of Christian Epistolography
Reviewed by B. J. Oropeza

Joel B. Green, Lee Martin McDonald, eds.
The World of the New Testament: Cultural, Social, and Historical Contexts
Reviewed by Kathleen E. Mills

Minna Heimola
Christian Identity in the Gospel of Philip
Reviewed by Tavis A. Bohlinger

Jan Willem van Henten
Judean Antiquities 15: Translation and Commentary
Reviewed by Arie W. Zwiep

Ulrich Huttner
Early Christianity in the Lycus Valley
Reviewed by John C. Poirier

Amy Kalmanofsky
Dangerous Sisters of the Hebrew Bible
Reviewed by Glenn Pemberton

Craig S. Keener, Jeremy S. Crenshaw, and Jordan Daniel May, eds.
But These Are Written…: Essays on Johannine Literature in Honor of Professor Benny C. Aker
Reviewed by Phillip J. Long

Kai Lämmerhirt
Die sumerische Königshymne Šulgi F
Reviewed by Niek Veldhuis

Josef Lössl and John W. Watt, eds.
Interpreting the Bible and Aristotle in Late Antiquity: The Alexandrian Commentary Tradition between Rome and Baghdad
Reviewed by Siam Bhayro

Bieke Mahieu
Between Rome and Jerusalem: Herod the Great and His Sons in Their Struggle for Recognition
Reviewed by Frank E. Dicken

Emanuel Pfoh and Keith W. Whitelam, eds.
The Politics of Israel’s Past: The Bible, Archaeology and Nation-Building
Reviewed by Pekka Pitkanen

Stanley E. Porter
How We Got the New Testament: Text, Transmission, Translation
Reviewed by Pheme Perkins
Reviewed by Sylvie Raquel

John R. Spencer, Robert A. Mullins, and Aaron J. Brody, eds.
Material Culture Matters: Essays on the Archaeology of the Southern Levant in Honor of Seymour Gitin
Reviewed by Raz Kletter

David Stacey and Gregory Doudna
Qumran Revisted: A Reassessment of the Archaeology of the Site and Its Texts
Reviewed by Ian Werrett
Reviewed by James H. Charlesworth

Markus Zehnder and Hallvard Hagelia, eds.
Encountering Violence in the Bible
Reviewed by Paul Middleton

Jun 1, 2015

Free Logos Book for June: Esther by Anthony Tomasino

The free Logos Book for June is Anthony Tomasino’s commentary on Esther in the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary series. You can also purchase 1, 2, 3 John by Gary Derickson in the same series for .99 cents. You can also enter to win the entire Evangelical Exegetical Commentary series. Go the Logos' Free Book of Month page here to enter and download your free book today!

May 31, 2015

The Klingon Version of the Psalms

Amazon offers a Kindle version of the Psalms in Klingon here. Apparently, this "translation" is based on the World English Bible. I would not recommend purchasing it and make sure you read the customer reviews. I only mention it here for two reasons. First, it serves to highlight the challenges of translation in general. Second, there might serve as a useful sermon illustration.