Jun 27, 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.

Herbert W. Bateman IV
Interpreting the General Letters: An Exegetical Handbook
Reviewed by Brian C. Small

Maurice Casey
Jesus: Evidence and Argument or Mythicist Myths?
Reviewed by James F. McGrath

L. Juliana Claassens and Klaas Spronk, eds.
Fragile Dignity: Intercontextual Conversations on Scriptures, Family, and Violence
Reviewed by Marta Høyland Lavik

Michael Coogan
The Ten Commandments: A Short History of an Ancient Text
Reviewed by Ralph K. Hawkins
Reviewed by Zev Garber

Walter Farber
Lamaštu: An Edition of the Canonical Series of Lamaštu Incantations and Rituals and Related Texts from the Second and First Millennia B.C.
Reviewed by Michael S. Moore

Jack J. Gibson
Peter between Jerusalem and Antioch: Peter, James and the Gentiles
Reviewed by Timothy P. Henderson

Oliver Glanz
Understanding Participant-Reference Shifts in the Book of Jeremiah: A Study of Exegetical Method and Its Consequences for the Interpretation of Referential Incoherence
Reviewed by Kelly A. Whitcomb

Philip Goodwin
Translating the English Bible: From Relevance to Deconstruction
Reviewed by Clement Tong

Ryan Leif Hansen
Silence and Praise: Rhetorical Cosmology and Political Theology in the Book of Revelation
Reviewed by Shane J. Wood

Mark Harris
The Nature of Creation: Examining the Bible and Science
Reviewed by Graham B. Walker Jr.

Carl R. Holladay, John T. Fitzgerald, Gregory E. Sterling, and James W. Thompson, eds.
Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays, 1959–2012, by Abraham J. Malherbe
Reviewed by Matthew V. Novenson

S. R. Llewelyn and J. R. Harrison, eds.
New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity: Greek and Other Inscriptions and Papyri Published 1988–1992
Reviewed by Thomas J. Kraus

Marvin W. Meyer
The Gospels of the Marginalized: The Redemption of Doubting Thomas, Mary Magdalene, and Judas Iscariot in Early Christian Literature
Reviewed by Arie W. Zwiep

Christopher T. Paris
Narrative Obtrusion in the Hebrew Bible
Reviewed by Karolien Vermeulen
Reviewed by Benjamin J.M. Johnson

Robert F. Stoops
The Acts of Peter
Reviewed by Jason Sturdevant

Alexa F. Wilke
Die Gebete der Propheten: Anrufungen Gottes im ‘corpus propheticum’ der Hebräischen Bibel
Reviewed by Gert Kwakkel

Jacob L. Wright
David, King of Israel, and Caleb in Biblical Memory
Reviewed by A. Graeme Auld
Reviewed by Bob Becking

Jun 26, 2015

The Red Heifer

Jonathan Sacks has an interesting discussion of Chukkim, "commands that seem to have no obvious reason – either in terms of social justice or historical memory." One example that I found most interesting was the Chukkim concerning the red heifer (Num 19). You can check out the discussion here.

Jun 25, 2015


Ferrell Jenkins has a nice post here related to a recent visit to Samaria. It has been about four years since I was there so his comments were interesting to me. By the way, if you have any interest in the Holy Lands you might want to visit Ferrell's blog on a regular basis as I do.

Jun 24, 2015

One Way to Develop as a Preacher

A couple of days ago, I provided an extended quote from
William Bruinsma's recent article entitled, "The Minister's Development of His Preaching after Seminary." Here is another quote worth considering.

"There are a few practical methods that ministers can use to develop in their preaching. The first means is one that is pounded into the head of every seminary student: read! Obviously, when a pastor reads, he is exposed in his reading to different ideas and different styles of conveying the Word. Depending on what books we are reading—and we need to read a wide variety of books—we can learn how to improve both the delivery and content of sermons. Doctrinal books will help improve our understanding of the doctrinal issues afloat in our present church world. Books of a practical nature will help us develop in our ministry at large, but also in our ability to feed the sheep. There are pastoral books, books on missions, books on church history, church polity, doctrine, social issues, and so the list can go on. We need to read. That is a must in our development as preachers. 

"The ability to read varies from one pastor to another. Some can zip through a book swiftly and effortlessly, while others take more time to read a book. The retention of some is beyond that of others. Even in this area talents vary. Some can read a book in hours; for others it may take a few days. But that ought never deter the pastor from reading. Reading is the chief means of development in our preaching."

Protestant Reformed Theological Journal (April 2015): 9.

Jun 23, 2015

Paul and Ancient Coins

Those with an interest in the apostle Paul and ancient coins might be interested in this site created by Breck Breckinridge. According to the website,
This is a survey of those Roman Provincial coins which the Apostle Paul would have seen and even possibly handled during his lifetime and especially during the four missionary journeys he undertook to spread the gospel of Christ Jesus to the Gentile (i.e. non-Jewish) World during the First Century A.D. It is set out in the form of a chronological and geographical essay, with special note of which Roman Emperors were ruling the Empire at those times.

HT: Russell Atherton

Jun 22, 2015

The Importance of Developing Your Own Preaching Style

"In the first place, there is a need soon after seminary to develop our own style. I realize there are some students who already begin to do this in seminary. But that is not true for most. And even for those who do begin to develop this already in seminary, they must be aware of their need to continue to develop their style after they have begun their ministry. This is true from the point of view of one’s delivery. Students who have graduated from seminary often mimic the stance, facial expressions, and even the voice inflections of one or another of their professors. This is not a bad thing, of course. But there is a need to develop in our delivery in order to reveal to God’s saints who we are. The same is true of the content of our preaching. Different ministers have different ways of presenting the truth. And that is a good thing. Each of us has our own personality and characteristics. The beauty and wonder of the preaching is that every minister of the gospel leaves the imprint of his own personality and study on what he proclaims. This needs to be evident in our preaching. This does not mean that a minister may stray from the clear meaning of the Word of God he preaches in order to be unique in his presentation of the gospel. The Word of God is the objective standard of truth. The meaning of God’s Word does not vary from one person to the next. Nevertheless, the unique quality that is ours in delivering the Word of God must shine forth through our preaching. That is the beauty of God’s use of many different men to expound his Word."

William Bruinsma, "The Minister's Development of His Preaching after Seminary," Protestant Reformed Theological Journal (April 2015): 7.