Aug 7, 2015

Preaching from 1 Peter

Scott Tatum's article on preaching from 1 Peter might be a bit difficult to find but it is worth checking out. Here is the opening paragraph.

"Preaching from I Peter affords a wide variety of possibilities for both the traditional and contemporary models of expository preaching. Among these is the direct biblical sermon presenting an exposition of truths specifically taught in that passage of scripture. This should be the kind of sermon most often preached to offer the most wholesome pulpit ministry for the people. But variety is the spice of life! Consider also thematic preaching from I Peter. A topical or thematic sermon is expository preaching too, if indeed it presents an exposition of biblical truth with hermeneutical accuracy. Other forms include the biographical sermon, the life-situation sermon, the homily, or the multiple-passage sermon." 

Scott L. Tatum, "Preaching from I Peter," Southwestern Journal of Theology 25 (1982): 46.

Aug 6, 2015

F. F. Bruce Audio

Readers interested in some free F. F. Bruce audio can go here.

Aug 5, 2015

Solving Two Common Preaching Problems

"There is nothing more practical for the preacher than the thorough study of the biblical text. A constant complaint of weak preachers is 'What am I going to preach on next Sunday?' The complaint of the parishioners is different; they know what the pastor will preach on–some variation of ‘the same old thing every Sunday.’ The preacher who studies the scripture regularly and faithfully does not have the first complaint, and it is far less likely that the parishioners will have the second. Preachers who get in the habit of good exegesis will indeed have a problem. They will have so much homiletical material that it will be difficult to know what to leave out!"

Stephen Farris, Preaching That Matters: The Bible and Our Lives (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 1998), 40

Aug 4, 2015

Free PDF of William G. T. Shedd's Romans Commentary

Yesterday, I provided an excerpt from William G. T. Shedd's Romans commentary. What I failed to not was that this out-of-copyright work can be downloaded as a free PDF here.

Aug 3, 2015

The Purpose of Commentaries and the Book of Romans

Students of the Bible sometimes misuse commentaries in two ways. 

First, some allow commentaries to replace their own careful study of the text. Rather, commentaries should serve as a dialogue partner between the student and the text. It is never a replacement. 

A second problem is that commentaries are often used like a dictionary. Some look up comments on passages like one looks up a definition of a word, a word here and a word there. The problem is that most commentaries do not trace the flow of a text's thought in its individual comments. To understand the commentator's understanding of the flow of the book's argument, one will often have to read more than just the specific comments on that passage. Better yet is to read the entire commentary itself. 

Now I realize that many in ministry are pressed for time and on occasion one might resort to the misuses above. However, one should avoid its habitual practice. It is like eating a candy bar in place of a well-rounded meal. One might do it on occasion to get by but doing it as a matter of practice is unhealthy.

By the way, these thoughts were spurred on by William G.T. Shedd's remarks from his commentary on Romans. Not the italicized sections that I added. 

"In short, the endeavor of the author has been, to furnish the theological student with an aid to his own conscientious examination of the original text of the Epistle to the Romans, and thereby to the formation of an independent judgment and opinion which he will be ready to announce and maintain. It will be reward enough, if this commentary shall be the means of stimulating any to the close and lifelong study of the most important document in the New Testament, after the Gospels. Demosthenes read Thucydides over and over, seven times, for the sake of forming that concise and energetic style which has been the admiration and the despair of orators. Whoever reads St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans over and over, not seven times only, but seventy times seven, will feel an influence as distinct and definite as that of a Leyden jar. But the study of St. Paul, like that of the speeches in Thucydides, must be patient analysis. The great characteristic of this Epistle is the closeness of the reasoning. The line of remark is a concatenation like that of chain-armor, of which each link hooks directly into the next, without intervening matter. The process of an exegete must, consequently, be somewhat similar to that by which a blind man gets a knowledge of a chain. He must do it by the sense of touch. He must handle each link separately, and actually feel the point of contact with the preceding link, and the succeeding."

William G. T. Shedd, A Critical and Doctrinal Commentary on the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1879), vii-viii.

Aug 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.

Eve-Marie Becker, Troels Engberg-Pedersen, and Mogens Muller, eds.
Mark and Paul: Comparative Essays Part II For and Against Pauline Influence on Mark
Reviewed by Thomas P. Nelligan

Shaye J. D. Cohen
From the Maccabees to the Mishnah
Reviewed by John J. Collins

Jerome N. Douglas
A Polemical Preacher of Joy: An Anti-apocalpytic Genre for Qoheleth’s Message of Joy
Reviewed by Mark Sneed

Peter Frick
Paul in the Grip of the Philosophers: The Apostle and Contemporary Continental Philosophy
Reviewed by Mark Elliott
Reviewed by Jay Twomey

Jione Havea, David J. Neville, and Elaine M. Wainwright, eds.
Bible, Borders, Belonging(s): Engaging Readings from Oceania
Reviewed by Yak-Hwee Tan

Marietta Horster and Anja Klöckner, eds.
Cities and Priests: Cult Personnel in Asia Minor and the Aegean Islands from the Hellenistic to the Imperial Period
Reviewed by John S. Kloppenborg

James A. Kelhoffer
Conceptions of “Gospel” and Legitimacy in Early Christianity
Reviewed by Albert Lukaszewski

Simon Mainwaring
Mark, Mutuality, and Mental Health: Encounters with Jesus
Reviewed by Edwin K. Broadhead

Christoph Markschies
Hellenisierung des Christentums: Sinn und Unsinn einer historischen Deutungskategorie
Reviewed by Harold W. Attridge

Jeffrey Jay Niehaus
Biblical Theology, Volume 1: The Common Grace Covenants
Reviewed by Jens Bruun Kofoed

Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer and Hans M. Barstad, eds.
Continuity and Discontinuity: Chronological and Thematic Development in Isaiah 40–66
Reviewed by Marvin A. Sweeney

Philip L. Tite
The Apocryphal Epistle to the Laodiceans: An Epistolary and Rhetorical Analysis
Reviewed by Christopher R. Matthews

Craig W. Tyson
The Ammonites: Elites, Empires, and Sociopolitical Change (1000–500 BCE)
Reviewed by Aren M. Maeir

Herman C. Waetjen
The Letter to the Romans: Salvation as Justice and the Deconstruction of Law
Reviewed by M. Eugene Boring