Dec 31, 2016

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 but unfortunately you must be a SBL member.

Miriam Bier
‘Perhaps There Is Hope’: Reading Lamentations as a Polyphony of Pain, Penitence, and Protest
Reviewed by Amy C. Cottrill

Tony Burke, ed.
Forbidden Texts on the Western Frontier: The Christian Apocrypha from North American Perspectives: Proceedings from the 2013 York University Christian Apocrypha Symposium
Reviewed by Julia Snyder

Nancy L. deClaissé-Walford, ed.
The Shape and Shaping of the Book of Psalms: The Current State of Scholarship
Reviewed by John E. Anderson

Susan E. Hylen
A Modest Apostle: Thecla and the History of Women in the Early Church
Reviewed by Kate Wilkinson

Richard Kalmin
Migrating Tales: The Talmud’s Narratives and Their Historical Context
Reviewed by Rivka Ulmer

Duane Litfin
Paul’s Theology of Preaching: The Apostle’s Challenge to the Art of Persuasion in Ancient Corinth
Reviewed by James W. Thompson

Alicia D. Myers and Bruce G. Schuchard, eds.
Abiding Words: The Use of Scripture in the Gospel of John
Reviewed by Inhee C. Berg

Manfred Oeming and Konrad Schmid
Job’s Journey: Stations of Suffering
Reviewed by Katharine Dell

Donald W. Parry and Emanuel Tov
The Dead Sea Scrolls Reader, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded
Reviewed by Peter Porzig

Leo G. Perdue and Warren Carter; Coleman A. Baker, ed.
Israel and Empire: A Postcolonial History of Israel and Early Judaism
Reviewed by Steed Vernyl Davidson

Adele Reinhartz
Caiaphas the High Priest
Reviewed by Arie W. Zwiep

Jeremy Schipper
Ruth: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary
Reviewed by George Savran

V. George Shillington
An Introduction to the Study of Luke-Acts
Reviewed by James M. Morgan

Daniel Lynwood Smith
Into the World of the New Testament: Greco-Roman and Jewish Texts and Contexts
Reviewed by Troy M. Troftgruben

Werner Zager
Jesusforschung in vier Jahrhunderten: Texte von den Anfängen historischer Kritik bis zur “dritten Frage” nach dem historischen Jesus
Reviewed by Stephan Witetschek

Dec 30, 2016

Another List of Archaeological Discoveries in 2016

A few days ago, I posted on Christianity Today's list of top ten Bible-related archaeological discoveries in 2016. Now Haaretz here has a list of the best archaeological discoveries in Israel for 2016.

Dec 29, 2016

The Earliest Synagogue in Israel?

Carl Rasmussen has an interesting discussion and photos of an ancient synagogue, perhaps the oldest discovered. You can about it here.

Dec 28, 2016

Christianity Today's Top 10 Biblical Archaeology Discoveries of 2016

Godon Govier at Christianity Today lists and discusses the top ten biblical archaeology discoveries of 2016 here.

Dec 27, 2016

Peter Williams: “On the Invention and Problem of the Term ‘Septuagint’”

William Ross has posted a brief description and video here of Peter Williams' ETS paper, “On the Invention and Problem of the Term ‘Septuagint’”

Dec 26, 2016

William Barrick's Book Recommendations

Dr. William Barrick lists his recommended Bible background books and Old Testament commentaries here.

Dec 24, 2016

Jason DeRouchie's New Website

Jason DeRouchie has a new website worth checking out here.

HT: Andy Naselli

Dec 23, 2016

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 but unfortunately you must be a SBL member.

Stephane A. Beaulieu
“Behold! My Servant”: An Exegetical and Theological Study of the Identity and Role of the Servant in Isaiah 42:1-9
Reviewed by Steven Bishop

Keith Bodner
After the Invasion: A Reading of Jeremiah 40–44
Reviewed by Marvin A. Sweeney

Mark R. Fairchild
Christian Origins in Ephesus and Asia Minor
Reviewed by Susana de Sola Funsten

Gordon D. Fee
The First Epistle to the Corinthians: Revised Edition
Reviewed by Craig A. Evans

Matthew E. Gordley
Teaching through Song in Antiquity: Didactic Hymnody among Greeks, Romans, Jews, and Christians
Reviewed by Steven Thompson

Ulrich H. J. Körtner
Arbeit am Kanon: Studien zur Bibelhermeneutik
Reviewed by Mark W. Elliott

Nicholas de Lange
Japheth in the Tents of Shem: Greek Bible Translations in Byzantine Judaism
Reviewed by Robert J. Littman

Nancy C. Lee
Hannevi’ah and Hannah: Hearing Women Biblical Prophets in a Women’s Lyrical Tradition
Reviewed by Claude F. Mariottini

G. Brooke Lester
Daniel Evokes Isaiah: Allusive Characterization of Foreign Rule in the Hebrew-Aramaic Book of Daniel
Reviewed by Nathan Mastnjak
Reviewed by Ian Young

Martin Nitsche
“Und das Königtum war fest in der Hand Salomos”: Untersuchungen zu 1 Kön 3
Reviewed by Herbert H. Klement

Jane Lancaster Patterson
Keeping the Feast: Metaphors of Sacrifice in 1 Corinthians and Philippians
Reviewed by Timothy A. Brookins

Steven J. Schweitzer and Frauke Uhlenbruch, eds.
Worlds That Could Not Be: Utopia in Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah
Reviewed by Sean Burt

Jacob Thiessen and Harald Seubert, eds.
Die Königsherrschaft Jahwes: Festschrift zur Emeritierung von Herbert H. Klement
Reviewed by Mark W. Hamilton

Steven Tuell
Reading Nahum–Malachi: A Literary and Theological Commentary
Reviewed by Michael H. Floyd

Helmut Utzschneider and Wolfgang Oswald
Exodus 1–15
Reviewed by Danny Mathews

Richard Walsh and Jay Twomey, eds.
Borges and the Bible
Reviewed by Michelle Fletcher

Adam White
Where Is the Wise Man? Graeco-Roman Education as a Background to the Divisions in 1 Corinthians 1-4
Reviewed by Bart J. Koet
Reviewed by H. H. Drake Williams III

David J. Zucker and Moshe Reiss
The Matriarchs of Genesis: Seven Women, Five Views
Reviewed by Robin Gallaher Branch

Dec 22, 2016

Luke's Dating of the Christmas Story

Ian Paul has a good post here on Luke's dating of the birth of Christ.

Dec 21, 2016

Antiochus IV Coin Found

A coin of Antiochus IV (see Daniel 8, 9, 11) was found recently during some repairs at the Tower of David. You can see it and read about it here and here.

Dec 20, 2016

An Obscure Christmas Site Near Bethlehem

Carl Rasmussen has an interesting post here on a relatively unknown Christmas-related site near Bethlehem.

Dec 19, 2016

How To Read More Books Next Year

Wayne Stiles has some helpful advice and tips on reading more here.

Dec 18, 2016

Archaeological Finds and the Christmas Story

Bryan Windle has a pretty good post here discussing some connections that one can make between archaeological finds and the Christmas story.

Dec 17, 2016

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 but unfortunately you must be a SBL member.

James Donkor Afoakwah
The Nathan-David Confrontation (2 Sam 12:1–15a): A Slap in the Face of the Deuteronomistic Hero?
Reviewed by George G. Nicol

Giovanni B. Bazzana
Kingdom of Bureaucracy: The Political Theology of Village Scribes in the Sayings Gospel Q
Reviewed by Sarah E. Rollens

Mark J. Boda
‘Return To Me’: A Biblical Theology of Repentance
Reviewed by Josh Mathews

Peder Borgen
The Gospel of John: More Light from Philo, Paul and Archaeology: The Scriptures, Tradition, Exposition, Settings, Meaning
Reviewed by Harold W. Attridge

Walter Brueggemann; K. C. Hanson, ed.
The Role of Old Testament Theology in Old Testament Interpretation: And Other Essays
Reviewed by Ben C. Ollenburger

Paul Han
Swimming in the Sea of Scripture: Paul’s Use of the Old Testament in 2 Corinthians 4:7–13:13
Reviewed by Seth M. Ehorn

Christine Jacobi
Jesusüberlieferung bei Paulus?: Analogien zwischen den echten Paulusbriefen und den synoptischen Evangelien
Reviewed by Kari Syreeni

Francis Landy, Leigh Trevaskis, and Bryan Bibb, eds.
Text, Time, and Temple: Literary, Historical and Ritual Studies in Leviticus
Reviewed by Samuel L. Boyd

Matthew Newkirk
Just Deceivers: An Exploration of the Motif of Deception in the Books of Samuel
Reviewed by Juan Miguel Betancourt

Richard E. Payne
A State of Mixture: Christians, Zoroastrians, and Iranian Political Culture in Late Antiquity
Reviewed by Jennifer Hart

Dec 16, 2016

Free Audio: Michael Kruger on Romans

You can access free audio here of Nancy Guthrie talking with Michael Kruger on teaching Romans 17.

Dec 15, 2016

Two Year-End Best Book Lists

I have seen several and surely there will be more, but here are two year-end best book lists that might be of interest.

Christianity Today's 2017 Book Awards

Biblical Foundations Best Books in Biblical Studies 2016

Dec 14, 2016

A Christmas Story Timeline

Bible Gateway has a simple but good Christmas story timeline here.

Dec 12, 2016

F. F. Bruce's Works Being Republished

Apparently a number of F. F. Bruce's works will be republished in the near future. You can read about the effort here.

Logos' Twelve Days of Christmas

Logos Bible software has a number of Zondervan titles on sle as part of their "Twelve Days of Christmas" promotion here.

Dec 10, 2016

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 but unfortunately you must be a SBL member.

Garrick V. Allen, Ian Paul, and Simon P. Woodman, eds.
The Book of Revelation: Currents in British Research on the Apocalypse
Reviewed by by Hanna Stenström

John M. G. Barclay
Paul and the Gift
Reviewed by by Matthew V. Novenson

Jin Young Choi
Postcolonial Discipleship of Embodiment: An Asian and Asian American Feminist Reading of the Gospel of Mark
Reviewed by by Chang Seon An
Reviewed by by Angela N. Parker

David A. Fiensy and James Riley Strange, eds.
Galilee in the Late Second Temple and Mishnaic Periods, Volume 1: Life, Culture, and Society
Reviewed by by Ralph K. Hawkins

John Paul Heil
1–3 John: Worship by Loving God and One Another to Live Eternally
Reviewed by by Chris S. Stevens

Else K. Holt and Carolyn J. Sharp, eds.
Jeremiah Invented: Constructions and Deconstructions of Jeremiah
Reviewed by by Marvin A. Sweeney

Siegfried Kreuzer
The Bible in Greek: Translation, Transmission, and Theology of the Septuagint
Reviewed by by W. Edward Glenny

Catherine L. McDowell
The ‘Image of God’ in the Garden of Eden: The Creation of Humankind in Genesis 2:5–3:24 in Light of the mis pi pit pi and wpt-r Rituals of Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt
Reviewed by by Andreas Schuele

Robert J. Myles and Caroline Blyth, eds.
Sexuality, Ideology and the Bible: Antipodean Engagements
Reviewed by by Rhiannon Graybill

Saul M. Olyan
Ritual Violence in the Hebrew Bible: New Perspectives
Reviewed by by Jeremiah W. Cataldo

Catherine Petrany
Pedagogy, Prayer and Praise: The Wisdom of the Psalms and Psalter
Reviewed by by Marco Pavan

Jang Ryu
Knowledge of God in Philo of Alexandria
Reviewed by by Gregory E. Sterling

Osvaldo D. Vena
Jesus, Disciple of the Kingdom: Mark’s Christology for a Community in Crisis
Reviewed by by John W. Fadden

Oda Wischmeyer
Liebe als Agape: Das frühchristliche Konzept und der moderne Diskurs
Reviewed by by Athanasios Despotis

Dec 8, 2016

Royal Priesthood

William Barrick discusses the royal priesthood here.

Dec 7, 2016

Latest Issue of Themelios

You can access the latest issue of Themelios either in PDF or Logos formats for free here.

Dec 6, 2016

The Gift of Tongues Project

Some might be interested in this new website that seeks to collect all ancient textual references to the gift of tongues.

HT: Roger Pearse

Dec 5, 2016

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 but unfortunately you must be a SBL member.

Mary Ann Beavis and HyeRan Kim-Cragg
Reviewed by Bryan J. Whitfield

Lincoln Blumell and Thomas Wayment, eds.
Christian Oxyrhynchus: Texts, Documents, and Sources
Reviewed by Geoffrey S. Smith

Stacy Davis
Haggai and Malachi
Reviewed by Hanna Tervanotko

Brian C. Dennert
John the Baptist and the Jewish Setting of Matthew
Reviewed by Brian LePort

Oliver Dyma, Stefanie-Ulrike Gulde-Karmann, and Dagmar Kühn, eds.
‘Der Herr des Himmels möge lang machen seine Tage und seine Jahre’: Religionsgeschichtliche Beiträge; Festschrift für Herbert Niehr zum 60. Geburtstag
Reviewed by Markus Witte

Markham J. Geller and Ludek Vacin
Healing Magic and Evil Demons: Canonical Udug-hul Incantations
Reviewed by Michael S. Moore

Elizabeth W. Goldstein
Impurity and Gender in the Hebrew Bible
Reviewed by Thomas Kazen

Raimo Hakola
Reconsidering Johannine Christianity: A Social Identity Approach
Reviewed by Cornelis Bennema

Hugo Lundhaug and Lance Jenott
The Monastic Origins of the Nag Hammadi Codices
Reviewed by Timothy Pettipiece

Iain Provan, V. Philips Long, and Tremper Longman III
A Biblical History of Israel
Reviewed by Aren Maeir

John Scheid
The Gods, the State, and the Individual: Reflections on Civic Religion in Rome
Reviewed by Jeffrey Brodd

James M. Scott
BACCHIUS IUDAEUS: A Denarius Commemorating Pompey’s Victory over Judea
Reviewed by G. Anthony Keddie

Kristi Upson-Saia, Carly Daniel-Hughes, and Alicia J. Batten, eds.
Dressing Judeans and Christians in Antiquity
Reviewed by Janelle Peters

Cana Werman, ed.
From Author to Copyist: Essays on the Composition, Redaction, and Transmission of the Hebrew Bible in Honor of Zipi Talshir
Reviewed by Pieter de Vries

Sami Yli-Karjanmaa
Reincarnation in Philo of Alexandria
Reviewed by Justin M. Rogers

Dec 4, 2016

The Latest Southwestern Journal of Theology

The Fall 2016 issue pf the Southwestern Journal of Theology is available as a free PDF here.

Dec 3, 2016

The Reformation Commentary on Scripture: 1–2 Samuel, 1–2 Kings, and 1–2 Chronicles

Timothy George has some interesting tidbits here from the the forthcoming Reformation Commentary on Scripture, volume covering 12 Samuel, 12 Kings, and 12 Chronicles.

Dec 2, 2016

Recovering from a Sermonic Dud

Herschel York shares three helpful responses when one preaches a bad sermon here. I think number three is particularly important.

Free Audio: Paul House on Jeremiah

You can access free audio here of Nancy Guthrie talking with Paul House on teaching the book of Jeremiah.

Dec 1, 2016

Don't Avoid Reading Older Books

Wyatt Graham gives four reasons here.

Free Logos Book for December: How to Read Proverbs

The free Logos Book of the Month for December is How to Read Proverbs by Tremper Longman III. You can also purchase Longman's How to Read the Psalms for $1.99. For both offers you can go to the Logos' Free Book of Month page here.

Nov 30, 2016

How Is Your Greek and How Is Your Preaching?

Stephen McAlpine has some important thoughts here and here on the challenges that many pastors face in trying to balance the expectations placed on them by academics concerning the use of Greek and Hebrew and the realities of pastoral ministry.

Nov 26, 2016

Hipster Nativity Set?

Do we really need a hipster nativity set? Apparently, some think so. You can read about it here.


Nov 25, 2016

IVP's Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sale

IVP is offering a number of titles at 50%-off for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This is even better than the 45%-off at the just concluded ETS and SBL meetings. You can check out the sale here.

Video on Hebron

A 15-minute video on Hebron from a Jewish perspective can be seen here.

Nov 24, 2016

Peter Flint

I had seen several reports noting that Peter Flint had died but here is the first published confirmation that I could find. I have benefited greatly from his books and he always gave engaging lectures

Nov 23, 2016

Wallace on Romans, Corinthians, and Galatians Resources

Dan Wallace provides a brief annotated bibliography here of mostly commentaries on the books of Romans. 1-2 Corinthians, and Galatians.

Nov 22, 2016

Lament as Praise

I was glad to read the following comment by Christopher Wright regarding lament in general and lament psalms in particular.
"Is this not a bit surprising? Here we have a book that bears the title 'The Praises,' yet the largest group of 'Praises' are actually laments! This may seem contradictory to us, but that is because we unusually think of 'praise' only as something we do when we feel happy and joyful. But for Israel, praise was something far deeper than that. Praise could happen even in the darkest momentsin fact, especially in those darkest moments.

"For Israel, praising God meant recognizing God's reality and presence. Praise meant affirming that the LORD God of Israel is the one and only true and living God. Praised described the character of God and declared the acts of God. Praise was essentially, God-talk. Praise is to bow down in God's presence (no matter what the circumstances) and affirm, 'God is alive, and God is here, and God is like this, and God has done that.'"  

Christopher J. H. Wright, How to Preach and Teach the Old Testament for All Its Worth (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2016), 237.

Nov 21, 2016

Jerusalem Temple Resource

This is a pretty cool website featuring the first century Jerusalem temple. You can access two videos here.

Nov 18, 2016

Ten Commandments Tablet

This article in the Daily Mail is one of the better articles on the ancient Ten Commandments tablet that was recently sold at auction.

Nov 17, 2016

God-Centered Applications

"The application should always relate to what God has done, will do, wants done, or instructs people to do. Preaching is not just a process of encouraging people to be nice to one another and live a happy life. The Bible is all about how God works with and through people to accomplish his purposes on earth. God is still at work with his people and still wants them to follow his instructions. He desires a relationship of love and commitment so that his plans will be fulfilled in their lives. The application of a passage should encourage people not to live like the ungodly or non-religious people in our world, but to accept the theological message that God has revealed in his word. The transformation that people need to embrace requires a humble and contrite heart (Ps. 51:17; Isa. 66:2) that is willing to live by the theological principles revealed in Scripture. Although these principles are deeply theological, the application of them should be framed in a practical way that makes common sense. The goal of a message is not to turn the audience into a group of systematic theologians who can explain everything about God. The goal is to help people grow more Christ-like in the practical ways that relate to others so that they reflect God's saving grace."

Gary V. Smith, Interpreting the Prophetic Books: An Exegetical Handbook, Handbooks for Old Testament Exegesis (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2014),161.

Nov 16, 2016

The Flow of the Psalms

I have been slowly making my way through O. Palmer Robertson's book The Flow of the Psalms: Discovering Their Structure and Theology (Phillipsburg, PA: P&R, 2015). I created the following table to illustrate Robertson's argument regarding the structure and content of the Psalms.
Book I
(Pss 1–41)
The confrontation between David, Israel’s messianic king and his enemies as he attempts to establish his kingdom.
Book II
(Pss 42–72)
David’s continues to struggle to establish his kingship but also seeks to communicate a message of hope to his enemies.
Book III
(Pss 73–89)
Shifts from David’s struggle to establish his kingship to a corporate concern related  to the devastation of God’s people by international forces
Book IV
(Pss 90–106)
The maturation of perspective on the “permanent dwelling place” and “perpetual dynasty” promised by the Davidic Covenant.
Book V
(Pss 107–150)
The consummation of the kingdom of God

Nov 15, 2016

“Preach the Text, Not the Event”

In his discussion on preaching parables, Steven W. Smith states, “We could so fall in love with the cultural background, the fascination of it all, that we miss the theological point Christ is attempting to communicate, a point that is imbedded in the text of Scripture, not so much the details of the story. A sermon that focuses on the cultural background rather than the biblical context becomes a lesson in first-century culture that falls squarely in the category of interesting but unhelpful. Preach the text, not the event” (Recapturing the Voice of God: Shaping Sermons Like Scripture [Nashville: B&H Academic, 2015], 111).  

This is a good caution though there can be a fine line between a text and the event it records. The recent tendency to focus inordinately on the background in parables might be understandable since parables are one of the more culturally sensitive genres.

Nov 14, 2016

Applying Biblical Narratives

Christopher J. H. Wright provides a great caution against a simplistic application of biblical narratives. He writes.

“But we cannot turn stories about what God did do—stories that indeed do demonstrate what God can do—into blank-cheque promises about what God will do, or must do for you, me, and everyone.” 

Christopher J. H. Wright, How to Preach and Teach the Old Testament for All Its Worth (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2016), 129.

Nov 12, 2016

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 but unfortunately you must be a SBL member.

James K. Aitken, ed.
T&T Clark Companion to the Septuagint
Reviewed by Siegfried Kreuzer

Stine Birk
Depicting the Dead: Self-Representation and Commemoration on Roman Sarcophagi with Portraits
Reviewed by Eric C. Smith

Sebastian Fink
Benjamin Whorf, die Sumerer und der Einfluss der Sprache auf das Denken
Reviewed by Michael S. Moore

Stephen E. Fowl
Ephesians: Being a Christian at Home and in the Cosmos
Reviewed by Julia Lambert Fogg

John Paul Heil
The Book of Revelation: Worship for Life in the Spirit of Prophecy
Reviewed by Russell Morton

Yael Klangwisan
Earthing the Cosmic Queen: Relevance Theory and the Song of Songs
Reviewed by Dianne Bergant

Ilaria L. E. Ramelli
Evagrius’s Kephalaia Gnostika: A New Translation of the Unreformed Text from the Syriac
Reviewed by Timothy Pettipiece

Stanley E. Porter
John, His Gospel, and Jesus: In Pursuit of the Johannine Voice
Reviewed by Cornelis Bennema

Sigmund Mowinckel; trans. Mark E. Biddle
Psalm Studies
Reviewed by Phil J. Botha
Reviewed by Ralph K. Hawkins

Nov 11, 2016

Luke 2:1-7

James Gray discusses Luke 2:1-7 here. This post does a good job of summarizing some of the problematic issues related to this text. Those working on Christmas sermons or lessons might find it useful.

Nov 10, 2016

Characteristics of Faith According to Hebrews 11

George Guthrie discusses six characteristics of biblical faith according to Hebrews 11 here.

Nov 9, 2016

Robert Hubbard on Books for Genesis — Ruth

Robert Hubbard has a nice run through here of books which you might want to consider in building an Old Testament library covering Genesis — Ruth.

Nov 7, 2016

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 but unfortunately you must be a SBL member.

James S. Anderson
Monotheism and Yahweh's Appropriation of Baal
Reviewed by Steve Wiggins

Robert L. Brawley
The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Ethics
Reviewed by Volker Rabens

Natalio Fernández Marcos, M. Victoria Spottorno Díaz-Caro, Jose Manuel Cañas Reillo, Mercedes López Salvá, Inmaculada Delgado Jara, Antonio Piñero Sáenz, and Lorena Miralles Maciá, trans.
La Biblia griega Septuaginta 3: Libros poéticos y sapienciales
Reviewed by Thomas J. Kraus

Deirdre N. Fulton
Reconsidering Nehemiah's Judah: The Case of MT and LXX Nehemia 11–12
Reviewed by Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer

Lars Kierspel
Charts on the Life and Letters of Paul
Reviewed by Corneliu Constantineanu

Susan Marks and Hal Taussig, eds.
Meals in Early Judaism: Social Formation at the Table
Reviewed by Joshua Schwartz

Benjamin Richler
Guide to Hebrew Manuscript Collections
Reviewed by Christopher Dost

J. J. M. Roberts
First Isaiah
Reviewed by Marvin A. Sweeney
Reviewed by H. G. M. Williamson

Jack M. Sasson
From the Mari Archives: An Anthology of Old Babylonian Letters
Reviewed by Amanda H. Podany

Nov 6, 2016

Guarding Your Study Time

Gerald Hiestand and Todd Wilson has some good suggestions here.

Nov 5, 2016

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 but unfortunately you must be a SBL member.

Ward Blanton
A Materialism for the Masses: Saint Paul and the Philosophy of Undying Life
Reviewed by Steven J. Kraftchick
Reviewed by Joseph A. Marchal

Emma England and William John Lyons, eds.
Reception History and Biblical Studies: Theory and Practice
Reviewed by C. L. Seow

Irving Finkel and Jonathan Taylor
Cuneiform: Ancient Scripts
Reviewed by John L. Ellison

Stephan Hagenow
Heilige Gemeinde – Sündige Christen: Zum Umgang mit postkonversionaler Sünde bei Paulus und in weiteren Texten des Urchristentums
Reviewed by Lars Kierspel

Julia Linke
Das Charisma der Könige: Zur Konzeption des altorientalischen Königtums im Hinblick auf Urartu
Reviewed by Michael S. Moore

Caterina Moro
I sandali di Mosè: Storia di una tradizione ebraica
Reviewed by Andrea Ravasco

Daniel D. Pioske
David’s Jerusalem: Between Memory and History
Reviewed by Kyle H. Keimer

Pamela Shellberg
Cleansed Lepers, Cleansed Hearts: Purity and Healing in Luke-Acts
Reviewed by Kindalee Pfremmer De Long
Reviewed by Sharon Jacob

Nov 4, 2016

Grant Osborne on the Book of Revelation

Grant Osborne writes about four keys to kindling your love for the Book of Revelation here.

Nov 3, 2016

Thoughts on Luke-Acts Commentaries

Joshua Mann has three very brief thoughts on Luke-Acts commentaries here.

Nov 1, 2016

Free Logos Book for November: Philippians: How to Have Joy

The free Logos Book of the Month for November is Philippians: How to Have Joy from Precept Ministries International. You can also purchase the volume on Jonah for .99 cents. For  these offers you can go to the Logos' Free Book of Month page here.

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 but unfortunately you must be a SBL member.

Mette Bundvad
Time in the Book of Ecclesiastes
Reviewed by Doug Ingram

Douglas A. Campbell
Framing Paul: An Epistolary Biography
Reviewed by Matthew V. Novenson

Hubert Irsigler
“Denk an deinen Schöpfer”: Studien zum Verständnis von Gott, Mensch und Volk im Alten Testament
Reviewed by Judith Gärtner

Yael Cameron Klangwisan
Jouissance: A Cixousian Encounter with the Song of Songs
Reviewed by Rhiannon Graybill

Judith Lieu
Marcion and the Making of a Heretic: God and Scripture in the Second Century
Reviewed by Dylan M. Burns

Nicholas P. Lunn
The Original Ending of Mark: A New Case for the Authenticity of Mark 16:9–20
Reviewed by Elizabeth E. Shively

Anna C. Miller
Corinthian Democracy: Democratic Discourse in 1 Corinthians
Reviewed by Joseph A. Marchal

Takamitsu Muraoka
A Biblical Aramaic Reader: With an Outline Grammar
Reviewed by Jordan M. Scheetz

Thomas Römer
Dark God: Cruelty, Sex, and Violence in the Old Testament
Reviewed by John E. Anderson

Alexei M. Sivertsev
Judaism and Imperial Ideology in Late Antiquity
Reviewed by Adam Marshak

Oct 30, 2016

Why Study Theology?

Scott Redd gives you seven reasons here.

Oct 29, 2016

Oct 28, 2016

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre

National Geographic has an interesting story here on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the likely place of the death and burial of Christ. Ongoing renovations and repairs are exposing parts of the tomb which are not normally seen.

Oct 27, 2016

Properly Formatting Titles

I know that formatting issues are not of interest to everyone. But some might be interested in this post from the SBL Handbook of Style blog on how to properly format titles from books to blogs. 

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 but unfortunately you must be a SBL member.

G. K. Beale, with David H. Campbell
Revelation: A Shorter Commentary
Reviewed by Paul B. Duff
Reviewed by Andrew Guffey

Russell W. Dalton
Children’s Bibles in America: A Reception History of the Story of Noah’s Ark in US Children’s Bibles
Reviewed by Gottfried Adam

Eric Eve
Behind the Gospels: Understanding the Oral Tradition
Reviewed by Jonathan M. Potter

G. Scott Gleaves
Did Jesus Speak Greek? The Emerging Evidence of Greek Dominance in First-Century Palestine
Reviewed by Hughson T. Ong

Robert P. Gordon and Hans M. Barstad, eds.
“Thus Speaks Ishtar of Arbela”: Prophecy in Israel, Assyria, and Egypt in the Neo-Assyrian Period
Reviewed by Michael S. Moore

Magdalena Maczynska
The Gospel according to the Novelist: Religious Scripture and Contemporary Fiction
Reviewed by Scott S. Elliott

Roland Meynet
Les huit psaumes acrostiches alphabétiques
Reviewed by Paul Sanders

Peter Nagel
Codex apocryphus gnosticus Novi Testamenti: Evangelien und Apostelgeschichten aus den Schriften von Nag Hammadi und verwandten Kodizes. Koptisch und deutsch
Reviewed by Simon Gathercole

Julien Ogereau
Paul’s Koinonia with the Philippians: A Socio-historical Investigation of a Pauline Economic Partnership
Reviewed by David E. Briones

Annick Payne
Hieroglyphic Luwian: An Introduction with Original Texts
Reviewed by Alice Mouton

Dieter T. Roth, Ruben Zimmermann, and Michael Labahn, eds.
Metaphor, Narrative, and Parables in Q
Reviewed by Joshua L. Mann

Michele Renee Salzman, with Michael Roberts
The Letters of Symmachus: Book 1
Reviewed by Timothy Pettipiece

Emanuel Tov
The Text-Critical Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research
Reviewed by Leonard J. Greenspoon

Elizabeth B. Tracy
See Me! Hear Me! Divine/Human Relational Dialogue in Genesis
Reviewed by Karolien Vermeulen

James W. Watts, ed.
Iconic Books and Texts
Reviewed by Ryan P. Bonfiglio

Oct 26, 2016

The Hebrew Papyrus Mentioning Jerusalem

A few days ago I posted on an ancient papyrus which contains the word “Yerushalma” (possibly meaning “to Jerusalem”). Today, two of my favorite bloggers have posts containing additional information on this manuscript here and here.

What Will People Say at Your Funeral?

Gary Ledbetter has some thoughts here.

Oct 25, 2016

Oct 24, 2016

Reading of the Gospels

George Guthrie discusses 6 ways to transform your reading of the Gospels here.

Oct 23, 2016

Oct 22, 2016

7th Century Papyrus Mentioning Jerusalem?

Apparently, a 8th century BC papyrus which mentions the word “Yerushalma” (possibly meaning “to Jerusalem”) has been discovered. You can read about it here

Correction: The news story above dated the manuscript to the 8th century but the IAA actually reports it as a 7th century text.

Oct 20, 2016

Oct 19, 2016

Using Humor in Preaching

According to a recent Preaching magazine survey, humor is used quite often in preaching. Respondents were asked, "How often do you use humor in preaching?" Here are the results.

Frequently - 54%
Sometimes - 44%
Rarely - 2%
Never - 0%

An interesting follow up survey might relate to what kind of humor is used or used most frequently (e.g., jokes, sight gags, dry humor, etc.).

Oct 18, 2016

St. Luke's Day

See this post related to St. Luke's Day and the accompanying sonnet by Malcom Guite.

Video of the 2016 Advanced Expository Workshop

You can access all the sessions of the 2016 Advanced Expository Workshop here. This year's focus was on the book of Ruth. 

Oct 17, 2016

Top 10 Books Every Pastor Should Read

Here is a list of the top 10 books every pastor should read.

Oct 16, 2016

Biblical Foods

See this interesting article on biblically-related foods.

Oct 15, 2016

Provocative People in Proverbs

Tim Challies, building on the work of Lou Priolo, has a good discussion here of the provocative people of Proverbs.

Oct 14, 2016

Annotated Bibliography on the War Scroll

Not new, but some readers might be interested in this helpful annotated bibliography by Todd Scacewater on the War Scroll.

Oct 13, 2016

Larry Hurtado's Lanier Theological Library Lecture

The video for Larry Hurtado's recent Lanier Theological Library lecture entitled, “A New and Mischievous Superstition: Early Christianity in the Roman World” is now up. You can access it here.

Oct 12, 2016

Growing Theologically after Seminary

Scott Slayton has five excellent suggestions here for making sure that one continues to grown theologically after your time in seminary is over.

Oct 11, 2016

Two Articles on the Dea Sea Scrolls

Live Science has two articles here and here on the Dead Sea Scrolls. The first article highlights newly revealed Dead Sea Scrolls while the second addresses the possibility that at least some of these newly revealed scrolls are forgeries.

Oct 10, 2016

Don't Preach a Saturday Night Special

John Frye has a good caution here concerning the temptation of preaching Saturday night specials sermons.

Oct 8, 2016

Review of Eschatology: Biblical, Historical, and Practical Approaches

D. Jeffrey Bingham and Glenn R. Kreider, eds., Eschatology: Biblical, Historical, and Practical Approaches (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2016).

The volume under review serves two purposes. First, it is intended festschrift for Craig Blaising in honor of his sixty-fifth birthday. Second, it is intended to be, “an introductory, student-friendly textbook” on eschatology (p. 31). This work consists of twenty-six essays distributed into four sections: (1) The Doctrine of the Future and Its Foundations, (2) The Doctrine of the Future in the Bible, (3) The Doctrine of the Future in the History of Christian Thought, and (4) The Doctrine of the Future and Christian Ministry. As is typical with festschrifts, readers will find some contributions more profitable than others. The following review will be more selective than comprehensive and will in some sense reflect this reviewer’s interests.

The first section consists of four essays focusing on the doctrine of the future and its foundations. The section kicks off with an essay by Jeffrey Bingham, entitled, “The Doctrine of the Future and Canonical Unity; Connecting the Future and the Past.” This essay consists of two parts, (1) Marcion: Dichotomy and Discontinuity, and (2) Orthodoxy, Harmony, and Discontinuity. Although Bingham treats Marcion with more sympathy than is sometimes the case, he clearly points out that he was in error. After discussing the orthodox counters to Marcion, Bingham writes,
Essential to any Christian eschatology is a Christian philosophy of salvation history and or progressive revelation. This philosophy must account for the differences between the Testaments and dispensations without wandering into the forbidden territory of dichotomy and contradiction. This philosophy must produce a hermeneutic that reads the differences only in linkage with the fundamental concepts of unity: One God, Creator, and father, one Christ, and one history with a common subject and objective in its part. With such a philosophy and hermeneutic, we avoid doing dishonor, as Marcion did, to the one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, both God and human (p. 50).
Another essay of particular interest was Stanley Toussaint’s essay on hope. Toussaint argues that genuine hope must contain both desire and expectancy (p. 54) and then traces how these elements can be seen in the Old and New Testaments. Interestingly, Toussaint argues that the present tense “I Am” in Matthew 22:31–32 does not directly point to the resurrection of the Patriarchs but rather the passage as a whole points to the Abrahamic promises which require resurrection to fulfill (pp. 56–7). The chapters by Charles Ryrie and John and Stefana Lang provide a clear affirmation of the concept of predictive prophecy.

This is not so much a criticism per se, but I think that this section should be placed later in the volume. Methodologically, one should move from the Text to theology. Or in other words, I would switch the order of parts one and two. 

The second major section includes eight essays on eschatology in the Bible with four essays devoted to each Testament. In the Old Testament section, Daniel Block’s contribution focuses on Israel’s eschatological salvation in Deuteronomy. Unfortunately, although there is much to appreciate in his chapter, he downplays the messianic significance of the book, even rejecting a messianic reading of Deuteronomy 18:15–19 (p. 113, fn. 20). George Klein develops the concept of waiting on the Lord by a careful examination of the psalms and his explanation of waiting is, and is not, is valuable (p. 174). Mark Rooker’s chapter on the Prophets offers a solid introduction to Old Testament prophets.

In the New Testament section, Darrell Block surveys the Synoptic Gospels by looking at three broad areas; (1) sayings about the future, (2) Parables about the future, (3) the Olivet Discourse and the future, and (4) the future of the individual. David Turner’s essay on John’s writings, particularly John’s Gospel, argues that, “John’s interest is not so much to project what will be as it is to describe what is in light of what will be. What is anticipates what will be; what will be has already begun” (p. 212). Edward Glenny argues that, “Paul’s understanding of the future flows out of and is based upon the core belief that the ends of the ages had arrived in Christ” (p. 227). Similarly, David Allen’s examination of the eschatology in Hebrews and the General Epistles identifies a number of common elements in what is otherwise a fairly diverse group of writings (p. 262). Oddly missing from this survey of the New Testament is any detailed treatment of Acts and Revelation (although Revelation is touched upon in Turner’s essay). 

The third major section is devoted to the doctrine of the future in the history of Christian thought. Here, eleven essays cover a broad historical sweep, from the Apostolic Fathers to contemporary Evangelicalism. Most interesting to me were the chapters by Stephen Presley on the Apostolic Fathers, Justin Martyr and Irenaeus of Lyons and Friedhelm Jung and Eduard Friesen’s study on the doctrine of the future in contemporary European theology.

The fourth and final section related to the doctrine of the future and Christian ministry consists of three essays. Among them, the most helpful is probably Denny Autrey’s inquiry into how eschatology affects or informs pastoral ministry.

By way of broad evaluation, this is a good, but uneven, volume on eschatology. It functions well as a festschrift but is less suited in its desire to be a “student-friendly textbook” on eschatology. The treatment of eschatological content is uneven. Some aspects of eschatology have a fair amount of overlap between various essays whereas other areas are inadequately addressed or not addressed at all. This volume also lacks a glossary, indices, and visuals that would make it truly “student-friendly.” In sum, this work is probably more beneficial for those who are already familiar with biblical eschatology than for the beginning student.

Thanks to Kregel for providing the book used in this review.