Jul 24, 2017

New Open Access Journal: Text and Archaeology

There is a new open access journal entitled Archaeology and Text, edited by Itzik Shai and David Small. You can access the first volume here

HT: Aren Maier

Jul 23, 2017

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.

Michael F. Bird
The Gospel of the Lord: How the Early Church Wrote the Story of Jesus
Reviewed by Albert Lukaszewski
Reviewed by Youngju Kwon

Ellis R. Brotzman and Eric J. Tully
Old Testament Textual Criticism: A Practical Introduction
Reviewed by Terry Giles

Andrew J. Brown
The Days of Creation: A History of Christian Interpretation of Genesis 1:1–2:3
Reviewed by James F. McGrath

Alexandra Gruca-Macaulay
Lydia as a Rhetorical Construct in Acts
Reviewed by Marianne Blickenstaff

David Luckensmeyer and Pauline Allen, eds.
Studies of Religion and Politics in the Early Christian Centuries
Reviewed by Aaron Ricker

Dinh Anh Nhue Nguyen, ed.
The Bible and Asian Culture: Reading the Word of God in Its Cultural Background and in the Vietnamese Context
Reviewed by Jione Havea

Peter Oakes
Reviewed by Bart J. Koet and Jaap F. van der Meij

David Lee Phillips
The Samaritan Version of the Book of Numbers with Hebrew Variants: A Close Textual Study
Reviewed by Nathan R. Jastram

Daniel Y. Wu
Honor, Shame, and Guilt: Social-Scientific Approaches to the Book of Ezekiel
Reviewed by Tobias Häner

Jul 19, 2017

Canonization as a Card Game

Apparently, there is now a card game related to the biblical canon. You can read about it here.

Jul 18, 2017

The Idea of Missions in the Old Testament

"J. H. Bavink once observed that “at first sight the Old Testament appears to offer little basis for the idea of missions,” adding that “that entire pagan world is portrayed more as a constant threat and temptation to Israel than as an area in which God will reveal his salvation.” However, when the Old Testament is more thoroughly studied, it soon appears that there is much concern for the future of the nations and that God’s plan of salvation has the whole world in view. Any account of missions in the Old and New Testaments must take account of the fundamental principles found in the revelation of God. The perspective of Holy Scripture is from the beginning universal, ecumenical and missionary. The first concern of the Bible is not with Hebrews but with humanity, The Bible does not begin with the birth of Abraham, father of the people, or with Moses, prophet of God, but with the creation of the world and the advent of man.” 

Richard R. DeRidder, Discipling the Nations, Twin Brooks Series (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1975), 14.

Jul 17, 2017

Repetition in Genesis

Sam Bray notes here the importance of noting and translating repetitions in the Bible, notably in this case Genesis.

Jul 15, 2017

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.

Barbara Aland, Kurt Aland, Johannes Karavidopoulos, Carlo M. Martini, and Bruce Metzger, eds.
The Greek New Testament with Dictionary
Reviewed by Timothy A. Brookins

Herbert W. Basser with Marsha B. Cohen
The Gospel of Matthew and Judaic Traditions: A Relevance-Based Commentary
Reviewed by Akiva Cohen

Martin Leuenberger, ed.
Reviewed by Bob Becking

Jack R. Lundbom
Jeremiah: Prophet Like Moses
Reviewed by Samuel Hildebrandt

Robert D. Miller II, ed.
Between Israelite Religion and Old Testament Theology: Essays on Archaeology, History, and Hermeneutics
Reviewed by Ryan P. Bonfiglio

B. J. Oropeza
Exploring Second Corinthians: Death and Life, Hardship and Rivalry
Reviewed by Elliott C. Maloney, OSB
Reviewed by Adam White

Christopher R. Seitz
Reviewed by Devin L. White

Joan E. Taylor, ed.
Jesus and Brian: Exploring the Historical Jesus and His Times via Monty Python’s Life of Brian
Reviewed by Brian LePort

Risto Uro
Ritual and Christian Beginnings: A Socio-cognitive Analysis
Reviewed by Maria Karyakina

Jul 14, 2017

Staff Bios

Thom Rainer has some good suggestions here on six things to include in church staff bios. I think this would also relate to faculty bios as well.

Jul 13, 2017

Archaeological Conservation

During my recent participation at the Tel Gezer dig, I learned that what is uncovered must either be protected or conserved. So sometimes what is uncovered is re-covered to protect it. In other cases, what has been exposed is left exposed. In such instances, conservation or preservation is undertaken. In this post, Leen Ritmyer gives an excellent explanation of what is involved in conservation and his involvement at Tel Shiloh.

Jul 12, 2017

Fly Through Animation of Ai (Khirbet el-Maqatir)

Fly Through Animation of the fortress of Ai based on the archaeological excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir.

The Corruption of Biblical Studies?

This essay does a decent job in pointing out the tensions between religious and academic studies of the Bible and how the latter is not as agenda driven as the former. As the subtitle points out, the "Academic scrutiny of scripture, a discipline prey to intellectual fashion since its inception, is today pursued by many in the service of secular liberal positions."

HT: Rob Bradshaw

Jul 11, 2017

Five “Fake News” Stories Related to Early Christianity

Michael Kruger identifies five “fake news” stories that many people believe about early Christianity here.

Jul 10, 2017

Project Habakkuk

This story might need to be put in the bizarre file, but you can read about a secret proposal called "Project Habakkuk," to build aircraft carriers out of ice during WW II.

Jul 9, 2017

Tandy Archaeological Museum Honored with 2017 Best of Fort Worth Award

You can read this story about the Tandy Archaeological Museum here. I visited the Tandy museum a few years ago but it sounds like I need to make a return visit. The museum has a decent website here and you can view photos of the collections here.

Jul 8, 2017

Text-Driven Preaching Workshop: Philemon

Some readers might be interested in Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Text-Driven Preaching Workshop focusing on Philemon. The workshop is on Monday, October 9 (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.). Speakers include David Allen, Denny Autrey, Deron Biles, Barry McCarty, Matthew McKellar, and Kyle Walker. No registration details are listed yet, but you can see the announcement here.

Jul 7, 2017

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.

Aaron Chalmers
Interpreting the Prophets: Reading, Understanding and Preaching from the Worlds of the Prophets
Reviewed by Samuel Hildebrandt

Panayotis Coutsoumpos
Paul, Corinth, and the Roman Empire
Reviewed by H. H. Drake Williams III

Thomas Esposito
Jesus’ Meals with Pharisees and Their Liturgical Roots
Reviewed by Dennis E. Smith

Simon Gathercole
Defending Substitution: An Essay on Atonement in Paul
Reviewed by Jarvis J. Williams

David Gowler
James through the Centuries
Reviewed by R. Alan Culpepper

Michael J. Kok
The Gospel on the Margins: The Reception of Mark in the Second Century
Reviewed by Elizabeth Struthers Malbon

Helen Leneman and Barry Dov Walfish, eds.
The Bible Retold by Jewish Artists, Writers, Composers and Filmmakers
Reviewed by James F. McGrath

Gordon H. Matties
Reviewed by Ryan P. Bonfiglio

Lukasz Niesiolowski-Spanò
Goliath’s Legacy: Philistines and Hebrews in Biblical Times
Reviewed by Carl S. Ehrlich

Diego Pérez Gondar
Caín, Abel y la sangre de los justos: Gn 4, 1–16 y su recepción en la Iglesia Primitiva
Reviewed by Susana de Sola Funsten

Alistair C. Stewart
The Original Bishops: Office and Order in the First Christian Communities
Reviewed by David J. DeVore

Patricia K. Tull and Jacqueline E. Lapsley, eds.
After Exegesis: Feminist Biblical Theology
Reviewed by Lisa W. Davison

Michael Wolter
Paul: An Outline of His Theology
Reviewed by Matthew V. Novenson

Sami Yli-Karjanmaa
Reincarnation in Philo of Alexandria
Reviewed by Gregory E. Sterling

Tamar Zewi
The Samaritan Version of Saadya Gaon’s Translation of the Pentateuch: Critical Edition and Study of MS London BL OR7562 and Related MSS
Reviewed by Jeffrey L. Morrow

Jul 6, 2017

Original Turabian?

In the process of packing some things today, I can across this copy of Turabian. There is no indication of a second or later edition so it may be a first edition. In any case, it is only 61 pages long!


How to Talk to Famous Professors

Robin Bernstein has some good advice here.

Jul 5, 2017

Two Views on Applying 2 Chronicles 7:14

Steve Gaines argues for direct application here and Russell Moore argues against direct application here (written in 2016). I wonder whether at least some of the differences between Gaines and Russell relates to a failure to distinguish between principles and applications.

Jul 4, 2017

Leviticus and Sexual Morality

Jeff Mirus has a good post here on what Leviticus has to teach us about sexual morality and ourselves.

Jul 3, 2017

Infographic: Singleness, Dating, and Marriage

Crossway has a helpful infographic on singleness, dating, and marriage here.

HT: David Murray

Jul 1, 2017

Free Logos Book for July: The Old Religion in a New World: The History of North American Christianity

The free Logos Book of the Month for July is The Old Religion in a New World: The History of North American Christianity by Mark A. Noll. For this and other offers you can go to the Logos' Free Book of Month page here.

Jun 30, 2017

On the Value of Biblical Hebrew

Here is a Roman Catholic perspective. Note also the author's encouragement to visit the Holt Land.

Jun 29, 2017

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.

Stephen Carlson
The Text of Galatians and Its History
Reviewed by Akio Ito

Lynne St. Clair Darden
Scripturalizing Revelation: An African American Postcolonial Reading of Empire
Reviewed by Lynn Huber

Sally Douglas
Early Church Understandings of Jesus as the Female Divine: The Scandal of the Scandal of Particularity
Reviewed by Jill E. Marshall

Mariachiara Fincati
The Medieval Revision of the Ambrosian Hexateuch: Critical Editing between Septuaginta and Hebraica Veritas in Ms. Ambrosianus A 147 inf.
Reviewed by Melvin K. H. Peters

Peter W. Gosnell
The Ethical Vision of the Bible: Learning Good from Knowing God
Reviewed by C. Fred Smith

Lester L. Grabbe, Gabriele Boccaccini, and Jason M. Zurawski, eds.
The Seleucid and Hasmonean Periods and the Apocalyptic Worldview
Reviewed by G. Anthony Keddie

Ithamar Gruenwald
Apocalyptic and Merkavah Mysticism
Reviewed by Andrew R. Guffey

Sylvie Honigman
Tales of High Priests and Taxes: The Books of the Maccabees and the Judean Rebellion against Antiochos IV
Reviewed by Joshua Schwartz

Sharon Jacob
Reading Mary Alongside Indian Surrogate Mothers: Violent Love, Oppressive Liberation, and Infancy Narratives
Reviewed by Angela N. Parker

Andre LaCocque
Jesus the Central Jew: His Times and His People
Reviewed by Tobias Hägerland

Susanne Luther, Jörg Röder, and Eckart Schmidt, eds.
Wie Geschichten Geschichte schreiben: Frühchristliche Literatur zwischen Faktualität und Fiktionalität
Reviewed by Jonathon Lookadoo

James E. Robson
Deuteronomy 1–11: A Handbook on the Hebrew Text
Reviewed by Leslie J. Hoppe, OFM

John Christopher Thomas and Frank D. Macchia
Reviewed by Gregory Stevenson

Bruce W. Winter
Divine Honours for the Caesars: The First Christians’ Responses
Reviewed by Warren Carter

Edwin M. Yamauchi and Marvin R. Wilson
Dictionary of Daily Life in Biblical and Post-biblical Antiquity
Reviewed by Oded Borowski
Reviewed by Hennie Stander

Jun 28, 2017

Charles Spurgeon's Schedule

Check out this blog post related to Charles Spurgeon's schedule. I know it puts my schedule to shame!

Jun 27, 2017

Free Hebrew Course

Kevin Bauder notes that you can take a free Biblical Hebrew course taught by William Barrick. You can access it out here.

Jun 26, 2017

Ten Major Themes in Proverbs

Steve Nicholes and his son Benjamin have created a nice visual diagram of ten major themes in Proverbs. You can click on the image below for a higher quality PDF version. 

No automatic alt text available.

Jun 25, 2017

Ten Online Teaching Tips

This post seems to have some helpful suggestions.

Jun 23, 2017

Spurgeon Collection Online

See this article explaining the site here or go directly to the site here.

Jun 22, 2017

Teaching Specific Skills

Maryellen Weimer has a good post here on teaching specific skills to students. Much, if not all, of this also applies to discipleship.

Jun 21, 2017

Prothro on Justification

Peter Leithart interacts with James Prothro's article, “The Strange Case of Dikaioo in the Septuagint and Paul: The Oddity and Origins of Paul's Talk of ‘Justification'” here.

Jun 19, 2017

The Sermon Is not Dead

Those that think that preaching is passé should read this.

Jun 18, 2017

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.

Yitzhak Berger
Jonah in the Shadows of Eden
Reviewed by Paul L. Redditt

Mark Glen Bilby
As the Bandit Will I Confess you: Luke 23.39–43 in Early Christian Interpretation
Reviewed by Edmon L. Gallagher

Crispin Fletcher-Louis
Jesus Monotheism: Volume 1: Christological Origins: The Emerging Consensus and Beyond
Reviewed by Blake A. Jurgens

Amanda C. Miller
Rumors of Resistance: Status Reversals and Hidden Transcripts in the Gospel of Luke
Reviewed by Eric D. Barreto

Manfred Oeming and Joachim Vette
Das Buch der Psalmen: Psalm 90–151
Reviewed by Áron Németh

Robert Somos
Logic and Argumentation in Origen
Reviewed by Mark S. M. Scott

James W. Thompson
The Church according to Paul: Rediscovering the Community Conformed to Christ
Reviewed by Christopher T. Holmes
Reviewed by Herman C. Waetjen

Adam Winn, ed.
An Introduction to Empire in the New Testament
Reviewed by Greg Carey

Jun 17, 2017

The Gateway to Hell at Hierapolis?

Carl Rasmussen has an interesting post here on recent excavations and the "Gateway to Hell" at Hierapolis.

Jun 16, 2017

What Can You Do with a PhD in Theology?

With so few academic positions open, Nathan Finn asks and answers the question here.

Jun 15, 2017

Jun 14, 2017

The Difference between Bible College and Seminary

Chris Dickerson explains the basic differences between Bible college and seminary here.

Jun 13, 2017

Imperatives in Preaching Biblical Narratives

William Barrick has a very helpful post here about the prescriptive nature of Old Testament narratives.

Jun 10, 2017

The Point of Biblical Theology

"The point of biblical theology, therefore, is to reaffirm revelation in history within a robust view of the divinely inspired reliability of the biblical text itself, which will require restoring the humility of the theologian before the text and, supremely, before God, whose text it is.”

Scott Hafemann, “What’s the Point of Biblical Theology? Reflections Prompted by Brevard Childs,” in
Biblical Theology: Past, Present, and Future, ed. Corey Walsh and Mark. W Elliott (Cascade: Eugene, OR, 2016), 119.

Jun 9, 2017

Archaeological Evidence for King David

Kenneth Way has a good post here discussing the archaeological evidence for King David.

Jun 8, 2017

My Screwtape Letter

I was recently going through some of my old seminary assignments and came across a paper that I apparently modeled after C. S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters. I must confess that I do not remember the assignment or the course for which it was created. But, I have lightly edited it and condensed it because I was surprised about how timely it was. So with apologies to the esteemed Lewis, here is a reminder for whom it might be helpful.

Dear Wormwood,

Thank you for enlisting my help concerning Charles. Indeed I have had my eye on him for many years and I can tell you that he is so gullible at times that I even wonder if he is worthy of my expertise. However, I have learned that the Enemy sometimes delights in using one as insignificant as him so we must not take anything for granted. Therefore permit me to suggest possible strategies that you might use against him.

You can help Charles to become dissatisfied with his life by placing those who are more talented, intelligent, and wealthy around him so that he will quickly take his eyes off of the Enemy, forgetting all the undeserved blessings which he already enjoys. Make sure that you remind him how great a sacrifice he is making by going to seminary and is thus entitled to a reciprocal measure of prosperity. Take care though that you do not mention the words “prosperity theology” for he claims to reject it. Allow him to point a finger at the prosperity teachers without recognizing how close he comes to this theology at times. In fact it might even helpful in inflating his pride by reminding him how much more biblical he is than the health and wealth teachers. A little subtlety will go a long way here.

The beauty of cultivating envy is that you can also cultivate greed. By feeding Charles’ envy you can also create an insatiable appetite for more. Let me suggest that you proceed carefully. You must seek to develop this greed within reason. Ideally, greed is most effective when it does not involve much more than a person has, but just a little more than they have now. This approach is effective because most humans feel that they deserve a little more than they have now.

Jun 7, 2017

Is It Proper to Preach the Psalms?

To be honest, I have always assumed that the Psalms could and should be preached. But as Sidney Greidanus points out, Claus Westermann, Donald Gowan, and others believe that the Psalms can be prayed and sung but they should not be preached. but Greidanus offers four reasons why the Psalms should be preached.
  1. "The editors of the Psalter have placed Psalm 1, a torah (wisdom) psalm, at the head of this collection in order to signal that every following psalm is to be read as part of God's torah, teaching, instruction for Israe1."
  2. "Though many psalms originated as a human word to God, every psalm is now part of the Psalter and was accepted in the Canon as God's word for Israel."
  3. "The New Testament authors accepted the Psalter not just as Israel's word to God but as God's word to his people"
  4. "Jesus not only prayed the psalms but used them, more than any other Old Testament book, for his preaching and teaching."

Sidney Greidanus, Preaching Christ from Psalms: Foundations for Expository Sermons in the Christian Year (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2016), 3-4.

Jun 6, 2017

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.

Holly Beers
The Followers of Jesus as the ‘Servant’: Luke’s Model from Isaiah for the Disciples in Luke-Acts
Reviewed by Phillip Long

Simon Chi-Chung Cheung
Wisdom Intoned: A Reappraisal of the Genre ‘Wisdom Psalms’
Reviewed by Phil J. Botha

Michael V. Fox
Proverbs: An Eclectic Edition with Introduction and Textual Commentary
Reviewed by Richard Clifford

Esther Fuchs
Feminist Theory and the Bible: Interrogating the Sources
Reviewed by Lisa Davison

Trine Bjornung Hasselbalch
Meaning and Context in the Thanksgiving Hymns: Linguistic and Rhetorical Perspectives on a Collection of Prayers from Qumran
Reviewed by Blake A. Jurgens

Derek Olsen
Reading Matthew with Monks: Liturgical Interpretation in Anglo-Saxon England
Reviewed by Brian C. Dennert

Mikeal C. Parsons
Reviewed by Joshua W. Jipp
Reviewed by Troy M. Troftgruben

Avigdor Shinan and Yair Zakovitch
From Gods to God: How the Bible Debunked, Suppressed, or Changed Ancient Myths and Legends
Reviewed by Frederick E. Greenspahn

Bryan A. Stewart
Priests of My People: Levitical Paradigms for Early Christian Ministers
Reviewed by Richard S. Briggs

Jun 5, 2017

Temples as Banks in the Ancient World?

I like many others have often taught that temples in the ancient world often functioned as de facto banks. But if Marty Stevens is correct then such a linkage as at best imprecise or inadequate. Note the following helpful clarification from Stevens.
But the ancient temple as “bank” is imprecise and inaccurate. Most precisely, temples functioned as “treasuries” or “depositories,” a place for the storage and retrieval of (precious) commodities and metals by the depositor. Temple archives demonstrate that the temple held deposits by individuals but did not allow others to access them or in any other way use the negotiable instruments that complete the definition of “banking.” Temples lent their own property, not that of others on deposit with the temple. If the temple used the deposits at all, it was acting as a broker at the direction of the depositor, who retained the risk of the use. The defining issue is the accountability for risk. The broker-intermediary does not assume any risk; a banker-intermediary assumes risks as a creditor. So temples were not “banks” in antiquity. Rather, the more precise designation for the role of the temple in antiquity would be “financial intermediary.” As collector, user, and disburser of goods and financial services, the temple transferred value from the contributor to consumer.”
Marty E. Stevens, Temples, Tithes, and Taxes: The Temple and the Economic Life of Ancient Israel (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2006), 137.

Jun 3, 2017

Syntax of Biblical Hebrew Poetry

Robert Holmsedt has made his paper "The Syntax of Poetry in Biblical Hebrew" available here.

Jun 2, 2017

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.

Joel B. Green
Conversion in Luke-Acts: Divine Action, Human Cognition, and the People of God
Reviewed by Marianne Blickenstaff

Karen H. Jobes and Moisés Silva
Invitation to the Septuagint
Reviewed by Andrea Ravasco

Benjamin J. M. Johnson
Reading David and Goliath in Greek and Hebrew: A Literary Approach
Reviewed by Randall X. Gauthier
Reviewed by Joseph McDonald

Othmar Keel and Silvia Schroer
Creation: Biblical Theologies in the Context of the Ancient Near East
Reviewed by Jeffrey L. Morrow

Matthias Konradt
Israel, Church, and the Gentiles in the Gospel of Matthew
Reviewed by Wesley G. Olmstead

Jordan Penkower
Masorah and Text Criticism in the Early Modern Mediterranean: Moshe Ibn Zabara and Menahem de Lonzano
Reviewed by Ronald Hendel

Rafael Rodriguez
If You Call Yourself a Jew: Reappraising Paul’s Letter to the Romans
Reviewed by Philip Esler

Jerry L. Sumney
Paul: Apostle and Fellow Traveler
Reviewed by Jeffrey L. Cockrell

Samer Soreshow Yohanna
The Gospel of Mark in the Syriac Harklean Version: An Edition Based upon the Earliest Witnesses
Reviewed by Peter A. L. Hill

Jun 1, 2017

Free Logos Book for June: Salvation Belongs to the Lord: An Introduction to Systematic Theology

The free Logos Book of the Month for June is Salvation Belongs to the Lord: An Introduction to Systematic Theology by John Frame. You can also purchase Justification by Grace through Faith: Finding Freedom from Legalism, Lawlessness, Pride, and Despair for $1.99 or enter to win the entire eleven-volume Explorations in Biblical Theological Systems. For all these offers you can go to the Logos' Free Book of Month page here.

May 31, 2017

Free Images: Zondervan Atlas of the Bible

Carl Rasmussen has made all of the images from his Zondervan Atlas of the Bible available for free here.

May 30, 2017

Free Audio: Darrell Bock on the Historical Jesus

Credo Courses is offering free audio of Darrell Bock's course "The Historical Jesus" here.

May 29, 2017

Egypt as Divine Incubator

I was reminded recently of how Egypt served as a divine incubator of sorts for Jacob's family (Gen 46-50). The two great dangers facing the incipient nation of Israel was assimilation and/or elimination. Certain aspects related to Egypt provided protection from both. Here is a simple table I created for a recent class on Genesis. (I apologize that I couldn't get the formatting quite right but you get the idea.)
Egypt as a Divine Incubator
Isolation to Avoid Assimilation
Protection to Avoid Elimination
·  Egyptians don’t like eating with foreigners (43:32)
·  Egyptians don’t like shepherds (46:34)
·  Protection of the Egyptian army
·  Protection against famines


May 27, 2017

Relationships between Brothers in Genesis

As I was wrapping up a study of Genesis, I was struck by the fact that the final restoration scene between Joseph and his brothers ends well (Gen 50:15-21). This is unlike most of the brotherly relationships in Genesis that tend to end in dysfunction or death. Consider Cain killing Abel, Isaac and Ishmael, and the animosity between Jacob and Esau, and the earlier conflicts between Joseph and his brothers might suggest to the reader a similar conclusion. But happily, the story of Joseph and his brothers ends in forgiveness and grace! Perhaps this foreshadows the ultimate reconciliation to be found in Christ.

May 26, 2017

Ten Theses on Biblical Theology

Scott Hafemann along with Richard Schultz developed the following “Ten Theses on Biblical Theology.”

1. Biblical theology should be biblical, taking the canon in its entirety as its starting point and criterion.

2. Biblical theology should be theological, aiming at making synthetic assertions about the nature, will, and plan of God in creation and redemption, as well as their corresponding implications for the nature, will, and purposes of humanity.

3. Biblical theology should be historical, contextual, and thematic in its methodology, integrating historical development, literary structures, sociocultural factors, and theological concepts within an understanding of the history of redemption.

4. Biblical theology should develop its theological categories inductively from the biblical text, not from a predetermined systematic framework.

5. Biblical theology should be exegetically based, taking intertextuality as its starting point., including both the “OT” use of the “OT” and the “NT” use of the “OT” as preserved in the MT and LXX traditions.

6. Biblical theology should be intentionally bi-testamental and unifying, so that neither the OT nor NT are read in isolation from each other nor from the standpoint of a “canon within a canon.”

7. Biblical theology should work toward a unity of canon, going beyond the traditional disciplines of OT and NT theology and beyond providing simply descriptive accounts of the various theological emphases within its individual writings.

8. Biblical theology should strive to incorporate the diversity of the biblical writings within the unity of its theology, without sacrificing either its historical particularity or its overarching history of redemption.

9. Biblical theology should be both descriptive and prescriptive in order to be faithful to its theological task of providing an enduring contribution to the self-understanding of God’s people within their contemporary context.

10. Biblical theology should be pursued by means of an intentional dialogue within the body of Christ in order to overcome the lamentable specialization of biblical scholars and be viewed as a profoundly spiritual calling in order to be faithful to the biblical witness.

Scott Hafemann, “What’s the Point of Biblical Theology? Reflections Prompted by Brevard Childs,” in BiblicalTheology: Past, Present, and Future, ed. Corey Walsh and Mark. W Elliott, (Cascade: Eugene, OR, 2016), 118-19.

May 25, 2017

Biblical Theology Books

Paul Henebury evaluates a number of biblical theology books here.

May 24, 2017

Genesis 1 to Exodus 40 as Prelude to Leviticus

L. Michael Morales’ biblical theology of Leviticus is an interesting read. The following quote sets up where Morales sees Leviticus going.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0830826386/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0830826386&linkCode=as2&tag=bix0d-20&linkId=6717d75fb2402a51697e0412e13b4839" target="_blank="As the fiery glory of YHWH fills the tabernacle at the end of the book of Exodus, the drama of redemptive history thus far comes to a culminating pinnacle. There is even a sense in where one could read Genesis 1 to Exodus 40 as a complete narrative, a story about being expelled from God’s Presence in Eden, then, finally being brought back into that Presence through the tabernacle cultus – a story about Paradise lost and regained. Fittingly, the tabernacle and its furnishings are pervaded in the Edenic imagery. The tabernacle narrative crowning Exodus 40, then, not only forms a bookend with the creation accounts of Genesis 1 – 3, both pertaining to life in the Presence of God, but, further still, the tabernacle cultus is presented as a mediated resolution to the crisis introduced in Genesis 3 with humanity’s expulsion from Eden.
L. Michael Morales, Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord? A Biblical Theology of Leviticus, New Studies in Biblical Theology 37, ed. D. A. Carson (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2015), 75.

May 21, 2017

Resources on Acts

Mike Bird lists his top ten resources on Acts here.

May 20, 2017

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.

John J. Collins
The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature
Reviewed by Marvin A. Sweeney

Nina Henrichs-Tarasenkova
Luke’s Christology of Divine Identity
Reviewed by James F. McGrath

Hannelore Jauss
Der liebebedürftige Gott und die gottbedürftige Liebe des Menschen: Ursprung und Funktion der Rede von der Liebe des Menschen zu Gott als alttestamtentlicher Beitrag zur Gotteslehre
Reviewed by Michael S. Moore

Karl Allen Kuhn
The Kingdom according to Luke and Acts: A Social, Literary, and Theological Introduction
Reviewed by Frank E. Dicken

R. Reed Lessing
Isaiah 56–66
Reviewed by Dominic S. Irudayaraj

Rüdiger Liwak; Markus Witte and Dagmar Pruin, eds.
Israel in der altorientalischen Welt: Gesammelte Studien zur Kultur- und Religionsgeschichte des antiken Israel
Reviewed by Jeremy M. Hutton

Matthew R. Malcolm
Paul and the Rhetoric of Reversal in 1 Corinthians: The Impact of Paul’s Gospel on His Macro-Rhetoric
Reviewed by Timothy J. Christian

Bruce J. Malina and John J. Pilch
Social-Science Commentary on the Deutero-Pauline Letters
Reviewed by Maria Karyakina
Reviewed by Korinna Zamfir

Julia M. O’Brien
Reviewed by Bob Becking

May 19, 2017

Moo on James' and Paul's Use of Genesis 15:6

I think Doug Moo’s explanation of the difference between James’ and Paul’s use of Genesis 15:6 to be helpful.
To borrow a metaphor from the world of photography, Paul uses a telephoto lens to isolate the inherent meaning of the verse whereas James looks at the verse through a wide-angle lens, viewing it in the larger landscape of the Abraham narrative. Paul cites the verse to highlight the adequacy of faith in and of itself to justify a person before God. The faith Abraham exercises here comes before his circumcision (Gn 17) and before his famous “work” of obedience (Gn 22). As so often, Paul gives fuller meaning to the terms of the original text, especially in his strongly forensic interpretation of righteousness. But his application of the text, I have argued, is legitimate, since Gn 15:6 teaches that Abraham’s faith was considered by God as meeting the entirety of his obligation before God. James gives us no reason to think that he ignores or changes the meaning of the text. But he insists that the faith of which Gn 15:6 speaks is, in the larger story of Genesis, a faith that expresses itself in works of obedience and that these works are also to be included in the “entirety of the obligation” that Abraham owes to God.
Douglas Moo, “Genesis 15:6 in the New Testament,” in From Creation to New Creation: Biblical Theology and Exegesis, ed. Daniel M. Gurtner and Benjamin L. Gladd (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2013), 162.

May 18, 2017

Observe Repetition. Observe Repetition

I appreciate the words below from Dale Ralph Davis. I often tell my students that the biblical authors did not have emoticons so one has to read especially carefully and closely. One basic way is to observe repetition.
"Biblical writers did not have the luxury of using bold, italicized, or underlined type as our computer-driven generation does. They had to make their emphases in different ways. Repetition was one means that they used as a substitute for underscoring." 
The Word Became Fresh: How to Preach from Old Testament Narrative Texts (Ross-shire, Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 2006), 22.

May 17, 2017

Watson on Matthew's Gospel

“Matthew’s gospel bears witness to a Jewish Jesus whose person and work are shaped by his people’s history as interpreted in the scriptural record. The gospel was placed first in the canonical collection because its early readers were convinced by its fundamental claim: salvation has come to the world in the person of a Jew.”

Francis Watson, The Fourfold Gospel: A Theological Reading of the New Testament Portraits of Jesus (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2016), 49.

May 16, 2017

Five Pointers on Using Humor in Preaching

Peter Mead has five pointers on using humor in preaching here.

May 15, 2017

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.

M. Eugene Boring
I and II Thessalonians: A Commentary
Reviewed by Matthew D. Jensen

Constantine R. Campbell
Advances in the Study of Greek: New Insights for Reading the New Testament
Reviewed by Hennie Stander

Roy R. Jeal
Exploring Philemon: Freedom, Brotherhood, and Partnership in the New Society
Reviewed by Timothy Gombis
Reviewed by S. Matthew Solomon

Lori Khatchadourian
Imperial Matter: Ancient Persia and the Archaeology of Empires
Reviewed by Jason M. Silverman

John S. Kloppenborg and Alicia J. Batten, eds.
James, 1 and 2 Peter, and Early Jesus Traditions
Reviewed by Pheme Perkins

David McAuley
Paul’s Covert Use of Scripture: Intertextuality and Rhetorical Situation in Philippians 2:10–16
Reviewed by Isaac Blois

Young-Ho Park
Paul’s Ekklesia as a Civic Assembly: Understanding the People of God in Their Politico-Social World
Reviewed by Bradley J. Bitner

Alexander Prokhorov
The Isaianic Denkschrift and a Socio-cultural Crisis in Yehud: A Rereading of Isaiah 6:1–9:6[7]
Reviewed by Csaba Balogh

Stephen Richard Turley
The Ritualized Revelation of the Messianic Age: Washings and Meals in Galatians and 1 Corinthians
Reviewed by Craig L. Blomberg

May 14, 2017

ETS Videos: Progressive Covenantalism and Progressive Dispensationalism

Videos of the three plenary sessions from the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Southwest Region of the Evangelical Theological Society are now available on Youtube. The theme was “Progressive Covenantalism and Progressive Dispensationalism” and the plenary speakers were Dr. Stephen Wellum and Dr. Craig Blaising.

Plenary Session 1 – Dr. Stephen Wellum, “Progressive Covenantalism”

Plenary Session 2 – Dr. Craig Blaising, “Progressive Dispensationalsim”

Panel Discussion – Drs. Wellum and Blaising

May 13, 2017

Soldiers Using the Bathroom in the ANE

Charlie Trimm has a brief but enlightening post here on how soldiers used the bathroom in the ancient Near East.

May 12, 2017

Taking Notes on a Computer?

This is fairly balanced article on the advantages and  disadvantages of taking notes on a computer in class.

HT: George Hillman

May 11, 2017

5 Lessons from Preaching in a Dying Church

Brian Croft has a good word here about what he learned from preaching in a dying church. I think his observations might also fit most churches. In any case, I am looking forward to his further unpacking of these lessons.

May 10, 2017

The Identity of the 144,000 in Revelation 7

Clint Archer does a nice job of arguing that the 144,000 means 144,000 here. Readers might also want to check out Joel White's essay, "The 144,000 in Revelation 7 and 14: Old Testament and Intertextual Clues to Their Identity" (pp. 179-97) in the festschrift to Greg Beale, From Creation to New Creation.

Beginning Seminary Later in Life

Daniel Darling has some good advice for those beginning seminary later in life here. In fact, this advice is worth considering for anyone coming to seminary.

May 9, 2017

Creating Better Connections between Preachers and Hearers

Peter Mead shares 20 ways for creating a better connection between preachers and hearers here.
20 suggestions for a better connection between preacher and listeners.
See more: http://evangelicalfocus.com/blogs/2548/peter_mead_The_preacher_listener_connection
20 suggestions for a better connection between preacher and listeners
See more: http://evangelicalfocus.com/blogs/2548/peter_mead_The_preacher_listener_connection
20 suggestions for a better connection between preacher and listeners
See more: http://evangelicalfocus.com/blogs/2548/peter_mead_The_preacher_listener_connection

May 7, 2017

The Lord with His People in the Wilderness

One aspect of blogging that I find helpful is the opportunity to be exposed to what others are reading and studying. a case in point is this post by Shane Lems summarizing part of Timothy Laniak's, Shepherds After My Own Heart, where he discusses three ways in which the Lord helped His people in the wilderness.

May 5, 2017

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 Aitken and James Paget, eds.
The Jewish-Greek Tradition in Antiquity and the Byzantine Empire
Reviewed by Jonathan M. Potter

Anne Fitzpatrick-McKinley, ed.
Assessing Biblical and Classical Sources for the Reconstruction of Persian Influence, History and Culture
Reviewed by Jason M. Silverman

Joseph A. Marchal, ed.

The People beside Paul: The Philippian Assembly and History from Below
Reviewed by Isaac Blois

Chris Tilling
Paul’s Divine Christology
Reviewed by Chris Kugler

Wim J. C. Weren
Studies in Matthew’s Gospel: Literary Design, Intertextuality, and Social Setting
Reviewed by David Kaden

K. K. Yeo, ed.
From Rome to Beijing: Symposia on Robert Jewett’s Commentary on Romans
Reviewed by Eric C. Smith

May 4, 2017

Preaching through Books

Peter Cockrell explains why he does so here. I would encourage all my preaching friends to consider it as well.

May 3, 2017

10 Things You Should Never Do in a Theological Research Paper

You can read about 10 things you should never do in a theological research paper by downloading a free ebook from Michael Kibbe here.

May 2, 2017

Free Audio Book of the Month: The Passionate Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Christianaudio.com is offering The Passionate Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones by Steven Lawson as their free audio download for the month of May. You can access this offer here.

May 1, 2017

Free Logos Book for May: Live in Liberty

The free Logos Book of the Month for May is Live in Liberty: The Spiritual Message of Galatians by Daniel Bush and Noel Due. You can also purchase Embracing God as Father: Christian Identity in the Family of God by the same authors for .99 cents and a third book, Confronted by Grace: Meditations of a Theologian by John Webster for $1.99. For all offers you can go to the Logos' Free Book of Month page here.

Apr 30, 2017

The Skeptical State of Bible Reading in 2017

Christianity Today has posted an article on, "The Skeptical State of Bible Reading in 2017" here.

Apr 29, 2017

James Versus Jacob

Mark Wilson notes the problems associated with translating Jacob with James in the New Testament here.

Apr 28, 2017

Corinth Excavations Archaeological Manual

David Pettigrew notes here that the Corinth Excavations Archaeological Manual is being published but you can download a free PDF. David's informative post is here and you can download the PDF here.

Apr 27, 2017

Audio: The Historical Reliability of the Gospels

Credo Courses is offering audio of Craig Blomberg's "The Historical Reliability of the Gospels" for $5. That is not bad for over 13 hours of content. Credo is also offering 50%-off for video and other materials associated with this course. You can see the details here.

Apr 26, 2017

Resources on the Song of Solomon

David Murray has a helpful list here for helpful resources for studying the Song of Solomon.

Apr 25, 2017

Archaeology and Biblical Studies

Terry Wilder argues here that archaeology and biblical studies are distinct but friendly disciplines.

Apr 24, 2017


Todd Chipman has some important questions to ask here.

Apr 23, 2017

A Parable for Greek and Hebrew Students

Gary Manning has posted a clever and humorous parable for language students here.

Apr 22, 2017

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.

Jeff W. Childers, trans.; George A. Kiraz, ed.
The Antioch Bible: The Gospel of Luke according to the Syriac Peshitta Version with English Translation (Syriac Edition)
Reviewed by David A. Smith

Karin Finsterbusch and Armin Lange, eds.
Texts and Contexts of Jeremiah: The Exegesis of Jeremiah 1 and 10 in Light of Text and Reception History
Reviewed by Marvin A. Sweeney

Simon Gathercole
Defending Substitution: An Essay on Atonement in Paul
Reviewed by Don Garlington

Jogy Cheruvathoor George
The Metaphor of Shepherd in the Gospel of Mark
Reviewed by Wayne Baxter

Jean-Daniel Macchi
Le livre d’Esther
Reviewed by Kristin De Troyer

Scot McKendrick, David Parker, Amy Myshrall, and Cillian O’Hogan, eds.
Codex Sinaiticus: New Perspectives on the Ancient Biblical Manuscript
Reviewed by S. Matthew Solomon

Paola Mollo
An Intratextual Analysis of the Mirroring Birth Stories of Samson and Samuel: Explaining the Narrative Logic of Literary Montage
Reviewed by Catherine Lewis-Smith

Susanne Scholz and Pablo R. Andiñach, eds.
La Violencia and the Hebrew Bible: The Politics and Histories of Biblical Hermeneutics on the American Continent
Reviewed by Hector Avalos
Reviewed by Brandon Grafius

Jan van der Watt, ed.
The Quest for the Real Jesus: Radboud Prestige Lectures by Prof. Dr. Michael Wolter
Reviewed by Stephan Witetschek