Feb 4, 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.

Bill T. Arnold and Richard S. Hess, eds.
Ancient Israel’s History: An Introduction to Issues and Sources
Reviewed by Emanuel Pfoh

John Barton, ed.
The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Companion
Reviewed by Phil J. Botha

Ben Blackwell, John Goodrich, and Jason Maston, eds.
Reading Romans in Context: Paul and Second Temple Judaism
Reviewed by Günter Röhser

Ignacio Carbajosa and Andrés García Serrano, eds.
Una Biblia a varias voces: Estudio textual de la Biblia Políglota Complutense
Reviewed by Jeffrey L. Morrow

Jan Dochhorn, Susanne Rudnig-Zelt, and Benjamin Wold, eds.
Das Böse, der Teufel und Dämonen – Evil, the Devil, and Demons
Reviewed by Carol A. Newsom

Cynthia Edenburg
Dismembering the Whole: Composition and Purpose of Judges 19–21
Reviewed by Edgar W. Conrad
Reviewed by Klaas Spronk

Bart D. Ehrman
Jesus before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Savior
Reviewed by James F. McGrath

Richard B. Hays, Stefan Alkier, and Leroy A. Huizenga, eds.
Reading the Bible Intertextually
Reviewed by Josh Mathews

H. A. G. Houghton
The Latin New Testament: A Guide to Its Early History, Texts, and Manuscripts
Reviewed by John C. Poirier

Feb 3, 2017

Judaism and Rome Website

I don't know much about this project but some might be interested in this Judaism and Rome website. This project attempts to re-think Judaism’s relationship with the Roman Empire, especially from the 2nd Century BC to the 4th Century AD.

Feb 2, 2017

Review of Preaching Old Testament Narratives

Benjamin H. Walton, Preaching Old Testament Narratives (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2016).

Preaching narratives, especially Old Testament narratives well, can be a challenge. So I approached Benjamin Walton’s treatment with some anticipation. This fairly brief volume (208 pp.) consists of two parts, thirteen chapters, and four appendices. The first section covers the issues and methods related to studying and creating messages from Old Testament narratives. The second relates to the nuts-and-bolts of delivering the message. Through both sections, Walton uses 2 Samuel 11–12 as an example of his methodology.

This volume is clearly written and provides a pretty good methodology for moving from text-to-sermon-to-delivery. There are helpful suggestions (e.g., mini-synopses, pp. 100-101) sprinkled throughout and I appreciate the fact that he provides an example message drawn from 2 Samuel 11–12 to illustrate his approach.

Criticisms of the book are relatively minor. Walton apparently loves acronyms and there are a number of them in this work. You have CUT, THT, OTM, PPA, and others which stand for complete units of thought, take home truths, original theological messages, and picture painting applications. But I found myself getting a bit lost in this alphabet soup and having to develop a cheat-sheet just to keep things straight. I would also take issue with Walton on his view of application. For example, he states that, “The third key difference is that unlike NT epistles, Old Testament narratives do a lot of describing and not a lot of prescribing” (p. 34). While it can be problematic when Old Testament narratives are reduced to messages like “be a Daniel” or reducing texts to mere moralizing is probably not the best way to go, I think we need to take 2 Timothy 3:16 seriously. All Scripture (which includes OT narrative) is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. So while narratives are certainly descriptive, they must also be in some way prescriptive. The issue, then, is “how” are they prescriptive.

But these criticisms are relatively minor and one who seeks to begin preaching or better preach Old Testament narratives should consider this volume.

You can read an excerpt here.

Thanks to Kregel for providing the free copy used for this review.

Feb 1, 2017

Free Logos Book for February: Following Jesus: Biblical Reflections on Christian Discipleship by N. T. Wright

The free Logos Book for February is N. T. Wright’s Following Jesus: Biblical Reflections on Christian Discipleship. Unfortunately many may have already picked this up last year when it was offered for 99 cents. In any case, you can check out the offer here.

Jan 31, 2017

What is Biblical Preaching?

Eric Geiger attempts to answer that question here.

Jan 30, 2017

Where Paul May Have Eaten

Carl Rasmussen has a fascinating post here on where he might have eaten on his travels.

Jan 29, 2017

The Value of Seminary

Elizabeth Garn writes about five reasons she is glad that she went to seminary here. Number three is huge.