Jan 12, 2019

Song of Solomon a Key to the Great Commission?

This article in Christianity Today seems to think so. But even if one sets aside the dubious and strained allegorical interpretation, I don't see a significant connection to the Great Commission here much less a "key." But this article does illustrate the problem with the allegorical approach where a text can mean almost anything like when a statement like "your eyes are doves" is understood as,
Doves don’t have peripheral vision—they can’t see to the right or to the left, only what’s in front of them. This theme of having our eyes set on Christ is evident throughout Scripture and throughout Israel’s story. God knows we are easily distracted and anxious; our eyes need to be set not on our circumstances, our failures, or on fellow broken people but rather on him.
That is a wonderful sentiment but not what Songs 1:15 or 4:1 are about.  

Jan 11, 2019

The Latest Issue of the 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.

Andrew H. Bartelt, Jeffrey Kloha, and Paul R. Raabe, eds., The Press of the Text: Biblical Studies in Honor of James W. Voelz
Reviewed by Laurent Pinchard

Joshua T. James, The Storied Ethics of the Thanksgiving Psalms
Reviewed by J. Clinton McCann Jr

Jon C. Laansma, The Letter to the Hebrews: A Commentary for Preaching, Teaching, and Bible Study
Reviewed by Cynthia Long Westfall

David J. McCollough, Ritual Water, Ritual Spirit: An Analysis of the Timing, Mechanism, and Manifestation of Spirit-Reception in Luke-Acts
Reviewed by Mark A. Proctor

Saul M. Olyan and Jacob L. Wright, eds., Supplementation and the Study of the Hebrew Bible
Reviewed by Marko Marttila

Julie Faith Parker, ed., My So-Called Biblical Life: Imagined Stories from the World’s Best-Selling Book
Reviewed by Katherine Low

Michael Peppard, The World’s Oldest Church: Bible, Art, and Ritual at Dura-Europos, Syria
Reviewed by Ralph K. Hawkins

Meric Srokosz and Rebecca S. Watson, Blue Planet, Blue God: The Bible and the Sea
Reviewed by Peter L. Trudinger

Andrew Tobolowsky, The Sons of Jacob and the Sons of Herakles: The History of the Tribal System and the Organization of Biblical Identity
Reviewed by Nathan LaMontagne

Henrietta L. Wiley and Christian A. Eberhart, eds., Sacrifice, Cult, and Atonement in Early Judaism and Christianity: Constituents and Critique
Reviewed by Daniel Ullucci

Jan 10, 2019

Some Thoughts on Psalm 1

I am working on a writing project on the book of Psalms. Here are some introductory thoughts on Psalm 1.

The Psalms are usually understood as a book of praise and Proverbs as a book of wisdom. But the Psalms are also brimming with practical insights into living well. The ancient Israelite understood that praise involved more than the lips and the secret to living well was more than good intentions. The secret was delighting in the law of God, recognizing the folly of rejecting God’s law, and knowing that God would judge both.

For Christ-followers today, this timeless truth remains virtually unchanged. While many in the world today value experience over truth (and some would even deny the existence of truth at all), this first Psalm, then and now, reminds us of the importance of knowing God’s word. Psalm 1 uses vivid imagery from nature and farming to portray the stark contrast between the lives of the righteous and the wicked to be seen before people and the Lord. This is an important contrast to make when the lines of right and wrong are being blended or eliminated altogether.

Jan 9, 2019

Reading Literature

I must admit that I don't read a lote of literature. But if Karen Swallow Prior is right in this post maybe I should.

Seals of Isaiah and Hezekiah Booklet

You can access a free forty-page booklet on the recently discovered and displayed seals related to the prophet Isaiah and King Hezekiah here. I am not sure how long the booklet has been available but it looks fairly well done.The seals are on display until March 31, 2019 at the Armstrong Auditorium in Edmond, Oklahoma.

The History of Blood

The New Yorker has an interesting article on the "The History of Blood" here. It includes some biblical material as well as other cultural perspectives both past and present.

Jan 6, 2019

Getting a Seminary PhD?

This post has some helpful pros and cons for getting a PhD from a seminary.