Feb 1, 2020

Free Logos Book for February: Creation, Power and Truth

The free Logos Book for the Month for February is N. T. Wright's Creation, Power and Truth: The Gospel in a World of Cultural Confusion. You can also purchase How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins Of Belief In Jesus' Divine Nature—A Response To Bart D. Ehrman, Simply Christian, and Romans (Story of God Bible Commentary) for $1.99, $4.99, and $9.99 respectively. While your at it, register for a chance to win the eighteen-volume New Testament for Everyone Series. For all these offers, go to the Logos' Free Book of Month page here.

Best Books in Old Testament Studies in 2019

The Center for Biblical Studies and Biblical Foundations have identified the finalists for best books in Old Testament Studies in 2019 here.

Jan 31, 2020

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.

J. L. Andruska, Wise and Foolish Love in the Song of Songs
Reviewed by Chloe Sun

Robert Armstrong and Tadhg Ó hAnnracháin, eds., The English Bible in the Early Modern World
Reviewed by Jeffrey L. Morrow

William E. Arnal, Richard S. Ascough, Robert A. Derrenbacker Jr., and Philip A. Harland, eds., Scribal Practices and Social Structures among Jesus Adherents: Essays in Honour of John S. Kloppenborg
Reviewed by John Marshall

Lori Baron, Jill Hicks-Keeton, and Matthew Thiessen, eds., The Ways That Often Parted: Essays in Honor of Joel Marcus
Reviewed by Anders Petersen

Justin Buol, Martyred for the Church: Memorializations of the Effective Deaths of Bishop Martyrs in the Second Century CE
Reviewed by Paul Middleton

Mark J. Keown, Philippians
Reviewed by Isaac Blois

Mahri Leonard-Fleckman, The House of David: Between Political Formation and Literary Revision
Reviewed by Klaus-Peter Adam

Beniamin Pascut, Redescribing Jesus’ Divinity through a Social Science Theory: An Interdisciplinary Analysis of Forgiveness and Divine Identity in Ancient Judaism and Mark 2:1–12
Reviewed by April Hoelke Simpson

Philip N. Richardson, Temple of the Living God: The Influence of Hellenistic Philosophy on Paul’s Figurative Temple Language Applied to the Corinthians
Reviewed by Michael K. W. Suh

Kenneth Seeskin, Thinking about the Torah: A Philosopher Reads the Bible
Reviewed by Mark Awabdy

Jeffrey S. Siker, Jesus, Sin, and Perfection in Early Christianity
Reviewed by Chris Keith

Mitzi J. Smith and Yung Suk Kim, Toward Decentering the New Testament: A Reintroduction
Reviewed by Demetrius K. Williams

Jan 30, 2020

Kathy Lee Gifford and the Biblical Languages

In this article, Kathy Lee Gifford encourages learning the biblical languages. I appreciate her encouragement even if her stated motivation is a bit wrong-headed.

Jan 29, 2020

Early Christian Preaching and the Old Testament

Hughes Oliphant Old's discussion on preaching in the early Church references a sermon by Melito of Sardis (ca. AD 130–190). He observes.
We notice first of all that even though the sermon comes at the end of the second century, it is not preached on the New Testament Scriptures. Although, as mentioned above, we cannot be sure that the New Testament Scriptures were read during this service, it is clear that Melito and his congregation knew most of the New Testament.
The fact that Melito preaches from the Old Testament is instructive as it reminds us that one of the earliest examples that we have of Christian preaching utilized the Old Testament. This runs contrary to those who de-emphasize the role of the Old Testament in Christian preaching.

The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church: Volume 1: The Biblical Period (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998), 290.

Jan 28, 2020

BiblePlaces at Twenty

“Time flies when you’re having fun.” This aphorism fits the surprising revelation in my email today that “twenty years ago this month, BiblePlaces.com was born.” This reminder drew me back to 1999 and my first trip to the Holy Land. Todd was one of my teachers. I recall the not uncommon experience of first-timers of trying to drink from a fire hydrant of biblical, historical, and archaeological knowledge. I also remember trying to take judicious photos with my 35mm and economize the nearly thirty rolls of film that I had brought! When I got back home, I realized that I had taken some reasonably good photos and others where I lamented that I had wasted precious film and then to add insult to injury, paid to have it processed. 

It was around that time that Todd began selling his photo collections divided into geographic regions. As a seminary student on a budget I wrestled with which collections I needed most and could afford. As I recall, I purchased two or three and was delighted when they arrived in the mail. Such a helpful resource packed on round plastic discs. These photos have served me well in the church and in the classroom. It is said that a British accent automatically makes one sound smarter. I’m not sure about that, but I am confident that using these photo collections over the years have made me a more effective communicator of the Bible.

I have purchased other collections of photos from places like Zondervan, Fortress, and the Biblical Archaeological Society, but none of these have eclipsed the bang-for-the-buck of Todd’s collections. I have also learned how to take better pictures over the years (for some advice see here, here, and here) and digital photography has helped. But I still find the BiblePlaces typically has already done it better than I have.

So if you have never considered BiblePlaces before, I would encourage you to not let another twenty years go by. You can check out the offerings here, sign up for the free newsletter here, and get a free presentation on the Sea of Galilee here. You really have no excuse not to check it out.