Jan 8, 2022

Video: Dead Sea Scrolls Conference

Free video of last year's Dead Sea Scrolls conference sponsored by the NYU Skirball Department of Hebrew & Judaic Studies, Israel Antiquities Authority, and Friends of the Israel Antiquities Authority is available for viewing here.

Jan 7, 2022

Free Webinar: 12 Steps to Sermon Preparation

David Allen is offering a free webinar on the 12 steps to sermon preparation that he uses. Dr. Allen is a gifted expository preacher. You can sign up here.

Jan 6, 2022

Acts: Transitional Versus Programmatic

Patrick Schreiner does a good job showing why the book of Acts is canonically important here. But I am not sure his application drawn between Acts as "transitional" and Acts as  "programmatic" (terminology borrowed from B. Crowe) is altogether helpful. 

Schreiner notes that, "As a transitional book, Acts recounts non-repeatable events that establish the community of faith. For example, Pentecost is an unrepeatable event, but also not retractable. The reestablishment of the twelve apostles is exclusive to the period of Acts. The fate of Ananias and Sapphira is not likely to be seen requiring the immediate termination of liars in the church today."

All historical events are transitional (they take moving from one event to the next) and non-repeatable. But that is not to say that historical narratives lack applicational value. History is told to do more than inform. In speech act terms, what is the illocutionary and perlocutionary intention of the recounting of the historical event. So the issue is not simply that Acts records the demise of Ananias and Sapphira but that record is meant to be applied in some way. How one applies this event is open for discussion for discussion but not whether it applies. Second Timothy 3:16 reminds us that "all Scripture," including historical narratives, are "profitable" for life transformation.

Schreiner adds, "Acts also confronts Christians as a programmatic book. It provides guidance for the church in every age." I wholeheartedly agree, but it is not clear whether he views Ananias and Sapphira as programmatic and if so, how so. The fact is that if Acts is programmatic then it is also "transitional" since the book was written and the entire history it records took place in space in time (i.e., not chronologically static).

Jan 5, 2022

Free eBook: Theology and Science Fiction

It might not be everybody's cup of tea, but Wipf and Stock is offering a free eBook copy of Theology and Science Fiction by James McGrath. The offer is only available until January15. Here are the instructions to get your copy.

1. Click on this link.
2. Click "ADD TO CART" on the eBook option.
3. Use the code "
4. Upon checkout completion, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions of how to download your free eBook.                                                

Jan 4, 2022

The New Vocabulary of 2021

This article on the new vocabulary of 2021 in The Wall Street Journal is a good reminder of the complexities of language and how current circumstances can resulting in the creation of new words, and shape how and how often existing words are used. Good biblical interpretation should be aware of such things.

Jan 3, 2022

The Length of the Egyptian Sojourn

One might not agree with the author's conclusions but this post has a good discussion (especially involving Jewish tradition) in seeking to answer the question, "How Many Years Were the Israelites in Egypt?"

Jan 2, 2022

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 to read them.

Andrew T. Abernathy and Gregory Goswell, God’s Messiah in the Old Testament: Expectations of a Coming
Antti Laato

Cilliers Breytenbach, Von Texten zu Geschichten: Aufsätze zur Konzeption und Geschichte der Wissenschaft vom Neuen Testament
Oda Wischmeyer

Mary Dzon, The Quest for the Christ Child in the Later Middle Ages
Brandon W. Hawk

Amy Erickson, Jonah: Introduction and Commentary
Steven L. McKenzie

Zev Garber and Kenneth Hanson, Judaism and Jesus
Joshua Schwartz

Matthias Henze and Rodney A. Werline, eds., Early Judaism and Its Modern Interpreters
Blake Jurgens

M. Andrew Holowchak, Thomas Jefferson’s Bible: With Introduction and Critical Commentary
Jeffrey M. Tripp

Tobias Nicklas and Jens Schröter, eds., Authoritative Writings in Early Judaism and Early Christianity: Their Origin, Collection, and Meaning
Frédérique Dantonel

Wongi Park, The Politics of Race and Ethnicity in Matthew’s Passion Narrative
Mitzi J. Smith

Anthony C. Thiselton, 2 Corinthians: A Short Exegetical and Pastoral Commentary
H. H. Drake Williams III