Saturday Afternoon Book Review

I hope you are taking advantage of the magnificent resources available for Bible study today. I could go in fifty directions with that statement, but I will take it only one direction. Publishers today are doing their dead-level best to gather up centuries of biblical studies into volumes that present for us the best of [Read More...]

King’s Cross 4

Tim Keller’s newest book, King’s Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus, examines big questions through the Gospel of Mark. He examines the theme of “Rest” through the lens of “Religion” when he sketches the encounter of Jesus with contemporaries over his behaviors and beliefs about the Sabbath. What do you [Read More...]

A Wealth of Information

Every school and public library needs a copy of this new Oxford Handbook. Pastors, preachers, and professors alike cannot keep up with every bit of research and scholarship. One area many of us would like to know more but don’t have the time to do is the Dead Sea Scrolls. But Oxford now has a [Read More...]

Is God a Moral Monster? 4

Not a few critics of the Bible have called into question not just the religion, but the deity connected to the religion. Not the least of the issues raised concerns the quality of morality in the Old Testament. Paul Copan, in Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old Testament God, examines this [Read More...]

The Scriptural Bible vs. the Academic Bible

What happens when the Bible is studied at a university? The bigger question is this: What happens to the Bible when it is studied at a university? Those are questions behind Michael Legaspi’s excellent study The Death of Scripture and the Rise of Biblical Studies (Oxford Studies in Historical Theology). This book is chock-full of [Read More...]

How’s your Greek?

This post is for those who learned Greek in college or seminary, have mostly abandoned it, feel bad about it, and want some encouragement. Constantine Campbell, an Aussie, has a new book just for you: short, clear, and full of zest. It’s called: Keep Your Greek: Strategies for Busy People. Ten short chps, ten good [Read More...]

Free Greek New Testament Text

Contact: Stephen Smith            FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (800) 875-6467 Free critically edited Greek New Testament propels biblical scholarship forward BELLINGHAM, WA—October 28, 2010—The Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software announced today the release of The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition (SBLGNT), a critically edited Greek New Testament. For the first time ever, [Read More...]

Peter Update

Since I began studies in theological education there has been only one go-to book about the apostle Peter: Oscar Cullmann’s Peter : Disciple, Apostle, Martyr : A Historical and Theological Study. Cullmann’s days are now officially and finally over. We are now in the era of Martin Hengel, whose latest book will undoubtedly replace and [Read More...]

Wisdom about Words

Recently I read on a blog comment that Hebrews/Israelites didn’t have abstract terms because the Hebrew mind doesn’t think that way. The commenter has not pondered Job or Ecclesiastes or such great terms as glory or justice or righteousness or salvation in the Hebrew Bible. This notion was put aside decades ago and needs to go the way of the dodo bird.

But it’s not just reading blogs that perks my attention about words, it’s also reading books and how some make much of a word in a way that befuddles those of us who have serious training in such things as “word studies” and concordances and word searches, not to mention deep familiarity with Kittel’s famous NT word dictionary, or Botterweck-Ringgren’s OT word dictionary, or Spicq’s brilliant three volume NT greek word lexicon.

A publisher sent me a book, and I won’t mention the publisher or the author, and I was excited to read the book because it was on a topic that has my full attention these days. The first chapter was flat-out wrong both on the meaning of a word and how to discern meanings of words, and the point of the chp was to correct everyone on that word’s meaning. In the book I found four or five transliterated Greek or Hebrew words that were so badly misspelled that what was given was not just a typo but a word that doesn’t even exist. I won’t go any further. Instead, I want to offer some wisdom about words: [Read more...]

Can you tell me why?

It is very common among biblical scholars and among informed pastors to modify our readings of the Bible, even theology, on the basis of sound scholarship. Sometimes it is by way of discoveries but more often than not it’s just someone does some really good work on the texts and says, “Hey, we had this [Read More...]