Books and Posts on Scripture

It Starts With Genesis  a post that summarizes many of the resources listed here.

Inspiration and Incarnation by Peter Enns

A short and very readable book(no footnotes!) that presents a useful approach to understanding the Scripture that we have as the Word of God. Dr. Enns suggests the use of an incarnational model or parallel. As Christ is fully human and fully divine – so also scripture is fully human and fully divine. Enns invites his reader to consider an important question: How does scripture’s full humanity and full divinity affect what we should expect from Scripture?

Posts: The Bible and Knowledge 5: Inspiration and Incarnation

God’s Word in Human Words: An Evangelical Appropriation of Critical Biblical Scholarship by Kenton Sparks

This book describes some of the problems identified in scripture and suggests an approach to interpretation and understanding that relies heavily on the idea of accommodation, God’s accommodation to limited human perspective. The book is written with an edge that makes it controversial, but contains many interesting ideas and useful insights. It contains more detail than the book by Peter Enns (longer and including footnotes).

Posts: Enns, Sparks, Arnold, Chapman on the OT:  One, Two, Three; The Bible and Knowledge: One, Two, Three, Four

The Last Word: Scripture and the Authority of God–Getting Beyond the Bible Wars by N. T. Wright and his revised and expanded book Scripture and the Authority of God: How to Read the Bible Today.

Wright’s book deals specifically with purpose of Scripture and the nature of Scripture as authority by asking the following questions (among others): In what sense is the Bible authoritative?  How can the Bible be appropriately understood and interpreted?

Post: The Bible and Authority

The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate by John Walton

In this book OT scholar and Wheaton professor John Walton offers new insight into the creation narrative in Genesis 1:1-2:3

Posts: Genesis One: Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen, Seventeen; God, Science, and Evolution.

Evolutionary Creation: A Christian Approach to Evolution by Denis O. Lamoureux

Dr. Lamoureux has a Ph.D. in Biology (Oral Biology–Dental Development and Evolution) and a Ph.D. in Theology. He has put a great deal of effort into thinking through the debates over science and origins in the church.  This is a book that describes a way to move beyond the creation and evolutions debates. The book takes modern science seriously but concentrates on the approach to interpretation of scripture.

Posts: Evolutionary Creation Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten.

Science, Creation and the Bible: Reconciling Rival Theories of Origins by Richard F. Carlson and Tremper Longman III.

This book provides another angle on the question of creation and the intent of the creation narratives in Genesis combining expertise in science and Biblical Studies. Richard Carlson is a research physicist at the University of Redlands in Redlands California. Tremper Longman III is an old testament scholar, the Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies at Westmont College in Santa Barbara. The book is short and readable. The overview of creation passages in scripture, including Psalms, Isaiah, Job, and the New Testament is particularly useful.

Posts: Creation and Worldview Parts One, Two.

Testing Scripture: A Scientist Explores the Bible by John C. Polkinghorne

The Rev. Dr. John Polkinghorne opens Testing Scripture with a bit of a biographical note: Scripture has been very important to me in my Christian life. For more than sixty years I have read the Bible every day. In this short book Dr. Polkinghorne describes his approach to scripture through eyes of faith, with a mind turned toward God, and with a practical realism for the nature of the text and how it is to be read and understood.

Posts: One, Two, Creation and Fall, Is There Ambiguity in the Bible?, Why Would a Scientist Believe the Virgin Birth?, What About the Virgin Birth?, Why would a Scientist Believe a Virgin Gave Birth?,

Genesis for Normal People by Peter Enns and Jared Byas

This short book is written in an informal voice for Christians who have little if any formal training in biblical studies. It will rock the world for some because it presents the purpose and form of the OT in general and Genesis in particular from a point of view that is distinctly different from the approach the average Christian is familiar with. A running theme from Enns and Byas is that we have to learn to read the OT through ancient eyes … this is how we can best understand the message.

Posts: Genesis for Normal People, Abraham and Israel for Normal People, Finally in Print! (and a question about Moses).

The Seven Pillars of Creation by William P. Brown

In this book Dr. Brown, professor at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur GA  looks at  the creation narratives – seven of them – found within the pages of the Old Testament. The question that drives the study: “What is it like to read the Bible in one hand and the journal Science in the other? … What is it like to be both a sage and a psalmist, a steward of creation’s mysteries and a servant of Christ?” According to Brown we need both an empirical appreciation for the world God created, a sense of wonder, and an appreciation for the revelation of God’s story in scripture.

Posts: Seven Pillars of Creation, Creation, Cosmology, and Context, Creation According to God … As Told to Job, Creation By God … According to Wisdom.

The Bible and the Believer: How to Read the Bible Critically & Religiously by Marc Zvi Brettler, Peter Enns, and Daniel J. Harrington

Three Old Testament scholars, one Jewish, one Catholic, and one Protestant, explore the question of how a believer can reconcile the results of biblical scholarship, including historical criticism with religious faith. They accept the clear results of scholarship but reject the extremes to which it is taken in some of the academy. This book consists of a short introduction on the historical/critical reading of the Old Testament, and then follows through with an essay by each of these scholars, and a response by each of other two.

Posts: The Bible and the Believer, The Roles of Biblical Criticism, My Bible – A Jew’s Perspective, Indispensable but Insufficient!, Promise and Fulfillment?, The Bible Is Not the Center.

In the Beginning … We Misunderstood by Johnny V. Miller and John M. Soden

This book explores the meaning of Genesis, starting with the question: What did Genesis mean to the original authors and readers? Johnny Miller (ThM, ThD, Dallas Theological Seminary) and John Soden (ThM, PhD, Dallas Theological Seminary) have a rather conservative take on the interpretation of scripture. They assume the basic truthfulness of the text, including Genesis, but ask questions about the meaning of Genesis 1 in its original context. They argue against a concordist view of the relationship between science and scripture. Modern science (or in fact any science beyond that of the original ANE culture) should not be read into or out of the biblical text.

Posts: With Modern Eyes We Misunderstand.

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy (Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary)

A commentary providing background context for the various books of the Bible. The background commentary on Genesis was written by John Walton.

Posts: The Garden in Ancient Context, Babel in Ancient Context,

Reading Genesis 1-2: An Evangelical Conversation

Views on Genesis 1-2 and responses by a number of primarily Old Testament scholars. Contributors include John Walton, Tremper Longman III, C. John Collins, Kenneth Turner, Tod Beall, Jud Davis, and more.

Posts: Christian Education and the Question of Origins,

Seriously Dangerous Religion: What the Old Testament Really Says and Why It Matters by Iain Provan

If we as Christians are seriously focused on being the people of God it has to take the Old Testament seriously on its own terms, not restructured into the story we expect it to tell. Provan is an Old Testament Scholar, the Marshall Sheppard Professor of Biblical Studies at Regent College in Vancouver British Columbia. In this book he explores the Old Testament context of Christian faith, first on its own terms and then in light of the New Testament.

Posts: Seriously Dangerous Religion, The World is Sacred Space, Who Is God? – The OT View, Who Are Man and Woman?, The Embrace of Evil, Now Choose Life, Love the Lord Your God, You Are Your Brother’s Keeper, The Bible Isn’t “Green” … or Is It?, God Nudges, Shouldn’t We Also?, Old Testament Hope: For New Jerusalem – Not For Eden, New Dimensions in the Old Story, But Is it True?, Is the Story Dangerous?, Dangerous or Not? … We Can’t Ignore Joshua,

 The Nature of Creation: Examining the Bible and Science by Mark Harris,

Mark Harris began his career as a physicist specializing in condensed matter physics. He has a number of nice papers investigating spin-ice materials comprised of heavy rare earth titanate pyrochlores. He then trained for ordination and is now Lecturer in Science and Religion at the University of Edinburgh.  His book presents a critical and theological investigation of the creation texts in the Bible and how this relates to modern scientific ideas of origins.

Posts: The Nature of Creation,


The book of Job is a profound and often overlooked or misunderstood book. While it is not directly related to the science-faith discussion a close look at this book can help to undercut some non-biblical assumptions at work in 21st century evangelicalism. The book is also of great value on its own merits. Two commentaries – Job (The NIV Application Commentary) by John Walton and Job (Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms) by Tremper Longman III form the basis of a series of posts on the book of Job.

Posts: Wow, JobJustice or Wisdom?, The Accuser is not Satan, Job is Innocent… And He Proves Faithful, Job’s Lament (And What’s in it For Me?), God’s Role in the Cosmos, Is God Just?, I Know That My Redeemer Lives, Oh Where Wisdom? (Hint – Not in Science), Let My Arm Fall From the Shoulder!, Remember, God Doesn’t Need You, And Then God Speaks … About Creation, And Then God Instructs (or Rebukes?)… Job and Us God’s Creation … Chaos Creatures and What is “Good”?, Job and the Question of Suffering, God Blesses Job … New Children to Replace Those Lost?.

Read the Whole Bible?

Meant to be Experienced

Inspiration? Yes! – Inerrancy?

The Problem of Joshua

Start With Isaiah

The Mighty Mysterious Camel

Reading the Old Testament

Should Reading the Bible Make One an Atheist?

A Literal Reading of Scripture

Reflections on Reading Genesis 1-3

Is It (Or “OT”) All About Land?

Wait! No Sea?

Chew It Through Afresh

No Scientific Revelation in the Bible!

Reading Genesis for All it is Worth!

The Primacy of Scripture, Adam, and the Fall

It is a Defiling Skin Disease … Say What?

Creation Groans; But Why?

Wither the Fig Tree, Whither the Wandering Saints

Context is Key

The Whole Sweep of Scripture

Absolute Perfection? … Oh My

Throwing the Bible Under the Bus?

Can the Bible be read both critically and religiously?

A Conspiracy of Silence?

The Bible and Authority Revisited

The Bible and Authority Revisited 2

Constitution or Conversation?

Science, Scripture, and Worldview

Collected Stories?

The Primacy of Scripture and the Fall

Romans 8: Creation Groans

Satire or History? (A post on the book of Jonah)