Yet (One More) Books for Christmas

Yet (One More) Books for Christmas December 11, 2008

This selection of new biblical studies books is a bit of a grab book of “must-reads” I saw at SBL. The Jesus Creed blog is committed to speaking about and against racism, and so we want to highlight a new liberation commentary edited by Brian Blount.

The commentary is brief but packed with theological judgment: True to Our Native Land: An African American New Testament Commentary

. In my judgment, though they may disagree often, the audience most in need of this commentary is evangelical pastors, seminary students, and leaders. What this commentary will do is provide another angle and a different reading.

Now back to the Old Testament. Richard Hess is one of evangelicalism’s finest Old Testament scholars and his newest book, Israelite Religions: An Archaeological and Biblical Survey
, provides for readers a sketch — with lots of documentation — of the religion”s” of ancient Israel.

Peter Bouteneff, an Eastern Orthodox professor at St. Vladimir’s seminary, examines how the early fathers read the Adam and Eve story: Beginnings: Ancient Christian Readings of the Biblical Creation Narratives.

How many women are mentioned in Genesis? Tammi Schneider turns up plenty of new insights in this new book that discusses the twenty-two women in Genesis: Mothers of Promise: Women in the Book of Genesis.

In my judgment, the single most neglected feature of the “mission” of God concerns why and how it was that God has worked with a political body to accomplish his designs, and I say this because “Israel, kingdom and church” seem to get less than their deserved share in missional thinking. We have plenty today about “empire” but not enough about how political bodies are part of God’s redemptive designs. So, I was thrilled to see J. G. McConville’s book, God and Earthly Power: An Old Testament Political Theology, Genesis – Kings (Continuum Biblical Studies)

Finally, Susan Holman edits a volume that could be used as a good textbook for Christian ethics, patristics or even early Christian theology. Her book is called Wealth and Poverty in Early Church and Society (Holy Cross Studies in Patristic Theology and History). How is that Christians responded to poverty? Lots of folks have opinions; few know the evidence … but this book will alleviate that problem.

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