Friday, November 20, 2009

Bill Mounce Joins the NIV translation committee

Darrell Bock has pointed to an interesting Christianity Today article that states that Mark Strauss has invited Bill Mounce to join the translation committee for the new NIV to be released in 2011. What makes this very interesting is that Mounce worked on the ESV translation committee prior, and he and Strauss have publicly sparred over the aforementioned ESV.

It is good to see that this process appears to be moving in a very transparent and ecumenical fashion.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cool Historical Fiction

I readily admit that I do not read for pleasure primarily. Most of the reading I do is academically oriented. It is not that I don't enjoy academic reading, I do, but for the most part fiction does not make it's way into my "free time". That might change soon, as Moyer Hubbard's Christianity in the Greco-Roman World: A Narrative Introduction becomes available in January. This to me is the best of both world's -- history meets fiction. Here is the description:

Background becomes foreground in Moyer Hubbard’s creative introduction to the social and historical setting for the letters of the Apostle Paul to churches in Asia Minor and Europe.Hubbard begins each major section with a brief narrative featuring a fictional character in one of the great cities of that era. Then he elaborates on various aspects of the cultural setting related to each particular vignette, discussing the implications of those venues for understanding Paul’s letters and applying their message to our lives today. Addressing a wide array of cultural and traditional issues, Hubbard discusses:• Religion and superstition:• Education, philosophy, and oratory:• Urban society:• Households and family life in the Greco-Roman world:This work is based on the premise that the better one understands the historical and social context in which the New Testament (and Paul’s letters) was written, the better one will understand the writings of the New Testament themselves. Passages become clearer, metaphors deciphered, and images sharpened. Teachers, students, and laypeople alike will appreciate Hubbard’s unique, illuminating, and well-researched approach to the world of the early church.

Hendrickson has released excerpts of this work including the table of contents, the introduction,
and the first chapter.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Doug Moo and the members of CBT

There has been quite a buzz around the biblioblogosphere about the creation of a 'new' NIV in 2011, after much backlash regarding the gender-neutral TNIV resulting in plummeting sales for Zondervan.

Doug Moo is now the chair of the CBT (Committee on Bible Translation) the group that works on the NIV text. He has helpfully listed all of the members on his site.

Check it out!


Oh, well...

I have known for sometime that I would not be attending SBL this year in New Orleans. Financial constraints have played the biggest part, and not knowing when, or how, I will be getting ready for the PhD thing is another.

I think what I will miss the most is hanging out with friends. Mike Bird, John Byron, Nijay Gupta and others have always made SBL a blast, especially out of the conference setting.

For anyone going their first time, I caution a couple of things. First, set a budget on book buying before you leave. Don't exceed it! I'll never forget my first SBL being charged on the flight home for excessive weight on my luggage (75lbs, yikes!). Secondly, do not spend all of your time in the conferences. Your brain, even the brightest of bulbs will turn to mush by exerting so much energy in just paying attention. You are likely to retain almost nothing about what you've heard and that is a pity. Be selective! Your best times will be at the book stalls, or at meal time chatting with friends. So make social time a priority. I always set aside one day for sightseeing or doing something non-conference related. You don't know if you will swing by this way again so take full advantage of your time there.

Well, that's it for now...Have fun!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Scot McKnight and the ATS lectures

A couple of weeks ago, my wife, Faith and I had the privilege of attending the Fall Lecture Series at my alma mater, Ashland Theological Seminary. It was a wonderful time catching up with friends John Byron, David deSilva, Allan Bevere, and not least, the guest lecturer, Scot McKnight.

Scot presented four different lectures on the Gospel that were extremely illuminating and will be eventually finding their way into print.

Here is a picture of myself with Scot and John at the conclusion of the series:

700 pages of SBL papers!

Michael Halcomb of Pisteuomen fame has done everyone in the biblioblogosphere a huge favor by collating all of the available SBL seminar papers online.

Also, Michael has a very helpful website that will help students with their Theological German.

Way to go, Michael!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More on Campbell's Deliverance of God

Mike Bird has pointed to Andy Rowell's blog where he has compiled a helpful collection of the talk that is surrounding Deliverance of God (DOG).

Also, Google Books features the vast majority of DOG that can be read for free.

Do check it out!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Scot McKnight and Michael Gorman on Campbell's Deliverance of God

Douglas Campbell's new massive tome on Paul and justification, The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul , has been creating quite the stir in the biblioblogosphere, which I am certain will make it a sell-out item at SBL.

First, Michael Gorman is doing bite-size reviews on it over at his blog Cross Talk. This has been followed by Scot McKnight who concludes:

The book is more than 1200 pages long. It would be a fantastic vacation read or summer read for pastors; it is a must for professors and I believe should be read by seminary students as a primary text on Paul -- whether one agrees with it or not. What Campbell calls the Justification Theory is deeply embedded in the Protestant consciousness; this sort of book reveals that consciousness and provides readers an opportunity to check whether it is the best reading or not.

I'm really curious as to the readability of this book; I remember trying to slog through his much shorter The Quest for Paul's Gospel: A Suggested Strategy and having to reread sections over and again to make heads or tails of what Campbell was attempting to convey. Nevertheless, I think it will still become a must read for any students of Paul. 1,200 pages + is nothing to take lightly!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Excerpts from Hendrickson

Hendrickson Publishers has just released excerpts of two volumes that I am keeping a close eye on.

The first, Mike Bird's Crossing Over Sea and Land: Jewish Missionary Activity in the Second Temple Period (Jan. 2010) has a 16 page introduction and a chapter (2) consisting of 38 pages .

Secondly, a volume edited by Mark Given, Paul Unbound: Other Perspectives on the Apostle, has a sample chapter entitled "Paul and the Roman Empire: Recent Perspectives" by Warren Carter.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Forthcoming Commentary by Peter T. O'Brien

Peter T. O'Brien, known for his excellent commentaries on Philippians, Ephesians, and Colossians and Philemon, has a new commentary coming out next year in the Pillar series on Hebrews.
Here are the particulars along with a description:
An esteemed exegete, O'Brien uses discourse analysis to unpack the Book of Hebrews---revealing its meaning for both first century and contemporary hearers. He categorizes the various text sections as either exposition or exhortation, the former enriching our knowledge of God and the latter encouraging us to right behavior. Includes an extensive bibliography and introductory materials.
600 pages, hardcover from Eerdmans.
Product Information
Format: HardcoverNumber of Pages: 600
Vendor: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Publication Date: 2009
ISBN: 0802837298; ISBN-13: 9780802837295
Availability: This product will be released on 02/15/10
Series: Pillar NT Commentaries

Paul and Scripture session papers online

I am pleased to announce that the Paul and Scripture sessions that will be featured at SBL have now posted their papers online.

Gordon Fee, Jerry Sumney, and Stephen Fowl are among those who papers are online.

Incidentally, for someone like myself who will be unable to attend this year's SBL conference, this is a great way to keep track of what will be going on at your favorite sessions. I wished more groups would do this-- Bruce Fisk is to be commended for organizing and maintaining this site.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Interesting Titles forthcoming

Baker Academic has some interesting NT titles due out next spring.

Here is a list:

1) Jesus and the Land: The New Testament Challenge to "Holy Land" Theology
Gary M. Burge
5.5 x 8.5
Number of pages:
Publication Date:
Apr. 10

This accessible volume describes first-century Jewish and Christian beliefs about the land of Israel and offers a full survey of New Testament passages that directly address the question of land and faith. Respected New Testament scholar Gary M. Burge examines present-day tensions surrounding "territorial religion" in the modern Middle East, helping contemporary Christians develop a Christian theology of the land and assess Bible-based claims in discussions of the Israeli-Palestinian struggle.
"Gary Burge writes out of a deep knowledge of Scripture and personal acquaintance with the Middle East to demonstrate how the concern for the geographical land in the Old Testament is transmuted into concern for a spiritual inheritance for God's believing people, both Jewish and Gentile, in the New Testament. His exposition of the biblical material offers a gracious corrective to some inadequate and misinformed ideas about the role of Israel in the plan of God and about the Palestinian-Jewish situation, and has important consequences for Christian belief and behaviour. I warmly commend this thorough and scholarly but nevertheless clearly and simply written presentation."--I. Howard Marshall, emeritus professor of New Testament exegesis, University of Aberdeen
"Gary Burge has made a valuable contribution to the ongoing matter of the 'Holy Land' so contested by Israelis and Palestinians. Burge recognizes the powerful impulse to a territorial dimension in much of Judaism. But then he reflects on New Testament texts--notably those by Luke, John, and Paul--to see that Jesus and the early church distanced themselves from any territorial dimension of faith. This leads Burge to offer a powerful, compelling critique of 'Christian Zionism' to which 'the NT says: No.' Clearly a faith that intends to reach Gentiles must, perforce, refuse any closed tribalism that makes exclusive territorial claims. Burge's reading of Scripture is persuasive and provides a fresh way to think about 'faith and land.'"--Walter Brueggemann, professor emeritus of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary
"Gary Burge may be American evangelicalism's foremost expert on a biblical theology of the land of Israel. This book reintroduces sanity, common sense, and exegetical acumen into a discussion that often sadly lacks these traits. Absolutely essential reading for any Christian who wants to hold a biblically defensible position on the topic."--Craig L. Blomberg, distinguished professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary
"For many years Gary Burge has focused on issues relating to Palestinians and the land of Israel. In this careful survey of biblical material, he pulls the rug from under any Christian emphasis on a special status for the land of Israel and from under Christian Zionism. Churches and pastors need to give serious attention to this study and follow its lead."--Klyne Snodgrass, Paul W. Brandel Professor of New Testament Studies, North Park Theological Seminary

2) Temple in the Gospel of Mark, The: A Study in Its Narrative Role
Timothy C. Gray
6 x 9
Number of pages:
Publication Date:
May. 10

This work analyzes one of the most striking elements of Mark's story: the vital role the temple plays from Jesus's entry into Jerusalem to the moment of his death. Gray's narrative approach detects implications that redaction criticism missed. Using echoes of Old Testament prophets to present Jesus's "way" as the eschatological return of the Lord to his temple, Mark sees Jesus's cleansing of the temple as a pointer to its imminent destruction. It has failed in its appointed mission to serve as the focus for the restoration of Israel and the ingathering of the Gentiles, and that function will now be assumed by its replacement: the community gathered around Jesus. Originally published by Mohr Siebeck, this book is now available as an affordable North American paperback edition.

3) Jewish World around the New Testament, The: Collected Essays 1
Richard Bauckham
6 x 9
Number of pages:
Publication Date:
Jul. 10

Renowned biblical scholar Richard Bauckham believes that the New Testament texts cannot be adequately understood without careful attention to their Judaic and Second Temple roots. This book contains twenty-four studies that shed essential light on the religious and biblical-interpretive matrix in which early Christianity emerged. Bauckham discusses the "parting of the ways" between early Judaism and early Christianity and the relevance of early Jewish literature for the study of the New Testament. He also explores specific aspects or texts of early Christianity by relating them to their early Jewish context. Originally published by Mohr Siebeck, this book is now available as an affordable North American paperback edition.
"Bauckham's essays are fresh in their approach, inspiring, erudite, and well-argued throughout. They show the methods and the promise of studying early Judaism for its own sake and in order to understand the New Testament in the Jewish world around it. The volume has left me with new insights and much to ponder and pursue."--Christoph Stenschke,
Review of Biblical Literature

4) Matthew
Charles H. Talbert

Paideia Commentraies on the New Testament
6 x 9
Number of pages:
Publication Date:
Aug. 10

In this fresh commentary, the fourth of eighteen volumes in the Paideia series, a leading New Testament scholar examines cultural context and theological meaning in Matthew. Paideia commentaries explore how New Testament texts form Christian readers by:

-Attending to the ancient narrative and rhetorical strategies the text employs
-Showing how the text shapes theological convictions and moral habits
-Commenting on the final, canonical form of each New Testament book
-Focusing on the cultural, literary, and theological settings of the text
-Making judicious use of maps, photos, and sidebars in a reader-friendly format