Sunday, February 28, 2010

Bruce Waltke: Why Christians Should Study the OT

This two minutes and change clip is well worth watching and contemplating. When listening to Waltke, one cannot help but feeling that they are sitting at the feet of a sage.

There are other resources from the radio show Haven Today featuring Waltke.


Markus Barth Audio Resources

Once in awhile during my internet sleuthing I manage to stumble across something worthwhile. Well, here it is-- Markus Barth giving a series of lectures entitled "Baptism in the New Testament and Today" delivered in 1970 at Pittsburgh University. The first, second, third, and fourth of these lectures are to be found on the Bethel College Menno Simons Lectures page where plenty more lectures from different speakers are available as well.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bibledex: Romans

The latest installment of Bibledex, the University of Nottingham's wonderful video series soon to encompass the entire canon of Scripture, features Romans, and primarily interviews Dr. Richard H. Bell, Professor of Theology, and author of The irrevocable call of God: an inquiry into Paul's theology of Israel (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck; 2005), as well as  Deliver us from evil: Interpreting the redemption from the power of Satan in New Testament theology (Tübingen: Mohr-Siebeck; 2007).

My favorite section of the video is at the 3:26 mark where he talks about the amount of Romans commentaries that have been published and then shows off his own collection, about 4 shelves long--"modest" according to him!

Check it out!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Excerpt From O'Brien's Hebrews Commentary

Peter T. O'Brien's new Hebrews commentary (Eerdmans) has a 77 page excerpt available from WTS Books.

HT: Andy Naselli

Wow, What a Lineup!

Baker Academic is coming out with some heavy hitters this fall, with the likes of Craig Blomberg, Dale Allison, Frank Thielman, and Frank Matera releasing some very significant works.

Here are the titles and the info:

A Handbook of New Testament Exegesis

Craig L. Blomberg and Jennifer Foutz Markley
Price: $22.99

ISBN: 978-0-8010-3177-9

Number of pages: 304

Publication Date: Oct. 10

"This is a treasure trove of principles for the complex task of understanding Scripture. A must-read for the serious student of the Word."--Grant Osborne, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

This handbook provides a one-stop-shopping guide to the New Testament exegetical method. Brief and approachable, it offers both a broad overview of the exegetical process and a step-by-step approach to studying the New Testament in depth, helping students and pastors understand the text and appropriate it responsibly. The book is chock-full of illustrations of New Testament texts where the method under discussion truly makes a difference.


"Blomberg and Foutz Markley have written a wonderfully clear and accessible handbook for New Testament exegesis. The book covers the various steps of the exegetical process and gives sane and sage advice throughout. What makes the book especially illuminating and interesting are the many examples from the New Testament that illustrate the principles discussed. Professors and students will be grateful for a work that is exegetically rigorous, theologically informed, and practically useful."--Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"In this immensely practical guide to New Testament exegesis, seasoned New Testament scholar Craig Blomberg teams up with Jennifer Foutz Markley to produce another winner. The text walks the student through all key aspects of New Testament interpretation, striking just the right balance between scholarly acumen and simplicity of presentation."--Mark L. Strauss, professor of New Testament, Bethel Seminary San Diego

"The process of Greek exegesis, starting at textual criticism and moving all the way to contextualization, can prove a daunting task for students and ministry leaders alike. Blomberg's and Foutz Markley's Handbook promises to be a helpful guide along the way. Clearly written, it emphasizes the specific skills necessary for exegesis and explores practical issues of New Testament interpretation. The consistent use of biblical texts to illustrate a particular skill or guideline is an especially compelling feature of the book. Helpful and practical."--Jeannine Brown, professor of New Testament, Bethel Seminary

"Among the many discussions of the interpretation of Scripture that have appeared lately, this is one of the best and most helpful. Concise and readable, it nevertheless interacts at a high level with the field of hermeneutics. This is a treasure trove of principles for the complex task of understanding Scripture. It covers the major aspects of Bible study and does so with a good explanation of the various nuances of interpretation, providing practical examples from the New Testament. It is a must-read for the serious student of the Word."--Grant Osborne, professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Healing in the Bible: Theological Insight for Christian Ministry

Frederick J. Gaiser

Price: $24.99

ISBN: 978-0-8010-3101-4

Number of pages: 288

Publication Date: Oct. 10

"Gaiser has a great instinct and gift for moving to and fro in the space between the contemporary world and the biblical text. Every chapter is illuminating."--John Goldingay, Fuller Theological Seminary

In the midst of an ongoing debate about health care, what does the Bible say about healing? Here a respected scholar reads biblical texts on health and healing with care and imagination, engaging the reader in lively conversations with the text and with questions of contemporary theological and pastoral concern. Gaiser offers close readings of fifteen key Old and New Testament passages, considering their significance for the church's understanding of healing and its ministry today. The book examines such significant matters as God's role in healing, the relation between sickness and sin, healing and prayer, God's healing and medical science, and healing under the sign of the cross, offering fresh insights for anyone interested in Christian views on healing.


"Frederick Gaiser has written a book that everyone interested in the intersection of theology and health needs to read. This is the work of a skilled exegete who is intimately familiar with the biblical stories of God's healing acts. Gaiser reminds us that all of our theological reflection concerning health ought to begin with and account for the biblical narrative. I look forward to the opportunity to use this book in my own teaching and scholarship."--Joel James Shuman, associate professor of theology, King's College

"Frederick Gaiser has a great instinct and gift for moving to and fro in the space between the contemporary world and the biblical text. He began this book in Africa, and although he does not keep referring to that, one can see the way it shaped and resourced the 'conversation' between our contemporary world(s) and the Bible's world. He keeps chewing at the text, seeking to be fully open to it, precisely because it comes from a different world and thus has the power to illumine our world. Every chapter is illuminating."--John Goldingay, David Allan Hubbard Professor of Old Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary

"What an enormous grasp of issues of health Frederick Gaiser demonstrates in this book as he moves easily between stories of Zimbabwe, biblical exegesis, and applications for twenty-first-century Christians. Gaiser's volume on the wide variety of literature in the Bible about healing is obviously the result of many years of committed research and contemplation; readers will be amazed at the range of his erudition and the depth of his faith. I am very grateful for his insightfully inspiring work."--Marva J. Dawn, author, Being Well When We're Ill; teaching fellow in spiritual theology, Regent College

"Fred Gaiser herein offers a collection of insightful essays on the difficult issues related to healing. These chapters bear the marks of long and deep reflection. Students and professionals alike will benefit from these close and clear studies. They ring true to the scriptural texts, are sensitive to the pastoral context, and bring a sure theological hand throughout."--Terence E. Fretheim, Elva B. Lovell Professor of Old Testament, Luther Seminary

"With his careful analysis of healing stories in the Bible, Professor Gaiser has given us a great gift. He reminds us that healing is always tied up in the mystery and wonder of relationships--with our self, with our community, and with God--and that health depends on the wholeness of both individuals and communities. As we work to reform and improve health care in America, we would do well to keep these lessons in mind."--James F. Hart, MD, director of the Executive Program in Public Health Practice and assistant professor, University of Minnesota School of Public Health

"Healing in the Bible is a bold, countercultural word for people of faith who struggle to understand how God heals even as they live in a society preoccupied with infinite expectations of health and health care. Traditional wisdom about healing from Zimbabwe, such as 'I am well if you are well', is woven together with biblical insights about health and healing in new and fresh ways. Throughout this appreciative reading of biblical stories of healing, one theme is constant: the cross will color all Christian ideas of health and healing. Healing in the Bible is a book that informs and inspires and even heals as it transforms."--Herbert Anderson, research professor of practical theology, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and Graduate Theological Union

"In this book, Fred Gaiser, a first rate scholar with a pastoral heart, offers no simplistic answers to complex questions about healing, but he will make you think. His comments are sane, balanced, and scriptural to the core and remind the church of its necessary healing ministry."--Klyne Snodgrass, Paul W. Brandel Professor of New Testament Studies, North Park Theological Seminary

Constructing Jesus: Memory, Imagination, and History

Dale C. Allison

Price: $54.99

ISBN: 978-0-8010-3585-2

Number of pages: 592

Publication Date: Nov. 10

Formats: Hardcover

What did Jesus think of himself? How did he face death? What were his expectations of the future? In this volume, internationally renowned Jesus scholar Dale Allison Jr. addresses such perennially fascinating questions about Jesus.

Representing the fruit of several decades of research, this major work questions standard approaches to Jesus studies and rethinks our knowledge of the historical Jesus in light of recent progress in the scientific study of memory. Allison's groundbreaking alternative strategy calls for applying what we know about the function of human memory to our reading of the Gospels in order to "construct Jesus" more soundly.


Frank S. Thielman

Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Price: $44.99

ISBN: 978-0-8010-2683-6

Number of pages: 592

Publication Date: Nov. 10

Formats: Hardcover

Noted New Testament scholar Frank Thielman offers a substantive yet accessible commentary on Ephesians in this latest addition to the award-winning BECNT series. With extensive research and thoughtful chapter-by-chapter exegesis, Thielman leads readers through all aspects of the book of Ephesians--sociological, historical, and theological--to help them better understand its meaning and relevance.

As with all BECNT volumes, Ephesians features the author's detailed interaction with the Greek text. This commentary admirably achieves the dual aims of the series--academic sophistication with pastoral sensitivity and accessibility--making it a useful tool for professors, students, and pastors. The acclaimed user-friendly design includes shaded chapter introductions summarizing the key themes of each thought unit.


Frank J. Matera

Paideia: Commentaries on the New Testament

Price: $29.99

ISBN: 978-0-8010-3189-2

Number of pages: 416

Publication Date: Nov. 10

Formats: Paperback

In this volume, respected New Testament scholar Frank Matera examines cultural context and theological meaning in Romans. This commentary, like each in the eighteen-volume Paideia series, approaches each text in its final, canonical form, proceeding by sense units rather than word-by-word or verse-by-verse. Each sense unit is explored in three sections: (1) introductory matters, (2) tracing the train of thought, (3) key hermeneutical and theological questions. Graduate and seminary students, professors, and pastors will benefit from this readable commentary, as will theological libraries.

Thomas Schreiner Latest

Thomas Schreiner is so prodigious it is ridiculous. Here is another offering slated for a late October release:
40 Questions about Christians and Biblical Law (Kregel; 240 pp.)

Schreiner is a great choice in writing this book considering he wrote a landmark study entitled  The Law and Its Fulfillment: A Pauline Theology of Law.

This book will be written for a more general audience, but coming from Tom's pen it will be well worth checking out.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

iTunes Resources

From time to time I enjoy perusing iTunes U to see if there are any lectures or classes worth downloading. Today I found a small, yet significant cache of cool resources.

The first is from Abilene Christian University. These are the Carmichael-Walling Lectures and here one can find the likes of Margaret Mitchell, Luke Timothy Johnson, James D.G. Dunn to name a few.

The other resource of interest is Robert Mulholland's class on Revelation  from Asbury Theological Seminary(course NT666; ironic eh?). Here one can download all 22 classes either as video, audio, or both.


Thorough Review of Gorman's Latest

Scot McKnight has a guest poster, Marcus Maher who provides an outstanding review of Michael Gorman's important new book, Inhabiting the Cruciform God. Not only is the review extremely thorough, but I believe Maher does a great job at truly understanding what Gorman is on about while also raising some helpful questions.

Do read!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Lincoln Essay

Allen C. Guelzo, Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era and Director, Civil War Era Studies, at Gettysburg College, and Lincoln scholar extrordinaire, has written a great essay entitled "Lincoln and Justice for All " at First Things.

Guelzo speaks to the "justice and fairness" ideology of the Obama administration, an administration that continues to see itself as one that carries on the legacy of perhaps America's greatest president, Abraham Lincoln. Guelzo demonstrates however, that Lincoln had a very different definition of what "justice and fairness" should look like.

Whatever your political persuasion, this short essay is well worth a read.

HT: Scot McKnight

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I Am Proud To Say...

Although I have not formally announced anything in a public way until now (i.e. this blog, facebook), my wife and I are proud to announce that we are expecting a little girl around July 4th.

We are going to name her Olivia Grace and we cannot wait for her to get here!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Book Review of Resseguie's Revelation

Resseguie, James L.

The Revelation of John: A Narrative Commentary.

Grand Rapids: Baker Academic , 2009. Pp. 288.

Paperback. $24.99.

ISBN: 978-0-8010-3213-4

James L. Resseguie, distinguished professor of New Testament at Winebrenner Theological Seminary, brings his expertise on narrative criticism to bear on perhaps the most difficult of all New Testament documents, Revelation. This is not Resseguie's first attempt to wrestle with the Apocalypse as he wrote a previous volume Revelation Unsealed: A Narrative Critical Approach to John’s Apocalypse (Brill, 1998).

Resseguie stresses two aspects of narrative criticism in this volume. First, he focuses "on the organic unity of John's story" (17). This approach of course, relates the parts to the whole, as the former should not be viewed in isolation from the latter. Secondly, in order to perform a close literary and theological reading, one must beware "of the complexities and nuances of the text, taking note of the structure, rhetoric, setting, characters, point of view, plot, and the narrator's style and his repertoire" (18).

One of the more impressive features of this volume is Resseguie's ability to introduce readers to rhetorical, literary, and narratival conventions utilized throughout the Apocalypse (18-59). From this helpful introduction, the author has prepared the reader well for what follows- the commentary proper (61-259). For example, within Resseguie's section on numerology (28-32), the author makes the astute point that the number six is penultimate and therefore can "represent incompleteness or imperfection." Further, "the heaping up of sixes, as in 666, may represent the penultimate striving to be the ultimate, humanity (the beast) in the quest to be like God" (31). Structurally, Resseguie favors what he terms "literary progression" rather than the normal recapitulation theories (54-59). This literary progression is linear, though not chronological "with one event folding into another until the end is reached and everyone is in there proper place and the messianic repairs of the cosmos are complete" (59).

 Resseguie outlines Revelation in a chapter by chapter sequence mainly, allowing the reader to view the forest for the trees. If readers desire text-critical, dating, social setting, or authorship issues, they should refer to the more technical commentaries such as Aune or Beale. This does not however imply that Resseguie ignores these matters altogether as the author cites more than 180 works in his bibliography, many of them commentaries that address such issues. Instead Resseguie's focus on the narrative of Revelation serves to highlight the impact of John's visions.

How does Resseguie accomplish this?  He stresses point of view, "the way the story gets told" (42-44). Space, time, words and phrases, inside views (characters' thoughts, motivations, emotions, and finally and most importantly, ideology (norms, values, beliefs that the narrator wants the reader to adopt) make up the components in the way Revelation is written. A great example of  the ideological perspective is Resseguie's discussion of the role of the two witnesses in Revelation 11 (163-165). Resseguie remarks:

Two points of view are crystallized in this story. From a below perspective, it appears that the beast and its followers triumph, but from an above perspective the testimony and death of the witnesses represents the counterintuitive way God triumphs in this world (163).

Resseguie's discussion of the "masterplot of Revelation" provides a fascinating discussion of the Apocalypses' use of exodus and exile imagery. Resseguie states that this "masterplot" is "a quest of the people of God to find their way home, to the new promised land" (46). John's vision of a mighty angel in Revelation 10 corresponds to Exod 13.21-22 and Revelation 15.2-4 reenacts the Israelites deliverance from Pharoah at the Red Sea (Exod 14-15) are just two of the examples that the author cites (47). One further area of interest to this reviewer is to see where Resseguie comes out on the millenium (20.4-6; 245-246). Here the author follows Bauckham in his masterful little book Theology of the Book of Revelation, stating that John is simply not interested in these details and further, the millenium's meaning is more important than the manner in which the saints are vindicated (245). This meaning is “from an above point of view God’s ways are vindicated and the martyrs are victorious” (pp. 245–46).

Resseguie is to be commended in writing an exciting exploration of this enigmatic book. I would recommend this volume to pastors, students, as well as educated lay members of the church in trying to plow through this strange and yet wonderful letter.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Quote of the Day

Μηκέθ ὅλως περὶ τοῦ οἷόν τινα εἶναι τὸν ἀγαθὸν ἄνδρα διαλέγεσθαι, ἀλλὰ εἶναι τοιοῦτον.

"Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one."

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 10.16

Friday, February 12, 2010

Jim Hamilton's Biblical Theology

Lately, there has been a welcome movement in biblical studies, namely, biblical theology. While several attempts are being made in articulating what biblical theology should look like in a broad sense, there has always been the requisite Old Testament and New Testament Theologies that have come across the bookshelves at a tremendous pace over the last few years.

There is still, however, a fairly bare market when it comes to a full-fledged biblical theology that spans both testaments. This is why I was excited to see that Jim Hamilton, Associate Professor of Biblical Theology at Southern Seminary is soon to release his own contribution to a sparse field. Here are the particulars:

God's Glory in Salvation through Judgment: A Biblical Theology
480 pages

Publisher: Crossway Books (November 30, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1581349769
Product Description:

Moves through the Bible book by book to demonstrate that there is a theological center: God’s glory in salvation through judgment.

In Exodus 34 Moses asks to see God’s glory, and God reveals himself as a God who is merciful and just. James Hamilton Jr. contends that from this passage comes a biblical theology that unites the meta-narrative of Scripture under one central theme: God’s glory in salvation through judgment.

Hamilton begins in the Old Testament by showing that Israel was saved through God’s judgment on the Egyptians and the Caananites. God was glorified through both his judgment and mercy, accorded in salvation to Israel. The New Testament unfolds the ultimate display of God’s glory in justice and mercy, as it was God’s righteous judgment shown on the cross that brought us salvation. God’s glory in salvation through judgment will be shown at the end of time, when Christ returns to judge his enemies and save all who have called on his name.

Hamilton moves through the Bible book by book, showing that there is one theological center to the whole Bible. The volume’s systematic method and scope make it a unique resource for pastors, professors, and students.

I am intrigued by his thesis as Exodus 34 is one of the primary texts that I'm looking at now in a paper proposal for SBL regionals.

At 480 pages Hamilton deserves much credit on the face of things. It is extremely economical to wade through that much (66 books) in that short of a span. It should be a good read.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Around the Blogs

A couple of volumes I am in the process of reading/reviewing are getting some discussion in the blogosphere.

The first, Andreas Köstenberger's masterful volume A Theology of John's Gospel and Letters (Zondervan) was the focus of  a radio program Knowing the Truth hosted by Kevin Boling and can be accessed here.

The second volume previously mentioned in a post here is Philip Payne's Man and Woman, One in Christ
An Exegetical and Theological Study of Paul's Letters is getting a thorough review by Paul Adams' blog in Christ Jesus. So far the series consists of seven posts with more to come.

Moreover, one book I have yet to read or receive is Campbell's massive Deliverance of God which is being dove into by Daniel Kirk at his new blog Storied Theology. It is always a bonus when the author stops by and responds to the intial thoughts of the blogger, which Campbell does three times.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Anthony Thiselton on Theosis

As mentioned in the previous post, Anthony Thiselton has an interview with Dan Reid in the latest Academic Alert from IVP. Nijay points to the section I'm about to refer to in this post, but it bears repeating.

Reid: I am hearing more about Paul and theosis these days. In general, do you think theosis is a fruitful way into understanding Paul's soteriology?

Thiselton: I think that there are two quite separate questions here. The emphasis on transformation and participation is wholly right and useful, provided that this is no more then complementary to the traditional notion of a right status before God. Being in a right relation with God involves not just looking on as a spectator, but also personal participation and transformation, and this is cross-centered.

However, on the second question I am not entirely sure what theosis might mean. But if it means divinization, this is used in a very special sense in the Greek fathers and the Orthodox Church, and I would hesitate to try to transplant it into Pauline thought (2; emphasis mine).

Although I have yet to get Michael Gorman's latest offering Inhabiting the Cruciform God, I will say that Michael tackles many of the points Thiselton makes above, especially in his post "Fear of Theosis".

It would be really great to get these two to have a discussion about this important subject.

Around the Blogs

A couple of tidbits that I have found interesting in the blogosphere: 1) Nijay Gupta has pointed us to a fascinating interview with Anthony Thiselton regarding his new book The Living Paul: An Introduction to the Apostle’s Life and Thought; 2) Mike Bird notes that at the ETS meeting later this year in Atlanta, GA will feature the theme "justification by faith" and will be highlighted by a panel discussion b/t John Piper, N.T. Wright, and Frank Thielman--wow! 3) Matthew Malcolm has an interesting post where he discusses Paul's 'flexibility' in 1 Cor 9.19-23. I think he is correct regarding Nanos' work in this area and he also highlights a forthcoming work (Eerdmans) by David Rudolph A Jew to the Jews: Jewish Contours of Pauline Flexibility in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23.

Recommended Reading: Daniel Kirk Reviews Inhabiting the Cruciform God

Daniel Kirk has three insightful posts on Michael Gorman's new volume Inhabiting the Cruciform God: Kenosis, Justification, and Theosis in Paul's Narrative Soteriology The first deals with justification, the second with non violence, and finally the third theosis. The final post includes an interesting exchange between Kirk and Gorman and is well worth checking out.