Wednesday, March 28, 2012

More Blurbs for Keener's Acts

Some big names are touting Craig Keener's eagerly anticipated four-volume commentary on Acts. Here are some blurbs (note especially, James Dunn's comments):

"Craig Keener's academic commentaries are among the most important in print, because they not only summarize former scholarship but also add so many new insights from primary literature of the time."--David Instone-Brewer, Tyndale House, Cambridge

 "With a monograph-level introduction and solid, detailed use of background sources, Craig Keener has provided us with a rich gem of a commentary on Acts. One can use it and get a real sense of what this key work is all about."--Darrell L. Bock, research professor of New Testament studies, Dallas Theological Seminary

 "This book is a monumental exegetical commentary thanks to the amount of literary and social-historical information in it. Scholars and readers of the Acts of the Apostles will find it a precious source for consultation. In addition, Keener's attention to the work of Luke-Acts and the comparison he draws with Paul's letters will greatly profit those who are interested in the Third Gospel and the person of Paul."--Fr. G. Claudio Bottini, professor of introduction and exegesis of the New Testament and emeritus dean, Faculty of Biblical Sciences and Archaeology (Studium Biblicum Franciscanum), Jerusalem

 "Somewhat surprisingly, a social-historical approach to Acts still needs to be defended and its value demonstrated. No one does this better--is more informed about ancient literature, parallels, and precedents, and more interactively and fruitfully engaged with contemporary literature and issues--than Craig Keener. In the Introduction (a monograph in itself), his treatment of the genre of Acts, especially his judicious discussion of the genre 'novel,' of the character of ancient historiography, and of the historical integrity and value of Acts, is unbeatable in today's market. For anyone wanting to appreciate how Acts 'worked' in its original context and to get into the text at some depth, Keener will be indispensable and 'first off the shelf.' Bring on volumes 2-4!"--James D. G. Dunn, Emeritus Lightfoot Professor of Divinity, University of Durham

 "Early Christianity developed in a complex and multifaceted context, one that Craig Keener masterfully presents in this socially and historically oriented commentary on Acts. As one has come to expect from Keener, there is thorough knowledge and use of the best and most important secondary literature in the areas of concern and abundant utilization of a wide range of ancient sources. This is a commentary that will continue to serve as a detailed resource for both scholars and students wishing to explore these crucial dimensions of the book of Acts."--Stanley E. Porter, president, dean, and professor of New Testament, McMaster Divinity College

So, mark your calendar's folks, volume one is slated for July!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Zondervan Exegetical Commentary: Colossians and Philemon

I quite like the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary series. I have commented on this in the past, as you can see in these posts.

So, I am quite pleased to see that another volume will be out in time for SBL, this one on Colossians and Philemon, by David Pao. The volume weighs in at 480 pp. and is slated for an October release.

Incidentally, I believe that series editor, Clint Arnold is writing the replacement for O'Brien's WBC volume on Colossians/Philemon as well. Wow, talk about some big shoes to fill!

New Testament Journals and the Best Bang For Your Buck?

Question to my fellow bloggers and visitors:

"If you had just enough funds for one subscription to a New Testament journal, which one would you choose and why?"

And another: "Would you choose something more germane to your interests, i.e. a specific subject area, like The Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus, or something more general, like New Testament Studies?

More Scholars Join the Blogosphere

I am always pleased when a scholar decides to start a blog, or at least, has a useful webpage where readers can easily access their thoughts as well as their published works. So with that being said, I am thankful that Stan Porter and Dan Wallace have both entered the fray of the biblioblogosphere. Here's hoping that more enter in!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

In the Mail Last Week

I'm really looking forward to diving into these soon. Chris Keith's work thus far is very compelling (about 80 pages in or so) and I'm certain Grindheim's volumes will prove to be a good read as well. I will have more to say on these in the weeks to come. Stay tuned.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Frederick Dale Bruner Videos

Frederick Dale Bruner, whose John commentary I posted about the other day, has a series of videos issued by High Calling Videos that cover topics like: "Why does Scripture matter?"; "How can the average person study the Bible?"; "What role has Scripture played in your family?"; "What is the role of prayer in one's life and vocation?"; etc.

I have posted each one here for convenience's sake:


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Daniel Block's New Deuteronomy Publications

Daniel Block,Gunther H. Knoedler Professor of Old Testament, Wheaton, has recently released two significant publications on Deuteronomy. One, The Gospel According to Moses, marks the second volume in a series written for Wipf and Stock, the first was, How I Love Your Torah, O LORD!

You can read a description of this work here.

Further, Block's highly-anticipated commentary on Deuteronomy (NIVAC) will be released by Zondervan in time for SBL in November. You can read more here.

What's more, Carmen Imes, a student of Block's, states that more could be in the works:
Meanwhile, the longer 3-volume (1800-page!) version of Block’s Deuteronomy commentary is under consideration by two publishers. If this one goes to press, it will hopefully include all of Block’s Hebrew diagrams for the entire book, making it an excellent set for teaching exegesis courses.

Isaiah 53 Videos

A series of videos entitled, The Mysterious Prophecy of Isaiah featuring Michael Rydelnik, Darrell Bock, Walter Kaiser, and Michael Brown are making the rounds on the web and can be viewed for free here. I believe the viewing is limited to this week only as it is also being sold on DVD.

I assume this project has sprung forth from a recent monograph published by Kregel, The Gospel according to Isaiah 53.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I. Howard Marshall and David Wenham Pay Tribute to R.T. France

After some perusing around a bit on the web, I was able to find these remarks about R.T. France by a friend and contemporary, I. Howard Marshall:

‘As a scholar Dick France was outstanding with his superb study of Jesus’ use of the Old Testament and his commentaries on Matthew and Mark. His conclusions were ever sane and sensible and yet also fresh and creative. He was not afraid to be adventurous, as in his interpretation of Mark 13, his support for women in ministry and his defence of apostolic authorship of the Gospel of Matthew. He was a capable administrator, and his combination of academic skill and tactful efficiency served him well in his chairmanship of the UK group working on the anglicisation of several editions of NIV and TNIV, a task that involved meticulous attention to detail and the making of finely balanced decisions. But above all Dick was one of the most gracious and saintly friends and colleagues whom it has been my privilege to know.’ – Howard Marshall
Here is a tribute written by another New Testament scholar and friend, David Wenham: 

Richard T. France (Dick), a former student in the 1960s of Tyndale Hall (one of the colleges which joined to form Trinity College), died on 10 February 2012 aged 73. Dick was one of Britain's most highly respected scholars and church leaders. Born in 1938, he studied in Oxford and then did his ordination training at Tyndale. He ministered in Cambridge (his first post) and then in seven parishes on the English/Welsh border (his last post), and taught in Nigeria, London and Oxford, where he was Principal of Wycliffe Hall from 1989 to 1995. He was a leading New Testament scholar, who had particular links with Tyndale House, the research centre in Cambridge, where he was Librarian, Director of its Gospels Research Project, and finally Warden. The Gospels were the main focus of his research, and he published widely, both at a scholarly level (including his Bristol University doctoral thesis wehich became the book on Jesus and the Old Testament, and major commentaries on the Greek text of Matthew and Mark), but also at a more popular level (including The Evidence for Jesus, and The Living God). In his latter years he was involved with Bible translation and the revisions of the New International Version. He will be remembered for his careful and accessible scholarship, which was conservative and critical in the best sense. He was a recognized evangelical leader, whose defence of the faith was sober, well-informed and gracious (and who could change his mind: he became a strong but not strident defender of women's ordination). He wrote an excellent article on Barnabas, 'the son of encouragement', as the New Testament explains the name: he was someone who himself exemplified that spirit, whether as Warden of Tyndale House, where he helped numerous research students and others, or as Vice- Principal of London Bible College and Principal of Wycliffe Hall, where he taught and encouraged many students and colleagues. He was unassuming and not ambitious for himself, so that his final career move was into faithful ministry in tiny rural parishes. He worked mostly in England, but he had a great interest in the worldwide church and an international teaching ministry; he was closely involved with the work of the Langham Trust. His first teaching job from 1969 to 1973 was in Nigeria, a country with which he maintained contacts, becoming an honorary canon of Ibadan in 1994. His final move with his wife Curly was to the West of Wales, the land of his fathers (his grandparents lived on the Gwynedd coast in Tywyn). Here he continued his academic work while walking the hills and enjoying God's creation. His final illness was short and unexpected. He will be greatly missed by Curly and their children David and Sioux and the wider family. His work will continue through his writing and through his influence on many of us who are grateful for his friendship, wisdom and support. I was glad to be able to represent Trinity College at his funeral on Friday 17 February in a packed St Cynon's Church, Fairbourne, Gwynedd. Many tributes were paid to him and it was clear how much he was loved and appreciated not only by family and friends but in the local churches where he often ministered in his retirement. -David Wenham

 And lastly, an obituary written by France's older brother, Peter:
'My brother Dick, priest, theologian, teacher and translator, died on 10 February 2012 of pancreatic cancer, after a short illness. The son of Welsh-born parents, he was born in Derry on 2 April 1938, but we soon moved to England, living on the Lancashire coast, then near Selby, before coming to the Bradford area, where we lived in Burley-in-Wharfedale. Dick was thus at BGS in his formative years, from 1950 to 1956, and remembered his schooldays with pleasure. He chose the classics stream, where he was taught by Raymond Shaw-Smith, and was one of the outstanding students of the decade. His linguistic skills were later put to intensive use in his work on the translation of the Bible (Today’s New International Version). While at school, he took part in school plays, played the flute, and walked in the hills and dales. Wild country and the natural world were to remain a constant love of his – the two came together with his religious aspirations in a poem he printed in the Bradfordian, ‘The Curlew’. He went on to Balliol College, Oxford to read classics, but he had already decided that his vocation was to the ministry. After Oxford he studied at Tyndale College, Bristol for a London B.D., and went on to take a Bristol Ph.D., published in 1971 as Jesus and the Old Testament. In 1965 he married Barbara (Curly) Wilding, with whom he had two children, David and Sue (Sioux) – a happy and harmonious family. Dick was to become a leading figure in the evangelical movement within the Anglican Church. His first position was as a curate in St Matthew’s church, Cambridge, but thereafter he dedicated himself above all to theological education and writing. He spent four enjoyable and fruitful years (1969-73) at the University of Ife in Nigeria and was later appointed a canon of Ibadan cathedral; his involvement with Nigerian life could also be seen in his collection of art works and artefacts. Having returned to England, he was successively librarian and warden of Tyndale House, Cambridge, a very successful senior lecturer and Vice-Principal at the London Bible College, and from 1989 to 1995 Principal of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. He left Wycliffe not to become a bishop, as some had thought likely, but to serve as priest in Wentnor and a group of small neighbouring parishes on the Welsh border. This move was prompted partly by the desire to bring his theological work to bear on ordinary church life, but also by the fact that this was the country our father came from. And when he retired in 2001 it was to our mother’s country; he and Curly settled in a cliff-top house near Tywyn in Merionethshire, next to the ancient church of Llangelynin. He had a busy retirement with many local church engagements, theological writing, and the Bible translation that took him all over the world. He was also an active member of the community, learning Welsh, looking after the old church, working as a volunteer at the Talyllyn Railway, revelling in the bird life of Cardigan Bay, and continuing to walk over Cader Idris and the surrounding hills. Throughout his career, Dick combined theology and pastoral work. As the Times obituarist put it, he ‘saw himself as one who was called to interpret and apply the New Testament to the life of the Church’. His numerous books range from authoritative and learned commentaries, notably on the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, to more popular works such as The Man They Crucified (1975) or The Evidence for Jesus (1986); all are written in a clear and attractive style. Within the evangelical movement he was an influential supporter of women’s ordination, setting out his scripture-based arguments in the Didsbury Lectures, published as Women in the Church’s Ministry (1997). He was a good talker and a good listener; his easy-going and modest manner made him a very popular and effective teacher, supervisor, administrator and colleague. The affection, gratitude, and admiration of those who knew him were reflected in his moving funeral service at Fairbourne near Tywyn, between the sea and the mountains.'

Monday, March 12, 2012

Brian Rosner: Paul and the Law Audio Lectures

Brian Rosner, currently Senior Lecturer in New Testament and Ethics and Faculty Research Coordinator at Moore Theological College, and recently appointed principal of Ridely Melbourne, has some lectures available for download entitled, Paul and the Law: Keeping the Commandments of God that he delivered during the annual Moore Lectures last year. What makes these lectures even more valuable, is the fact that they are accompanied by PDF notes. For the page where all six lectures can be downloaded, click here.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Add This One to the Wish List: Frederick Dale Bruner's John

Recently, I came across a five-part series of reflections of Frederick Dale Bruner over at the EerdWord Blog. These reflections were released to coincide with his new commentary, The Gospel of John, which has been recently released by Eerdmans. After reading through these reflections (surprise, surprise!) I now want to add this massive 1,311 page commentary to my already bulging bookshelves. I have always been fascinated with the production of commentaries, ( I for one, do not think that an overabundance is a bad thing!) and Bruner's thoughts on what this responsibility entails was quite interesting for this reader.

Do check these posts out, they are definitely worth the time!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Today Only! R.T. France on the Gospel of Mark Audio for less than $20!

R.T. France, one of my favorite NT scholars of all time, and sadly, recently deceased, has his audio lectures on Mark's Gospel available for 50% off at Regent Audio today only. The total cost is under $19!
At 10 lectures, that is less than $2 per lecture. More specifically, at over 17 hours of running time, that comes out to slightly more that $1 per hour of lectures!

I have never heard France's voice before, so this is a real treat. Plus, I have been searching in vain online, and have yet to find any audio or video on the great exegete.

If you do not subscribe to the Regent Audio Bookstore email notifications, do so here, so you will be eligible for their discounts. In the meantime, happy listening!

Blogging Milestone: 100,000 Visitors at Last!

I have finally reached a milestone on this blog of sorts. Back on November 22, 2007, I launched this blog after previously blogging at Pauline Perspectives. It was a conversation on the plane ride home from SBL, where Allan Bevere told me that I ought to reconsider my blog by making it more expansive, as blogging on things Pauline was helpful, but at the same time, rather limited.

I realize that compared with other blogs, 100,000 visitors is rather minute, but I am very grateful to those of you who have visited this blog, those of you who time after time have returned even when there have been long periods of inactivity, and those of you who have linked my blog with yours. I am honored and humbled that you would see fit to visit this blog and I hope that you have found value in what has been presented here.

Cheers to you all! Here's to the next 100,000!

Ceslas Spicq's Hebrews Commentary

My friend, Cliff Kvidahl of Logos has alerted me to a major publishing event of Ceslas Spicq's magisterial commentary on Hebrews, which up until now has never appeared before in English. The two-volume set totaling over 900 pages, has been long unequaled in the history of scholarship on this letter. Cliff has been hard at work on this for some time, and right now Logos is offering the set on pre-pub for $39.95.  The more interest this project draws will guarantee it's production.  Please check it out!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

It Has Been Awhile: Writing Papers in the Meantime

Well, it has been about two weeks since my last post, and I am hopeful that this break in the action  will mark the longest hiatus I will have all year. At least this time, I have good reason for it, as I have just finished writing and submitting a paper for the SBL annual meeting, (as I plan on finally attending one and hopefully presenting after a 4 year hiatus), and beginning work on a paper that I will be presenting at the Stone-Campbell Journal Conference next month. So, it is great to be busy and have some outside projects to work on, but I am glad to have this blog, and am grateful to the visitors who keep stopping in.