Sunday, October 31, 2010

Colossians 2.16 and Halloween

I had to chuckle at Alan Knox's Scripture...As We Live It today:
Therefore let no one pass judgment on you each other in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath… and especially pass judgment in regards to Halloween, unless it’s a Fall Festival instead of a Halloween Carnival. (Colossians 2:16 re-mix)
(Click here for an explanation of this weekly feature of his blog.)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

New Greek NT

Rick Brannan announces the release of The Greek NT: SBL Edition. This is a new Greek NT with critical apparatus edited by Michael Holmes, and sponsored by Logos and SBL. It is available for download for everyone (and not just Logos users) here.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Beginner Bible study resources

I just emailed the following to a young friend of mine, who is developing quite a hunger for God's Word. What would you add to the list?


Here is a list of solid resources to get you started. The list is not meant to intimidate you; these are resources you can work at accumulating. Books that I think you should purchase and use without a moment's delay are marked by a double-asterisk. I've marked 2nd priority resources with one asterisk. The rest are books you can work at over the years to come (Lord willing).

Please know that just because I recommend these resources, that doesn't mean that I think everything in them is right. Use discernment with everything you read.

Bibles (use a few translations)
  • English Standard Version
  • KJV
  • New International Version
  • New American Standard Bible
  • New English Translation - available online, with very useful notes
  • New Living Translation
Study Bible
Books on reading / studying Bible
Bible Atlas
Bible Software
Bible Dictionary
Greek (and Hebrew)
One-volume commentary
Commentaries on individual books of the Bible
  • go to Denver Seminary's NT bibliography and choose from the last three commentaries they list for each book of the Bible (the other commentaries they list will be too technical)
  • The NIV Application, Tyndale, Bible Speaks Today, and IVP commentary series are for the most part excellent. Unfortunately, the What the Bible Teaches series rarely provides what a commentary should provide, but there are some exceptions.
  • for the BEST commentary series of all, go here.
Great Books you should read
  • For the Love of God, volume 1 and volume 2, by Carson. An excellent devotional.
  • The Pursuit of God by Tozer
  • Knowing God by Packer
  • Desiring God by Piper
  • What Jesus Demands from the World by Piper
  • Mere Christianity by C.S Lewis
  • any and all books by David Gooding
Great Preachers to listen to

You will learn a ton by always having some good expositional sermons on your ipod.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I've been using Zotero for a couple of years now. To learn more about the payback of using this Firefox add-on, read Andy Naselli's excellent article entitled Why You Should Organize Your Personal Theological Library and a Way How.

HT: Justin Taylor

Monday, October 18, 2010

How to Read Exodus

How to Read Exodus, by Tremper Longman III.

The author clarifies that this book is not a commentary on Exodus, but a guide to an interpretive strategy (p.8). It features literary, historical, and theological approaches to this book.

A literary approach reveals that the main theme of Exodus is the presence of God, out of which two sub-themes emerge: the covenant, and bondage (p.39). A historical approach reads Exodus against the background of ancient Near Eastern literature (the Sargon Birth Legend and the Code of Hammurabi). It also examines the historicity of the events recorded in Exodus. Yes, it does matter that the Red Sea did in fact part (Chp. 6). However, some efforts to prove the Exodus events are not helpful: “Purported discoveries of the wheels of Pharaoh’s chariots beside the Red Sea are misleading if not fraudulent” (p.69, cf. p.80).

Longman provides helpful comments on the Law. The Ten Commandments begin the Book of the Law. They are more general principles of which the ensuing case laws are specific applications (p.60). “Israel’s obligation to keep the law is not to form a relationship with God, but rather to show gratitude to and maintain the relationship that it already enjoys with him” (p.121).

On the revelation of Yahweh’s name when he says “I Am Who I Am,” Longman writes: “God claims that he is self-defining. He is unable to be narrowed down. He is the ground of existence.” (p.104)

Longman has a very interesting section on the gods of Egypt (pp.107-9). Do they truly exist? “The answer to that question is much more complex than one might think” (p.107). Of course, there is only one God, the Creator of all that is. But Longman reaches for an emended text of Deuteronomy 32.8, the supernatural feats of the Egyptian magicians, and the testimony throughout Scripture to claim that these Egyptian gods were real spiritual powers, although created and “assigned their place by God” (pp.107-8).

The best section of the book is Part 5: ”Reading Exodus as a Christian." This section features the theological/canonical approach. The theme of the Exodus event, the law, and the tabernacle are masterfully traced from the OT to their NT fulfillment in Christ.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Reading fiction

For those of my friends who look down on reading fiction (you know who you are!), Justin Taylor links to two brief articles by Peter Leithart.

Greek & Hebrew flashcards

Introducing Babel flashcards. This looks like a very good program at a reasonable price.

HT: Justin Taylor

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Faith of God's Elect

I'll be watching this blog closely for the next while as Joel Barnes has promised a multi-post critique of John Parkinson's The Faith of God's Elect. I'm glad to see that Joel can give and take; he's welcoming interaction in the comment sections:
I hope Christians who have been influenced by this book will take the time to read my review in its several parts and even interact with it using my blog’s comment feature should they be inclined.
For those interested in these issues, here are some other recent blog posts that have turned up in my reader:

Shawn McGrath with the first of many posts on Romans 9.

Dan Wallace writes about corporate election.

Michael Patton gives 12 reasons why Romans 9 is about individual election, not corporate election.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Thousand Miles of Miracle in China by A. E. Glover

An incredible story of suffering for the cause of Christ, and of God’s intervention. Glover, his pregnant wife, and his two children go through a two month journey of “daily dying” as they try to escape during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900. Reading this book was like reading the definitive commentary on Philippians 3.10.

A recollection: A tramp had followed them on one leg of the journey; Glover was later stripped naked, and the tramp later offered him some awful clothes. Glover then realized that they had switched clothes and switched positions. Now Glover was the tramp, or, worse than a tramp. Then their guide boy came and donated a pair of pants of his own. They only came to half way up Glover's leg, but met his need, “and more than that, they were the embodiment of the love of Christ, offered me in His Name and for His sake; and as I thanked the dear lad in the Name of the Lord Jesus, I thought with joy of the King’s recognition awaiting him: ‘I was naked, and ye clothed Me. Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye did it unto Me. Come, ye blessed of My Father.’”

A big thank you to the sister who loaned me this book!