How Spurgeon Scheduled His Week

1, 2 & 3 John (ZECNT) by Jobes

The Reagan Review

book ept jn zec

Mark this down as another outstanding entry in an exceptional series. Jobes has provided a thoughtful, scholarly, and easy to read volume here in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary (ZECNT) series. My appreciation for the layout of this series grows with every volume I peruse.

Jobes begins her Introduction to all three Epistles of John by describing their significance. She throws down the gauntlet of a strong Christology in our pluralistic world. She concludes that the writer of these letters matches the Gospel that also carries John’s name. She reasons that the author had to be John or a close associate. As with most commentaries addressing John, she writes about the gnostic issue that has obsessed scholars. She seems to feel that scholars have overthought the issue. John has written against “some serious misunderstanding and distortion of the gospel”. In discussing the similarities of John’s Gospel with his Epistles, she provides…

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Questions and Rhetoric in the Greek New Testament: An Essential Reference Resource for Exegesis

Douglas Estes. Questions and Rhetoric in the Greek New Testament: An Essential Reference Resource for Exegesis . Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Academic, 2017. 400 pp. $49.99.

While there are almost 1,000 questions in the GNT (making up about 15% of the sentences), most students of the NT have never really thought about the questions, focusing instead on the statements. Questions are similarly neglected in commentaries, grammars, and other literature. Convinced that it is as much the questions in the NT as the statements that make such a great impact on readers (16), Douglas Estes has written Questions and Rhetoric in the Greek New Testament (hereafter Questions and Rhetoric) to help the exegete of the GNT understand and interpret the questions of the GNT, questions that not only influence the theology of the text but also the life of the reader. “[T]he purpose of this book isto help interpreters understand the logic of…

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3 Ways to Fail at Expository Teaching

If you have never tried the expository approach to preaching and teaching before, but want to try it, numbered here are some ways you can do it poorly. When constructing and delivering an expositor…

Origen: 3 Ways to Fail at Expository Teaching

Galatians (ZECNT) by Thomas Schreiner

The Reagan Review

book zec gal

Chalk this book up as another outstanding volume in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary (ZECNT) series that has turned out a remarkably consistent set of commentaries. This time respected scholar Thomas Schreiner does the spade work that uses the ZECNT design that helps pastors and students alike and presents Galatians in a clear and helpful way.

Schreiner doesn’t leave us guessing as in the first few paragraphs of the Introduction  his approach (a belief that the Reformers got it right, but not a defense of the Reformation itself)is laid out. I love how he dispensed with authorship in 3 sentences as there is no credible reason to doubt Paul. In his discussion of the recipients of the letter, he succinctly and fairly explains the both the North and South Galatian theories that divides scholars. He explains that it all rides on how Galatians correlates with Acts before he goes through all…

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Book Review: Andy Johnson, 1 & 2 Thessalonians. Two Horizons New Testament Commentary

Reading Acts

Johnson, Andy. 1 & 2 Thessalonians. Two Horizons New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2016. 349 pp. Pb; $25. Link to Eerdmans

Andy Johnson’s new contribution in the Two Horizons series from Eerdmans on the two letters to the Thessalonians represents a theological interpretation of Scripture which is intentionally missional. As Johnson explains in his introduction, his goal in the commentary is to focus on elements of the text “most useful for facilitating the continuing formation of the church in its proper identity as a missional community” (2).

Thessalonians, Commentary, EerdmansThe second goal of this commentary is to read the Thessalonian correspondence as part of the canon of Scripture. This means placing these letters into the overall story of the whole Bible and the mission of God to undo humanity’s rebellion. Although he does not use the phrase, his overview in the introduction is the familiar “drama of redemption” which…

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Review: NIV Faith & Work Bible

Baptist news, commentary on faith and culture, articles about ministry and missions. Trusted source since 1888. Covering Texas Baptists, BGCT, CBF, SBC and more.

Origen: Review: NIV Faith & Work Bible

Crafting Effective Homework: The Rationale (Part 2)

Pastor Dave Online

Last week I explored several key reasons that Biblical Counselors give homework. I focused particularly on the benefits it provides to counselors as they seek to be the most help that they can be to their counselees. But homework very obviously helps counseless too, and turning our attention now to the benefits to them will further support the practice of assigning homework. There are seven benefits of regular homework for the counselee.

First, homework teaches submission to the Word of God – Often our problems stem from living outside of God’s will or being dissatisfied with God’s will. Homework that forces a counselee to engage with God’s Word is teaching them to submit to God’s will. It teaches them to reshape their desires and agendas according to His desires and agendas. This is crucial for making real progress in transformation. Submission to my own will is what most frequently gets me…

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How to use secondary literature in NT research

Crafting Effective Homework: The Rationale (Part 1)

Pastor Dave Online

Counseling is not, to quote Jay Adams, the “magic hour.” That is to say, one hour a week, meeting with a counselor, does not resolve problems. Real transformation happens as individuals seek to apply what the learn in counseling in between sessions, as they do hard work, as they follow-up and build on discussions in session. It’s for this reason that Biblical Counselors ought to give good homework to their counselees. In this series I am going to look at how we craft effective homework, but to start the topic off we should carefully consider why we give homework. There are two important rationales for giving homework.

Believe it or not, homework actually benefits the counselor. Homework is most obviously about helping the counselee understand themselves, understand their problem, and understand God’s provisions – and then helping them to live in light of those truths. But it also has implications…

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KJV Expressions Bible deluxe hardcover

9781619708983oJournaling bibles have become popular in recent years, which is a good new for those who love journaling. The KJV Expressions Bible deluxe hardcover (Hendrickson, 2017) is one of the most recent journaling bibles published and available in the market.

The outer: The hardcover in this Bible combines imitation leather in brown tone and soft vinyl. Both material feel strong, well crafted, and very elegant. The size (6 ½ x 7 ¼ inches) makes this Bible manageable and ideal for its purpose: journaling. The spine is well attached and glued to the book, ant it transmits the sensation that this Bible is ideal for traveling, camping, and be used outside the office as well.

The inside: The version used in this Bible is the KJV. The type used is 8 point, which is a decent type. The text is placed in single column, allowing a space of 2+ inches for margin, a generous space for notetaking and journaling. Hendrickson claims the paper in this Bible is high-quality paper. My first impression is that this is correct as paper feels strong and perfect for writing.

This bible is highly recommendable for journaling and notetaking lovers both experienced and inciated note takers.

You can buy this beautiful Bible here 

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Libros indispensables de Teologia Biblica, por Daniel Caballero

Semper Reformanda Peru

Una de las preguntas que mas frecuentemente recibo como profesor es ¿Qué libros me recomendaría sobre tal o cual tema? Una de las dificultades en cuanto a recomendar una lista de libros es que lleva años, por no decir décadas, familiarizarse con el contenido de los libros disponibles y sus autores. Hace poco escribí una lista sobre los mejores comentarios en los Evangelios y Hechos. Puedes verla aquí.

Teología Bíblica.

Los estudios teológicos se dividen en cuatro ramas: Teología Bíblica, Teología Histórica, Teología Sistemática y Teología Pastoral. La Teología Bíblica a su vez se subdivide de acuerdo al enfoque o método de la misma (Meta-narrativa, Temática, etc.) y el campo bíblico que se este estudiando (Epístolas Paulinas, Pentateuco, etc.). La Teología Bíblica como disciplina teológica se preocupa por el estudio del desarrollo orgánico, gradual, histórico de la auto-revelación de Dios registrada en las Escrituras. Puedes leer mas sobre el tema

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Engaging Exposition, by Daniel L. Akin, Bill Curtis, and Stephen Rummage

descargaPreaching is one of the pillars of the pastoral ministry. Part of the spiritual maturity and growth of the local church is related to preaching. Expository preaching is still considered the most effective way to prepare and deliver a sermon.

Literature about expository preaching is abundant. One can have the feeling that everything has already been said about this topic, but the truth is that there are many things to be said about expository preaching. The book Engaging Exposition, by Daniel L. Akin, Bill Curtis, and Stephen Rummage (B&H), is one of those books that can help every pastor and preacher to gain insight and skills in terms of preaching.

The book is divided into three main sections, each one of them written by one of the three authors. Section one (Bill Curtis) has to do with hermeneutics. No effective sermon can be preached unless the preacher has done an appropriate interpretation of the text. Context, genre, and the main idea of the text are some of the themes addressed in this first section.

Second section (Daniel L. Akin) is a continuation of the previous section. Akin deals with the outline, introduction, and application, among other topics. This section has to do with the mechanical process of preparing an effective sermon. Akin includes every aspect involved in the process of integrating hermeneutics (section one) and outlining the sermon.

Third section (Rummage) is devoted to delivering the sermon. One can prepare an excellent sermon, but it also needs an excellent delivery. Rummage offers great points related to every single aspect involved in delivering a sermon. He focuses on the need of preaching in a way that makes sense and is appropriate for our audience. This section includes a chapter that deals with how to present a sermon using visual resources such as software, which is very appropriate for XXI century preachers.

If you are an experienced pastor and think you already know everything about expository preaching, outlines, introductions, conclusions, etc., then this book is for you. This book takes readers to a higher level in sermon preparation and delivery and allows preachers to experience a boost in terms of preaching. Highly recommendable, a must have for pastors, preachers, and hopefully, for seminary students.

Want to buy the book? Click here 

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Reviews: Books on the Apostle Paul, missions, prayer and worship

Reviewers consider Paul Behaving Badly, Transcending Mission, Talking with God and The Worship Pastor.

Origen: Reviews: Books on the Apostle Paul, missions, prayer and worship

The Hermeneutical Spiral by Grant Osborne

The Reagan Review

book spiral

This massive book lives up to its subtitle of “a comprehensive introduction to Biblical interpretation”. It’s the fullest volume I have seen on the subject and it brings the word encyclopedic to mind. There’s no way that you could find any subject in the field of hermeneutics not mentioned in this book. Its greatest strength may also be its greatest weakness as it may be simply to prolix for some people. Still, Grant Osborne has had as much direction in the scholarly world for hermeneutics study as anyone in the last 30 years. Additionally, this busy scholar has written a few important commentaries along the way.

His conception of hermeneutics as a spiral form from text to context has become the preeminent academic theory of biblical interpretation today. In this book, he breaks down the hermeneutical spiral in great detail. In his lengthy introduction, he explains the issues of interpretation…

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The Fourfold Gospel

Biblical and Early Christian Studies

Cover Art

2017.03.07 | Francis Watson, The Fourfold Gospel: A Theological Reading of the New Testament Portraits of Jesus. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2016. ISBN: 9780801095450

Review by Jeremiah Coogan, University of Notre Dame.

What modes of reading does the fourfold gospel imply? To answer this question, Francis Watson (Durham University) presents “a theological reading of the New Testament portraits of Jesus.” As the indefinite article makes clear, Watson does not assert a prescriptive reading; rather, the specific readings demonstrate the fruitfulness of reading the fourfold gospel as a complex literary and canonical unity. He invites the reader to experience a different mode of reading, guided by a number of “pre-critical” exegetical insights. Both Watson’s reading and his argument about reading succeed, although this reviewer found the latter more abundantly fruitful than the former.

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Review: Rediscovering Discipleship

Skip Holman reviews Rediscovering Discipleship: Making Jesus’ Final Words our First Work by Bobby Gallaty.

Origen: Review: Rediscovering Discipleship

Last call for a book giveaway

Bible, curiosity, and the NIV Faithlife Study Bible

niv-fsb-blogger-bannerThe first character that comes to my mind, when I put the terms Bible and curiosity together, is the Ethiopian eunuch. In Acts 8:34 we read: “The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” (NIV). The preceding verses tell us the eunuch was reading the Book of Isaiah the Prophet and that he went to Jerusalem to worship. We can infer this man had a high level of curiosity about God and His Word, and the result was that the eunuch was saved and baptized that day on his way home.

Salvation is by grace, period. However, there are plenty of passages in the Bible that make it clear God rewards those who seek Him (e.g. Heb 11:6). Then, we can conclude that the element that must be always present, in anyone trying to meet  and know God, is curiosity. If we could only transmit some degree of curiosity about God and His Word to nonbelievers then we would have a seed planted in their hearts, and they would try to find a way to water that seed of curiosity. And of course, curiosity about the Bible can only be placated by studying the Word of God.

descargaIn so doing, we always need the appropriate tools, and study Bibles are, perhaps, one of the most helpful resources we can acquire for our personal or group study. The NIV Faithlife Study Bible (Zondervan, 2017) is called to become one of the most appreciated and valuable study Bible in the following decades, and there are multiple reasons for that. Firs, this Bible offers thorough notes and commentaries in every chapter. These notes are always helpful to understand passages that are not always clear to us. They are abundant, illuminating and constructive. Every book in this Bible is preceded by an introduction that helps readers to put the book in perspective and context. Introductions are in some cases accompanied by timelines.

Secondly, the NIV Faithlife Study Bible is full with tables, charts, and images that can help anyone to better understand what is being said in a given passage. Figures and other graphic resources can be extremely helpful for our personal study. These resources are in full color, which is always appreciated as it makes study time refreshing and vivid. If you are a visual learner, you will love this Bible.

Thirdly, this new study Bible can be of great help for both experienced Christians and new believers, or even to nonbelievers seeking to feed their curiosity. When I first opened this Bible and started to explore it, I had the feeling that, as a pastor, this is going to be a Bible I will always have at hand. But I also noticed this Bible can be extremely helpful for new Christians who are establishing the basis for their faith and growing in their knowledge of the Scripture.

This Bible is available in hardcover edition, imitation leather, and bonded leather. Of course, prices vary depending on the edition you chose.

Summarizing, Zondervan has produced an outstanding Bible, a Bible that, if used as it is intended to be used, will help generations of Christians to grow in our personal lives and feed our curiosity about the Word of God. Highly recommendable to any Christian at any stage of their Christian life. Congratulations, Zondervan, and thank you for providing us with such a comprehensive Bible.

Here are some additional resources that will help you to get to know this Bible in depth:

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

February 2017 Biblical Studies Carnival

Pursuing Veritas

february-2017-bscWelcome to the February 2017 Biblical Studies Carnival!

Assembled below are the very best articles written this past month from around the Biblioblogging world.  I know this firsthand because I have spent all month sifting through as many blogs as possible to find the finest that scholars and students have to offer. This month’s carnival includes submissions from the categories of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, New Testament, Early Christianity, Reading Phil Long (an homage to the Godfather of Biblical Studies Carnivals), Theology and Hermeneutics, Book Reviews, Tools and Resources, and News.

Looking forward to future Carnivals, March will be hosted by Jonathan Robinson and April by Joshua Gillies of Theologians, Inc. (@Whitefrozen). Cassandra Farrin (email) of Ethics and Early Christianity hosts in June, Reuben Rus of Ayuda Ministerial/ Resources for Ministry hosts in July, and Jason Gardner of eis doxan hosts in August.

You’ll note that this schedule…

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