Category Archives: Exegesis

Book Review: Revelation: A Handbook on the Greek Text. Baylor University Press, 2016.

imageMathewson, David L. Revelation: A Handbook on the Greek Text. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2016. 337 pp.

The book of Revelation is one of the most intriguing books in the Bible and the one that arises more curiosity among Christians. Many exegetical commentaries have been written on this book varying from technical to application commentaries. The book we have in front of us today is not a commentary but rather a handbook. Revelation: A Handbook on the Greek Text is a detailed study of the grammar and “problematic issues” (Mathewson, 2016, p. 11) the book of revelation presents. This volume is part of the Baylor Handbook on the New Testament Greek (BHNTG), an initiative promoted by Baylor University Press.

The first thing readers will find inside this book is an introduction to the BHNTG series and the approach adopted in this series, which is deponency. Then the author introduces readers to the book of Revelation by addressing basic issues such as literary genre and style of Revelation, the language and Semitic influence, verbal aspects, and participles. Readers will not find discussions on authorship, audience, date of writing and other elements that are commonly found in commentaries. Mathewson stated, “I have tried as much as possible to avoid commentary on this or that verse or issue” (p. 11). This book does not offer eschatological interpretations on the book of Revelation since that is not the purpose of the book.

The main body of the book offers the text translated into modern English as the result of the analysis and exegesis of the Greek text. The English translation is divided into sections, as if they were pericopes. After the English translation, the author proceeds to disseminate the Greek text by verses in a word-by-word approach. Mathewson does not spend too much time in presenting personal or secondary interpretations on the text. Instead he presents a grammatical and syntactical exposition of the Greek text. That requires readers to have a basic knowledge of Greek and grammar.

Many scholars argue against the study of the Bible in a word-by-word basis. They claim that studying words by isolating them leads interpreters and students to decontextualize the passage. That is totally true. However, the word-by-word approach is justifiable in this work since the nature of this handbook on the Greek text is to help students and interpreters in their personal interpretation. It must be said that neither the editor not the author advocate in favor of this method as if it should be used as the general rule in studying the Bible.

In this handbook, Mathewson demonstrates his knowledge as a seminary professor at Denver Seminary and as an author of many volumes on the book of Revelation. He barely gives his voice so readers can feel they are reading and disseminating the Greek text by themselves. It can be said Mathewson accomplishes the goal as a writer of a handbook on the Greek text; to disseminate the text and inform the reader the place of each word within the text.

Conclusion: This volume is an invaluable resource for Bible students and interpreters as it offers insights on textual problems and their different interpretations. Students who are initiating their journey in the study of the Greek New Testament will find this book an excellent companion, as will do seasoned scholars. Pastors may benefit from this volume as well as expository sermons require a careful study of the biblical text and the interpretation of the passage.  This book will help preachers to carefully present the text to their audience, as this handbook will help them understand the role words play within the verse, and the role verses play within the chapter. Highly recommended for the public mentioned above.I anticipate this book will be in the hands of scholars and students for many decades.

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.

Integrating Exegesis and Exposition: Biblical Communication for Transformative Learning

Integrating-Exegesis-and-Exposition-CoverIntegrating Exegesis and Exposition: Biblical Communication for Transformative Learning

Author: Dr. Christopher Cone

Publisher: Exegetica Publishing & Biblical Resources

Date of publication: April 2015

Pages: 302

Price: $23.00

There are many books in the Christian market that cover exegetical issues and many other that cover biblical exposition. But there are few books in the market that provide readers with a bridge for the gap that exists between the aforementioned disciplines. The book Integrating Exegesis and Exposition: Biblical Communication for Transformative Learning, by Christopher Cone, serves that purpose in an extraordinary way. This is a book that, as its title says, informs readers about the process of integrating exegesis and exposition.

The book is divided in two sections. Section one deals with introductory issues and provides an integrative approach for transformation and replication. Section two provides an overview of the exegetical process and is the prevalent section (by extension) of the book.

Cone’s thesis is that teaching and biblical exposition is not an exclusive responsibility of the pastoral ministry but a ministry every single Christian should perform. He goes back and forth to this idea through the book. Of course he defends the biblical idea that pastors should be capable to teach others, but he argues that this aspect of the pastoral ministry should focus on preparing others to interpret the Bible by themselves. In other words, pastors should lead others toward exegetical independence instead of making dependents. He uses many biblical passages in a very exhaustive way in order to support his point.

The author advocates for an exegesis that is based on a literal grammatical-historical hermeneutical approach. He encourages pastors and Bible students to get familiar with biblical languages and textual criticism in order to be able to understand Scriptures from a deeper perspective.  Cone introduces the seven steps that LGH method requires for exegetical purposes. He presents every single step in an accessible way so even readers who are unfamiliar with these terms can understand. The seven steps section is a great addition to the book and a very useful tool for Bible students.

In section two, Cone begins by developing and expanding the seven steps of LGH method. He adds two points to the seven steps previously discussed. These two additional steps are (8) secondary verification and (9) development of exposition. Then he deals with hermeneutical issues before he begins discussing homiletical and expositional aspects. In this section, Cone presents the seven informal and formal methods for preaching and teaching. The author employs case studies of sermons and visual expositions that help readers to analyze real biblical expositions from different perspectives and approaches.

Cone also covers practical issues such as technology usage for exposition. While the author does not make a fervent defense in favor of technology, he does not censor it. Instead he acknowledges technology as a new tendency that has been growing in recent decades and that can be very useful if used properly by expositors for the purpose of teaching.

Summarizing, Cone’s book is a strong and solid resource that covers a sometimes ignored area as is the integration of exegesis and exposition. Integration is the main focus of this book, and Cone does a brilliant work in providing tools for the purpose of incorporating exegesis into exposition.   This book is extremely recommendable for pastors, lay leaders, seminary students, and Christians in general. I hope seminary professors teaching exegesis and homiletic would consider this book as a required textbook for students. Churches and Christianity in general would benefit from people who are able to learn, practice, and teach the principles enclosed in this book. As a pastor, seminary professor, and defendant of expository preaching, I found this book as one of the most useful books ever; a priceless resource and a treasure that every serious expositor should read.

You can buy it here. You will not regret it.

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.

More info about Dr. Cone

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