Books

Women in the Bible, Qumran and Early Rabbinic Literature

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You can read this Brill volume, just published, for free.  Here.  No kidding, for free.

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The Time Is Near (For You to Order my Commentary!)

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You can acquire my commentary, subtitled ‘For the Person in the Pew’ covering nearly every book of the Bible in either print format from Quartz Hill Publishing House or in electronic format from Logos Bible Software.

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Come on, order it from Logos. Come on, do it! DO IT! Not only will God bless you, but you will receive $10,000,000 in cash from a Nigerian lottery within three hours of ordering!

Or

Come on, order it! (You can always cancel the order just before it ships!!!)(Logos won’t like that option though).

Or

Come on, order it! When you do you’ll make Mark Driscoll cry because not a single atom is plagiarized (footnotes and bibliography are all duly included).

Or

The Pope says ‘I LOVE this commentary! Anyone who buys a copy will automatically have their grandmother sprung from purgatory!’*

Or

Please order it so that Joel Watts will suffer a horrible illness.

Or

Just Do It!**

Or

“I have never in my life read something that was simultaneously stimulating and depressing as the Commentary by Jim West. And he’s not done yet!”***

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*Pope Leo X.
**Pope Pius XII.
***Antonio Lombatti

The Jesus Movement and Its Expansion: Meaning and Mission

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freyneEerdmans have sent a copy of Freyne’s latest (and last)-

In this book Seán Freyne explores the rise and expansion of early Christianity within the context of the Greco-Roman world — the living, dynamic matrix of Jesus and his followers. In addition to offering fresh insights into Jesus’ Jewish upbringing and the possible impact of Greco-Roman lifestyles on him and his followers, Freyne delves into the mission and expansion of the Jesus movement in Palestine and beyond during the first hundred years of its development.

To give readers a full picture of the context in which the Jesus movement developed, Freyne includes pictures, maps, and timelines throughout the book. Freyne’s interdisciplinary approach, combining historical, archaeological, and literary methods, makes The Jesus Movement and Its Expansion both comprehensive and accessible.

The book presently under consideration combines decades of learning and research into a readable and accessible fitting ‘final work’ by one of the best New Testament historians of recent times.  Freyne, well known among members of the guild of biblical studies, may not be a ‘household name’, but his work is better than many of those who are better known.  He is (was) a skillful communicator who never sacrificed accuracy.

In this book F., in eight chapters, leads readers into the world of Jesus and the early church.  Chapter one investigates the  Galilee.  That is, F. discusses the influence of Hellenism and the influence of Judaism on Jesus’ homeland.  Chapter two then turns to the influence of Rome and Roman culture on the world of Jesus.  Chapter three is a more generalized examination of Palestinians society and its economy.  The fourth chapter is, in my view, the core of the volume.  In it F. describes the Sitz im Leben of Jesus in terms of his birth and infancy, his role, his ‘Messianic deeds’, his teachings, and his execution.

In the fifth chapter F. turns to the spread of the Jesus movement in Jerusalem and outwards.  In the sixth, and seventh F. discusses the expansion of the Jesus movement as discoverable in the ‘Sayings Source’ and ‘Q’ and the Gospels of Mark and Matthew.

The final chapter is devoted to a treatment of the expansion of the Jesus movement into the second century and the highlight of the chapter is Freyne’s “Christian Heresies and the Response of Orthodoxy” which concludes the volume.  An epilogue draws all the threads of Freyne’s historical tapestry together and he offers a list of suggested readings, never, thankfully, mentioning anything by NT Wright (whom he completely ignores throughout the entire volume- not mentioning him so much as once).

This book is tremendously useful and if it lacks anything it lacks girth.  Freyne is so exceptionally readable that I simply wish he had written more (both in the present work and that he had lived longer to contribute more to our field).

There is so much here that merits readers’ attention that the book can only be heartily recommended.  After Merz and Thiessen, it is the most outstanding contribution to the genre of investigations into the early history of the Jesus movement yet written.

Initiation into the Mysteries of the Ancient World

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A new volume from De Gruyter-

9783110299557The ancient Mysteries have long attracted the interest of scholars, an interest that goes back at least to the time of the Reformation. After a period of interest around the turn of the twentieth century, recent decades have seen an important study of Walter Burkert (1987). Yet his thematic approach makes it hard to see how the actual initiation into the Mysteries took place. To do precisely that is the aim of this book. It gives a ‘thick description’ of the major Mysteries, not only of the famous Eleusinian Mysteries, but also those located at the interface of Greece and Anatolia: the Mysteries of Samothrace, Imbros and Lemnos as well as those of the Corybants. It then proceeds to look at the Orphic-Bacchic Mysteries, which have become increasingly better understood due to the many discoveries of new texts in the recent times. Having looked at classical Greece we move on to the Roman Empire, where we study not only the lesser Mysteries, which we know especially from Pausanias, but also the new ones of Isis and Mithras. We conclude our book with a discussion of the possible influence of the Mysteries on emerging Christianity. Its detailed references and up-to-date bibliography will make this book indispensable for any scholar interested in the Mysteries and ancient religion, but also for those scholars who work on initiation or esoteric rituals, which were often inspired by the ancient Mysteries.

Mauro Pesce has posted the table of contents.

Das Reformatorenlexikon

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reformatorenlexikonSaw this.  Looks neat.  Have to read it.

OK People, You Know How Much I Hate ‘Self-Promotion’

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So it literally pains me to do this.  Nonetheless, Logos tells me that I need to…  because my awful friends won’t.  Awful people that they are… wretched sinners who can only escape the torture of hell by sharing, reblogging, reposting, retweeting, AND re-facebooking this.

Logos wants you to pre-order the Commentary.  So here’s how you can do it- step by step-

Step one- click on the tab above-

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Step two- click on the Logos link-

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Step three- click on pre-order-

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Or click on quick buy.  Otherwise, Logos will have me killed.  Yes, literally, killed.

Heinrich Bullinger Werke: Kommentare zu den neutestamentlichen Briefen (Bd 7)

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9783290177348Im Geist der Reformation verstand Heinrich Bullinger Theologie in erster Linie als Auslegung der Heiligen Schrift. Mit diesem Band – dem siebtem in der Reihe seiner Theologischen Schriften – wird die Edition seiner Kommentare zu den neutestamentlichen Briefen fortgesetzt. Darin enthalten sind die Auslegungen zu den Briefen an die Galater, Epheser, Philipper und Kolosser.

Die Texte sind anhand der Erstauflage sowie der ersten Gesamtausgabe der Kommentare Bullingers zu den neutestamentlichen Briefen (1537) historisch-kritisch ediert worden. Die Edition wird durch eine Einleitung und insgesamt vier Register (Bibelstellen, Quellen, Personen und Orte) erschlossen.

TVZ have sent a review copy of this new publication.  It’s an unexpected and most welcome blessing.

A Christian in Toga. Boethius: Interpreter of Antiquity and Christian Theologian

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Claudio Moreschini: »A Christian in Toga. Boethius: Interpreter of Antiquity and Christian Theologian«

The author presents Boethius in the culture of the sixth century in Italy, outlines his great cultural project and discusses the problem of his Christian faith. (More information).

This too has arrived from V&R.  And when I’ve read it I’ll make any observations that are pertinent.

A Heavenly Directory. Trinitarian Piety, Public Worship and a Reassessment of John Owen’s Theology

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Ryan M. McGraw: »A Heavenly Directory. Trinitarian Piety, Public Worship and a Reassessment of John Owen’s Theology«

There is a growing body of historical literature on the importance of John Owen. Ryan M. McGraw seeks to reassess Owen’s theology in light of the way in which he connected his trinitarian piety to his views of public worship. (More information).

V&R have sent a review copy of this volume about which I’ll have more to say in due course.

“If You Call Yourself a Jew”

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Take a look at a demo text of R. Rodriguez’s forthcoming book of the above title.  Sounds good, doesn’t it?