Daily Archives: 13 Oct 2018


Smooth lips with an evil heart are like glaze on an earthen vessel.  A hateful person disguises himself with his speech and harbors deceit within.  When he speaks graciously, don’t believe him, for there are seven detestable things in his heart.  Though his hatred is concealed by deception, his evil will be revealed in the assembly.  The one who digs a pit will fall into it, and whoever rolls a stone– it will come back on him.  A lying tongue hates those it crushes, and a flattering mouth causes ruin. (Prov. 26:23-28)

OK, Someone Needs to Get Me This Book… TODAY!


A novel about Barth’s wife and his love interest…  I NEED THIS BOOK!

Total Depravity: The Tale of Kids Standing on a Fire Hose to Choke off the Water…

Evil.  That’s the word that describes these miscreants.  They aren’t mislead, or misguided, or rambunctious.  They’re evil.

Firefighters tackling a blaze in Middlesbrough came under attack from youngsters who threw wood and stood on hoses to prevent the flow of water. Youths also opened the rear doors of fire engines to try to remove life-saving equipment, Cleveland Fire Brigade said. It happened as crews were trying to put out a rubbish blaze in the Fransham Road area of the town.

The youngsters also tried to start another fire nearby, the brigade said. Davey Howe, of the Fire Brigades Union, said youngsters see such attacks as being “almost like a game”. CCTV footage of the trouble, which happened on Thursday evening, has been passed to police. It was the latest in a number of incidents over recent days – one of which saw between 30 and 40 youngsters at the scene, according to the brigade.


“Introducing the Old Testament”

In this up-to-date, student-friendly text, Robert Hubbard and J. Andrew Dearman bring decades of scholarly study and classroom experience to bear as they introduce readers to the context, composition, and message of the Old Testament.

Each chapter orients readers to the Old Testament book or books under consideration, outlining historical and cultural back­ground, literary features, main characters, and structure. Throughout these discussions—of the Torah, the historical books, the prophets, and the poetry—Hubbard and Dearman also identify and trace key theological themes.

Replete with maps, illustrations, sidebars, discussion questions, and suggestions for further reading, Introducing the Old Testament will equip students to read, wrestle with, and personally engage these ancient sacred texts.

Read the Eerdword blog post “10 Reasons You Need Introducing the Old Testament in Your Classroom”

Thanks to Eerdmans for the review copy.

The volume is comprised of 6 parts: Getting Started; The Torah; The Historical Books; The Prophets; The Poetry; Conclusion.  It also contains a glossary, table of Hebrew transliterations, subject index, and a Scripture and other ancient sources index.  Festooning the chapters are additional tables, diagrams, maps, and timelines.  In sum, it is a textbook.  A textbook suited for undergrad courses on the Old Testament and graduate courses as one of several texts that should be assigned reading.  To say that another way, if you are teaching a college intro course on OT, you should consider using it as the primary text (along with the Bible, of course).  But if you are teaching a graduate course on the Old Testament you should use it in conjunction with other textbooks (along with the Bible, of course).

I say that because the present volume is very accessible and though it covers everything, it doesn’t cover anything in depth.  And to be fair to it, it doesn’t intend to.  Graduate courses, on the other hand, should be more intensive and more thorough than undergrad courses.  There is, it seems to me, no point in making graduate courses too simple.  Students at the graduate level should be challenged and they should be reading a lot of material.  A lot.

With that said, this is a wonderfully written and illustrated textbook.  It discusses all the key questions and offers instructors specific questions to ask their students at the end of each chapter.  Bibliographies too are very up to date.

I do have to ‘brag’ a bit about Chapter 20.  Here our authors discuss the very complex subject of Hebrew Poetry and they do it in a sensible and clear way.  It is, I have to suggest, the best brief coverage of the topic I’ve yet read.  From asking ‘what is poetry’ to discussing the differences between English and Hebrew poetry, to a description of parallelism and on to the use of Poetry in the Hebrew Bible, our authors are precise and genuinely instructive.  This chapter is a model of handling the subject.

When it comes to historical discussions the authors come out on the relatively conservative side of things; but they are clearly not fundamentalists.  They make use of the likes of Finkelstein and Grabbe and Knauf but they also make use of the likes of Kitchen and Provan and Ussher (!).  This will displease both Minimalists and Maximalists.

The book will hold the attention of students and it will introduce them to the subject in a fair and helpful way.  I can happily recommend it.  And I will be using it in my own Intro course when next I teach it.

Chalamet Reviews ‘The Early Karl Barth’

Over at ‘Reading Religion‘.  Give it a read.   My own review is posted here.

Dear Evangelicals, Get Yourselves a Bible…

And read this part of it-

Do not trust in nobles, in a son of man, who cannot save. (Ps. 146:3)

And then remember that your politician can’t save you, or the country.  And then stop acting like they, and their court appointments, can.