Which one? Well I’m glad you asked. You can get the PDF edition of the entire series for a shockingly low $75. The books are all available by clicking my PayPal Link. When you send your payment include your email address please and the books will be sent along quite quickly. It’s a very good series if I do say so. Aimed at layfolk and general readers, it is the only modern commentary on the entire Bible by a single author.
The best commentaries. – Kevin Wilkinson, Singapore
I’m hosting the January 2021 Biblical Studies Carnival (posting 1 February).
Here are the categories I’ll fill out (with your kind assistance):
Hebrew Bible/ Old Testament- The Bible of Jesus and the Early Church
New Testament- With Scant Mention of Paul Because He Gets Too Much Mention as it Is
Archaeology and Such Things
Books- Because Little Else Matters
Miscellaneous- Or, Stuff That Doesn’t Really Fit in The Main Categories
So if you see something, say something! And thanks in advance.
Paul had decided to pass wide of Ephesus so as to avoid spending time in Asia, since he was anxious to be in Jerusalem, if possible, for the day of Pentecost. From Miletus he sent for the elders of the church of Ephesus. When they arrived he addressed these words to them:
‘You know what my way of life has been ever since the first day I set foot among you in Asia, how I have served the Lord in all humility, with all the sorrows and trials that came to me through the plots of the Jews. I have not hesitated to do anything that would be helpful to you; I have preached to you and instructed you both in public and in your homes, urging both Jews and Greeks to turn to God and to believe in our Lord Jesus.
‘And now you see me on my way to Jerusalem in captivity to the Spirit; I have no idea what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit, in town after town, has made it clear to me that imprisonment and persecution await me. But I do not place any value on my own life, provided that I complete the mission the Lord Jesus gave me — to bear witness to the good news of God’s grace. ‘I now feel sure that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will ever see my face again. And so on this very day I swear that my conscience is clear as far as all of you are concerned, for I have without faltering put before you the whole of God’s purpose.
‘Be on your guard for yourselves and for all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you the guardians, to feed the Church of God which he bought with the blood of his own Son. ‘I know quite well that when I have gone fierce wolves will invade you and will have no mercy on the flock. Even from your own ranks there will be men coming forward with a travesty of the truth on their lips to induce the disciples to follow them. So be on your guard, remembering how night and day for three years I never slackened in counselling each one of you with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace that has power to build you up and to give you your inheritance among all the sanctified. (Acts 20:16-32)
And why you shouldn’t take them at their word uncritically:
My dear friends, not every spirit is to be trusted, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets are at large in the world. (1 Jn. 4:1)
Blessed are those who will have washed their robes clean, so that they will have the right to feed on the tree of life and can come through the gates into the city. Others must stay outside: those who live like animals, fortune-tellers, and the sexually immoral, murderers, idolaters, and everyone of false speech and false life’ [are not allowed into the heavenly Jerusalem](Rev. 22:14-15)
You deceived me, LORD, and I was deceived. You seized me and prevailed. I am a laughingstock all the time; everyone ridicules me. For whenever I speak, I cry out, I proclaim, “Violence and destruction!” because the word of the LORD has become for me constant disgrace and derision.
If I say, “I won’t mention Him or speak any longer in His name,” His message becomes a fire burning in my heart, shut up in my bones. I become tired of holding it in, and I cannot prevail. For I have heard the gossip of many people, “Terror is on every side! Report him; let’s report him!” Everyone I trusted watches for my fall. “Perhaps he will be deceived so that we might prevail against him and take our vengeance on him.”
But the LORD is with me like a violent warrior. Therefore, my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. Since they have not succeeded, they will be utterly shamed, an everlasting humiliation that will never be forgotten. LORD of Hosts, testing the righteous and seeing the heart and mind, let me see Your vengeance on them, for I have presented my case to You. (Jer. 20:7-12)
As David lie dying he charged his son Solomon to bring deathly vengeance to an old enemy-
There is also with you Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, who cursed me with a terrible curse on the day when I went to Mahanaim; but when he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the Lord, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’ Therefore do not hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man; you will know what you ought to do to him, and you must bring his gray head down with blood to Sheol.”
‘I won’t kill you’, David promised Shimei…. but Solomon, you must. David’s last word wasn’t a prayer of confession or a word of praise- it was a vindictive vengeful charge to his son.
That’s what the Deuteronomist thought of David. Because right after David uttered these words, the Deuteronomist reports that he died.
The Deuteronomist despised David as much as David despised Shimei…
Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword”. – Mt 26:52
Yahweh, do not grant the wicked their wishes, do not let their plots succeed. Do not let attackers prevail, but let them be overwhelmed by their own malice. May red-hot embers rain down on them, may they be flung into the mire once and for all. May the slanderer find no rest anywhere, may evil hunt down violent men implacably. (Ps. 140:8-11)
From heaven Yahweh looks down, he sees all the children of Adam, from the place where he sits he watches all who dwell on the earth; he alone moulds their hearts, he understands all they do. A large army will not keep a king safe, nor his strength save a warrior’s life; it is delusion to rely on a horse for safety, for all its power it cannot save.
But see how Yahweh watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his faithful love, to rescue them from death and keep them alive in famine. We are waiting for Yahweh; he is our help and our shield, for in him our heart rejoices, in his holy name we trust. Yahweh, let your faithful love rest on us, as our hope has rested in you. (Ps. 33:13-22)
There are three sorts of people my soul hates, and whose existence I consider an outrage: the poor swollen with pride, the rich who is a liar and an adulterous old man who has no sense. (Sir. 25:2)
The adoration of the golden statue, and the three in the furnace being protected from the flames by an angel. BL Add 11695; Jerome, Commentary on Daniel; Spain, N.; f.229r – via @BLMedieval
In love there is no room for fear, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear implies punishment and no one who is afraid has come to perfection in love. Let us love, then, because he first loved us. Anyone who says ‘I love God’ and hates his brother, is a liar, since whoever does not love the brother whom he can see cannot love God whom he has not seen. Indeed this is the commandment we have received from him, that whoever loves God, must also love his brother. (1 Jn. 4:18-21)
Knowing what was in their minds he said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is heading for ruin; and no town, no household divided against itself can last. (Matt. 12:25)
They are under a curse. (2 Pet. 2:14)
An evildoer pays attention to guilty lips; a liar listens to a destructive tongue. (Prov. 17:4)
Evil men do not understand justice, But those who seek the LORD understand all. Better is the poor who walks in his integrity Than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich. (Prov. 28:5-6)
I do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. (Eph. 1:16-23)
When you gain a friend, gain him through testing, and do not trust him hastily. For there is a friend who is such at his own convenience, but will not stand by you in your day of trouble. And there is a friend who changes into an enemy, and will disclose a quarrel to your disgrace. And there is a friend who is a table companion, but will not stand by you in your day of trouble. (Sir. 6:7-10)
With friend or foe do not report it, and unless it would be a sin for you, do not disclose it; for some one has heard you and watched you, and when the time comes he will hate you. (Sir. 19:8-9)
Every friend will say, “I too am a friend”; but some friends are friends only in name. Is it not a grief to the death when a companion and friend turns to enmity? (Sir. 37:1-2)
And in each instance, he is correct. Many who call themselves friends really aren’t and though it’s sad it’s best not to open your heart to any but family, because even those you think friends will betray you and, accordingly, wound you.
What more shall I say? There is not time for me to give an account of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, or of David, Samuel and the prophets. These were men who through faith conquered kingdoms, did what was upright and earned the promises. They could keep a lion’s mouth shut, put out blazing fires and emerge unscathed from battle. They were weak people who were given strength to be brave in war and drive back foreign invaders. Some returned to their wives from the dead by resurrection; and others submitted to torture, refusing release so that they would rise again to a better life. Some had to bear being pilloried and flogged, or even chained up in prison. They were stoned, or sawn in half, or killed by the sword; they were homeless, and wore only the skins of sheep and goats; they were in want and hardship, and maltreated. They were too good for the world and they wandered in deserts and mountains and in caves and ravines. — (Heb. 11:32-38)