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Category Archives: Biblical Studies Resources

Hiobs viele Gesichter: Studien zur Komposition, Tradition und frühen Rezeption des Hiobbuches

V&R have just published this:

Die in diesem Band gesammelten Beiträge behandeln die literarische Gattung des Buches Hiob, seine zentralen anthropologischen und theologischen Themen, wie das Verhältnis von Gerechtigkeit, Leid und Zeit, sowie die frühe Rezeptionsgeschichte. Die Stellung des Buches Hiob im Kontext antiker und vorderorientalische Theodizeedichtungen und sein Ort in der biblischen Literatur- und Theologiegeschichte kommen dabei ebenso zu Wort wie die Buchgestalten der frühen griechischen, aramäischen, syrischen und lateinischen übersetzungen. Alle Aufsätze verbindet, dass sie die vielfältigen Gesichter, die Hiob im Laufe der Komposition, Redaktion und frühen Rezeption erhalten hat, zum Strahlen zu bringen versuchen. Ein Schwerpunkt liegt auf den antiken und spätantiken Versionen des Hiobbuches.

Denn in ihnen setzt sich die Vielfalt der Profilierung der Figur Hiobs, die sich schon in der Kompositions- und Redaktionsgeschichte des hebräischen Textes spiegelt, fort. Narrative Leerstellen, die das hebräische Hiobbuch enthält, werden gefüllt. Im Modus einer innerbiblischen Schriftauslegung werden Figuren aus dem Buch ausgestaltet und Hiob selbst in der Geschichte biblischer Gestalten und Geschehen verortet. Die frühe Rezeptionsgeschichte erweist sich dabei als Fortsetzung der Kompositions- und Redaktionsgeschichte, sie lösst im Ausgangstext angelegte Erzähl- und Denkstrukturen genauer erkennen, reflektiert frühe Aneignungsgeschichten und trägt selbst zu einem tieferen Verstehen des Hiobbuches bei.

A review copy has been sent along by V&R.  I’t’s the perfect collection of essays for a busy three weeks because it can be read a chapter at a time and needn’t be followed as a continuous narrative.  My review will post tomorrow.

 

Wednesday Book Notes: The Commentary

Everyone needs a commentary on the Bible that they can understand and that answers their questions about the meaning of the text.  So I wrote one for lay people on the whole Bible.

The set runs $75.  This very low cost has been decided upon because I’m very keen to make it accessible to a lay audience.  At $75 it’s less than any other commentary on the entire Bible, so a bargain indeed.   Listen to Prof Dr Ralph Keen- ‘$75 is a mere fraction of its true value!’

So if you or someone you know has wanted to get a copy of the collection in PDF format, you can do so from yours truly for $75 by clicking my PayPal Link.

 

Das erste Buch Mose

Folk may find this to be worth checking out.

Die biblische Urgeschichte bedenkt die Entstehung der Welt und ihrer Ordnung, das Woher des Menschen und die Ursprünge der Kultur. Sie ist Ausdruck für die in antiken Kulturen weitverbreitete und nach dem damaligen naturkundlichen Kenntnisstand durchdeklinierte Grundüberzeugung, dass alles Gegenwärtige und alles Zukünftige sein Wesen im Anfang erhalten hat. In diesem Sinne bietet die biblische Urgeschichte weniger eine Erklärung der Entstehung der Welt, sondern ist in erster Linie ein Versuch, die Erfahrung des Menschen mit sich und seiner Umwelt deutend zu verstehen. Im Zentrum dieses Nachdenkens in beispielhaften Erzählungen, zu denen sich naturkundliche, genealogische und geographische Ausführungen gesellen, steht der Mensch in seinen vielfältigen Beziehungen zum Mitmenschen, zur nichtmenschlichen Schöpfung und zu Gott.

Jan Christian Gertz legt mit seinem Werk eine neue Kommentierung der Urgeschichte vor, deren Erzählungen von Adam und Eva, Kain und Abel, der Arche Noach und dem Turmbau zu Babel wie wenige andere Literaturwerke unser Selbst- und Weltbild geprägt haben. Der Kommentar bietet Lesern und Leserinnen innerhalb wie außerhalb des Faches eine klar verständliche Synthese der bisherigen Forschung und stellt die Urgeschichte in den Kontext der Literaturen des alten Vorderen Orients. Die Neubearbeitung der Kommentierung der biblischen Urgeschichte für das Alte Testament Deutsch folgt derjenigen durch Gerhard von Rad aus dem Jahre 1949, deren letzte Überarbeitung 1972 erschienen ist.

 

The Meanings of Suicide in the Ancient Near East

This essay is very much worth your time.  It’s quite good.

 
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Posted by on 16 Jul 2018 in Biblical Studies Resources

 

A New Volume from the Zurichers Reviewed

Jutta Leonhardt-Balzer in JSNT 39 (p. 103) on Monika Götte‘s Von den Wächtern zu Adam: Frühjüdische Mythen über die Ursprünge des Bösen und ihre frühchristliche Rezeption.

It’s all here.

 
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Posted by on 16 Jul 2018 in Bible, Biblical Studies Resources

 

A Good Essay by Kloppenborg

Here.

 
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Posted by on 14 Jul 2018 in Biblical Studies Resources

 

The Book of Jeremiah: Composition, Reception, and Interpretation

Written by leading experts in the fieldThe Book of Jeremiah: Composition, Reception, and Interpretation offers a wide-ranging treatment of the main aspects of Jeremiah. Its twenty-four essays fall under four main sections. The first section contains studies of a more general nature, and helps situate Jeremiah in the scribal culture of the ancient world, as well as in relation to the Torah and the Hebrew Prophets. The second section contains commentary on and interpretation of specific passages (or sections) of Jeremiah, as well as essays on its genres and themes. The third section contains essays on the textual history and reception of Jeremiah in Judaism and Christianity. The final section explores various theological aspects of the book of Jeremiah.

 
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Posted by on 12 Jul 2018 in Bible, Biblical Studies Resources, Books

 

Engaging Torah: Modern Perspectives on the Hebrew Bible

You lot may be interested in this new work

In this volume of essays, eminent Jewish scholars from around the world present introductions to the different parts of the Bible for the wider public. The essays encompass a general introduction to the Torah in Jewish life, and include specific essays on each of the Five Books of Moses, as well as on the Haftarot, Neviim, and Ketuvim. The contributions provide an overview of the core content of each book as well as highlight central themes and the reception and relevance of these themes in Jewish life and culture past and present. These essays, informed by and based on the profound academic research of their authors, together provide an invaluable bridge between high-level academic insight and the study of the Bible both in synagogues and in homes.

ISD has sent a review copy.

In this collection of essays (of 117 pages) Panken (who writes the Preface) and Homolka (who authors the Introduction) allow cutting edge scholars to contribute cutting edge scholarship from a strictly Jewish perspective on the Torah and Prophets and Writings and various Jewish texts in addition.  To wit

  • The Torah in Jewish Life from the Nineteenth Century Until Today (Tamara Cohh Eskenazi)
  • Introduction to Genesis (Ziony Zevit)
  • Introduction to Exodus (David Aaron)
  • Introduction to Leviticus (Alan Cooper)
  • Introduction to Numbers (Jacob Wright)
  • Introduction to Deuteronomy (Bernard Levinson)
  • Introduction to the Haftarot (Lawrence Hoffman)
  • Introduction to Nevi’im (Marc Zvi Brettler)
  • Introduction to Ketuvim (Deborah Kahn-Harris)

None of the chapters are very long.  All are quite compact.  All are quite well written.  Eskenazi’s essay is perfect in its presentation of the historical situation of Jewish interpretation of the Bible.  She manages to provide more insight in 11 pages than many scholars manage in a 500 page monograph and her style is simply delightful.  Each of the books of Torah are introduced individually and then the Prophets and the Writings are approached quite broadly.  Overly broadly really, because reading through those chapters one is left with a feeling of ‘being cheated’.  That is, we get such good material we want more!

Each chapter, naturally, could be and has been fully addressed in thousands of volumes but the present work describes its subject with the intention of simply engaging the texts at hand.  That engagement is like a rock skipping along the surface of a lake- just touching the smallest spots and finally sinking out of sight with the great bulk of the lake left undisturbed.

And this is the point at which I think it’s worth saying that Christian exegetes and interpreters should make reading this volume a priority.  We are so used to reading Torah and Prophets and Writings with a pair of Christian glasses on our noses that it is, literally, imperative that we take them off and read these Jewish texts through Jewish lenses.  There is so much to learn by doing so.  Indeed, it’s past time for post Reformation Christians to distance themselves from Luther and his notion that the Old Testament is all about Christ and learn to understand the Hebrew Bible on its own terms, without our eisegesis and christocentric misreadings getting in the way.

This is a book by Jewish scholars, published by a Jewish publisher, that needs to be picked up and read by Christians.  I don’t know that the editors, authors, and publisher had a Christian audience in mind.  I rather, frankly, doubt it.  But this is a book ‘for’ Christians and Christians, again, should read it.

 
 

Der »Kritisch-exegetische Kommentar« in seiner Geschichte: H.A.W. Meyers KEK von seiner Gründung 1829 bis heute

And for the fans of the Commentary genre

 
 

Theologie des Alten Testaments: Religionsgeschichtliche und bibelhermeneutische Perspektiven

This comes out in September:

 
 

The June Biblical Studies Carnival Of Sadness: Dedicated to the Memory of Philip R. Davies

June kicked off with the worst possible news:  Philip Davies, a longtime friend and one of the absolute giants in our field, had died.  I posted a few things on that horrible dayI still miss him.  I always will.  In his honor this month’s Carnival is dedicated to his abiding memory- which, to those of us who knew him both personally and academically, will always be for a blessing.

NBBible and Interpretation has a collection of his essays- just scroll down till you come to it.  It also has an obituary by Thomas Thompson.  Lester Grabbe shares a few thoughts over at the SBL site, and duplicates the same on the EABS site. Deane has a series of video links to Philip talking about various interesting things.  I posted my own reflections about Philip hereAirton Jose de Silva has assembled a listing of the appallingly few posts on Philip’s life and passing.  Most appalling of all, to me, is the fact that the Palestine Exploration Fund, of which Philip has been President for several years, has said absolutely nothing!  It’s disgraceful.

Hebrew Bible/ LXX

Mark Scarlata of St Milletus is interviewed about his new commentary on Exodus.  A bit of happy news in the midst of sadness.  Bill Ross had some things to say about the Septuagint Reader’s Edition- a volume about which I am unnaturally excited.  Perversely excited.  Unduly excited.  Sinfully excited.

Codex Gigas, the ‘Devil’s Bible’, is the subject of this recording.  Give it a listen.

Do you like Assyrian and Babylonian medicine, magic, and divination?  Then here’s a book notice that you’ll particularly enjoy.

Happy news for OT scholars-  now freely available online, Barthélemy’s Critique textuelle de l’ancien Testament.  Yee haw.

They’re having a Symposium on the Septuagint down in Stellenbosch.  Will *The Giant* Ross has all the information including the schedule.

Lester Grabbe has a new book out on science and faith.  Surely it will be of interest to everyone on the sphere. Or at least to some of you.

They talk about Bob Miller’s new book on dragons and other things like that over on a book news blog site.

Second Temple exegesis?  From the perspective of Bar Ilan University?  Now that’s fun.  Way more fun than a visit to the dentist or having a cruel Professor insist that you read something by NT Wright (which in Europe is now classified as cruel and unusual punishment!).

Rafael Frankel has a brief note on Shishak that’s worth a couple of minutes of your time.  Shishak.  Shishak.

Konrad Schmid has written a fantastic piece titled ‘Who Wrote the Torah?‘  Give it your full attention.

Michael Langlois was interviewed by ‘Campus Protestant‘ about the Bible and I’m sad to report that he didn’t mention either me nor The Commentary once.  Meanie pants.

The British Museum is opening a new exhibition on Ashurbanipal and in the run up they have a load of info on their blog.  Be sure to give it a look.

New Testament

LDAB posted a really neat little table of the New Testament books in a list with a link to the oldest manuscript of that book.  Fun times for the text critics.

Crossley on cults.  What fun.

Langlois on Jesus.  What fun.

Walton on gaps.  What, fun?

Porter on metaphor.  What could be more fun (except GB Caird’s work – Language and Imagery of the Bible.)

Some odd stuff from Dan Wallace about that not first century fragment of Mark.  Worth your time if you’re one of the 19 people on the planet who care about 2nd century fragments that provide zero new information.

Young Dr Professor James Crossley, an up and coming academic superstar, gave a lecture on cults, martyrs and something else.  Give it a watch. Oh, and speaking of cults…

And Chris Tilling (who seems to have lost what remained of his hair) gave a lecture on Paul.  I didn’t watch it- but you may want to.  I’m suffering #PaulFatigue.  So many saying so little about the most uninteresting of all the New Testament writers.  Let’s get to work on John, or Peter, shall we ladies?

As SBL approaches, people are beginning to announce their paper deliveries.  Here’s one: Staging Bíos: A Diegetic and Mimetic Analysis of Speech in the Gospels within the Biographical Tradition.  Helloooooo, book hall!

And the BIG news in the New Testament world in June???   Settle back, take a sip of your favorite beverage (non alcoholic), and buckle up… for…. Chris…. Tilling…. actually…. blogged!!!!! Sure, it’s a totally uninteresting post but do you realize that it was 1998 when last then young Mr Doctor Professor Tilling blogged? It’s a miracle!

Archaeology/ Dead Sea Scrolls

Ever want or need help finding the DSS caves whilst visiting Qumran? Fret no more.  Ever want to find out about a fake bit of archaeological fakery?  Well once again, you can.

Here’s something fun for the Qumranophiles.

Sidnie Crawford White gave a super lecture on the Scrolls.  Brother Deane has it.

They found a trinket which supposedly represents the head of a ‘biblical’ King (and of course some ‘scholars’ are even asserting that it’s this or that king, thus ‘proving’ the Bible yet again via archaeological discoveries).  So I had a thought or two about it.

There’s just so much shadiness around the acquisition and publication of putative ancient manuscripts.  Lots of people will have lots to answer for.

The Museum of the Bible is in the press again for its funding of an illegal dig in the West Bank.  Because it’s a day with a name ending in ‘y’.  At some point the MOTB is going to need to pay for all the free publicity its getting and all the animus the progs are hurling at it which only serves to motivate conservative Christians to visit and support the museum.  Every attack results in financial gain for both the Greens and their enterprises.

You are granted free access to various issues of DSD- till August 16.  Take a look.

Books

The people who produce BibleWorks bible software emailed users on the 1st of June to announce that the business was closing down.  So that’s a bummer.  Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a great Bible software package that’s actually free you need to take a look at S.T.E.P.  I have my students each semester get it.

Tavis B. thought about a book this month.  Something abut apocalypticism

The Zurichers have added a new section to their New Testament blog titled ‘Book Reviews’.  This month includes two new one. Prof. Andreas Lindemann in the „Theologische Rundschau“ (82/3) on Jordash Kiffiak’s Responses in the Miracle Stories of the Gospels: Between Artistry and Inherited Tradition, and Prof. Dietrich-Alex Koch in the „Theologische Literaturzeitung“ (143/68) on Christoph Heilig’s Paul’s Triumph: Reassessing 2 Corinthians 2:14 in Its Literary and Historical Context.  Enjoy.

Don’t miss this: the T&T Clark Companion to the Dead Sea Scrolls comes out in July!  Charlotte Hempel is a great scholar and her clearheadedness is sure to guarantee the usefulness of this work.

Ugh.  A podcast on a book.  Why, O Lord…  Let me just go ahead and say this- podcasts are the invention of the Antichrist.  Just say no to podcasting.  Go ahead, make recordings of things and even videos.  But for the love of all that’s holy stop being so bloody pretentious.  Otherwise…

Phil Long reviewed some book about some Church Father thingy.  Come on, people, only Jerome among the Fathers is worth knowing.

A fascinating review about a fascinating book about early Christians and censorship is posted here.  Wow!  Now that’s how you review a book.  And, by the same reviewer (a true gift to the guild that one) is a review of a new commentary on Proverbs.  There’s also a fine review of Paul Middleton’s book on Revelation that is must reading.

Interested in Franz Delitzsch?  Well this new book on his life and work is worth your time.  And if you’re a student of the book of Job- well this one’s going to be right up your alley.

Interested in the Bible and Archaeology?  Well then this book by Matthieu Richelle will be right up your excavation.

Miscellaneous

Oxford celebrated John Barton’s 70th birthday.  John is a superstar.  I wish I could have been there.

Sidnie White Crawford visited the Museum of the Bible.  Give her review of it a look.

Well the much ballyhooed ‘Mark Fragment’ didn’t go away in June (like it should have).  Instead, there were more claims made about the thing – to be precise, about its editor...

Don’t skip Richard Goode’s discussion of migrants, refugees, and the Bible.  It’s from a couple of years ago but it’s worth mentioning again in these troubled times.

Hmmm… Here’s a post on Trump, Socrates, and the Bible….  What could go wrong?

Not in the ‘biblical studies’ realm but surely of interest to most will be Diarmaid MacCulloch’s lectures on Cromwell.  Do. Not. Miss it.

James McGrath pointed out a conference for those interested in Syriac textual criticism.

Some guy with a code name asks if the Bible is understandable, and then talks about Wayne Grudem…

And finally- the Biblioblog Top 50 is back in town! Guess who tops the list… That’s right!  And all the Carnivals are listed here.

 

A New Book by Lester Grabbe

Published by Eerdmans.  It looks very, very interesting.

 
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Posted by on 25 Jun 2018 in Biblical Studies Resources, Books

 

Who Wrote the Torah?

Excise yourself from the misery of American politics and wickedness (they’re synonyms) and enjoy this fine essay by the superb Konrad Schmid.

 
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Posted by on 19 Jun 2018 in Bible, Biblical Studies Resources

 

Crossley on Cults

 
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Posted by on 18 Jun 2018 in Biblical Studies Resources

 

New Things from Avraham Faust

The Southern Levant Under Assyrian Domination, edited by Shawn Zelig Aster and Avraham Faust, and published by Eisenbrauns (an imprint of the Pennsylvania State University Press).

 
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Posted by on 17 Jun 2018 in Biblical Studies Resources, Books

 

Two Reviews from the Zurichers

Via Christoph Heilig on the Zurich NT Blog facebook page-

Prof. Andreas Lindemann in the „Theologische Rundschau“ (82/3) on Jordash Kiffiak’s „Responses in the Miracle Stories of the Gospels: Between Artistry and Inherited Tradition“:

„Das letzte hier vorzustellende Buch, 2017 erschienen, ist die an der Hebräischen Universität in Jerusalem geschriebene Dissertation von Jordash Kiffiak. … Thema sind die in den Wundererzählungen überlieferten, sehr unterschiedlichen Reaktionen der Menschen auf das geschehene Wunder, traditionell als ‚Chorschluss‘ bezeichnet. K. betont, dass es zu diesem Aspekt der Wundererzählungen in den Evangelien bislang noch keine monographische Studie gegeben hat. … Der sehr umfangreiche Band ist sorgfältig und nachvollziehbar gegliedert. … Man wird bei einem derart umfangreichen, m. E. im besten Sinne als ‚innovativ‘ zu bezeichnenden Werk Fragen und Einwände vorbringen können. Gleichwohl scheint mir die Studie von Jordash Kiffiak im Ansatz und in der sorgfältigen Durchführung der Frage nach der Bedeutung der ‚responses‘ in den Wundererzählungen in ganz besonderer Weise erwähnenswert zu sein.“ (Learn more about the book here: https://www.uzh.ch/…/characters-responses-to-miracles-in-t…/)

Prof. Dietrich-Alex Koch in the „Theologische Literaturzeitung“ (143/68) on Christoph Heilig’s „Paul’s Triumph: Reassessing 2 Corinthians 2:14 in Its Literary and Historical Context“:

„Christoph Heilig legt eine umfassende sprachliche und exegetische Untersuchung zu der [in 2. Kor 2,14] verwendeten Metapher vom Triumphzug vor. Nach einleitenden Ausführungen zu Aufgabenstellung und Vorgehensweise (Chapter 1, 3–24) folgt das grundlegende 2. Kapitel (25–116), in dem der Vf. erstmalig mit Hilfe des TLG eine vollständige Auflistung aller verfügbaren Vorkommen des Verbs θριαμβεύειν bietet (37–51), die er anschließend hinsichtlich der lexikalischen Verwendung analysiert. Damit liefert er für alle künftigen Diskussionen eine stabile Grundlage. … Im 7. Kapitel (241–259) führt der Vf. die bisher gewonnenen Er¬gebnisse zusammen. Er hebt zwei zentrale Elemente der Metapher vom Triumphzug hervor: Das Herumgeführtwerden und das Mo¬ment der Beschämung der Herumgeführten in den Augen der Zuschauer. … Der Vf. hat die Diskussion um die Bedeutung von θριαμβεύειν in 2Kor 2,14 auf eine neue Grundlage gestellt und diese Analyse wagemutig mit einer zugespitzten These verknüpft. Auch wenn man dieser These nicht zu folgen vermag, wird diese Arbeit die künftige Diskussion maßgeblich bestimmen.”
(Learn more about the book here: https://www.uzh.ch/bl…/theologie-nt/2017/…/02/pauls-triumph/)

 
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Posted by on 15 Jun 2018 in Biblical Studies Resources, Books

 

Studien zu Jesus und dem frühen Christentum

Ulrich B. Müller’s work is distinguished above all by his profound knowledge of early Jewish and ancient Christian prophecy and apocalypticism. This compilation of essays written between 2004 and 2014 by the New Testament scholar is published in honor of his 80th birthday. The first part includes studies on the historical Jesus and his self-understanding, followed by essays on the theological lines of development of early Christianity.

 
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Posted by on 14 Jun 2018 in Bible, Biblical Studies Resources, Books

 

A Guest Post by Rafael Frankel: “Shishak and the United Kingdom”

Shishak and the United Kingdom – A note Rafael Frankel

In the numerous recent discussions as to the character of the United Kingdom ( e.g. Finkelstein and Silberman 2006) the full significance of one phrase in the Biblical description of Shishak’s military campaign in the Southern Levant has been underestimated. The importance of Shishak’s campaign (campaigns?) that appears both in the Bible (1 Kings 14 25-26; 2 Chronicles 12 2-12 see also 1 Kings 11 40) and in the famous relief in the temple of Amun at Karnak that contains the names of about 180 places that he captured (Aharoni 1967: 285-290-) has been stressed and analyzed frequently (e.g. Bright 1960:213-215; Finkelstein & Silberman 2002:161-162, 231- 232; 2006: 71-81 ) especially as it is the earliest event in the Bible to be referred to in an extra Biblical source However the phrase:-” and he took away the treasures of the house of the Lord —and he took away the shields of gold which Solomon had made, and King Rehoboam made in their stead bronze shields” (1 Kings 14 25-26,see also 2 Chronicles 12-9-10 ) could almost certainly only have derived from the archives of the temple and if that is so it shows that in the fifth year of Rehoboam’s reign there was a temple in Jerusalem with an archive. This not only confirms that Solomon built the temple but shows that this temple was significant enough to have an archive and that there was a royal regime in Jerusalem important enough and strong enough to build such a temple.

Bibliography

  • Aharoni, Y. 1967 The Land of the Bible A Historical Geography London: Burns & Oates
  • Bright, J. 1960,A History of Israel London SCM Press
  • Finkelstein.I & Silberman. N.A.2002 The Bible Unearthed Archaeoogy’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of its Sacred Text. New York etc. Free Press
  • Finkelstein I. & Silberman, N.A. 2006 David and Solomon In Search of the Bible’s Sacred Kings and the Roots of the Western Tradition , New York etc.: Free Press.
 
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Posted by on 13 Jun 2018 in Biblical Studies Resources

 

Will Ross Talks About the ‘Septuagint Reader’s Edition’

Over at our blog Septuaginta, I put together some information about what vocabulary we provided in the apparatus of our reader’s edition. Plus if you stick with it you’ll find a sample text from Exodus at the bottom of the post.

Via.

 
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Posted by on 11 Jun 2018 in Bible, Biblical Studies Resources, Books, LXX

 

Deepen Your Understanding of the Bible

The ‘Person in the Pew’ commentary series is the only series of Commentaries written by a single person on the entire Bible and aimed at layfolk in modern history.

the-person-the-pew-commentary-series

The books are all available in PDF format from the author for $199 by clicking my PayPal Link.  It’s a good commentary. But don’t take my word for it:

***

The commentary on the Bible by Jim West, a theologian who is lecturer in Biblical and Reformation Studies at Ming Hua Theological College in Hong Kong and is also Pastor of a Baptist Church in Petros, Tennessee, explains every chapter from Genesis to Revelation to “the person in the pew”: the ordinary member of a church, who, when reading the Bible, encounters a desperately foreign culture and therefore needs some guidance to understand it.

West’s approach is straightforward: he offers the Bible in a translation (American Standard Version) and interrupts the narrative every now and then to explain a couple of verses. His comments are aimed “at English speaking and reading members of the community of faith”: in other words, he makes the ancient texts accessible for believers.

As a pastor, West has an additional task: he needs to present the text in such a way that the faithful can use the Bible as a guideline. As I said, West’s approach is straightforward. The fact that he succeeds is encouraging for everyone who thinks that the study of ancient texts is meaningful.

I am no theologian and cannot judge the theological merits, but I can say that it is a pleasant read. I am currently reading a text I know quite well, Daniel, and West has pointed out many aspects I had not recognized before. The PDFs of West’s Commentary for the Person in the Pew are on my tablet, allowing me to go through the entire Bible when my train is delayed or has been cancelled. Given the quality of Dutch public transport I expect to have renewed my encounter with the Bible within a few months. – Jona Lendering

 
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Posted by on 9 Jun 2018 in Biblical Studies Resources