Christmas is only a couple weeks away, which means it’s time once again for the best books in Bible and theology published this year. The list is inevitably subjective, and in many cases unsurprising, as certain books commend themselves by their self-evident quality and the scholarly stature of their authors. Needless to say, listing a book doesn’t mean I endorse all of its contents (in some cases, I haven’t even read the entire book yet!). With this in mind, then, are my top 10 books of 2013:
1. William Baird, History of New Testament Research, vol. 3: From C. H. Dodd to Hans Dieter... Read More
In his influential address, “Discourse on the Proper Distinction between Biblical and Dogmatic Theology, and the Right Determination of the Aims of Each,” Johann Philipp Gabler (1753–1826) lodged the programmatic proposal that scholars ought to distinguish between biblical and systematic theology. In his lecture, delivered at the University of Altdorf in 1787 (the year the Constitutional Convention met in Philadelphia), Gabler urged his colleagues to place their theological edifice more overtly on a scriptural foundation: “There is truly a biblical theology, of historical origin,... Read More
“Comfort Your People” is a devotional from Isaiah 40:1–8.
“‘Comfort, comfort my people,’ says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.” We all love to be comforted. So this word of comfort is good news for a people hungry for comfort. But wait! How is it good news that Israel “has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins”? From the prophet’s vantage point prior to the exile, it was indeed good news for him to... Read More
This year has been a good year for Biblical Foundations™ pursuing its mission to strengthen marriage and the family in the home, the church, and society as we long to see all the world rest of biblical foundations. We are particularly grateful to Crossway for releasing Marriage and the Family: Biblical Essentials this year, an abridged version of God, Marriage, and the Family.
Here, then, are the top ten books in biblical studies from 2012, in terms of their potential influence and utility:
1. Darrell Bock, A Theology of Luke and Acts (Zondervan). This, the second volume in the Biblical... Read More
In my presentation today, I’ll introduce you to a set of new hermeneutical lenses I call “the hermeneutical triad”—history, literature, and theology. This hermeneutical triad forms the backbone of Dick Patterson’s and my new hermeneutics text, Invitation to Biblical Interpretation. What is the “hermeneutical triad”? In short, our core proposal is this: for any passage of Scripture, regardless of genre, you’ll want to study the historical setting, the literary context, and the theological message. Thus the hermeneutical triad consists of history, literature, and theology. As... Read More
John Piper is going to vote. His reasoning is as follows: “Barring catastrophe, Obama or Romney will be president (yes, I know you may see it as a catastrophe even if either does get elected). The likelihood that both presidencies will be identical in the good and evil they do is infinitesimal. One will very probably do more good amid the bad, even if only a little” (http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/i-am-going-to-vote).
I agree. I believe this is a watershed election. While I have limited confidence in either candidate, I do believe that our nation is at an important juncture. Our... Read More
Trevin Wax with “The Gospel Coalition” recently interviewed Dr. Kostenberger on “Which Bible Translation Should I Choose?”. Here is the interview below.
Why is this book needed?
“Which Bible translation should I use?” is one of the most frequently questions we get asked. And, it’s true, choosing a Bible translation is a very important decision, because we need to be able to have confidence in the Bible we read and study and memorize.
In my experience, people often choose a Bible because, say, John Piper likes it, or because of tradition or emotional factors. In... Read More
Today’s New York Times includes an article by Laurie Goodstein, “A Faded Piece of Papyrus Refers to Jesus’ Wife.” According to the article, Karen L. King of Harvard Divinity School announced at the International Congress of Coptic Studies in Rome yesterday that a 4th-century Coptic papyrus fragment includes the line, “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife,’” at which the manuscript tantalizingly breaks off.
The manuscript came into Dr. King’s possession through an anonymous collector who in turn in 1997 bought it from a German collector.... Read More
John does not teach a replacement theology whereby the church takes the place of Israel. As a closer look at John 15 indicates, it is not believers in Jesus who are depicted as the vine. Rather, the vine is Jesus. Jesus himself is therefore the new Israel, just as he has already been portrayed as the replacement of the temple and the fulfillment of the symbolism of various Jewish festivals. Jesus thus embodies and fulfills God’s true intentions for Israel; he is the paradigmatic vine, the channel through whom God’s blessings flow and who bears much fruit. Indeed, by dying Jesus will prove... Read More
I had the privilege of casting my vote in favor of the North Carolina marriage amendment defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman. But as much as it was gratifying to see 61% of those voting approve the amendment, the definition of marriage is ultimately not up to a human vote.
Marriage is God’s idea, not merely a social contract between consenting adults. Now it is understandable that those who don’t believe in a deity don’t trace the roots of marriage back to God. It’s less obvious why those who claim to be Christians—or at least invoke the “Golden... Read More
Josh Mann with “for the Sake of Truth” recently interviewed Dr. Kostenberger on “The Church, Academy, and Calling.” Here is the interview below.
How would you describe the relationship between your “scholarly” endeavors and your involvement in the ministry of the local church?
Being involved in the local church has become increasingly important to me. Teaching a group of people of various ages and backgrounds at my church keeps pushing me to present the teachings of Scripture in a way that is relevant and understandable. This past Sunday, for example, I was... Read More
[NOTE: This devotional was originally given at the 2012 Southeast ETS regional meeting.]
My topic for our devotional today is excellence: excellence in general and scholarly excellence in particular. Some of you may have seen my recent book on the subject, Excellence: The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholarly Virtue, so I’ve recently had the chance to reflect extensively on the subject and would like to share some of the insights I gained from my study with you. My hope is that by looking at what Scripture has to do say about our need to pursue excellence we will be challenged and... Read More
Thanks to those of you who were following my tweets from the debate. As promised, here are some further reflections on last night’s debate between Bart Ehrman and Dan Wallace. First of all, both men did a good job presenting their case and responding to each other’s questions. Bart Ehrman is a skilled debater and a very gifted communicator. He took charge of the debate from the very beginning, communicating clearly and directly. He also effectively anticipated many of Wallace’s arguments, especially regarding the number of Greek NT manuscripts.
When it was Wallace’s turn, he showed... Read More
Amazing it’s already the end of 2011. Where did this year go? In any case, it’s time to ponder the best biblical and theological books of the year. As usual, this list is unapologetically subjective. Also, while I contributed to the flood of publications myself (Excellence, Invitation to Biblical Interpretation), I did not include any of my own books. So, then, here are my picks:
1. G. K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical Theology: The Unfolding of the Old Testament in the New (Baker): In my blurb, I say, “Beale’s volume is far reaching, written at a high scholarly level, and... Read More
In an earlier blog post, I wrote about the question of whether or not Jesus was born on December 25. To continue the conversation, here is what I continue to be the best article on the subject, by Paul Maier, Russell H. Seibert Professor of Ancient History at the University of Michigan. The piece appeared originally in Chronos, Karis, Christos: Nativity and Chronological Studies presented to Jack Fingan (ed. J. Vardaman; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1989), and appears here with permission of the author. Read More