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Giveaway Winners – No God But One (Nabeel Qureshi)

While I initially said that I’d run three successive giveaways for the three copies I have, I’ve decided to just draw three winners at once. If you didn’t win, there’s still time to preorder No God But One: Allah or Jesus? A Former Muslim Investigates the Evidence for Islam & Christianity for some freebies. Find out more about the book and the preorder deals here. Also, check out an interview with Nabeel about the book on the Bible Gateway blog. While Nabeel wrote the book primarily for Muslims who are seeking (open to Christianity) as well as Christians who are considering Islam, this book is also a fantastic resource for evangelism/apologetics, particularly for Christians who have a heart for Muslims. Now, without further ado, the winners:

 

Congratulations to Jonah Langenderfer, Todd Schreiner, and Will Klauber! Please fill out the comment form with your address and I will ship the book to you in a few days.

Giveaway – No God But One (Nabeel Qureshi)

NGB1No God But One: Allah or Jesus? A Former Muslim Investigates the Evidence for Islam & Christianity is Nabeel Qureshi’s follow-up to his NYT Bestseller Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity. Qureshi contrasts these two books by describing Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus as the heart of the story and No God But One the mind of his story; whereas the former is largely a testimony, the latter is a tremendous apologetic resource. No God But One is a fantastic book to help Christians understand the core tenets of Islam and the foundational differences between Islam and Christianity. As such, it’s both a must-read for Christians  seeking to grow in their understanding of Islam and their ability to engage their Muslim friends in spiritual conversation, as well as for Muslims who are questioning their faith and asking questions about Christianity.

As a former Muslim, Qureshi has a rare insider’s perspective. As an apologist on the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries speaking team and a New Testament Ph.D. candidate at Oxford University, he is well-equipped with first-rate training on the subject matters pertinent to No God But One. These two factors combine to make the book a superb resource on the differences between Islam and Christianity. The arguments are robustly defended and winsomely presented, and Qureshi’s passion for the gospel and for his kinsmen according to the flesh to come to saving knowledge of Jesus Christ is pervasive throughout the book. This really is a book that every Christian with a passion for evangelism/apologetics should read, but especially those with a burden to see Muslims come to faith.

Zondervan and the No God But One publicity team have sent me a number of copies to give away, and I’m excited to give away three copies on my blog. Instead of running one giveaway and selecting three winners, I’m going to run three separate giveaways in succession. Whenever I post announcing a winner, that post will also be the way to enter the subsequent giveaway. I will also post a full review with the last giveaway.

The book officially releases on August 30. Check out the website for an overview about the book, quotes, a video, as well as some sweet preorder offers.

Giveaway Details:

***Giveaway is now closed and winners will be announced shortly.

Each of the following gets an entry, just comment saying you did it (comment separately for each method for them to count as separate entries). This first giveaway will close this Friday at noon EST, at which time I will choose a winner from the comments using a random number generator. Giveaway open to residents of the contiguous US.

  1. Visit the book website
  2. Follow me on Twitter
  3. Tweet the giveaway (tag me please!)
    • sharing on any social media platform will gain additional entries, just comment separately
    • additional entries can be gained each day by mentioning the giveaway on social media
  4. Follow my blog

Thanks to Zondervan for the Advance Reader Copy and giveaway copies!

Preorder: Amazon

NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (Walton & Keener)

Craig S. Keener and John H. Walton, ed. NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible: Bringing to Life the Ancient World of Scripture. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Academic, 2016. 2400 pp. $49.99.

CBSBProlific OT scholar Dr. John Walton and NT scholar Dr. Craig Keener have teamed up to bring us a new study Bible that illuminates the cultural, historical, and literary context of the Scriptures. Not only are Walton and Keener experts in OT and NT studies, respectively, but they are especially known for their research in backgrounds (as can be seen, for example, in the two-volume IVP Bible Background Commentary they edited). With the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, the kind of information that could previously only be found in massive dictionaries/encyclopedias or specialized monographs has been made accessible to the person in the pew in a stunning study Bible that uses the most popular and trusted modern translation.

While this study Bible contains many of the elements shared by most study Bibles (e.g. book introductions, maps, charts, photographs, study notes, etc.), here everything is distinctly focused on context and background (social, political, cultural, historical, literary). For example, at the beginning there is a chart that provides explanation and select key verses of key Hebrew words that have no exact equivalent in English and an article explicating major background issues from the ancient Near East. Before the New Testament text there’s a section on “Key New Testament Terms” that clarifies cultural concepts behind key terms. In this section not only terms in the NT itself are defined (e.g. Christ, law, Satan, etc.) but also terms from the Jewish (e.g. Dead Sea Scrolls, Qumran community, Maccabees, etc.) and Greco-Roman backgrounds of the NT (e.g. client, Cynic, etc.).

For the purpose of this review I read all the notes in the Gospel of Luke and will highlight the features and a few notable insights. First of all, a brief two-page introduction briefly addresses genre, authorship, provenance, and date. There are charts that detail Mary’s allusions to Hannah’s Song, compare Caesar and Christ, present the parables of Jesus across the Synoptic Gospels, and display the resurrection appearances across the four Gospels, Acts, and 1 Corinthians. There’s also an image and description of the Capernaum Synagogue, a brief description of disease and medicine in the ancient world, and a two-page spread on “Qumran and the New Testament.”

Some interesting background insights include the note for 6:29c-d (“If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them”), where we are told that the coat is “[t]he one possession that a creditor could not legally seize from a debtor” (1755), and the note for 9:60 (where Jesus responded to a man who asked to bury his father before following Jesus, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God”) tells us that “burying one’s father was one of society’s greatest obligations” (1766). Both of these background notes give us deeper insight into what Jesus is saying about discipleship. The note at 18:25 debunks the commonly preached erroneous insight that there was a gate in first century Jerusalem called “Needle’s Eye” (saying this drastically lessens the force of the point Jesus was making). Regarding the tearing of the temple in 23:45, in addition to the commonly preached insight about the tearing of the curtain perhaps signifying new access to the Holy Place we are told that it “probably implies the departure of God’s presence from the temple, prefiguring its destruction” (1797-98).

The NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible will help the serious Bible student who does not have advanced knowledge of the worlds of the biblical text enter those worlds. Key background and contextual insights will open up new riches of spiritual and theological understanding that will also have practical implications for the Christian life. This study Bible is a great one-stop-shop on cultural, historical, and literary backgrounds to the Bible. Find out more about the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible here!

Thanks to Zondervan Academic and AcademicPS for the review copy!

Purchase: Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ebook Sale Notice – Zondervan Academic Gospels Commentaries

Zondervan Sale

Zondervan Academic is currently having an awesome sale on some of their Gospels commentaries (up to 80% off!). The volumes fall into several series:

  1. NIV Application Commentary helps us understand how the Bible’s ancient message speaks today. I always consult this series when preparing a sermon. At $4.99 a pop, these are probably the best deals of the sale. You’ll want to snag Darrell Bock’s volume on Luke, as he’s one of today’s premier evangelical scholars on the Gospel of Luke!
  2. Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (ZECNT) is designed especially for the pastor, Bible teacher, or students/laypeople with some knowledge of biblical Greek and is a powerful tool for anyone doing robust exegesis. This is probably my favorite Zondervan commentary series and one I almost always consult when I study a text of the New Testament, whether for personal edification, sermon preparation, or writing exegetical papers. I heartily recommend all three ZECNT volumes on sale, especially the volume on Matthew by the inestimable Grant Osborne, who just retired from TEDS.
  3. Story of God Bible commentary (SGBC) offers clear and compelling exposition in the context of the Bible’s overarching story. While outside the scope of this sale, the Conan O’Brien of biblical studies (Mike Bird) published the volume on Romans and the jazz saxophonist who taught me an aspect of Greek with a modern twist (Con Campbell) will be publishing the volume on 1-3 John. But you can get Scott McKnight’s volume on the Sermon on the Mount for $6.99.

The other series on sale (with which I’m less familiar) are the Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, and Studies on the Go. Check out Zondervan Academic’s Gospels ebooks sale and stock up your digital library with great reference resources for your personal study, academic work, and/or teaching/preaching. The sale ends at 11:59 EST on August 11.

Philippians (Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament)

Joseph H. Hellerman. Philippians (Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament).  Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2015. 368 pp. $29.99.

EGGNT PhilThough B&H Academic’s Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament (EGGNT) is a fairly new series with only 5 volumes released so far out of a projected 20, it has already established itself as an essential resource for seminary students, pastors, and biblical scholars alike. Written and edited by some of the finest Evangelical New Testament scholars of our day, these volumes are crucial supplements to conventional commentaries for those who have a working knowledge of Koine Greek and desire to exegete the Greek NT text. During my Greek Exegesis courses (Colossians & Philemon and 1 Peter) last year I always consulted the EGGNT after doing my own work in the text and consistently found my understanding of what’s going on grammatically and syntactically to be enriched by these exegetical guides.

One of the newest volumes in the series is Philippians by Joseph H. Hellerman (pastor and professor of NT language and literature at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University). Like the rest of the volumes in the series (and unlike typical commentaries), the introduction is just a few pages and provides a very brief summary of basic introductory issues such as authorship, provenance, occasion, etc. In keeping with the aim of the series to bridge the gap between the Greek text and the available tools, the introduction of these volumes also addresses important grammatical features of the respective NT books when present (e.g. the introduction to the volume on 1 Peter addresses the imperatives and imperatival participles; the introduction for the present volume on Philippians addresses time and aktionsart in the Greek verb). The EGGNT is designed to do what commentaries do not accomplish (provide robust exegesis of the Greek text), not duplicate what can be found in any good commentary. These volumes also provide recommended commentaries at the beginning and an exegetical outline in the end. Each section of exegesis of the Greek text begins with a basic sentence diagram and concludes with recommended resources for further study as well as homiletical suggestions, providing valuable aids for both study and preaching.

A look at how Hellerman handles one of the most beloved (and most academically debated?) passages of Philippians, the Christ-hymn, will provide a good windown into his perspective. Interestingly, Hellerman argues that Paul’s argument here is primarily sociological and not ontological, i.e. less about Christ’s divine nature and more about Christ as a model for relationships among members of the Philippian church. While Hellerman believes it likely that Paul composed Philippians 2:6-11 himself, he explains why nothing is at stake exegetically even if the text is a pre-Pauline hymn. His expertise in Roman history also comes out as he illuminates the cursus ideology that was central to the cultural values and social codes of Philippi as well as expressions of honor/shame found in the Christ-hymn. All of this enlightening and perhaps less well-known background information is contained in a robust introduction to the section.

Regarding verse 5, Hellerman summarizes the arguments for the two main interpretations of ὃ καὶ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ (Christ’s mind-set in the incarnation and crucifixion versus the believer’s mind-set in union with Christ); while affirming the difficulty of the decision and the maintenance of Paul’s paraenetic aims on either reading, Hellerman prefers the former with some reservations. He takes ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ in verse 6 as referring to Christ’s preincarnate “social status”; while he has no problem with a secondary argument for the deity of Christ from this clause, Hellerman believes that making this theological corollary primary underemphasizes the sociological thrust of Paul’s argument. He argues for taking the following ὑπάρχων concessively, noting why its preferable to a causal interpretation (espoused by, e.g., O’Brien). Similarly to his argument for μορφῇ θεοῦ, Hellerman contends that εἶναι ἴσα θεῷ should not primarily be taken ontologically.

Pertaining to the controversial doctrine of kenosis derived from verse 7, Hellerman notes that it is erroneous to assume that ἐκένωσεν needs a modifier; rather, he contends that the ensuing participial modifiers demonstrate that ἐκένωσεν “is intended metaphorically to signify a lowering of rank (vis-à-vis v.6) by means of the incarnation” (114). In verse 8 Hellerman notes that “humiliated” is a better translation that “humbled” for ἐταπείνωσεν because the latter denotes an attitude or state of mind, whereas the former signifies action performed in a social context with social implications. He argues for reading τὸ ὄνομα τὸ ὑπὲρ πᾶν ὄνομα in verse 9 as referring to public acclaim rather than the name of YHWH.

Though I mainly highlighted some of Hellerman’s notable exegetical conclusions and decisions, he provides robust word studies and grammatical/syntactical analysis. Like the other volumes in the series, on points of debate the arguments for every side are presented fairly before Hellerman offers his own conclusion. One unique aspect of this volume is the emphasis on the sociocultural background of the Epistle to the Philippians. I have gained much insight that opened up greater depths to my understanding of certain texts, but there are also areas where Hellerman’s arguments initially made me uncomfortable (e.g. the Philippian Christ-hymn). Hellerman argues for a sociological interpretation for many of the elements in which I saw a primarily ontological argument, and I feel a bit like one of the pillars of the early high/divine-identity Christology argument is crumbling! So, in addition to looking forward to exegeting through Philippians with Hellerman’s exegetical guide, I feel I need to study the Christ-hymn again!

Joseph Hellerman’s Philippians (Exegetical Guide on the Greek New Testament) is an essential resource for students of Greek exegesis as well as teachers and pastors who work from the Greek text.

Thanks to B&H Academic for the review copy!

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

Book Review – What Christians Ought to Believe (Michael Bird)

Michael F. Bird. What Christians Ought to Believe: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine Through the Apostles’ Creed. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Academic, 2016. 240 pp. $24.99.

WCOBDr. Michael Bird‘s latest offering, his most accessible book yet, is both enlightening for the average person in the pew and edifying for the student and scholar. Bird spends the first two chapters of What Christians Ought to Believe providing an introduction to creeds and an apologetic for why we need them. To a Christian world where the dominant creedal affirmation is “no creed but the Bible,” he argues that “by ignoring the creeds those who consider themselves to be orthodox are effectively sawing off the theological branches upon which they are sitting” (13). Bird shows how creeds are biblical, summarize the New Testament tradition, and marked out the boundaries of the faith. He provides an overview of the canonization process that demonstrates that the creed and canon were mutually creating and mutually reinforcing. Finally, he argues that creeds can both invigorate our faith and provide a sure anchor for biblical faith.

The rest of the book (twelve chapters) is devoted to a systematic exposition of the theology of the Apostles’ Creed. Beginning with “I believe,” Bird explores the meaning of (Christian) faith itself and reveals it to be “our trusting response to what God has done for us and promised us in the gospel, which in turn pervades every aspect of our lives” (46). In illuminating the fatherhood and omnipotence of the Creator-God he addresses the controversial issues of the patriarchal language and the creation accounts and shows how the ultimate issue in both cases is the identity of God and our relationship to him. Bird introduces the doctrines of incarnation and hypostatic union as well as some of the Christological heresies; he helpfully spends a chapter on the life and ministry of Jesus (which is not mentioned in the Creed), showing how “Jesus’s messianic career is not simply the hors d’oeuvres to the atonement” (87) and probing the depths of what it meant to call Jesus “Lord.” He engages with critical views of the virgin birth but also highlights five dimensions of the its true significance (it was not so that Jesus would be without sin!).

In regards to the atonement, Bird interestingly points out that while the early church formulated statements about the nature of Christ, it never attempted to reach a consensus on the precise mechanics or effect of the atonement. He provides a good overview of the main theories of atonement and rightly notes that while each is saying something true, some have a greater capacity than others to be the integrating theory. In a move that will surely ruffle some conservative feathers, Bird notes that he favors Christus victor as that integrating theory. Unlike many modern versions of the Apostles’ Creed, Bird uses “He descended to the dead” rather than “He descended to hell.” He helpfully explains the Descensus ad Inferos (explicating what the Bible says about Hades/Sheol and what Christ did there on Holy Saturday) and points out the main facets of the significance of the resurrection. The next chapter on the ascension is particularly helpful, as the ascension is probably the most neglected facet of Jesus’s career; it’s not just “Jesus’s return trip to heaven” (162). In expounding upon the person and work of the Holy Spirit, Bird warns us of the twin dangers of neglecting the Holy Spirit and overemphasizing his manifestations. He passionately argues for the importance of ecclesiology, of the church being part of the content of theology rather than just its packaging (193), and finally, reminds us that heaven is not the end of the world.

What Christians Ought to Believe is one of the best examples of scholarship serving the Church. In this book, one of the finest biblical scholars of our day has written an accessible, popular-level  introduction to the basics of the Christian faith. Biblical, theological, and historical concepts are simplified but not simplistic, and at every turn informed by responsible and robust scholarship. This is a great book for intellectually oriented new believers, Christians just starting to get serious about doctrine, as well as mature believers and beginning formal theology students. I can also see this being a great book to study together with someone you are discipling or in small groups. Most of all, this book needs to be devoured by any and all who are either anti-creed or have never studied the Apostles’ Creed.

Many thanks to Mike for having a copy sent to me! I’ll buy you a cup of coffee at SBL😉

Purchase: Amazon | Westminster

 

Book Review – Heal Us, Emmanuel: A Call for Racial Reconciliation, Representation, and Unity in the Church

Doug Serven, ed. Heal Us, Emmanuel: A Call for Racial Reconciliation, Representation, and Unity in the Church. Oklahoma City, OK: White Blackbird Books, 2016. 326 pp. $16.99.

heal usI tried countless different ways to introduce this review, but they were all either risky (i.e. potentially controversial and/or off-putting) or trite (because of vagueness and generality). I tend to not say much online on issues of racial injustice and racial reconciliation because I’ve seen online conversations crash and burn as two sides misunderstand and offend/hurt each other, and I didn’t want a touchy introduction to turn people away from reading this review. Heal Us, Emmanuel is an important book for the Church, especially its more conservative wing. No matter where you stand on race issues, my hope is that you will read the entirely of this review and consider reading the book. Written by 30 PCA pastors and leaders of various ethnic backgrounds and ministry contexts, this diverse collection of essays chronicle personal journeys into awareness of racial inequality/injustice and stories of racial reconciliation, provide historical insight into some of the issues and biblical/theological rationale for pursuing ethnic diversity, unity, and reconciliation, and issue a passionate plea for the church to labor to break down dividing walls of ethnic hostility.

The essays in Heal Us, Emmanuel are divided into six sections. One of the hardest and most important things to do in the race conversation is to listen, so it’s fitting that the first section is entitled “An Invitation to Listen.” Here, five minority voices (four African Americans and one Asian American) share their painful experiences of racism and racial injustice, as well as stories of astounding gospel-empowered forgiveness and reconciliation. The opening essay by Rev. Lance Lewis kicks off the book well, as he expounds upon the weaknesses of the typical political mindset with which we approach issues of race and ethnicity and calls us to embrace a biblically grounded redemptive mindset. The second section is entitled “Awakening to Privilege” and contains five essays written by Caucasian Americans. The first essay by Rev. Dr. Timothy R. LeCroy is detailed, multifaceted, and gripping from beginning to end. He chronicles his journey from oblivious to racist to seeing the reality of systemic racism. He tells of the mighty move of the Holy Spirit at the 2015 PCA General Assembly when a resolution was proposed for the denomination to repent of its sins during the Civil Rights Era, and the confession, repentance, and prayer for healing that ensued for about an hour. LeCroy notes his subsequent realization that he needed to be active with regard to these issues not only at the denominational level but also in his local context, and detailed his following steps he took of confession from his pulpit and in the local paper and making contact with a local African American pastor. Finally, he tells of what he saw and heard of the University of Missouri protests locally versus the distortion by national conservative media.

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Commentary on Hebrews (Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation) by Thomas R. Schreiner

Thomas R. Schreiner. Commentary on Hebrews (Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation). Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2015. 560 pp. $39.99.

BTFCP_CommentaryOnHebrews_CVR_R2.inddIn the mist of a tremendous flourishing of evangelical publishing on biblical theology, for years I had longed to see a biblical theology study Bible and a commentary series from the perspective on Biblical theology. To my joy, in the last year we have seen both. The latter presented itself in the form of the NIV Zondervan Study Bible (D. A. Carson ed.), and the former saw its inaugural volume on Hebrews by Dr. Thomas Schreiner (Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation series from B&H Academic).

Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation Series
Though there are different schools of biblical theology that define and pursue the discipline differently, the general editors of this new series (T. Desmond Alexander, Andreas J. Köstenberger, and Thomas R. Schreiner) define biblical theology as, in essence,

the theology of the Bible, that is, the theology expressed by the various biblical books on their own terms and in their own historical contexts. Biblical theology is the attempt to understand and embrace the interpretive perspective of the biblical authors. What is more, biblical theology is the theology of the entire Bible, and exercise in whole-Bible theology (ix, emphases original).

While the volumes will discuss typical introductory matters and provide verse-by-verse exegetical commentary, their two primary distinctive contributions are conveyed in the series title. First is biblical theology – each volume will explore the contribution of the given book or groups of books of the Bible to the theology of Scripture as a whole and provide “thorough discussion of the most important themes of the biblical book in relation to the canon as a whole…in the context of the larger salvation-historical metanarrative of Scripture” (xi). Second is Christian proclamation, seeking to relate biblical theology to our own lives and the life of the church, to equip the saints for the work of the ministry of teaching and preaching the Word.

Commentary on Hebrews (Thomas Schreiner)
The biblical-theological emphasis of Schreiner’s volume on Hebrews shows up mainly in the introduction and conclusion. After briefly addressing typical introductory matters such as date, authorship, destination, etc. in an accessible way that does not get bogged down in technical details, Schreiner spends more than half of the introduction on biblical-theological matters. First, he situates Hebrews in its canonical context, tracing redemptive history from Genesis through the Gospels and pointing out along the way the significant types of Christ and salvation and how Hebrews speaks of their fulfillment. For example, after mentioning Leviticus 10 Schreiner notes how Hebrews focuses on the inadequacy of the sacrificial system and emphasizes the inauguration of a new and better covenant because the old was a failure. He ties the sin of the wilderness generation in Numbers to the warning Hebrews makes of the example of Israel. He notes how Hebrews picks up on the theme of rest in Joshua as a type and anticipation of a greater rest to come. From the Gospels, Schreiner notes themes such as Jesus being the new David promised by the prophets.

Second, Schreiner discusses four structures that undergird the biblical theology of Hebrews. The first is promise/fulfillment, where Schreiner points to how Hebrews proclaims certain OT predictions to have now been fulfilled. Jesus is the Davidic king promised in the OT who would establish God’s kingdom; He is a priest in the order of Melchizedek (Ps 110:4) in his humanity, participation in summering, and resurrection; He has sat down at the right hand of God (Ps 110:1). The second structure is the tension of inaugurated eschatology, seen in Jesus’s reign, salvation, sanctification, perfection, the warning passages, the call to faith, and rest. Third, concerning typology, Schreiner helpfully emphasizes that the correspondences were intended by God and not merely used by Him as illustrations, and that typology is characterized by escalation. In Christ we have a better prophet, a better priest, a better king, a better covenant, a better land, and better promises. The final structure noted by Schreiner is spatial orientation (i.e. the relationship between heaven and earth); while some scholars treat this topic within typology, Schreiner separates it because of Hebrews’s distinctive emphasis on the subject. Whereas key themes that give structure to the letter are investigated as structures of thought, the conclusion provides additional biblical-theological insight by dealing with some of the central themes (e.g. God, Jesus, the New Covenant, etc.) in their own right.

I look forward to digging into Schreiner’s commentary on Hebrews and eagerly anticipate each forthcoming volume in this series. These commentaries will provide rich biblical-theological and practical insight that can’t be found in other commentaries, from some of the best evangelical scholars of our day. Find out more about the series, including the list of volumes and contributors, here.

Thanks to B&H Academic for the review copy!

Purchase: Amazon | Westminster

 

Bible Review: UBS5/NIV11 Diglot

ubs 5Last fall when I was just starting my formal biblical/theological education Zondervan sent me a copy of their new The Greek-English New Testament: UBS Fifth Revised Edition and New International Version, and it quickly became the Bible I carried around with me every day (as an aside, TEDS seems to be an NA campus, so my red UBS did draw a fair bit of attention amidst seas of blue at the library and in the classrooms!).

The first reason why I was excited about this diglot stems simply from the fact that I didn’t own a UBS, and the only NIV I possessed was in the form of the new NIV Zondervan Study Bible, an excellent resource but too massive of a tome (I believe slightly bigger and heavier than even the ESV study Bible) to lug around every day. So I was rather excited to have the UBS5 and NIV 2011 together in one sleek, pretty package (see pictures below for a size comparison and infographic of UBS5 features) since I made heavy use of both the Greek and English NT virtually daily for classes. In addition to translation and exegetical work, I try to read a slightly larger portion of the GNT every day; I like to read the portion in English after reading the Greek since I’m still a newbie, so having them in parallel is very convenient. Some discourage new language students from using diglots because of how easy it is to “cheat” and short circuit the process, but it’s easy to not do that (just cover the English side and don’t look at it), and there are far easier/worse ways to cheat nowadays with Bible software).

diglot size comparisonubs5-infographic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beyond the differing critical apparatus, one unique feature of the UBS that I was not aware of until it was mentioned by my exegesis professor is the appendices of OT quotes and allusions. There’s an index of quotes in OT order, an index of quotes in NT order, and an index of allusions and verbal parallels. One downside of the effort to making the English parallel the Greek is that often the English page will have just a few sentences and/or cut off mid-sentence (see picture below for an example).While this sometimes looks and feels slightly awkward, I think this is an inevitable feature of a diglot and a small price to pay for the conveniences of the format. Overall, I love the new Zondervan Greek-English New Testament: UBS Fifth Revised Edition and New International Version. It’s my go-to New Testament for class, research, and devotional reading.

diglot

Thanks to Zondervan and Academic PS for the review copy!

Big News: EP Sanders to Present at IBR Research Group (Gupta)

So excited about this!

Crux Sola

Well, it’s been hard to keep this quiet, but I didn’t want to announce it until the plans were made final: E.P. Sanders has agreed to present at a new Institute for Biblical Research study group on Pauline Theology (the Friday when SBL begins, Nov 18, 4PM-6PM, 2016).

The new Pauline Theology research group is co-chaired by myself (Nijay Gupta) and John Goodrich. John and I were students together at Durham, we often room together at SBL, and very excited to move forward with this group together.

The program for our IBR Pauline Theology group for 2016 is as follows:

Sanders BookSanders.pngThis year our group will launch the Pauline Theology research group with a special book review panel discussion. Fortress Press recently published Paul: The Apostle’s Life, Letters, and Thought by E.P. Sanders. Dr. Sanders will participate in the book review panel, and other panelists include Dr. Craig Keener (Asbury Seminary),

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