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For the Love of God’s Word by Andreas Kostenberger and Richard D. Patterson

October 17, 2015 Leave a comment


Description:
An introduction to a clear method of biblical interpretation

For the Love of God’s Word is an abridged, less technical version of Köstenberger and Patterson’s acclaimed Invitation to Biblical Interpretation. Students, teachers, and pastors alike will find this introduction to biblical hermeneutics to be an accessible resource with both breadth and substance.

Built on the premise that every passage requires careful scrutiny of its historical setting, literary dimension, and theological message, this volume teaches a simple threefold method that is applicable to every passage of Scripture regardless of genre. In addition, the book sets forth specific strategies for interpreting the various genres of Scripture, from poetry to epistle to prophecy. A final chapter is devoted to helpful Bible study resources that will equip the reader to apply Scripture to life.

This book will serve as a standard text for interpreting Scripture that is both academically responsible and accessible for pastors, teachers, and college students. This volume will enable students of Scripture to grow in love for God’s Word as they grow in the disciplines of study and discernment.  (From the Publisher’s Website)

Review:

The Bible is the most printed, most sold, and most read book in the world. It is also one of the least understood and most misquoted books in existence. Why? It does not read like any other book. It is a divinely inspired collection of 66 writings that vary in style and genre. To understand it, one needs to be taught by the same Spirit of God who inspired it and “acquire vital skills in understanding the greatest book ever written.”

Hermeneutics is the study of principles of interpretation. Without a good hermeneutic, we are prone to many interpretive errors. As the authors of this book tell us in the introduction, “Biblical interpreters are charged with a sacred task: handling Scripture with accuracy. They are entrusted with a sacred object, God’s Word of truth, and their faithfulness or lack thereof will result in God’s approval or in personal shame.”  Men’s souls hang in the balance.

Köstenberger and Patterson present a hermeneutical triad of theology, history and literature. “The interpretive task consists of considering each of the three major dimensions of the hermeneutical triad–history, literature, and theology–in proper balance, with the first two elements–history and literature–being foundational and with theology being at the apex. While discerning the spiritual message of scripture–theology–is the ultimate goal of biblical interpretation, an appreciation of the historical-cultural background of a particular text and a proper understanding of its literary features are essential.”

Chapter 1 begins with Preparation. We are given qualifications as to who can do it, why we should do it, and how we can do it using the triad. We are also treated to a short history of interpretation throughout the ages. Chapter 2 gives us the historical-cultural background of the Bible. Chapters 3-4 deal with the canon of scripture under the literary focus with chapters 5-11 discussing the genres found in holy writ. Language is discussed in chapters 12-13 finishing up the literary aspect. Chapter 14 is about the ultimate goal of interpretation which is theology. Finally, chapter 15 helps us with application of theology.

This book is well suited for the task it seeks to accomplish. Each chapter begins with a page of objectives followed by an outline. Upon completion of the chapter we are given guidelines in list form as well as key words, assignments and a chapter bibliography.  The authors have done a thorough job of introducing, explaining and fleshing out their hermeneutic.

Anyone who wants a deeper knowledge of scripture would do well to read this book. This abridgment of the authors’ previous work makes it more accessible to the non-academic. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is definitely the best book I have read on the subject. As a father who wants his children to understand the Bible, I will be using this textbook to train my children to study God’s Word.

Book Details:

  • Authors: Andreas J. Kostenberger & Richard D. Patterson
  • Publisher: Kregel
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Page Count: 448
  • ISBN#: 9780825443367
  • List Price: $34.99

About the Authors:

Andreas J. Kostenberger is director of doctoral studies and professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. He translated Adolf Schlatter’s two-volume theology of the New Testament into English and is editor of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society.

Richard D. Patterson (PhD, University of California, Los Angeles) is distinguished professor ermeritus at Liberty University. He has written well over 100 articles for major publishers and periodicals, including commentaries on Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah (Moody) and Joel and Kings (with Hermann Austel) for the second edition of the Expositor’s Bible Commentary Series.

(From the Publisher’s Website)

Where to Buy:

Disclaimer: I received this book from Kregel in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

Categories: Kregel

Interpreting the Prophetic Books by Gary V. Smith

August 27, 2015 Leave a comment


Description:

Preaching from a prophetic text can be daunting because it can be difficult to place these prophecies in their proper historical setting. The prophets used different literary genres and they often wrote using metaphorical poetry that is unfamiliar to the modern reader. This handbook offers an organized method of approaching a prophecy and preparing a persuasive, biblically based sermon that will draw modern application from the theological principle embedded in the prophetic text. -From the Publisher’s website

Why should you read this book?

The prophetic books of scripture are rich with imagery about how God deals with the nations and His people. If we study these books, we will gain a fuller picture of our great God. Unfortunately, the prophetic books can be difficult for the modern reader to understand. We need to learn how to interpret the difficult prophetic passages.

So we turn to a seasoned interpreter, Gary Smith. Dr. Smith helps us with many of the hurdles that we encounter as we read the prophetic texts. This book addresses such issues as: the genres of prophecies, poetic expression in prophecy, parallelism in prophetic literature, and imagery in prophecy. The author also helps us by pointing out the major themes in the prophetic books.

Dr. Smith  equips the reader by giving us a tool box of interpretation with the goal of proclaiming the text. We are taught how to benefit from learning about the historical setting of each book. The reader is taught how to identify variant readings and choose the best reading. Dr. Smith also includes a listing of useful commentaries on each of the prophetic books. We are also guided through interpretive issues such as: literal or metaphorical, contextual, conditional or unconditional, and terms of fulfillment. The reader is then taught how to bridge the gap between interpreting and proclaiming the text. Dr. Smith illustrates this process by giving us two example texts with their interpretations and applications.

Who will benefit from this book?

Pastors, teachers, and students will all benefit greatly from this handbook. Some handbooks are cumbersome and unwieldy. This book, coming in at around 200 pages, is immediately useful and accessible. I learned much in my first reading and intend to return to this volume as I read and study through the prophetic books. My reading of these passages has gone from apprehension to delight as I have learned how to navigate and interpret these precious writings. I am grateful to Dr. Smith and Kregel for this excellent volume in the Handbooks for Old Testament Exegesis series.

Book Details:

  • Author: Gary V. Smith
  • Publisher: Kregel Academic
  • Format: Paperback
  • Page Count: 224
  • ISBN#: 9780825443633
  • List Price: $22.99

About the Author:

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Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

Categories: Commentary, Kregel

Recalling the Hope of Glory by Allen P. Ross


Description:

Moving beyond worship wars over style and denominational proclivities, Allen Ross has completed an extensive study of the biblical material that informs the heart of true worship: “to recall and celebrate the hope of glory.” Much more than a biblical theology of worship, Recalling the Hope of Glory is an inductive study of the Bible, showing how the many biblical events and teachings develop the central focus of worship.

Beginning not with early Israelite worship, but with creation itself, this work uncovers the glories and beauty of true worship as it is progressively revealed from its beginning in the Garden to its climax in the new heavens and new earth. Throughout the book, the focus is on the integral issue of who we worship . . . and why. Ross then applies these discoveries to the contemporary Christian practice and debate.

Recalling the Hope of Glory stands to become a definitive resource for the pastor, worship leader, and those training for the ministry. Regardless of their denomination, readers will appreciate the author’s high view of Scripture and just how much it can and should inform Christian worship. (From the Publisher’s Website)

Excerpt:

“The whole orientation of pagan worship was for personal gain, not to serve the Lord; and without submission to a sovereign God at the core of their worship, there was no compelling reason to keep the laws. Thus, disobedience to the Word of God results from weak and corrupted worship.

There is a growing problem in the church today. It is not that the church is idolatrous ( for the most part ), but it has been influenced by the attitudes and practices of the prevailing culture. With little or no emphasis on the sovereignty of God as Creator and Lord, or on the authority of His Word, worship is weakened and covenant responsibilities are ignored. At the same time the influence of the world is manifested in a number of ways: people are more interested in their own personal success than in service to others and more desirous of receiving a blessing than being a blessing; they want some experience but show little interest in spiritual growth; they gravitate to entertainment and leisure and are indifferent to the needs of people; and they are excited about being healed but do not comprehend what it means to count it joy that they suffer so that they can minister to others who are suffering. These may seem like little things to some, merely different emphases, but they reflect a drift from the biblical call for submission and service, dedication and obedience.” (pages 329-330)

Review:

Worship is the duty of all created beings to their Creator. But what does that look like? How should we respond to our God? What kind of principles do we use and where do we find them? These are questions that men have wrestled with since sin first broke man’s fellowship with God.

The Bible has much to say about worship and Allen Ross has written an excellent book examining this topic throughout the whole of scripture. His approach is an inductive study of worship beginning at Creation in Genesis and progressing through the history of God’s people ultimately culminating in the new creation in the book of Revelation. Dr. Ross is a scholar of very high caliber but he writes in a style that is warm and inviting. This book has become to me an instant favorite.

Here are a few of the reasons that I found this book to be among my favorites:

1. Dr. Ross’ high view of scripture.

Sometimes when someone is an expert in the original languages, it seems to erode their confidence in the veracity of scripture. Although Dr. Ross is an expert in Hebrew, his writing shines with the certainty that the Bible is God’s authoritative Word.

2. The doxological nature of the book.

After reading the introduction (which is an extended doxology), I found myself in an attitude of Thanksgiving to this great God who has revealed Himself to us in His Word. And that was just the beginning. I found myself putting the book down often to reflect on God’s glory, majesty, and holiness. If this book did not bring me to such worshipful meditations, I would have finished it much sooner. I found myself relishing every chapter.

3. The encompassing scope of this book.

This is truly a biblical theology of worship. I found myself transported to creation, Mt. Sinai, and the temple (to name a few) as Dr. Ross helped me to think deeply about what worship looked like and what principles I could draw from those experiences. Worship is the business of God’s people and it unifies us with those who have gone before as well as those who will come after. It is the business of eternity.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants a fuller understanding of what it means to worship God. Thank you Dr. Ross and Kregel for this aid to God’s people in knowing and loving Him more.

Book Details:

  • Author: Allen P. Ross
  • Publisher: Kregel Academic & Professional
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Page Count: 592
  • ISBN#: 9780825435782
  • List Price: $35.99

 

About the Author:

Allen P. Ross (PhD, University of Cambridge) is professor of divinity at Beeson Divinity School. Prior to this, he taught at Trinity Episcopal School of Ministry and Dallas Theological Seminary. His publications include Creation and Blessing: A Guide to the Study and Exposition of Genesis, Holiness to the Lord: A Guide to the Exposition of the Book of Leviticus, and Introducing Biblical Hebrew.

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Disclaimer: I received this book from Kregel in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

Categories: Kregel

A Commentary On Exodus by Duane A. Garrett

January 12, 2015 Leave a comment

51oScv1ttJLDescription:

The true fountainhead of Old Testament theology, Exodus illuminates the significance of the name Yahweh and introduces the title I AM. It tells of Israel’s formative historical event, the exodus, as well as the making of the covenant at Sinai. It includes the first code of the Law in the Decalogue and Book of the Covenant. It details Israel’s besetting sin in the idolatry of the golden calf episode, but it also describes Moses’s intercession and the great revelation of God’s mercy. In its display of the Tent of Meeting, it presents the theology of the priesthood, the sacrifices, and the central sanctuary. A Commentary on Exodus explores all of these events with a view toward their significance both for the meaning of the Old Testament and for the message of the Christian church. Exegetically deep enough to satisfy the scholar and logically organized to meet the needs of the pastor, Garrett’s commentary promises to become standard reference material in Exodus studies. (From the Publisher’s Website)

Review:

The book of Exodus is both intriguing and mysterious. It contains some of the most beloved stories we remember hearing as a child. Now that we are adults they seem incredible. Hollywood has taken an interest in the Exodus more than once. The book of Exodus is at once an extraordinary piece of literature and a heavily scrutinized document. To whom should we turn to explore this magnificent book?

Dr. Garrett has written a superb commentary on Exodus. This is the latest in the Kregel Exegetical Library series. I consider them to be jewels in my commentary collection. Modern scholarship combined with submission to the Word of God makes this series a blessing to the body of Christ. But let us turn to this volume. Here are some features I find to be worthwhile:

1. A historical background for the book.

Dr. Garrett has done us all a favor by studying the background of the Exodus and presenting his findings to us. Some commentaries present the text with very little mentioned about the time and place. But Dr. Garrett understands that the reader will grasp the meaning of the text much more fully with an understanding of the culture surrounding the text. I found myself engrossed as I read about the ancient Egyptians. I wish Dr. Garrett would write a book on the ancient cultures. I would certainly add it to my library.

2. A fresh translation by the author.

There are nuances in the text that a scholar can bring out in the commentaries that are not available in the popular translations. One thing I found with Dr. Garrett’s translation is that He gives us a very literal reading of the text. The translation is also broken down by clauses which helps the reader grasp the flow of thought more organically. The translation is crisp and refreshing.

3. Useful commenting on the text.

This is not your tired commentary full of the author’s guesswork. The comments are well researched and documented with an eye toward textual clarity. Relevant variants are discussed as well as possible translation issues. The author entertains divergent views but unlike some commentators you do not have to guess what view he takes.

4. Theological summaries.

After the comments on the text, the author points out the theological highlights in the section covered. I found this very useful as a teacher. The author does not exhaustively list every theological point to be gleaned from the text but he does give some important points. A good teacher does not give all of the answers. He makes the student hungry to learn more and this is certainly what Dr. Garrett has done with his commentary.

5. A focus on the poetic parts of the text.

Dr. Garrett presents the poetry of the book in a studious manner but also helps the reader enjoy the form and expression of these sections.

I have enjoyed this commentary as much as any I have read. This will certainly be a go-to for me. I recommend it be partnered with a commentary heavy on application. There is much to be learned from this foundational text and Dr. Garrett has given us a valuable tool to help us explore the Exodus. Thank you Kregel and Dr. Garrett. May this commentary help readers to further know the God of the Exodus.

Book Details:

  • Author: Duane A. Garrett
  • Publisher: Kregel Academic
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Page Count: 752
  • ISBN#: 9780825425516
  • List Price: $39.99

 

About the Author:

Duane A. Garret (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is professor of Old Testament at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has previously taught at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Bethel Sminary and served as pastor and missionary in a variety of contexts. Garret has also written A Modern Grammar for Biblical Hebrew, Authority and Interpretation , and Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs for the Zondervan Illustrated Biblical Backgrounds Commentary (vol. 5). (From the Publisher’s Website)

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Disclaimer: I received this book from Kregel in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

Categories: Commentary, Kregel, Reviews