My Recommendations: Book of the Week, February 20

Are you looking for the best reference work for obtaining book-by-book, chapter-by-chapter Bible background information for history, geography, archaeology, and culture? I highly recommend Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary (5-volume set) for the Old Testament edited by John H. Walton. Top-notch Old Testament scholars who contributed to this set include:

  • Numbers, R. Dennis Cole
  • Deuteronomy, Eugene E. Carpenter
  • Joshua, Richard S. Hess
  • Judges, Daniel I. Block
  • 1 & 2 Samuel, V. Philips Long
  • 2 Chronicles, Frederick J. Mabie
  • Ezra and Nehemiah, Edwin M. Yamauchi
  • Esther, Anthony Tomasino
  • Isaiah, David W. Baker
  • Joel and Zephaniah, Mark W. Chavalas
  • Obadiah and Nahum, Alan R. Millard
  • Habakkuk, Victor H. Matthews
  • Malachi, Andrew E. Hill
  • Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon, Duane Garrett

Click on picture for link.

Kindle Edition of Searching for Adam Now Available

Searching for Adam, ed. by Terry Mortenson (Master Books, 2016) now available on Kindle (save an additional 60% off the price–and no shipping–instant acquisition–click on the book’s image at the left). The first printing (hard copy, paperback) sold out in less than eight weeks after coming out in early November. A new run is in the press. The first chapter, “Old Testament Evidence for a Literal, Historical Adam and Eve” (pp. 17-52), is mine. To read the full description, see my earlier post about the hard copy.

Keep on praying that God allows this book to be used in a mighty way in the current debate on the historicity of the biblical Adam and Eve.

Hebrew Whiteboard Update

Psalm 4:5 brings us to the second occurrence of “Selah” in this psalm and it gives the verse added emphasis. The verse also leads us to study the Septuagint (LXX) translation, since Paul cited the first half of the verse from the LXX in Ephesians 4:26. As we continue our analysis of Psalm 4, the structure exposed in vv. 2-5 will provide us with information necessary for both an accurate interpretation of the psalm and appropriate application of its theological implications.

Follow this link for Hebrew Whiteboard to download Psalm 4:1-5 or any of the previous studies of Psalms 1-3 and 120-122.

True Spirituality, Dealing with Addiction, and Self-Help Manuals

Counseling individuals with various types of addictions presents an ongoing challenge. How can you best help them to help themselves? How can you encourage them? What resources do you recommend? How do you help them better understand their addiction and its consequences (both short-term and long-term)? Frequently we depend too much on self-help manuals. There are many good books available. Warning: the thumb nail does not represent one that I would recommend–it is just a good visual for the blog post.

My blog today on ParkingSpace23 addresses this issue–at least in part. Addictions and recovery from addictions are sometimes complex matters. However, we really need to begin back at ground zero with the most basic of basics. Only then can we be certain we are following the path of God’s wisdom, which is greater than ours.

Hi-def Leadership in a Hi-def World

The attributes of godly leaders occupies a good deal of Scripture. Sometimes we find it necessary to synthesize the biblical teachings on leadership in order to sharpen our understanding of its seriousness and its challenges. In my recent ParkingSpace23 blog (February 2, 2017) I address this topic by means of using “Hi-def” as an acronym to structure a high-definition approach to the concepts of leadership.

God produces godly Christian leaders–they do not produce themselves. Spiritual formation of Christian leaders comes about as the result of men immersing themselves in the Word of God and of the people of God bathing them in prayer. I hope my brief and imperfect blog will help all of us think more carefully about church leadership.

Biblical Doctrine Volume Now Available

My contributor’s copy of Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Survey of Bible Truth, edited by John MacArthur and Richard Mayhue has finally arrived! The hefty volume (1023 pages) fills 2-1/4 inches of horizontal shelf space. The Master’s Seminary faculty members involved in producing section drafts for the volume included Dr. Nathan Busenitz, Dr. Jim Mook, Dr. Bryan Murphy, Dr. Michael Vlach, Prof. Michael Riccardi, and myself. It’s a great joy to see my 167-page draft turn into 98 pages of print, but the greatest joy involves the long-term potential of the volume making a significant impact upon the readers’ theological thinking through this systematic exploration of Scripture. As Dr. MacArthur and Dr. Mayhue write in the Preface, our prayer matches that of the apostle Paul’s in Ephesians 1:17-19. Yes, may the Spirit of God Himself enlighten our understanding of God’s written Word. Thank you to all of you who have been praying for the production of this volume and who have encouraged the editors and writers to see it through to completion.

Click image for link.

Hebrew Whiteboard Update

Continuing with Psalm 4:3-4 the text moves from the psalm heading (v. 1) and David’s prayer (v. 2) to his address to his enemies. Verse 3 concludes with the first occurrence of “Selah” in this psalm, giving the verse an added layer of emphasis. Verse 4 sets up a contrast between the threefold description of David’s enemies and the singular description of the psalmist’s position before YHWH.

Follow this link for Hebrew Whiteboard to download Psalm 4:1-4 or any of the previous studies of Psalms 1-3 and 120-122.

Hebrew Whiteboard Update

As we enter the New Year (2017), we turn to another psalm from the biblical Psalter. Interpreters and expositors often refer to Psalm 4 as an evening prayer following Psalm 3 as a morning prayer. Psalm 4 presents us with the first potential example of the mis-divided psalm headings (the link to my blog post about these colophons). To access Psalm 4:1-2 and the previous psalms posted thus far, click on this link: Hebrew Whiteboard.

Happy New Year!

Blow the Shophar! It’s a New Year!

ParkingsSpace23 has published my most recent blog post. It consists of a brief study of the New Year as presented in the Scriptures–especially Leviticus 23:23-25.

The post serves as a New Year greeting and New Year prayer for all readers of my blog. Throughout 2016 many of you sent me emails via my web site. You encouraged me to continue posting blogs, answering questions, producing Hebrew Whiteboard, and adding to the web site’s many resources. May you find a continually improving web site in 2017.

Above all, keep on trusting and praising the Lord in this New Year.

Psalms Commentaries & Psalms Studies

Hebrew Whiteboard now includes a listing of my favorite Psalms commentaries and Psalms studies. The listing presents them in order of my personal preference and each thumbnail of a book is linked to Amazon (just click on the book picture that you wish to examine further). Eventually, I will also list individual books dealing with groups of psalms (as with the Imprecatory Psalms in the list) and individual psalms.

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