My Recommendations: Book of the Week, June 12

Reading the Old Testament sometimes can seem like ploughing through long pages filled with words without fully understanding their importance. Don’t miss the overall meaning, beauty, and power of over two-thirds of your Bible. Allow What the Old Testament Authors Really Care About: A Survey of Jesus’ Bible, edited by Jason S. DeRouchie, to guide you into understanding the themes and doctrinal emphases of each of the books of the Old Testament. Seventeen different writers present valuable insights about authorship, historical setting, purpose, theological themes, and ultimate message. Richly illustrated with many full-color photographs and charts, this volume will delight readers over and over again. The contributors include DeRouchie, Daniel Estes, Todd Bolen, Stephen Dempster, Daniel Hays, Andrew Schmutzer, Boyd Seevers, Preston Sprinkle, Gary Yates, Gary Smith, Kenneth Turner, Jeffrey Mooney, Chris Miller, Donald Fowler, Daryl Aaron, John Crutchfield, and Edward Curtis.

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“Song of the Bow”: A Biblical Meditation for Memorial Day

Memorial Day marks the national commemoration of those American warriors who gave their lives for our nation on the field of battle. We take the time to honor their memory, to decorate their graves, and to remember their sacrifice. David provided us with a wonderful song, an elegy, preserving the memory of two such warriors for the nation of Israel: King Saul and his son Jonathan. My meditation on 2 Samuel 1:17-27 was published yesterday on ParkingSpace23’s blog, Click on the following link “Song of the Bow”: A Biblical Meditation for Memorial Day, read, and keep on remembering those who served our nation as soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen. Do not allow their memory to die. Pass their story on to the succeeding generations. Remembering their service and honoring their memory belongs to every day of the year, not just Memorial Day.

My Recommendations: Book of the Week, May 29

A book like Jason S. DeRouchie’s How to Understand and Apply the Old Testament: Twelve Steps from Exegesis to Theology (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2017) makes an old Hebrew professor like myself wish he could go back forty-seven years and start teaching biblical Hebrew again–with this book for the the textbook in Hebrew Exegesis. Using a “Trail Guide” (a metaphor with great appeal for me personally), DeRouchie maps out the progressive sections in the volume and identifies the “Easy,” “Moderate,” and “Challenging” paths to tailor the material to the student’s level of proficiency or achievement. The book is user friendly and packed with examples. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this volume belongs solely to the ivory tower of academics–it is a book exposing a pastor’s heart, a love for Christ, and the “holy wonder of worship” (one of John Piper’s descriptions of the book). Every student of biblical Hebrew needs this book on his desk–not just on his shelf!

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My Recommendations: Book of the Week, March 27

When Greg Harris first shared his project with me, I was immediately captivated by his passion for formalizing and publishing what he has taught consistently from his church pulpit and his seminary classroom lectern. The Bible Expositor’s Handbook: Old Testament commences his two-part publication. This first volume first appeared in a digital format with accompanying podcast videos. Now it will be published as a hard copy volume. My full review is available in The Master’s Seminary Journal.

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My Recommendations: Book of the Week, March 13

The wisdom literature of the Old Testament includes Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and some of the Psalter’s psalms. Dr. Daniel Estes’ Handbook on the Wisdom Books and Psalms stands at the head of the list of books written as introductions or handbooks for the Wisdom Books. The author’s arguments for the antiquity of Job advocate its events and writing in the Patriarchal period of Old Testament history. For Ecclesiastes, Estes identifies its author as Solomon and argues against the book being pessimistic in nature. In fact, the brief running commentary on Ecclesiastes in this volume comprises one of the best commentaries available on Ecclesiastes. Over the years I have taught courses on the Wisdom Books of the Old Testament around the world. As soon as this volume became available I started requiring it as the textbook–and will continue to do so.

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Biblical Genealogies: Begetting a Devotional Reading

What do you do when you come to the book of 1 Chronicles in your Bible reading?

  • Skip?–Jump over genealogies without reading.
  • Skim?–Read the inserted headings, but not the text.
  • Scavenge?–Read only the narrative inserts, like the one about Jabez.
  • Squirm?–Read with distinct discomfort.
  • Scowl?–Complain, but plow on through the reading.
  • Skew?–Just declare in your mind that it must have something to do with Messiah.
  • Skid?–Stop reading the Bible–it just got too difficult.

Why did God include over thirty genealogies in the Bible (including them in both Old and New Testaments)? Are all of them Messiah related? What can we learn from them. This blog post is the first of a two-part series on reading the biblical genealogies devotionally. It is posted on ParkingSpace23 (click for link).