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).

My Recommendations: Book of the Week, March 6

Satellite Bible Atlas: Historical Geography of the Bible provides a very handy guide for any Bible land tour of Israel. Bill Schlegel lives in Israel and has led tours for several decades. The atlas combines modern satellite imagery with a conservative handling of the biblical text. This 8-1/2 x 12 inch volume comes in either hardback or paperback. This recommendation arises out of knowing Bill Schlegel personally, having been on a tour with him as one of the leaders, and having led a tour myself with this atlas as one of the guidebooks we asked all participants to possess and use. You don’t need to take a tour to Israel to appreciate this atlas; you only need to have it available as you read the Bible. Geographical awareness enhances Bible reading and Bible study.

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My Recommendations: Book of the Week, February 27

Dr. Eugene Merrill’s Everlasting Dominion: A Theology of the Old Testament presents the most dependable and readable theology of the Old Testament available today. The stance that Dr. Merrill takes consistently espouses a conservative, evangelical viewpoint. Organized by sections of the Old Testament, this volume consists of a biblical, rather than systematic, theology. To make it more usable, the book concludes with a set of three indexes–something that some major publishers have begun to omit. I recommend this volume highly because I know its author personally and have grown to love and respect him highly. Strengthen your grasp on a solid biblical theology of the Old Testament by reading and repeatedly referring back to this wonderful book.

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Hebrew Whiteboard Update

Now we come to Psalm 4:6-7 (Hebrew verse numbering) as we continue to analyze this psalm. After one imperative in verse 4 and four imperatives in verse 5, verse 6 adds two more, for a total of seven. In verse 7 we behold what Motyer calls “an arrow prayer,” similar to those that Nehemiah often prayed–instantaneous, extemporaneous prayers to God. Psalm 4 is one of David’s many prayers. We should learn to pray as he did.

Click on Hebrew Whiteboard to download Psalm 4:1-7 or any of the previous studies of Psalms 1-3 and 120-122.

New Book Endorsement

“For nearly a century, only a handful of scholars have published manuals for the exegesis of the Hebrew Bible. How to Understand and Apply the Old Testament surpasses all previous works with its biblical-theological orientation, purposeful organization, depth of analytical guidance, clarity of explanation, illustrative examples, and direction regarding interpretive implications. DeRouchie walks the aspiring exegete and expositor through the steps of a text-focused, genre-aware, and context-sensitive methodology. No matter what one’s theological views might be on any particular text, this volume gives users superb guidance for interpreting the Old Testament. I commend it to every teacher and student of Hebrew exegesis as the best textbook available.” — My published endorsement inside the book

  • Available March 31, 2017
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