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).

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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