My Recommendations: Book of the Week, September 24

Photo Companion to the Bible: The Gospels (DVD from BiblePlaces.com) offers its users more than 10,000 PowerPoint slides illustrating the four Gospels verse by verse. The photographs represent some of the collections of Dr. Todd Bolen, Dr. Steven Anderson, and Mr. A. D. Riddle. These slides are a priceless addition to the study of the text of the Gospels. Each slide is beautifully composed with all of the essential information. For example, this set includes 144 slides on Matthew 13 alone. Each slide (above right) includes the biblical clause which the photograph, artifact, or art work represents. A description appears at the bottom left and the verse reference appears at the bottom right corner. This sample is one of the slides for Matthew 13:55.

 

Click on title under the picture of the DVD cover (above left) for link.

My Recommendations: Books of the Week, September 17 — Drs. Thomas & Toussaint

On September 5 Dr. Stanley D. Toussaint entered glory and the following day Dr. Robert L. Thomas went to heaven as well. Interestingly, both men were born in 1928 (Dr. Toussaint in Minnesota and Dr. Thomas in Georgia). Both also were New Testament scholars majoring on the Gospels, the Book of Revelation, dispensationalism, and eschatology. Dr. Thomas contributed many significant articles to The Master’s Seminary Journal, which he edited from 1990 until 2011. Dr. Toussaint published around twenty-five important articles in Bibliotheca Sacra. Dr. Thomas began his seminary teaching ministry in 1959 and continued full-time until 2008 — he taught first at Talbot Seminary and became the first full-time faculty hire at The Master’s Seminary in 1986. Dr. Toussaint started teaching at Dallas Theological Seminary and continued until his retirement in 2012.

 

As a contributor to ParkingSpace23, I posted Two Fallen Towers and Two Fallen Giants about the two men on September 11. In addition, at Dispensational Publishing I contributed a comment to Remembering Two Great Teachers and then they posted my Reflections on the Life of Robert L. Thomas, Th.D.

Below I have supplied links below to these two scholars’ best published works. Their labors will continue to bless many students of the New Testament for years to come. They were faithful men who loved the churches in which they served. Both men employed sound exegesis to prepare great expositions of the Word of God. Both of these two spiritual giants impacted the lives of literally hundreds and hundreds of students who continue to follow their example. We praise God for these two men, who still speak through the examples they left us and the products of their labors in both lives and published materials.

The photo above shows Dr. Robert Thomas (right) with one of his favorite students, and his boss, Dr. John MacArthur (left), on the occasion of celebrating Dr. Thomas’ 50 years of seminary teaching in 2009.

The photo at left shows Dr. Stanley Toussaint teaching for a YouTube video.

Click on book thumbnails below for links to the books on Amazon — the first three rows are Dr. Thomas’ books and the last two rows are Dr. Toussaint’s books.

My Recommendations: Books of the Week, September 10

I’ve taken the unusual step of recommending two books on the same topic this week. Too often, commentaries on Genesis 1-3 and Psalm 104 (just to cite two examples) conclude that “cosmic-conflict mythological language” permeates the biblical account (Longman, Psalms, TOTC, 360, about Psalm 104:5-9). Some Old Testament scholars in evangelical circles persist in identifying the Hebrew tehom (“deep”) in Genesis 1:2 with the goddess Tiamat and Chaoskampf. Adherents to the defunct Gap Theory do the same. It gets downright embarrassing to read such statements by evangelicals who evidently do not realize that evangelical and non-evangelical scholars alike have debunked this kind of association with ANE myths in the Bible. The following two books present the case against such associations.

The earliest of these two books is David Tsumura’s Creation and Destruction: A Reappraisal of the Chaoskampf Theory in the Old Testament (Eisenbrauns, 2005). He carefully surveys the potential links between the biblical text and some of the ANE myths (especially the Babylonian and Canaanite myths). He demonstrates that Genesis 1:2 does not refer to a chaotic state for the created earth. In addition, he also develops his argumentation regarding the proper interpretation of Genesis 2:5-6. Tsumura’s detailed research of both the biblical text and the ANE myths leads him to conclude that the biblical texts about creation and divine sovereignty merely employ metaphorical language about storms and floods. The biblical record of creation has nothing at all to do with primordial combat or Chaoskampf.

Click on picture for link.

In 1895 Hermann Gunkel published his Schöpfung und Chaos in Urzeit und Endzeit (translation: Creation and Chaos in Primeval Time and End Time) proposing that ancient near eastern myths formed the background for the biblical accounts of creation, chaos, conflict, and eschatology. Creation and Chaos: A Reconsideration of Hermann Gunkel’s Chaoskampf Hypothesis (Eisenbrauns, 2013) presents the work of current scholars who have found it more prudent to modify Gunkel’s hypothesis on the basis of a more thorough analysis of the extant data. This volume’s essays contradict the ongoing claim by some evangelical scholars who insist on associating tehom with Tiamat and represent Genesis 1 creation as a battle against hostile elements. Töyräänvuori’s essay raises a significant question: Shouldn’t the biblical account of creation (written by Egyptian-trained Moses) contain more associations to Egyptian mythology than to Babylonian? Perhaps the Egyptians borrowed from the Hebrews’ western Asiatic narratives instead of the other way around. Feinman’s essay makes the point that it is high time scholars cease treating the early chapters of Genesis as a “free-floating, immature, hazy, primitive, oral geographic tradition” (184), rather than with the real world. Evangelical references to and identifications of Chaoskampf in the Genesis record need serious reconsideration, if not outright correction. An overall evaluation of this volume reveals (1) the absence of serious consideration of the role of divine revelation in regard to the biblical record and (2) the potential that all of the ancient near eastern myths might represent independent flawed and skewed memories of either the original divine revelation of creation or of the original events of the Flood and the tower of Babel. Still, this volume needs to be read and Chaoskampf needs to be eradicated from evangelical commentaries (other than to identify the error of seeing such primordial conflict in the Scriptures).

Click on picture for link.

Books I’ve Endorsed

Dr. Barrick’s Books or Publications

My Recommendations: Book of the Week, September 3

How can someone break away from tradition and family pressures to seek the truth about life and God? Nabeel Qureshi lets us look into his life, his home, his Islamic religion, and his heart as he struggles his search for truth. Through his personal story we have the opportunity to understand more about the Ahmadis, who stand as an Islamic sect separate from the Sunnis and Shias. We become immersed in a warm and caring Muslim home life and see how 9/11 impacted moderate Muslims. Above all, however, Qureshi exposes us to the long process of true conversion and what it took for him to find out who Jesus really was and is. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus rightly received the 2015 Christian Book Award: ECPA Medallion of Excellence. For the first time in the award’s history, the title won in two categories: New Author and Non-Fiction. The spiritual journey Qureshi describes in his book does not speak just to Muslims, it speaks to agnostics, atheists, cult followers, Hindus, Buddhists, and many members of Christian denominations. Do NOT read this book, unless you really seek truth!

Click on picture for link.

My Recommendations: Book of the Week, July 23

In yet another superb ebook, Michael Vlach tackles the issues involved in determining how the New Testament writers use the Old Testament. How Does the New Testament Use the Old Testament?: A Survey of the Major Views examines seven major viewpoints. Vlach’s aim in this 78-page book is to list and explain the methodologies providing viable options to evangelicals, to identify objections and questions about each view, to provide test cases by which the differences between views might be more clearly understood, and to offer some suggestion regarding future discussion of the key issues. Every student of the Bible will find this book extremely helpful as an introduction to the topic and the issues involved.

Click on picture for link.

My Recommendations: Book of the Week, July 16

William Watson finds philo-Semitism, premillennialism, and even pretribulationism to be more prevalent before the nineteenth century than most theologians and church historians try to make us believe. Over four years of research reveals that some Westminster Assembly divines, Anglican bishops, and renowned Puritans on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean held a premillennialist viewpoint. Watson examined more than 350 primary sources, most of which have not been read (much less cited) for centuries. Holding a M.A. in European history, and a Ph.D. in seventeenth-century and eighteen-century English history (University of California, Riverside), he helped compile the English Short Title Catalogue (English works published between 1473 and 1800) that led to creation of the Eighteenth Century Collections Online. He was a Fulbright Senior Scholar to Moldova in 2004, a visiting fellow at Oxford-Brookes University in 2007, and is occasionally an adjunct instructor at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Dispensationalism before Darby: Seventeenth-Century and Eighteenth-Century English Apocalypticism counters the theological myth that dispensationalism and pretribulationism commenced with J. N. Darby.

Click on picture for link.