Review: A Handbook on the Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith

“This is both a helpful reference work to have on one’s self for biblical studies, and could be used as a text for an adult ed course on Jewish roots of the Christian faith or a college or seminary level course. It also makes for an enjoyable “refresher” course should one read through it.”

Bob on Books

handbook on jewish roots of christian faith

A Handbook on the Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith, Edited by Craig A. Evans and David Mishkin. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2019.

Summary: A topical handbook on the Jewish background of the Christian faith, informed by the perspectives of both Jewish and non-Jewish Christian scholars.

A variety of scholars have called attention to how important it is to understand the Jewish background to the ministry of Jesus and the origins and development of the Christian movement. This background is critical to understanding the New Testament, the relationship between the two testaments, and indeed, the relations between Jews and Christians.

What makes this handbook distinctive from others that cover similar ground is that it is a multi-authored work, in which some of the contributors are well-known scholars like Scot McKnight, Larry Hurtado, Craig A. Evans, Andreas Köstenberger, and George H. Guthrie, and most of the rest are Jewish and/or…

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The Bible and Archaeology

The Christian Book Review Blog

If we are honest, those of us who love to “dig into” the Bible, have at least a passing interest in archaeology. An archaeological find that supports a biblical statement or event is one of the those “Aha; I told you so moments.” On the other hand, there are few of us who completely comprehend how archaeology and the Bible work together. We plug through a variety of Bible and/or archaeological websites and magazines hoping to find a few nuggets of knowledge and information. The real dilemma is we do not know how the Bible and archaeology are in sync.The Bible & Archaeology

So, when a book entitled The Bible and Archaeology comes along, just the title should pique our interest. And this one does! For those who have a limited knowledge of archaeology and how it intersects with the Bible, this is the perfect book to begin to understand the association.

The…

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Illustrated Wall Maps of the Bible–A Great Resource!

The Reagan Review

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This beautiful resource is the perfect choice for Sunday School, college classes, or any sort of Bible class. The size of these wall maps (28 X 40 inches) is ideal. The maps themselves are attractive and loaded with the best information. Carta maps are my favorite and the ones chosen for this package are the most important for a teaching setting.

When you open the container that holds these maps you will first see an 18-page Bible atlas that will aid your use of the larger maps and help you prepare to teach. All 12 maps are included in this atlas along with 5 additional maps. The bonus maps in this atlas include: The Land of Canaan with an inset of the walls of Jericho, The World of the Greeks with a small insert of the empire of Alexander the Great, The Roman Empire with a small inset of the…

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Today I Read Psalm 1 from… a Reader’s Septuagint!

Words on the Word

Today I read Psalm 1 out of the just-released Septuaginta: A Reader’s Edition, and it was just as wonderful as I’ve long imagined it would be!

First and foremost, this is due to the power of Scripture itself. The Psalms are just amazing. And there’s something about reading the Bible in its first languages that fosters (at least for me) a deeper sense of connection to the church throughout time and space.

But until this month, Bible readers and original language students could only read the Septuagint with the aid of a lexicon or Bible software. Other than a few tools with selected passages, there was no edition of the Septuagint with footnoted vocabulary and parsings throughout, so that you could pick up one book and read, with all the help you needed at the bottom of the page.

Readers of this blog are likely aware of…

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A Layperson’s Guide to How the Bible Is Written

By Tirzah Frank, Assistant Editor In How the Bible Is Written, Gary Rendsburg unpacks the literary devices behind the Hebrew Bible (a.k.a. the Old Testament). He delves into how the ancient Israelite literati (to borrow his term) used alliteration, wordplay, repetition with variation, style-switching, and other devices to deliver the biblical narrative in effective and … Continue reading A Layperson’s Guide to How the Bible Is Written

Understanding the Gospels as Ancient Jewish Literature–a New Carta Title!

The Reagan Review

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Carta continues its line of interesting, creative, and colorful titles that address something that you will be hard pressed to find somewhere else here in this lovely volume. Though only 40 pages, they are 40 large (9 x 12inches) eye-appealing pages. In every case, Carta’s unparalleled Bible atlas resources fill out the work of a text prepared by an accomplished scholar. In this title, Jeffrey Garcia, takes the Gospels and looks for what they reveal about ancient Judaism. Really, it’s a look at how the Gospels and Judaism shed light on each other.

The introductory section covers the journey of scholarship on these issues. He works his way through a succession of what he calls sources for understanding the Gospels including the Hebrew Bible, other Jewish literature, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Josephus, rabbinic literature, and Philo.

Even better is the section that delves into the geography of Israel in the…

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Book Review: Paul H. Wright, Understanding the Ecology of the Bible

Reading Acts

Wright, Paul H. Understanding the Ecology of the Bible: An Introductory Atlas. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 2018. 48 pp.; Pb; $18.00.  Link to Hendrickson

Paul Wright is the President of Jerusalem University College (the Institute of Holy Land Studies). He has contributed to several other “introductory” Carta atlases including Understanding Biblical Archaeology and Understanding the New Testament, and Understanding Great People of the Bible.

This atlas has a narrow focus, the ecology of the Bible. As Wright suggests, a study of the ecology of the Bible is important because flora and fauna are the natural context of the Bible (7). The daily life of ancient Israel was embedded in an ecosystem, and many of these natural elements form metaphorical language of the Bible.

For each of the six chapters of the book, Wright cites a theme verse. This does not always make the topic of the chapter clear…

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Surviving Family Tension and Helping Aging Parents: The Guide You Need

By Carrie Martin, Inventory Specialist Boomers and aging parents: help is one book away! Having just come through the holidays, some of us are ready to put out a help wanted ad: “Looking for life coach to come alongside and help me navigate my family dynamics between November 27, 2019, and January 2, 2020.” That … Continue reading Surviving Family Tension and Helping Aging Parents: The Guide You Need

Review: Philosophy of Revelation

Bob on Books

Philosophy of Revelation

Philosophy of Revelation, Herman Bavinck (edited by Cory Brock and Nathaniel Gray Sutanto, foreword by James P. Eglinton). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2018 (Originally given and expanded from Stone Lectures in 1908).

Summary: A new annotated edition of Dutch Reformed theologian Herman Bavinck’s 1908 Stone Lectures at Princeton, arguing that revelation is a warranted basic belief.

Herman Bavinck (1854-1921) was a Dutch Reformed theologian, writing mostly in Dutch, from the late nineteenth, early twentieth century. With the translation of his Reformed Dogmatics in 2003, studies of Bavinck’s work has flourished. This work represents an expanded version of Bavinck’s Stone Lectures at Princeton, first translated in 1908 by Geerhardus Vos. Two contemporary Bavinck scholars recognized the importance of this work to discussions of Reformed epistemology, and have given us this new annotated edition of the work. The annotations to the work are found in the footnotes and address everything from…

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Book Review: Lectures on Calvinism

Growing in the Gospel

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In 1898, Dutch Reformed theologian Abraham Kuyper delivered the Stone Foundation Lectures at Princeton University. His topic: Calvinism. At the turn of the century, from the European vantage point of the Netherlands, surrounded by Liberalism’s positivism entrenched in the churches and universities of Europe, Abraham Kuyper set out to recapture a holistic vision and understanding of the Christian faith as reclaimed by the leaders of the sixteenth century Reformation. These six lectures are now available in reprint in the Hendrickson Christian Classics series published by Hendrickson Publishers.

Calvinism is usually associated theologically with its high view of God and a particular application of salvation as well as its historical origin in the theological movement of Reformed European churches led by theologians such as Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin. With this association, the usual context for discussing Calvinism is within Historical and Systematic Theology; what the Reformers believed and how that…

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