Kindle commentary sale: 1 Corinthians (NAC)

1 CorinthainsNot sure how long this will be available for $2.99, but it just came out and you may want to take advantage and get it. Mark Taylor on 1st Corinthians via @amazonkindle

Not to mention that all of the commentaries (Kindle Edition) in the NIV Application Commentary set are on a $4.99 and down sale until the 27.   If I was y’all I’d pick a few up and especially the one with WIlson’s work on the Psalms (Psalms Volume 1 )

Have fun and blessings!

You’re Restricted!….

Dave Black linked to an article that the late Rod Decker had written for the Baptist Bulletin asking ‘Can We Trust the ESV Bible?‘  In the article he discusses the basic essence of BIble translations and a little bit of history leading up to the ESV, which I thought was interesting because he stated that the ESV is actually a revision and not a translation per se, such as the NIV.  The ESV is a revision of the RSV whereas the NIV is a direct translation of Hebrew and Greek.

But the reason for the blog title is he talks briefly about the form and function of translations highlighting formal and functional equivalent translations.  These two are not contradictory to each other but merely reflect differences in styles and really preferences as it relates to traditions.   He then gives an example:

Consider the following illustration of these differences in a difficult verse. If we were to translate word-for-word, we might read 2 Corinthians 6:12 like this: “Not you are being restricted in us you are being restricted but in the intestines of you.” Not very helpful, is it?! The KJV reads, “Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels.” That’s not much clearer. The ESV reads, “You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections.” Though only minor changes are made, translating the reference to the intestines into the metaphorical meaning of the expression (“affections”) helps the reader understand more of what Paul meant—but what is the “restriction”? The NIV becomes clearer: “We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us.” In this case the form of the original is not as evident, but the meaning is understandable. On the functional end of the spectrum, we might read something like this: “If there is a problem between us, it is not because of a lack of love on our part, but because you have withheld your love from us” (New Living Translation).

Decker is using this example to highlight the differences between working to get the form (literalness) of the text or word and working to get the function (meaning) of the text or the word. He avers that the ESV succeeds at improving the form and function of the original KJV upon which the ESV is based, and I would agree.  However, I admit, I have a preference for emphasizing the functionality of translations rather than the form of them.  Why?  Because I think functionality gets at the heart of what should be happening in a translation – people need to know not just what the Bible says, but also what it means and I personally believe that is accomplished best through a functional equivalence translation style, something mediating between the NIV and the NLT.  But again, that is my personal preference, but one I think is supported by the quote above.  As Decker notes, the ESV is not an unusable translation, it does accomplish the purpose for which it is intended, however,

I remember in my 2nd year Greek classes (we did what were called “inductive studies in the Greek” which was really a kind of surveying how to do exegesis in the various genre of the NT, well first semester we translated 1-2 Thessalonians, few chapters out of John and some others I can’t remember) and then the next semester we did translations out of the Gospels, Paul’s letters, the Epistles, and Revelation covering exegetical issues in each) but the thing I remember was Ben Aker saying that in first year Greek students spend time being form chasers, but that beyond that students of NT Greek should become function chasers.  And I think that is how it should be in translation – going for the function moreso than the form.

What Is In a Day? Genesis One

Brian Fulthorp:

Great post here by my friend Rick on the use of Day in Genesis 1 (a very controversial passage in the Bible, lol)

Originally posted on W.onderful W.orld of W.adholms:

clocksI just realized I have never posted anything (other than my thesis) dealing with the range of meaning for the Hebrew  יוֹם (yom) which is often translated as something like “day”. With all of the kerfuffles (that is a specific theological term ;-) ) over the word “day” in Genesis 1, I thought I’d do a brief post on my own work on this on what has been taught to my students (and will be tomorrow morning as well).

So here is the semantic range (the range of meanings based upon usage of the Hebrew term) as I have worked it out from my reading of the text of Genesis 1 (which is a distinct literary unit from verse 1 to either chapter 2, verse 3 or possibly verse 4):

  1. Period of light (v.5)
  2. Period of alternating darkness/light (vv.5, 8, 13)
  3. Cultic festivals (v.14)
  4. A twenty-four hour period (v.14…

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On the Growth of Pentecostalism

There has been some discussion on the net the last week or so on the growth of Pentecostalism in light of the fact that most of Christianity is on the decline in the US and elsewhere.

First came Missiologist Ed Stetzer who wrote for CT asking “Why do these Pentecostals keep growing?”  While he rightly identifies Pentecostalism’s message of Spirit Baptism as the thrust of the movement, his basic answer seems to be that although Pentecostals are strong believers in their belief in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with evidence of such being speaking in tongues (per Acts 2, etc) Pentecostalism seems to be providing a viable alternative to supposed “bland Evangelicalism.” Simply put, Pentecostals tend to be passionate about what they believe such that they share it with others and they work hard to plant churches.  Their passion is contagious!

Then a blog post by Sociologist Michael Wilkinson that he wrote a couple of years ago started showing up sort of in follow-up to what Stetzer wrote.   Wilkinson posted a response to the latest report on the status of Christianity in the world that was published in January 2013 in the International Bulletin of Missionary Research (IBMR Vol. 37, No. 1: 32-33).   He discusses the interpretation of the recent findings.

Finally, Dale Coulter, a theologian and scholar in the Church of God Cleveland, TN, has responded (positively) to Stetzer and offers further reflections that I think are true and insightful.  Coulter titles his blog post “Pentecostalism and the Question of Culture.”  I think it really is true that various facets of Pentecostalism, all centered around its message of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit resonates with aspects of current popular culture, and I think in a good way, not a negative way. Pentecostalism is not acquiescing to the culture but rather in how it is and has been expressing its spirituality and beliefs, provides answers people are looking for in healthy ways that above all else, point to Christ!  People want more than to know God, they want to encounter him.  They want to experience God.  If people are coming to your church and they leave without having in some tangible way experienced God, they will probably end up going elsewhere in their search.  The simple fact of the matter is, people are looking for a spiritual encounter with God.  You know how many people say they are spiritual just not religious? That is reflective of their desire for a spiritual encounter, and as Coulter rightly states in his post “Pentecostalism offers a framework for just such an encounter.”

Read what he has to say.  Let me know what you think!

I also really appreciated Mark Stevens’ response as well.


Let Women Remain Silent (or Not)

Brian Fulthorp:

Sharing this good post on the issue of 1 Cor 14:33-35 with y’all. Feel free to let me know what you think!

Originally posted on W.onderful W.orld of W.adholms:

Women Should Remain Silent (?)Last week in class we discussed 1 Corinthians 14.33-35. Talk about a controversial text. How does one properly interpret such a passage?  I was asked by a number of friends if I might post my notes on this. Instead of posting notes, here are “points to ponder” in working toward a proper interpretation of this passage. Perhaps I should mention at the beginning that I did not bring up the typical explanation of this being a house church wherein the women and men sat in different areas (a much later practice nowhere testified to in the NT) and thus the women would be somehow disruptive by asking their husbands something from across the room. Such a maneuver requires a historical reconstruction of which (at best) is shaky. So I offer the following after the verses in question:

 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in…

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thoughts on Luke 12:35-48

The other day a friend was asking about understanding Luke 12:35-48.  I tried looking the parable up in Snodgrass’s book on parables, but perhaps its not a parable so that’s why I could not find it? lol  anyways, here is how I am understanding that passage at the moment:

personally I am thinking the parable is more about being diligent about our spiritual lives and maintaining our integrity in the face of things not always turning out as expected – such as the manager not returning on time. When there is delay in what we know God has told us he will do, are we able to be watchful and diligent to stay with him in the process or do we give up and move on to other things?

its when we lose our focus on his calling in our lives do we start taking it out on others and giving up on God or do we keep pressing in to him and being watchful?  BUT…. depending on your personal theology one can see that in negative terms “God’s gonna punish me if i mess up” or one can be accepting of God’s grace and realize he is for us and not against us….

How might you understand it?

Commentary Review: Allen Ross’s Psalms vol 2

Its with thanks to the kind folks at Kregel that I had the opportunity to be part of the blog review program and am able to offer a brief review of Allen P. Ross’ second volume in his work on the Psalms, A Commentary on the Psalms, Vol 2 (Kregel, 2013).  I think it came out late last year.  It is in the new Kregel Exegetical Commentary set, which is aimed a preachers and Bible teachers.  In Vol 1, Ross writes:

So I have written this commentary for pastors, teachers, and all serious students of the Bible who wish to develop their understanding of the Book of Psalms and to improve their ability to expound it with precision and depth (12).

This really is a all encompassing commentary that I think will bless not just pastors and teachers but also students and even scholars and theologians of various sorts as he really does cover all the bases – while thorough, it’s not exhaustive.  While technical, it’s readable and understandable.  It’s thoroughness and technical coverage are not hinderances but helps.  If one is not familiar with biblical Hebrew that is just fine because one can still glean a significant amount of help in working the Psalms.  If one does have even a rudimentary knowledge of Hebrew, that will be all the better – but really one cannot lose in utilizing Ross’ work on the Psalms.  While clearly in the evangelical camp, he is an astute biblical theologian and not afraid to point out how a Psalm might bridge into the New Testament or point to Christ.

So in review, what is the purpose of the commentary?  Ross writes:

For hundreds of years the Book of Psalms has been one of the richest resources for the expressions of worship and the development of the Spiritual life, and at the same time, one of the more complex and challenging sections of the Bible for expositors, to which the many commentaries attest…. My purpose in writing this commentary was to focus on the chief aim of exegesis, the exposition of the text…. by exegetical exposition I mean that the exposition should cover the entire psalm, and that it should not only explain the text verse-by-verse, but also show how the message of the Psalm unfolds section-by-section (11-12).

How can the commentary benefit you?  Well, its greatest strength, I think, lies in Ross being intentional in helping Pastors and Bible teachers work the text of a particular Psalm and then show how to go “from exegesis to exposition.”  In each Psalm, Ross helps the reader do basic word studies, grammatical and syntactical analysis, exegetical synthesis, exegetical outlines that become theological outlines that lead to homiletical outlines, and application.  It is a crash course on how to put together a expository sermon.  It’s really good stuff, in my opinion.

Here is a description of the commentary from the Kregel website:


The second installment of Dr. Allen Ross’s acclaimed three-volume commentary

For thousands of years, Psalms has been one of the richest resources for worship and development of the spiritual life. At the same time it is one of the more complex and challenging sections of the Bible for expositors and students. Pastors, teachers, and all serious students of the Bible will find this commentary invaluable for developing an understanding of Psalms and for improving the ability to expound it with precision and depth This is volume two of a three-volume commentary on Psalms.

For each psalm, Dr. Allen Ross provides a translation of the text and an overview of the context. He then guides the reader through a detailed exegetical outline and offers an expository idea for the message of the whole psalm.

The commentary includes discussion throughout of three primary challenges to understanding Psalms:

Textual issues: Every major textual difficulty is addressed in order to help the expositor understand the interpretive issues and make decisions when there are multiple available readings.

Poetic language: The psalms are full of poetic imagery, devices, and structures Ross discusses Hebrew poetry in its context with each psalm, specifying the precise devices being used and how they work in the psalm.

Hebrew grammar and syntax: The Hebrew of Psalms poses a challenge to many expositors. This commentary illuminates Hebrew constructions and word meanings in a way that is helpful both to readers who are comfortable with Hebrew and those who are not.

I highly recommend this work in conjunction with other works on the Psalms as a valuable resource for preaching and or teaching, even just doing personal in-depth study on the prayer book of the Bible – the Psalms!

Be Blessed!