REVIEW | Bible Study: A Student’s Guide, by Jon Nielson

9781596386372

BIBLE STUDY: A STUDENT’S GUIDE IS ON SALE AT WTSBOOKS.COM –
$6.00/copy (54%off) or $5.00/copy when you buy 5. Click here for more information.

My major in undergraduate school was “Youth Ministry”. Many of the books that I was assigned to read for class made me feel more like a junior high school student than a student in college. Maybe it was the fact that a majority of these textbooks were published in the late ‘90s, when clip art was mistakenly understood as both a cool and an essential visual aid? Sadly, I walked away from many of those books disappointed. Sure, there were certainly elements that could be positively received and applied. However, a majority of the content I was exposed to left me wanting more…and certain that “more” could be had. This desire for greater substance and clarity not only occurred in the books that served as my classroom texts, but also of the books that were written specifically for students as well.

In the years since my undergraduate days, I have still been hard-pressed to find a book, targeted at students, that was not primarily filled with “fluff” and a disproportionate amount of personal illustration (not to mention, clip art). That is, until now…

Bible Study: A Student’s Guide (P&R, 2013), by Jon Nielson, is a seriously practical book about Bible study for students who are serious about their faith. On a side, Jon presently serves as the college pastor at College Church, in Wheaton, Illinois. Before he became a pastor to college students, Jon served in both youth and sports ministry. Jon’s experience with students, along with his gift as both writer and teacher, and a sincere love for the Scriptures are unmistakable in this book.

As noted by the publisher, Bible Study: A Student’s Guide, “confirms that real, meaningful Bible study in not only possible for students, but important.” Students can read, study, interpret, and apply the Bible responsibly. And, I believe, when a student begins to do this regularly, their energy for personal study will be exponentially increased. So, how does Bible Study get a student moving in that direction? In order to set the student in motion, Neilson begins by addressing and explaining several core convictions about the Scriptures:

  • The Bible Is God Speaking
  • The Bible Is Powerful
  • The Bible Is Understandable
  • The Bible Is a Literary Work

From there, Nielson moves on to some key hermeneutical issues, including genre, the unity of the Bible’s story line, technique and approach, and he addresses several possible pitfalls along the way.

I can say, by far, that Bible Study: A Student’s Guide is the single best book (for students) that I have ever encountered, in terms of learning how to effectively study God’s Word. It communicates a high view of Scripture by clearly articulating, in terms a student can digest, the authority, inerrancy, and perspicuity of God’s Word. It takes an unashamed Christ-centered approach to all of Scripture. It handles the necessary discussion of biblical genre very well. Nielson, as well, provides a wonderful balance between a grammatical-historical and redemptive-historical hermeneutical approach. Even as one with a couple degrees in theology, I was energized as I read it because it was taking elements of Bible study that I hold dear and consider essential, and in turn instructing me on how I may articulate these things in terms that students can understand. Really, the remarkable thing about this book is that it would be an excellent primer for anyone, student-thru-adult, on responsible and intelligent Bible study.  Perhaps that’s why D.A. Carson noted, “If you are a high schooler, read this book carefully and thoughtfully, and then loan it to your parents.”

In sum, I have no question that, in terms of student ministry, this will be my “go-to” book to use, recommend, and give away on the topic of Bible study. It will be my starting point for training and setting a foundation for thoughtful and substantive Bible study in student ministry small groups. And, it will be a resource I consult often as a guide to explaining, in profoundly clear terms, the theological and methodological necessities of Christ-exalting Bible study.

Coming away from this text, students (and, perhaps, parents!) will no longer be stuck in the ambiguous world of “What does this passage mean to me…?”, and will now be energized by the ability to approach God’s Word asking and answering the more important question, “What does this passage mean?” From there, the heart-transforming truth of the Scriptures may be effectively applied.

I enthusiastically recommend this book!

*A copy of the book was provided by the publisher, at no charge, for the purpose of review.  I was under no obligation to offer a positive review.

BOOK DETAILS:

224 Pages
Publisher: P and R Publishing Company
Publication Date: April 2013
ISBN 10: 1596386371
ISBN 13: 9781596386372

BUY NOW at WTSBOOKS.COM – $6.00 (54% 0ff) or $5.00 when you buy 5 or more copies.*

*Limited time offer. Subject to change without notice.

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Daniel Block on “The Shema” & NIVAC Kindle Sale

9780310492016One of the most well-known texts of Scripture in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) is Deuteronomy 6:4, “The Shema”.  Though it is certainly familiar, it is by no means immune to difficulty in the translation process.  Daniel Block, Gunther H. Knoedler Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College Graduate School, in his recent (NIVAC) commentary on Deuteronomy, offers what I feel is both a helpful interpretation and clarification of the text.  He writes:

“THE SHEMA IS ONE of the most important symbols of Judaism. To this day, orthodox Jews recite verses 4–5 twice daily as part of their prayers (cf. v. 7). Despite its importance in Jewish and Christian tradition, the Shema is enigmatic. The sense of the first two words is clear. But the construction of the remainder is unparalleled in the entire Old Testament, so any interpretation, including our own, should be deemed provisional. On the surface the four words appear to be arranged in an ABAB parallelistic order, translated literally:

Chart taken from the Kindle edition of "Deuteronomy" (NIVAC), Zondervan, 2012.

Chart taken from the Kindle edition of “Deuteronomy” (NIVAC), Zondervan, 2012.

The first line could be interpreted either as a sentence, “Yahweh is our God,” or appositionally, “Yahweh our God,” though the latter creates problems for interpreting the second line. The critical word in the second part is obviously [echad], which in the overwhelming number of occurrences represents the cardinal number “one.” However, in a half dozen instances, the word functions as an equivalent to lebaddô, “unique, only, alone.” Within the immediate and the broader contexts the purpose of this statement is not to answer the question, “How many is God?” but “Who is the God of Israel?” To this question the Israelites were to respond in unison and without compromise or equivocation, “Our God is Yahweh, Yahweh alone!”

Moses’ concern here is whether God’s people would remain devoted exclusively to Yahweh or be seduced by the gods of Canaan. His exposition of the Shema in the remainder of 6: 5–19 confirms this interpretation. Answering to the Supreme Command, by uttering the Shema the Israelites were declaring their complete, undivided, and unqualified devotion to Yahweh. This is not strictly a monotheistic confession (cf. 4: 35, 39) but a cry of allegiance, an affirmation of covenant commitment that defines the boundaries of the covenant community. It consists of those who claim this utterance as a verbal badge of identity and who demonstrate this identity with uncompromising covenant commitment”[1]

All NIVAC Volumes on Sale! (Kindle Editions)

For a limited time, Zondervan Academic has discounted the entire set of the NIVAC Commentary Series to $4.99 or less (Kindle ed. only).  For purchase information on Dr. Block’s commentary, click here.  The following are links to each individual volume. GenesisLeviticus, Numbers;DeuteronomyJoshuaJudges and Ruth1 & 2 Kings1 & 2 Chronicles;EstherJobEcclesiastes, Song of SongsIsaiahJeremiah, Lamentations;EzekielDanielJoel, Obadiah, Malachi;Hosea, Amos, MicahJonah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah;Haggai, ZechariahMatthewMarkLukeJohnActs;Romans1CorinthiansGalatiansEphesiansPhilippians;Colossians & Philemon1 & 2 Thessalonians1 & 2 Timothy & TitusHebrewsJames1 Peter2 Peter & Jude1, 2, & 3 JohnRevelation.


[1] Block, Daniel I. (2012-08-21). Deuteronomy (NIV Application Commentary, The) (pp. 181-182). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Biblical Foundations Giveaway

Andreas Kostenberger (follow on Twitter) is hosting a giveaway of his recent volume Invitation to Biblical Interpretation at his blog, Biblical Foundations.  If you’re looking for a solid book on hermeneutics, this appears to be a sure bet!  I have not worked through this particular volume, but am well acquainted with Kostenberger’s scholarship and can confidently say that his work will prove to be a blessing to you and serve you well.  CLICK HERE to be redirected to the giveaway.  Be sure to bookmark the site as well!

Here is a brief description of the the book: 

Bible scholars Andreas Kostenberger (NT) and Richard Patterson (OT) provide a textbook utilizing the “hermeneutical triad” method. This approach to interpretation is based on giving due consideration to both the historical setting and the literary context, as well the theological message.

Working through the major genres of Scripture and showing how their method applies to each one, they provide interpretive examples to guide the student in proper exegesis. In addition to the examples, each chapter concludes with exercises and assignments. Also included is a helpful “Building a Biblical Studies Library” appendix along with a four-page summary chart, presentation slides, test bank, syllabus, and illustrations.

Was Equality Self-Evident to Our Founding Fathers?

When I was a sophomore in high school, I wrote a short piece for an essay contest called The Voice of Democracy.  The contest was run through our school’s English department, and sponsored by the local VFW.  As a Christian student in the public school system, I thought I would use the opportunity to voice my concern that the future of our nation depended upon a return to the “’biblical’ values of our Founding Fathers.”  Apparently I did sufficient work in the opinion of my readers because I won a $250 savings bond for my efforts, and my essay was broadcast over the local radio station as I read it from the pulpit of the local Evangelical Lutheran Church during one of their Sunday services.   It really is no surprise that the subject of the essay was so well received.  The same sentiment and sermon are often shared from many a pulpit around Memorial Day, the 4th of July, Veterans’ Day, and 9/11 in countless conservative Evangelical churches.

In the years that followed, as I actually studied the history of our nation’s inception and the beliefs of its founders more deeply, I would discover that a good majority of my notions, stated in that essay, were grossly incorrect.  Though many pastors continue to rally the cry to return to the religious values and convictions of our Founding Fathers, we may be wise to consider what, in fact, they actually valued and believed.

Ian J. Shaw, in his recent book, Churches, Revolutions, and Empires: 1789-1914 (Christian Focus, 2012), briefly and helpfully expounds on “the religious view at the time of the Founding Fathers”:

The birth certificate of the new nation, the 1776 Declaration of Independence, announced in ringing tones that: ‘all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’. The full implications of the declaration seem to have eluded the Founding Fathers. For many decades those who were black, female, or Roman Catholic, would have genuine cause to doubt just how seriously such profound assertions were to be taken. Exactly what some of the Declaration’s authors, such as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, intended by using the word ‘Creator’ remains a topic of much debate. Both stressed virtue and morality as being essential for the well-being of society, and in the promotion of morality the role of the churches was seen as important, but Jefferson believed that common moral philosophy rooted in human reason rather than a God-centred life, could provide the foundation for public morality. George Washington, first President of the United States, similarly emphasised the duty of life and disinterested service, and preferred to speak of God using names derived from Nature rather than the Bible—such as Supreme Being, Grand Architect, Great Ruler of Events, and Great Creator. The influence of Deism on the Founding Fathers and early political leaders of the nation cannot be ignored. Of these, Thomas Jefferson was the pre-eminent representative. To him religion was more about having a moral code than believing in divine revelation, and he argued that much of the Bible was unclear, in which case he preferred ignorance to error. Nonetheless, the teaching of Jesus remained important to him, although he couched it within the framework of Deism. He argued that true religion was the ‘sublime doctrines of philosophy and deism, taught by Jesus Christ’. Without this, life would ‘indeed be a hell’.[1]

The quote above only scratches the surface in terms of demonstrating the full extent to which many of the Founding Fathers truly did not consider everyone essentially equal.  Additionally, many of them did not hold to orthodox Christian doctrine, but would more accurately be identified as deists.  Thus, as pastors and Christians, it would be wise to discern the extent to which we sometimes call people back to the religious convictions and values of our Founding Fathers.

Check back on Friday for my full review of Shaw’s volume as a part of the Churches, Revolutions, and Empires blog tour, sponsored by Christian Focus Publishers and Cross Focused Reviews.


[1] Ian J. Shaw (2012-04-12T13:51:14+00:00). Churches, Revolutions, & Empires: 1789-1914 (Kindle Locations 260-275). Christian Focus. Kindle Edition.

Old Story New Preview: Week 1, Day 2

Yesterday we began the preview of Marty Machowski’s new family devotional Old Story New: Ten Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God (New Testament).  I hope you found it helpful, and even gave it a test run with your family.  As noted, we’ll be previewing the entire first week courtesy of New Growth Press.  So without further delay…here’s Day 2!

DAY TWO

Remember It: What do you remember about yesterday’s story? What do you think is going to happen today?

Read Luke 1:39–45.

Think about It Some More: After the angel told Mary about God’s plan, Mary went to see Elizabeth, a relative of hers.

When Mary arrived and walked through Elizabeth’s front door, the little baby growing in Elizabeth’s tummy jumped, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Even before Mary could tell Elizabeth that she was pregnant, Elizabeth already knew. The Holy Spirit told her that Mary was going to have a baby, a very special baby. She said that Mary’s baby would be her Lord! That means that she knew Mary’s baby was God and would rule over her life.

Talk about It

  • What was amazing about Elizabeth’s greeting? (She knew what happened to Mary even though Mary didn’t tell her.)
  • What did Elizabeth’s baby do when Mary arrived? (Elizabeth’s baby, who was later to be known as John the Baptist, jumped inside of her.)
  • Why did Elizabeth’s baby jump inside her? What was so special about Mary’s baby? ( Jesus was no ordinary baby; he was the Son of God. Jesus came to earth so that he could die on the cross for our sins. He is only a little baby in our story, but he is still the Savior of the world.

Pray about It: Thank God for the way he used Mary and Elizabeth to work out his plan to send us Jesus.

From Old Story New: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God by Martin Machowski. Copyright © 2012 by Covenant Fellowship Church. Used by permission of New Growth Press, www.newgrowthpress.com

 

 

Old Story New: Feature and Giveaway

As a parent, one of the things I must do when selecting biblical resources for my son/family is sift through the myriads of unhelpful material that makes up so much of Christian literature today.  Simply because something sits on the shelf in a Christian bookstore doesn’t mean that someone has already done the work of discerning the soundness of theology within.  In reality, there are excellent, Bible-saturated, doctrinally sound, and substantial resources available, but many times you just need to be a little more pro-active in your search.  In an effort to point you in the right direction, I’d like to make you aware of an exciting children’s series and its latest family devotional.

The series is Marty Machowski’s Gospel Story for Kids collection of children’s resources, published by New Growth Press.  Susan, Gresham, and I have enjoyed reading from The Gospel Story Bible.  It is truly a joy to read a children’s Bible that is thoroughly Christ-centered, redemptive-historical, and one that responsibly condenses and applies each story.  Alongside The Gospel Story Bible, Machowski has written a children’s curriculum that focuses on understanding how the Old Testament points to Christ.

Additionally, Marty has written two family devotionals.  The devotionals are designed around a 10-minute, discussion-based format.  In 2010, New Growth Press released Long Story Short, which worked its way through the Old Testament with the intent of working through the text in order to draw families closer to Christ.  This month (October, 2012) marks the release of Machowski’s New Testament devotional, Old Story New: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God (New Testament).

In partnership with the generous folks at New Growth Press, over the next week-and-a-half I will be posting the first week of devotions from Old Story New, an interview with Marty, giving away 2 copies of the book, and posting my review as a part of the Old Story New Blog TourBe sure to check back tomorrow for the first excerpt and instructions as to how you can enter to win a copy of Old Story New.  You may want to subscribe via RSS or email to receive the updates automatically in your inbox or reader of choice.

In the meantime, here is a brief bio of Marty as well as some of the advance endorsements Old Story New…

BIO

Marty Machowski is a Family Life Pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church, a Sovereign Grace Ministries church in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, where he has served on the pastoral staff for more than twenty years. As leader of their children’s ministry, Promise Kingdom, he has worked for many years to develop curriculum and devotional material that connect church and home. His passion is equipping families to understand the Bible as one gospel story and help them share that with their children. He is the author of The Gospel Story for Kids series including Long Story Short: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God (OT)The Gospel Story Bible; and the Gospel Story Curriculum: Finding Jesus in the Old Testament and the forthcoming Old Story New (NT): Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God and Gospel Story Curriculum: Following Jesus in the New Testament. He and his wife Lois and their six children reside in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

ENDORSEMENTS

“Marty Machowski has done it again! This book, along with the earlier Old Testament devotional book, Long Story Short, is another masterful devotional book for families. It is simple without being shallow. It is theologically robust without being pedantic. It is comprehensive without being overwhelming. Best of all, it is doable for busy parents with children.”
Dr. Tedd Tripp, Pastor; conference speaker; best-selling author of Shepherding a Child’s Heart
“So much of the family devotional material available today does little more than use the Bible to teach half-truths and full-out moralism. The reason my wife and I love Marty Machowski’s books and the reason they have become important resources as we seek to raise our children in ‘the discipline and instruction of the Lord,’ is their consistent focus on the big picture of the Bible’s big story. Old Story New is yet another wonderful resource that we gladly commend and look forward to reading with our children.”
Tim Challies, Author; pastor; blogger
“Marty Machowski ‘gets’ families. Even more importantly, he knows how to connect them to the Bible with simple, relatable New Testament studies that make much of Jesus in every lesson. If you want your kids to see the Savior through his Word, spend some time in this exciting new devotional.”
Dave Harvey, Church Planting and Church Care, Sovereign Grace Ministries; author of When Sinners Say I Do: Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage

The Root and Fruit of Spiritual Fellowship

One of the most disappointing things for a reader is cracking the cover of a book that has received great amounts of praise from credible voices only to be disappointed with the content the book actually delivers.  I can assure you; this is definitely NOT the case with Thabiti Anyabwile’s new book, The Life of God in the Soul of the Church: The Root and Fruit of Spiritual Fellowship.  Within the first 5 minutes of reading, my soul was already deeply encouraged by the simple, straightforward, and substantive manner of Thabiti’s presentation of truth about which, on a number of occasions, made me internally (and sometimes externally) exclaim, “YES!”

In the quote below, Anyabwile draws on the opening chapter of 1 John to explain the goals of spiritual fellowship with Christ and among saints in the church.  He writes:

The goals of…fellowship are joy and holiness.  ‘We write this to make our joy complete’ (v. 4).  Or, as some manuscripts and translations render the verse: ‘We are writing these things so that your joy may be complete.’  John clarifies the message of the gospel for his readers and for us.  He proclaims his message so that our joy would be filled out, swelled to fullness, complete, overflowing, bursting forth—so that nothing would be lacking in our experience of joy!

What an incredible thing.  Have you thought about this lately?  That the Son of God took on flesh.  That Life itself entered the world to be horribly abused, slaughtered, pierced, hung on a cross, buried, and then raised from death—for the sinner’s joy!  Christ endured the agony of the cross for the joy set before Him—for His joy in redeeming us and for our joy in knowing Him!  This is what the end of the gospel brings—joy for the sinner who now looks to His Savior face-to-face.

This is why fellowship cannot fundamentally be reduced to activities, a set of programs, or a set of dos and don’ts.  In essence, through fellowship the Lord’s life pushes us, propels us, and draws us to joy—great joy—built through relationships, not structure. (pp. 21-22, emphasis mine)

Check back next week for a review of The Life of God in the Soul of the Church, posted in partnership with a blog tour sponsored by Christian Focus Publishers.  I will tell you, in advance, that this is the best book I have encountered on the subject and practice of fellowship in the local church.  Whether you’re a pastor or layperson, you’ll want to pick this one up!

FYI: WTSbooks.com has it for $8.99…that’s 40% off the retail price of $14.99.  CLICK HERE for more info.

Dangerous Calling: Tripp on Pastoral Ministry

Every time I read or listen to Paul Tripp, one liberating message consistently resounds in my head and heart:

As desperate sinners we can be ruthlessly honest about our need for grace, because the very grace we so desperately need is available to us–right now–in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

I was recently encouraged, as I opened my email inbox, to find some exciting news from Crossway in the form of an advanced-copy PDF.   In his forthcoming book, Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry, Tripp recounts some of the most trying experiences within his own life and ministry in order to provide a “diagnostic” that will help pastors honestly face and wisely navigate the challenges, temptations, and potential pitfalls frequently facing those in pastoral ministry.  I’ve only begun to flip through the pages, but it is clear that Tripp powerfully demonstrates how the liberating message of grace is needed as much by the pastor as it is by the parishioner.

Divided into 3 parts, Tripp begins by “Examining Pastoral Culture”.  In this section, Tripp uncovers the common dangers that pastors face when they lack community and personal accountability, refuse to listen to those around them, face relational difficulties within their own marriage and family, allow their identity to be defined by their ministry, only approach the Scriptures with an academic bent (or as only applying to the lives of others), form misconceptions about ministry “success”, and fail to consistently preach the truth of the gospel to themselves.

Tripp moves forward to examine the ramifications of forgetting who God is.  In a section entitled “The Danger of Losing Your Awe (Forgetting Who God Is)”, Tripp examines how, as Warfield stated, “constant contact with divine things” can result in complacent theological familiarity and a loss of awe for the power, presence, and person of God.  Forgetting who God is results in sinful fear, secrecy, complacency and frustration.

Part 3, “The Danger of Arrival: Forgetting Who You Are”, takes aim at the dangers of forming a magnified view of ourselves that is selfish, sinful, and altogether unbiblical.  Tripp notes that when we choose to become the objects of our worship we prideful, defensive, disconnected, overtly self-confident, and always desiring to make ourselves known in an unhealthy way.  Tripp notes how choosing to worship God personally and privately, will allow us to encounter the glory of God in such a way that it will then allow us to see ourselves for who we truly are, stripping us of our self-focus, self-righteousness, self-sufficiency, and more…in turn allowing us to truly experience life.

In each section, Tripp never leaves you guessing as to how God’s grace reaches into each situation with its healing power.  The strength of Tripp’s writing lies in his ability to surgically, and thus often uncomfortably, address the infections and wounds of sin within the life of the believer, and in this particular case, the pastor.  He then wisely notes how our sinful hearts often try to cover over these wounds, or out rightly ignore them, which leads to increased damage to our hearts and destruction in the lives of those around us.  Again, he never leaves the person with a sense of despair, no matter how deeply the sin has permeated one’s own heart and life.  God has given Paul Tripp the ability to speak the Good News of the gospel of God’s grace toward us in Christ with such clarity and effective soul application that even the most desperate person, who chooses to believe, will rejoice in the light of the availability and liberating power of God’s grace.

As a young minister who has served in various pastoral capacities over the last 5 years, even in my quick reading of this book, Tripp has already uncovered many of the sinful tendencies I see and struggle with in my own life.  Thus, I can confidently say, for the young pastor or the seasoned one, this book is a must read!  Pick up a copy, be personally and ministerially honest, and glorify God by applying and reveling in the now-available grace of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Dangerous Calling is expected for publication on October 31, 2012.  Until then, you can pre-order a hardback copy at Amazon for $11.86 (48% off the cover price of $22.99).  You can also check out the info page at Crossway for endorsements and additional details.

NOTE: I was provided with a complimentary advanced-copy PDF of this title from the publisher for the purpose of review, and was under no obligation to offer a positive review.

ESV Single Column Journaling Bible

I use the ESV Bible as my translation of choice for personal study and devotion.  The accuracy and readability of the text, I believe, are unparalleled insofar as modern translations of the biblical text are concerned.  Moreover, the scholarly study notes, charts, tables, etc., in the Study Bible edition of the ESV are comparable to having a small theological library at your fingertips.

Every so often, I’ll post on a resource I hope to get my hands on in the near future…as well as those I think will be of great benefit to my readers.  That said, Crossway has just released a new edition of the ESV text in a single column, journaling format!  Crossway describes the updated edition of their journaling Bible, saying:

The ESV New Journaling Bible is a complete redesign of the original Journaling Bible. The Bible text is now laid out in an easy-to-follow, single-column format. Ruled lines in the extra-wide margins match up with each line of Bible text, enabling users to more easily align their notes with specific verses. With high-quality Bible paper and cover materials, the New Journaling Bible is a durable edition for anyone who wants to capture notes, prayers, or personal reflections in their Bible. (links added)

As one who tends to vigorously mark up and notate whatever I happen to be reading, this format is premium for those who, like me, take notes on jot thoughts on the text as they read.  I’ve yet to get my hands on the new addition, but I’m hoping to get a copy in the near future.  In the meantime, you can preview a sample of the interior by CLICKING HERE.

If you’re interested in grabbing a copy of the New Journaling Bible, check out the links below:

  • JOE THORN is giving away 2 copies of the New Journaling Bible over at his blog in a giveaway that ends on Wednesday, 8/22/12, at 10pm CST.
  • WTSBooks.com is offering the ESVJB, at 40% off the retail price, for $23.99.
  • Head over to Crossway’s site to see all the different editions of the ESVJB.  (Personally, I’d love a copy of the Red Edition!)

Beale on Typology

One of the most controversial and potentially difficult issues within the realm of biblical interpretation is that of typology.  How are the people, places, events, and circumstances of the Old Testament text to be interpreted and understood insofar as their connection to subsequent people, places, events, and circumstances is concerned; especially as they relate to Christ and the church?

Greg Beale, in his forthcoming book, Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament: Exegesis and Interpretation (Baker Academic, 2012), provides a helpful definition for considering that which may be properly understood as having typological significance.  He defines biblical typology as:

The study of analogical correspondences among revealed truths about persons, events, institutions, and other things within the historical framework of God’s special revelation, which, from a retrospective view, are of a prophetic nature and are escalated in meaning. (p. 14)

After defining biblical typology, he offers two helpful points of clarification regarding “escalation” and “retrospection”.

Beale notes, “By “escalation” is meant that the antitype (the NT correspondence) is heightened in some way in relation to the OT type.  For example, John 19:36 views the requirement of not breaking the bones of the Passover lamb in the OT epoch to point to a greater reality of the bones of Jesus not being broken at the crucifixion…”  Additionally, “…escalation would be the correspondence of God providing literal manna from heaven for physical sustenance and providing the manna of Christ from heaven for spiritual sustenance.”  Clarifying “retrospection”, Beale says, “By “retrospection” is meant the idea that it was after Christ’s resurrection and under the direction of the Spirit that the apostolic writers understood certain OT historical narratives about persons, events, or institutions to be indirect prophecies of Christ or the church.” [Please read the qualification Beale cites regarding the “retrospective” characteristic of biblical typology, noted in the “Comments” section.]

While some interpreters are extremely leery of deeming anything in Scripture a “type” that isn’t expressly stated as such, Beale’s definition and subsequent study promises to be handled with scholarly precision and care, and, undoubtedly, a reverence for both God and his Word.

  • WTSbooks.com has a sample chapter and audio lecture available, as well as some overall info on Beale’s forthcoming work.
  • Amazon.com has the book for a deeply discounted pre-order price of $9.67 (Reg. $17.99)
  • Baker Book House is offering the opportunity to win a copy of the book this week at their blog (Giveaway ends, Friday, August 17, 2012, at 6AM EST).  I’m hoping to win a copy myself, so I can continue the study above! 🙂