Category Archives: Book Review

Bock Responds to the Newsweek attack

Newsweek on The Bible

Newsweek on The Bible

It almost always happens around Christmas and Easter. The print and film media launches a critical attack on the Bible, Judaism, and Christianity. This time it is Newsweek, in an article called “The Bible So Misunderstood It’s a Sin” (here) by Kurt Eichenwald.

Dr. Darrell L. Bock, Senior Research Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, is writing a response to Newsweek’s take on the Bible. Part I deals with the Base Biblical Text, answering the question “Do we really know what we have?”

This response is available on bock’s blog here. Pass this along to your friends.

HT: Brooks Cochran

Halley’s Bible Handbook on sale today

Halley’s Bible Handbook with the New International Version is available for a limited time in Kindle format for $3.99. This is the completely revised and expanded 25th edition of this famous book. I notice that the sections on archaeology and geography have been revised by Carl G. Rasmussen.

This is one of the first books I owned. It can be helpful to everyone, especially those who do not have access to a larger library. It is the sort of book you can take with you to Bible classes to be able to have a little information about a lot of topics.

Book on the origin of Israel available

Daniel I. Block’s book, Israel: Ancient Kingdom or Late Invention?, is available in Kindle format today for $2.99. The retail price of the hardback is $28.

The publisher (B&H) of the 2008 book describes it as

a collection of essays responding to the radical claims that Israel and its history actually began following the Babylonian exile, and that the history of Israel we read about in the Bible is a fictionalized account.

Contributors are leading Bible and archaeology scholars who bring extra-biblical evidence to bear for the historicity of the Old Testament and provide case studies of new work being done in the field of archaeology.

The book includes the following essays dealing with some of the current discussions in Biblical studies.

  • Israel – Ancient Kingdom or Late Invention? – Daniel I. Block
  • The Value and Limitations of the Bible and Archaeology – Alan R. Millard
  • Contextual Criticism as a Framework for Biblical Interpretation – John M. Monson
  • North-West Semitic Inscriptions and Biblical Interpretation – Joel Drinkard
  • From Joseph to David: Mari and Israelite Pastoral Traditions – Daniel E. Fleming
  • Major Geographical Issues in the Accounts of the Exodus – James K. Hoffmeier
  • Slavery and Slave Laws in Ancient Hatti and Israel – Harry A. Hoffner Jr.
  • Were the Israelites Really Canaanites? – Alan R. Millard
  • Syria and the Bible: The Luwian Connection – Richard S. Hess
  • David and Solomon’s Jemsalem: Do the Bible and Archaeology Disagree? – Alan R. Millard
  • Who Were Israel’s Transjordanian Neighbors and How Did They Differ? – Gerald L. Mattingly
  • Shalmaneser III and Israel – K. Lawson Younger Jr.
  • Did the Israelites Really Learn Their Monotheism in Babylon? - Simon J. Shenvin
  • Did Persian Zoroastrianism Influence Judaism? – Edwin M. Yamauchi
  • Interpreting the Bible as an Ancient Near Eastern Document – John H. Walton

Archaeological Study Bible available for Kindle

Act quickly. The NIV Archaeological Study Bible is available in Kindle format for $4.99. The cheapest hard cover edition is available for $32.33 at Amazon. Use this link:
NIV Archaeological Study Bible: An Illustrated Walk Through Biblical History and Culture

NIV Archaeological Study Bible

NIV Archaeological Study Bible

This book was produced by conservative scholars and includes many valuable archaeological insights into the Bible.

 

Mark Wilson speaks to group in Antalya

Dr. Mark Wilson shared a meal with us at the hotel one evening in Antalya, Turkey. After dinner Mark spoke to the group about his work in Turkey. He is the founder and director of the Asia Minor Research Center, and spends most of each year working and doing research in Turkey. He has updated several of the works of Sir William M. Ramsay, and written several helpful books on the book of Revelation. You will find much helpful material by Dr. Wilson on the Seven Church Network web site.

Our tour group heard a brief preview of the presentation Dr. Wilson plans for one of the upcoming annual professional biblical studies meetings in San Diego, California. He has been working on discovering the projected route of Paul’s Second Journey in Anatolia based on the biblical text, known roads, milestones, etc. from the first century. This was ideal for our group who had just completed a tour visiting all of the sites associated with Paul’s First Journey in Anatolia (modern Turkey).

Dr. Mark Wilson speaks about the route of Paul's second journey. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Dr. Mark Wilson speaks about the route of Paul’s second journey in Anatolia to a tour group in Antalya, Turkey. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

We were pleased to see Dr. Wilson’s book, Biblical Turkey: A Guide to Jewish and Christian Sites of Asia Minor, available in many of the museum books stores including the Istanbul Archaeological Museum. Many of our tour members who did not already have a copy of the book got one from Mark after the presentation. You may purchase a copy from Amazon by clicking on the title above.

Tour members were delighted to have their book autographed by the author.

Dr. Wilson autographs a copy of Biblical Turkey for Stacy. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Dr. Wilson autographs a copy of Biblical Turkey for Stacy. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Book on the resurrection available free today

J. Warner Wallace is a cold-case homicide detective. As a former atheist he rejected the claims of the resurrection, but after examination of the evidence he came to believe.

This book is available free in Kindle format today. Click on the book image for the link to the book.

HT: Brooks Cochran

Reading the Blogs # 3

Michael J. Kruger (canon fodder) has written a review of each episode of the History Channel’s Bible Secrets Revealed. He says the series has reminded him of two critical truths:

1. Our popular culture is prone to distort and misrepresent the teachings of the Bible. I was struck again by how sensationalistic and misleading popular-level programming can actually be when it comes to the Bible.  Although this series had some good moments, as a whole I was disappointed to see the History Channel offer the standard Da Vinci Code-style approach to the Bible.

2. The church must be equipped to respond to these sorts of critiques.  Given the high-profile nature of the History Channel (and similar style programming), the average person we are trying to reach is going to be exposed to this type of material.  And we need to be ready to offer some answers if we expect non-Christians to give the biblical message a hearing.

The six reviews cover a wide variety of topics of interest to many people.

  1. Lost in Transmission
  2. The Promised Land
  3. The Forbidden Scriptures
  4. The Real Jesus
  5. Mysterious Prophecies
  6. Sex and the Scriptures

Begin here on canon fodder for links to each of the reviews.

Kruger is President and Professor of New Testament at Reformed Theological
Seminary, Charlotte. You will find much useful material on this blog.

HT: Brooks Cochran

Çatalhöyük. Polish archaeologists have discovered containers of barley, said to be 8,200 years old from the Neolithic period, at Çatalhöyük in Turkey.

The largest so far known in the Middle East amount of grain of the Neolithic period in a perfect state of preservation has been discovered by Polish archaeologists in Çatalhöyük, a famous archaeological site in Turkey. Çatalhöyük is one of the largest urban centers of first farmers and one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world.

Read the report, with photo, here.

Preserving Tal Al Umayri in Jordan. Many archaeological sites are in danger of destruction. Tal Al Umayri, south of Amman, Jordan, is going to become an archaeological park. The site is on private property. Now the owners have agreed to give the land for the project. Details here.

New Museum in Petra, Jordan. The report here says,

According  to the Petra National Trust, it was visited by around 450,000 people in  2013, though this was a significant drop from 2010’s record number of 975,000 visitors. Officials hope the new museum will encourage tourists to spend more time in the ancient city. It will present the history of Petra and the Nabataeans, as well as house antiquities, but it is unclear what this means for the site’s two existing museums: the Petra Nabataean Museum, opened in 1994, and the Petra Archaeological Museum, opened in 1963.

HT: Steven Braman

The Roman Theater at Petra. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The Roman Theater at Petra. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Old Testament Bibliography by Ray Clendenen. Here is the info from Charles Savelle at Bible X.

You can access Ray Clendenen’s recently revised 385-page Old Testament bibliography here. Note: you have to have an account with academia.edu to access it but if you don’t already have an account,signing up is free.

A Dictionary of the Bible. This five-volume set is now on Community Pricing at Logos. A bid of $15.00 will secure a set in Logos digital format. Information is here.

A Dictionary of the Bible, James Hastings.

A Dictionary of the Bible, James Hastings. The work will be in digital format for use with Logos Bible Software.

It is true that this is an old work first published between 1893 and 1905, but it contains some excellent material. The five volumes contain 4,718 page. The projected price of $15 is less than you might pay for a paperback with one good idea in it.

I have owned the hardback set for many years and am anxious to include these volumes in my Logos 5. Logos needs some more orders to produce this set of books. Let’s pull together. Once the work is published in digital format the price will be $99.95.