Winter Book Picks

The holiday time is a wonderful season for sipping hot mochas, playing in the snow, watching Elf and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and…stocking up on lots of books!  This year I have been blessed many times over by generous friends, relatives, and journals that are willing to give a poor student some very expensive books to review (for free!).  I don’t know why I presume my book picks interest you, but perhaps you did not know some of these books exist.  Also, this may give you an idea of what I will be blogging on in the coming months!

Here they are in no particular order (and some are not brand new…)!

  1. Richard Horsley (ed), In the Shadow of Empire: Reclaiming the Bible as a History of Faithful Resistance (WJK, 08).  This is a collection of essays on the theme of the Bible and Empire. Contributions are made by such scholars as Horsley, W. Brueggemann, Crossan, Neil Elliott, and Warren Carter (among others).  
  2. Constantine Campbell, Basics of Verbal Aspect in Biblical Greek (Zondervan, 2008).  As a Greek teacher, I am very interested in what Campbell has to say on this.
  3. P. Vardy, An Introduction to Kierkegaard (Hendrickson, 2008).  I don’t know why this book attracted me.  As I am trying to be more interdisciplinarian, this seemed like a good way to dip into theo-philosophy.  We’ll see if it makes any sense to me.
  4. S. Gundry et al. (eds.), Three Views on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Zondervan, 2008).  Scholars W. Kaiser (who was most recently President at Gordon-Conwell Seminary, my alma mater), D. Bock, and P. Enns weigh in on different approaches to how NT authors use OT texts.  I have worked in this area a bit and the conversation should prove to be very stimulating.  I already am skeptical of the overly-strict and direct approach that Kaiser takes, but I am open to being convinced.
  5. J. Neyrey, Give God the Glory: Ancient Prayer and Worship in Cultural Perspective (Eerdmans, 2007).  Of the Context Group scholars, I trust Neyrey’s work the most.  He seems to be most level-headed- he does not seem to overdraw conclusions.  I am very interested in the theology of prayer.  Neyrey’s historical and social approach should be illuminating.  The book is blurbed by non-Context scholars such as David Aune and Telford Work.
  6. James Mead, Biblical Theology: Issues, Methods, and Themes (WJK, 2007).  I am highly interested in biblical theology, so this should be a nice contribution. Now, I recall that James Dunn did not give this book a good evaluation on RBL, but the book is blurbed by Matera.  We’ll see.  More to come.
  7. Jerry Sumney, Colossians (NTL; WJK, 2008).  Colossians is not actually my primary area of expertise.  I do much better in 1-2 Corinthians and Philippians.  But, for some reason, I have a ton of commentaries on Colossians (Dunn, O’Brien, Lincoln, Pokorny, Wilson, Wright, Garland, Thompson, Lightfoot) and I just finished reading Moo’s recent treatment.  Well, Sumney’s volume is short.  Also, Sumney was my respondent at SBL and he is a sharp scholar and a nice man.  I look forward to reading this.
  8. O. Skarsaune and R. Hvalvik, eds. Jewish Believers in Jesus (Hendrickson, 2007).  After this volume was reviewed and discussed at SBL, it encouraged me to get a hold of it.  Hagner’s volume came under fire by Mark Nanos.  I read their comments and papers.  Now I need to read the essay that started it all!  
  9. Joel Green, Body, Soul, and Human Life (Baker, 2008).  I was interested in what Green had to say about cognitive linguistics at IBR this year.  I would like to see what he has to say about the human body and biblical anthropology.
  10. Reumann, Philippians (Anchor-Yale, 2008).  I am not sure whether or not to be excited about this.  I love new research on Philippians, but when I started reading the commentary I was immediately turned off by dissectional approach which sees it as a compilation of multiple letters…ugh…
  11. Fitzmyer, First Corinthians (Anchor-Yale, 2008).  Though probably not ‘theologically’ rich, I expect Fitzmyer to have good historical and philological insights.

I am still holding out for someone to give me the new Hays FS.  Santa can you hear me….


Interested in NT PhD – update planned

My most popular post is “Interested in a NT PHD” (see page link above); as it is nearing 4,000 hits, I am thinking of doing a significant revision, update, and expansion.  Hopefully it will also now include how to actually survive the PhD process, to suceed in paper presenting and article writing, and also to navigate through the job application and interview process.

I would, at this stage, be interested in knowing what kinds of questions some of you have about any of these issues including preparation for doing a PhD in Biblical Studies.

Also, thank you to my readers who have followed my ramblings and advice.  I hope I have not led you astray!