Now That’s How You Write a Book Dedication

Originally posted on Zwinglius Redivivus:

Calvin dedicated his Commentary on Hebrews to Sigismund Augustus on 23 May, 1546.  He begins thusly

calvin49THERE are at this day many foolish men, who everywhere, through a vain desire for writing, engage the minds of ignorant and thoughtless readers with their trifles. And to this evil, most illustrious King, is added another indignity—that while they inscribe to kings and princes their silly things, to disguise, or at least to cover them by borrowed splendour, they not only profane sacred names, but also impart to them some measure of their own disgrace.

Since the unreasonable temerity of such men makes it necessary for serious and sober writers to frame an excuse, when they publicly dedicate their labours to great men, while yet there is nothing in them but what corresponds with the greatness of those to whom they are offered, it was necessary to make this remark, lest I should…

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Genesis: History, Fiction, or Neither? (Gupta)

Originally posted on Crux Sola:

SparksRecently, Zondervan published another volume in the Counterpoints Series, this time on the genre of Genesis 1-11, called Genesis: History, Fiction, or Neither?: The Bible’s Earliest Chapters. Charles Halton edited the book and the three essayists are as follows:

James K. Hoffmeier: History and Theology

Gordon J. Wenham: Proto-History

Kenton L. Sparks: Ancient Historiography

[Unfortunately all of the viewpoint titles are either misleading or unhelpfully ambiguous!]

The volume focuses on the interpretation, in particular, of three passages: the Nephilim (6:1-4), Noah (6:9-9:29), and the Tower of Babel (11:1-9). The central question is this: did the stories in Genesis really happen? (p. 156). Halton gives this thumbnail summary: “Hoffmeier says yes, Wenham says sort of, and Sparks says probably not” (p. 156). Despite the reflections of some very misguided blog reviews, this is not simply a matter of being “conservative” or  “liberal.” Sparks is lampooned by some bloggers for being…

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If The Green’s Are Christians, Why Are Their Manuscript Acquisitions so Shady?

Originally posted on Zwinglius Redivivus:

Roberta writes

… what I am questioning is the quality of the information delivered so far by the editors of the Sappho fragments, the “anonymous collector”, the Green collection and Christie’s department of manuscripts. However, I am still hoping that all the persons involved will add solid evidence on the provenance of the fragments and also of the Coptic Galatians 2 papyrus, which comes apparently from the same Christie’s lot. Solid evidence means: images of the cartonnage before dismounting (which must be available since folders are mentioned in some details in the article), documents attesting the acquisition history of the pieces, and the name of the ‘trusted dealer’ who sold Coptic Galatians 2 to the Green collection in 2013 after the fragment went from Christie’s elegant London showrooms (2011) to the eBay Turkish bazaar of MixAntik (2012).

I have already argued that anonymous collectors represent an issue for academics

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Quick Reviews: Ancient Israel’s History and Early Christianity in Contexts

Originally posted on Diglotting:

ancientisraelhistoryTitle: Ancient Israel’s History: An Introduction to Issues and Sources

Editors: Bill Arnold and Richard Hess

Bibliographic info: 560 pp.

Publisher: Baker Academic, 2014.

Buy the book at Amazon

The history of Israel is a contentious issue for many in biblical studies. Mainstream opinion on Israelite history doesn’t exactly lend much credence to the idea of the Hebrew Bible possessing a great deal of historical value. At one end of the spectrum, you have the minimalists, those who find next to nothing useful about the Hebrew Bible in terms of its reliability for providing a faithful historical account of Israelite origins. At the other end of the spectrum, you have a very conservative stream of Christian thought that sees the historicity of the Hebrew Bible as being practically perfect.

This is where Ancient Israel’s History comes in. It seeks to navigate between the two extremes by carefully and judiciously…

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5 Helpful Tips They DID Tell Me When I Began Ministry, by Ty Tamasaka

Michael R. Jones:

Numbers 2 and 3 have been important in terms of my own ministry context while number 5 has been important for my own personal spiritual health.

Originally posted on The Barnabas Project:

5 Helpful Tips They DID Tell Me When I Began Ministry, by Ty Tamasaka


I’ve been privileged to have some great men and women of God mentor me along the way.Last time I went over some things I wish people told me about ministry before I began.This time, I’m sharing 5 helpful tips they DID teach me when I began ministry.These are lessons I still hold very close to my heart.

1 – Don’t sacrifice your spouse and kids at the altar of ministry.

Back in the Old Testament, pagan religions sacrificed their children to the false gods like Baal.Today we think we are more “civilized” because we don’t worship those false gods and don’t sacrifice children.

If pastors are not careful, they can sacrifice their wife and children at the altar of “successful ministry” or doing “the work of God.”Don’t sacrifice your family at…

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Gary Burge – Week in the Life of a Roman Centurion – Short Review (Gupta)

Originally posted on Crux Sola:

BurgeThis past weekend, I got a fun little book in the mail, Gary M Burge’s A Week in the Life of a Roman Centurion (IVP, 2015). A few years back Ben Witherington wrote A Week in the Life of Corinth, a fictional story that drew the reader into the world of St Paul as an entertaining form of learning about the New Testament. I guess this genre showed potential and has expanded into a little series, so Burge’s offering would be the next offering.

A Week in the Life of a Roman Centurion follows Appius and his household through his duties and life’s ups and downs. The book is less than 200 pages, but the writing is engaging and several characters of different household status are given significant development.


I really liked this book – finished it in just a day or two. I knew Burge was a…

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Questionable methods in Church.

Originally posted on A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®:

20140802-170755-61675763.jpg“The problem in our day, which gives rise to highly questionable church growth methods, is twofold:

On the one hand, we are seeing a waning confidence in the message of the gospel. Even the evangelical church shows signs of losing confidence in the convincing and converting power of the gospel message. That is why increasing numbers of churches prefer sermons on family life and psychological health. We are being overtaken by what Os Guinness calls the managerial and therapeutic revolutions. The winning message, it seems, is the one that helps people to solve their temporal problems, improves their self-esteem and makes them feel good about themselves.

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