N.T. Wright, “The Lord and His Prayer”

I like N.T. Wright, and a good friend recommended this book, so I read it. It’s quite short — 89 pages with no index or notes or headings — divided into six chapters that, as their titles suggest, march us sequentially through the Lord’s Prayer: “Our Father in Heaven,” “Thy Kingdom Come,” “Give Us This … [Read more…]

Richard Bauckham, “Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony” (second edition)

This is a prize-winning book, including an award from Christianity Today, and I read it because of endorsements by Lee Strobel (in The Case for the Real Jesus) and N.T. Wright (“a remarkable piece of detective work”).  The key theme — as the title suggests — is that the Gospels are based on eyewitness testimony. … [Read more…]

How Unified Is the Bible Text?

How unified is the Bible text? At one extreme, you could argue that, since the whole text is inspired by God and since He knew from the beginning what text He would inspire and how it would and should be arranged, then the whole Bible — including every book, Old and New Testament alike — … [Read more…]

Best Bible Couple

The worst Bible couple, of course, was Jezebel and Ahab.  But which was the best?  It’s an interesting question to consider even if, at the end of the day, the answer turns out to have been pretty obvious. I’m looking for two things.  First, both husband and wife should have strong and good character; a … [Read more…]

Notes on Isaiah

The prophet Isaiah was considered “the greatest Old Testament prophet,” says my NIV study Bible, and he’s quoted “at least 50 times in the New Testament.” Isaiah was a prophet under five kings, and he talked about both the northern kingdom (Israel) and southern kingdom (Judah), while the other major prophets are predicting the fall of … [Read more…]

The Four Moses Books

Moses is the central figure — besides God, of course — in the the four books of the Pentateuch following Genesis.  And those four books have two strands:  the historical narrative of Moses leading the Jews out of Egypt and to the Promised Land, and the laws given to Moses by God during that time … [Read more…]

Jesus’ First Two Converts

In one of our church’s weekly “small group” meetings, we recently discussed Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well, John 4:1-42.  It occurred to me that this might be the first non-Jewish convert.  My NIV study Bible has a table that puts all four Gospels in single chronological order, and that seems to … [Read more…]

Thoughts on Joshua and Judges

As I noted elsewhere, these are the two post-Moses/pre-monarchical history books, and so it makes some sense to consider them together.  What’s more, I think that together they address an important question, namely how Israel would and should deal with the non-Israelites in the Promised Land, and considering them together helps illuminate that matter. Joshua … [Read more…]