Hands down the best book I read in 2014 was Matthew Novenson’s Christ among the Messiahs: Christ Language in Paul and Messiah Language in Ancient Judaism. Novenson’s work is a stimulating work on the use of Christological titles Judaism and later in Paul. It is well worth the $70 dollars.
Mike Bird’s “Best of 2014 book” is now just $4 bucks on Kindle.
When I got to work today, I received a nice surprise from the fine folks at Eerdmans. They very kindly sent along a copy of Mike “Biblica Hipsteria” Bird’s The Gospel of the Lord. I remember perusing the galleys last November at SBL and being impressed with what I was able to read. Congrats Mike on another the publication of another book!
When I got home I noticed that I had two packaged for me from Eisenbrausns. I have been waiting for my copy of the latest Journal for the Study of Paul and his Letters to come; they accidentally shipped it to my old California address. Well to my surprise, they sent me two copies. So, I need to find one of them a new home. Thanks again to the fine folks at Eisenbrauns for sending me a new copy to my current address.
The folks over at Baylor Press are publishing some must-have books these days. Case in point, Jens Schröter’s From Jesus to the New Testament: Early Christian Theology and the Origin of the New Testament Canon. Schröter’s book is the inaugural volume in the Baylor-Mohr Siebeck Studies in Early Christianity.
In hopes that you will all Tolle Lege (take up and read), Baylor has given me a coupon code that gives you 20% of From Jesus to the New Testament: Early Christian Theology and the Origin of the New Testament Canon! To get the discount, use the code BCBK at checkout. This is a very, very good book that I hope gets read by many, so get this while you can.
If one comes to think that there may be historical inaccuracies in the scriptural documents, then one is compelled to trudge down the slope, to assess the accuracy of the historical claims of the Bible, not as an apostasy from or assault on Christianity, but in the service of Christianity. This is a labour done through historical criticism; this has been the intention of many historical critics. But the long hiatus of evangelical biblical scholarship from the historical-critical fray means that historical criticism still appears threatening to us. As such, it is the goal of [Evangelical Faith and the Challenge of Historical Criticism] to illustrate that historical criticism need not imperil any of the fundamental dogmatic tenets of Christianity.Evangelical Faith and the Challenge of Historical Criticism, 5.
The very kind folks at Baker Academic sent over the following books for review.
Seven Events that Shaped the New Testament World
Seven Events that Shaped the New Testament World is a useful, concise introduction to the world surrounding the New Testament. It focuses on seven key events in the centuries before and after Jesus. Carter enlightens readers about the beginnings of the Christian movement, showing how religious, political, and economic factors were interwoven in the fabric of the New Testament world.Leading New Testament scholar Warren Carter has a record of providing student-friendly texts. This introduction offers a “big picture” focus and is logically and memorably organized around seven events, which Carter uses as launching pads to discuss larger cultural dynamics and sociohistorical realities that were in some way significant for followers of Jesus and the New Testament. A multitude of photos and maps are included.
- The Death of Alexander the Great (323 BCE)
- The Process of Translating Hebrew Scriptures into Greek (ca. 250 BCE)
- The Rededication of the Jerusalem Temple (164 BCE)
- The Roman Occupation of Judea (63 BCE)
- The Crucifixion of Jesus (ca. 30 CE)
- The Writing of the New Testament Texts (ca. 50-ca. 130 CE)
- The Process of “Closing” the New Testament Canon (397 CE)
Paideia: Commentaries on the New Testament
In James and Jude two respected New Testament scholars offer a practical commentary that is conversant with contemporary scholarship, draws on ancient backgrounds, and attends to the theological nature of the texts.
This commentary, like each in the projected eighteen-volume series, proceeds by sense units rather than word-by-word or verse-by-verse. Paideia commentaries explore how New Testament texts form Christian readers by
- attending to the ancient narrative and rhetorical strategies the text employ
- showing how the text shapes theological convictions and moral habits
- commenting on the final, canonical form of each New Testament book
- focusing on the cultural, literary, and theological settings of the text
- making judicious use of maps, photos, and sidebars in a reader-friendly format
Students, pastors, and other readers will appreciate the historical, literary, and theological insight that John Painter and David deSilva offer in interpreting James and Jude.
With 2012 coming to an end, I am looking forward to 2013 and the many books that I want to read. This year found me reading much in the field of NT Theology. I read Beale’s massive tome on NT Theology, Caird’s excellent NT Theology, and Dempster’s OT Biblical Theology. I also read Allen’s work on Deuteronomy and Hebrews, Thisleton’s primer on Hermeneutics, and Bateman’s book of charts on Hebrews. The are a few others, I just do not know them off hand at the moment.
This brings me to the question of what books I need to read this in 2013. Currently, I am reading through Hagner’s excellent NT Intro and Bultmann’s biography. These will both take me into 2013. I also have Goodacre’s book on the Gospels and Thomas on the docket once I finish Bultmann. Also on the list is Neill and Wright’s Interpretation of the New Testament. I also heard that Vol. 4 of Wright’s Christian Origins Series—the long awaited volume on Paul—is scheduled for publication this year as well, so that will go on the list!
As for what matters most, I am reading through the Greek NT this year (I started early on this), reading through the OT in English (my Hebrew is not up to par), and the Apostolic Fathers.
My question to you is this: what books would you recommend that I add to the list?