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Todd Scacewater


Todd (PhD, Westminster) is a pastor and research fellow in Christian social ethics.

Cliff Kvidahl

Co-Founder, Fontes Press

Cliff (BA, Biblical Languages) is pursuing a ThM and is addicted to Hebrews.

Travis Montgomery

Podcast Manager

Travis has served in pastoral and music ministry and is finishing his MDiv at MBTS.

William Varner


Will pastors and teaches NT at the Master’s University where he directs IBEX.

Weekly Roundup June 12, 2015


Tim Keller posted a review of Matthew Vines book God and the Gay Christian, including also Ken Wilson’s A Letter to My Congregation. He provides six types of errors that he finds in Vines’ and Wilson’s books, both historical, personal, and theological. Matthew Vines has responded on his blog, suggesting that Keller has made some historical errors and misrepresented his arguments on many points. This was quite the little back-and-forth and easy to follow since Keller made his critiques in 6 categories, to which Vines responded point by point.

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Reading the Old Testament by Lawrence Boadt and Historical Criticism

I would classify this work as first Christian, second critical, and third Catholic. While I’m not Catholic, the benefit of a Catholic textbook on the OT is that it includes discussion of the other seven Greek intertestamental works that are important for NT backgrounds (and, of course, for seeing to where the stream(s) of the OT flow). Moreoever, Boadt enlists Pope Pius XII’s support for a critical approach to the OT based on his Divino Afflante Spiritu (1943). More recently in 1989, Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) called for a “criticism of criticism”….

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Peaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism, by Tim Keller

I first encountered Tim Keller in a recorded class that was put on iTunesU by WTS. It was called Preaching Christ in a Post-Modern Age. If you’re still able to find the class, it’s a great set of lectures. Ed Clowney confuses you (in a good way) by preaching parts of the OT climaxing in the cross (how did he do that?!) while Keller brings the practical advice on communicating to post-moderns. Keller’s experience from living in New York and intentionally mingling with non-Christians to understand them and better communicate to them is invaluable….

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Evangelical Faith and the Challenge of Historical Criticism, eds. Hays and Ansberry

You should buy this book and read it. I don’t suggest that because I agree with the basic premise of each chapter, but because I disagree with it. This book takes various historical-critical conclusions and determines whether they can be squared with Evangelical (or even orthodox) dogma. The tension between Evangelicalism and historical criticism tension is perhaps felt more in Old Testament studies, with dating conclusions in constant flux….

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Winner of Giveaway of His Mission: Jesus in the Gospel of Luke

Congratulations to Luther Herche, winner of our book giveaway of His Mission: Jesus in the Gospel of Luke. Crossway generously offered to provide one free copy (plus free shipping) to the winner of our giveaway, which we held in conjunction with our review of the new book. If you haven’t seen the book, it’s an excellent set of sermons focused on the person of Jesus in Luke’s Gospel that were preached at the 2013 TGC conference. You can find our review and links to buy the book here.

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Weekly Roundup June 5, 2015


Has Preaching Changed since the Early Church? by Peter Sanlon at 9Marks

Baker Academic is giving away three copies of Introducing Evangelical Ecotheology. Enter here to win.

Nancy Guthrie’s Help Me Teach the Bible podcast hosted Mark Futato to talk about the psalms….

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Announcing Jennifer Guo as Our Newest Contributor

This week we welcome and are very excited to have Jennifer Guo join our team of contributors. Jennifer has worked as a full-time accountant and grow up a staunch atheist, until she had what she describes as a Damascus Road type experience during her undergrad. Since then, she has fallen in love with theology and biblical studies – so much so that she has given up her career as an accountant to pursue a research MDiv at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. She has been running her own blog for quite a while and has amassed a pretty loyal and impressive audience. This Spring she broke into the top 40 biblioblogs. I’ll let her do the rest of the introduction….

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IVP Bible Background Commentaries: Old and New Testaments

Craig Keener’s Bible Background Commentary has sold over half a million copies. It was first published in 1993 and has been of great assistance to students and pastors for a quick reference to the background issues at stake in a certain passage. What’s the deal with head coverings? Baptism for the dead? Who are the Epicureans? What was Ephesus like, and what is the Temple of Artemis? These are questions that you could certainly Wikipedia in a jam, but why not allow a seasoned scholar who focuses on NT background explain it for you? And he does it in one not-so-large volume!

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Three New Titles from SBL Press

Three new titles were released by SBL Press this week, and they all look tantalizing.

The Didache: A Missing Piece of the Puzzle in Early Christianity (Early Christianity and Its Literature), ed. Draper and Jefford (SBL)

This is an edited volume with essays discussing liturgical and ritual constructions in the Didache, background studies, and the document’s relation to the Gospel of Matthew….

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Introduction to the Grammar of Jewish-Babylonian Aramaic, by Elitzur A. Bar-Asher Siegal

I took Aramaic last year and really enjoyed it. In addition to the biblical texts, we translated some older Aramaic inscriptions and I got to see a bit of the diachronic development of the language. But I was quite a bit removed from Jewish-Babylonian Aramaic, the language of the Babylonian Talmud.

Grammar Jewish-BabylonianSiegal’s grammar, Introduction to the Grammar of Jewish-Babylonian Aramaic, seeks to introduce the student to this period of Late Aramaic. He divides Aramaic (following Fitzmyer) into the following periods in his introduction….

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