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There are numerous passages in the Bible that are odd, confusing, or downright weird. Often, these passages occur at the intersection of our world and the supernatural. Our modern viewpoint has taught us to ignore or gloss over these difficult or troublesome passages of Scripture. But how would our understanding of the Bible change if this unseen realm was suddenly revealed to us?
Don’t miss a fantastic commentary from Baker Academic, absolutely free during the month of August. And, pick up a second volume for only $1.99! That’s two respected commentaries for less than the price of your coffee at Starbucks. Get both now.
This month’s Plus One is the Paideia Commentaries on the New Testament: Ephesians and Colossians. As Dr. Talbert notes in his introduction, Paul’s letters to the Ephesians and Colossians are strikingly similar. While some commentary series split these two books up into separate commentary volumes, Paideia does not:
When you walk up to the pulpit on Sunday morning, what do you carry with you?
Maybe it’s a gnawing anxiety over a point you needed just one more hour to develop. Or perhaps it’s excitement for the central idea of your message.
Or do you carry prayers for the family in your congregation who most needs to hear the words you’re about to speak? It could even be a sense of unworthiness to deliver God’s message to his people.
Or is it peace—knowing that you’ve sought to understand God’s Word, and the rest is up him?
Your thoughts during that Sunday-morning journey likely changes week to week, but your commitment remains the same. As John Wesley said, “Give me 100 preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God; such alone will shake the gates of hell.”
Many of us have a strong selection of systematic theologies in our libraries, but a paltry sampling of resources on biblical theology. That means we’re missing an opportunity to draw on scholarship that can help us understand some of the most important themes in scripture.
Robert Yarborough says that biblical theology “seeks to discover what the biblical writers, under divine guidance, believed, described, and taught in the context of their own times.” It’s a discipline that considers the progressive nature of revelation, and interprets it accordingly. There’s no small disagreement over the exact nature of biblical theology, and are perhaps as many definitions as there are practitioners. But for evangelical scholars, at least this much is certain: biblical theology offers the unique opportunity to gain a sense of the grand narrative of Scripture while diving deep into theological themes played out in specific books or across the entire canon.
The Gospels are central to the Bible. Their description of the birth, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus provide the very foundation of Christianity, and this importance is underlined by the fact that there are four separate Gospel accounts. However, having multiple accounts presents challenges for interpretation. How do we deal with four distinct narratives of the life of Christ? Should we attempt to harmonize them, or seek to understand each Gospel on its own? How do we interpret several accounts of the same story—especially when they are presented with seemingly contradicting details? How should we understand Jesus’ miracles and teaching?
I still remember walking slack-jawed into my systematic theology professor’s study. I was instantly surrounded by the faded spines of thousands of books, dodging wobbly towers of commentaries, encyclopedias, and monographs stacked floor to ceiling. There was an entire wall devoted to decades’ worth of theological journals. Still another wall of shelves housed over 100 volumes of commentaries on the book of Romans alone. As a young Bible college student, I wasn’t just impressed, I’d discovered what would become one of my life’s passions: the accumulation of books—and lots of them!
For over 500 years, Oxford University Press has published authoritative works by the world’s leading scholars. With the five-volume Oxford Humanities Reference Collection, you can incorporate that renowned scholarship into your study. And if you pre-order this collection by September 4, you’ll get 56% off.
Here are 3 ways the Oxford Humanities Collection will enhance your study.
Whether you already own a base package or not, if you have an interest in the Reformed tradition there’s no better way to build a Reformed library than with a Logos 6 base package. The Reformed packages contain great resources that are not found in any other packages.
The Reformed base packages are the only ones to include landmark systematic theologies like those from Muller, Bavinck and Vos. Looking for the collected writings of B.B. Warfield, Charles Hodge, Charles Spurgeon, Augustus Toplady, Thomas Boston, A.W. Pink and much more? Look no further. Plus, Reformed base packages include hundreds of commentaries, pastoral resources, and reference works like the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary.