Category Archives: Book Reviews

Biblical Numbers or Numerology

Biblical Numbers or Numerology Does the Bible contain a secret code using numbers? If we count up numbers of words in a sentence, or add together the numerical values of a word or sentence, is there a hidden message contained in it? No doubt you have heard a pastor or Bible teacher say that the number 7 represents completion or perfection, or perhaps that the number 40 represents judgment (e.g., the Flood, the Wilderness wanderings). Where do such interpretations come from? Do biblical numbers such…

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Brazos Theological Commentary: 2 Samuel

Brazos Theological Commentary: 2 Samuel The Brazos Theological Commentary Series takes a different approach from most Bible Commentaries. Commentators are chosen on the basis of their knowledge and acquaintance with Church Doctrine over the past two thousand years. They are theologians (hence the title of the series), not necessarily historians or language experts, as is frequently the case with other commentary series. This does not mean that authors in this series are unfamiliar with the ancient languages or history, only that their expertise lies in…

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Is King David A New Adam?

Is King David A New Adam? “David is indeed a cagey and capable new Adam, both tending and defending the new Eden,” so Robert Barron contends in his recent commentary on 2 Samuel (2 Samuel, Brazos Theological Commentary, p. 24). According to Barron, David is a new Adam, Israel is the Garden of Eden, and David’s enemies (e.g., the Amalekites, and even Absalom) represent the serpent. This typological approach is an interesting perspective from which to view 2 Samuel. It definitely causes one to think…

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NIV Application Commentary: 1&2 Samuel

NIV Application Commentary: 1&2 Samuel The NIV Application Commentary series is aimed at providing the best scholarly insights into the text, while also providing contemporary application. To accomplish its purpose, The NIV Application Commentary series divides comment on the text into three parts: 1) Original Meaning (“All the elements of traditional exegesis–in concise form–are discussed here,” p. 9); 2) Bridging Contexts (distinguishing the timeless message(s) of the Bible from the time-bound text); and 3) Contemporary Significance (do I need to explain this one?) Arnold’s 1&2…

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Giants or Canaanites? The Conquest

Giants or Canaanites? The Conquest Who was the conquest of Canaan aimed at? Most would respond that the Bible teaches that it was designed to destroy the Canaanites. The word “Canaanite,” can be used as a generic term for the inhabitants of Canaan (e.g., Gen. 10:19; 12:6), or it can refer to one group among others in Canaan (see e.g., the various lists of the inhabitants of Canaan in Gen. 15:19-21; Deut. 7:1-2). In his recent book, The Unseen Realm, Dr. Michael Heiser argues that the…

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The “I” in Romans 7:14-25

The “I” in Romans 7:14-25 “No part of Romans, . . . has been the object of so much scrutiny and the source of so much confusion as what Paul writes in [Romans] 7:14-25” (Richard Longenecker, NIGTC, The Epistle to the Romans, p. 652). With these words, Richard N. Longenecker in his new (and much anticipated) commentary on Romans dives into this difficult passage of Scripture. Since Longenecker’s commentary is “hot off the press,” I will examine his approach to these verses and use it,…

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The Holy Spirit in the Gospels

The Holy Spirit in the Gospels Understanding the work of the Holy Spirit, as well as the biblical usage of the word “spirit,” is an important aspect of both Old and New Testament theology and teaching. Desiring to gain a better knowledge and understanding of the S/spirit, I have been working my way through 3 books on this subject. To this point my posts about the S/spirit have focused on chapters found in A Biblical Theology of the Holy Spirit. Having reviewed the chapters on…

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Exploring the Old Testament: The Histories

Exploring the Old Testament: The Histories Exploring the Old Testament: The Histories, vol. 2, by Philip Satterthwaite and Gordon McConville, continues the same excellent standard of evangelical scholarship found in volume 1 of this series on The Pentateuch. Having already given an overview of the purpose of this series (read my review on vol. 1 here), I will focus on the contents of The Histories. The Histories gives an overview of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Ruth, Esther, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Chronicles. If you’re wondering about…

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Favorite Genesis Commentaries

Favorite Genesis Commentaries Last year I intended to begin a series of posts on my favorite biblical commentaries. I began with a post on my favorite commentaries from 1&2 Samuel (click here), but unfortunately I have not taken the time to continue this series until now. Below I list some of my favorite Genesis commentaries. But before proceeding to the list below I’d like to explain a little about my selection of commentaries for biblical books. As Michael Heiser explains in his mobile ed course…

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Reading the Historical Books

Reading the Historical Books Written in a clear, nontechnical style, with an eye toward the modern young reader Reading the Historical Books: A Student’s Guide to Engaging the Biblical Text by  Patricia Dutcher-Walls is an excellent introduction on reading the historical books of the Old Testament. For those who might wonder, the historical books include Joshua, Judges, 1&2 Samuel, 1&2 Kings, 1&2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah. Dutcher-Walls lays out her purpose as follows: “How do we read the historical books in the Old Testament well?…

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