Sometimes we miss what is right in front of us. Sometimes we are distracted by the abstract that we miss the obvious. Sadly this easily happens when we read Scripture. Jerome Creach, in his The Destiny of the Righteous in the Psalms, has drawn us back to see what’s in front of us, “it might well be concluded that the destiny of the righteous is the primary subject of the Psalms” (p1). When thinking about the Psalms, we often lose sight of the obvious: that it’s a collection of songs about the righteous, their struggles, their hopes, and ultimately, their destiny. This is seen in the introductory Psalm 1. The righteous will stand in the judgment, but the wicked will be like chaff in the wind.
Category: Old Testament (page 1 of 11)
I must confess. I have procrastinated reviewing Delivered from the Elements of the World. It’s not because it is a dull book; far from it. Rather, more than anything I’ve yet reviewed, I am daunted at the prospect of doing justice to this book’s vastness and creativity. Peter Leithart is known to be a singular, provocative and eloquent thinker, and Delivered from the Elements of the World is surely his magnum opus.
Leviticus is a difficult book to understand, and quite the challenge for pastors and teachers. One of the difficulties is that it’s impossible to dip one’s toe in and expect any payoff. To truly understand and benefit, one must plunge into the deep end of the Levitical world of sacrifices, rituals, and purity laws. That’s to say, the application is found in the strange and complex details, not apart from them. At the same time, it can become easy to start sinking in the details. What one needs is a sure-handed help to keep one’s head above the water; one that not only understands the details, but is able to simplify them and direct one to what matters most. This is exactly what one finds in the Tyndale (TOTC) Leviticus commentary by Jay Sklar. Sklar is fluent with Leviticus, but also gifted at clarifying the hazy, or bringing close the distant.
Understanding The New Testament’s use of the Old is a key issue in Biblical interpretation, but is highly enigmatic, resulting in varying approaches all vying for our attention. Some conclude that surprising use of the OT reveals that the NT author had no concern for context. Some insist upon a natural logic connecting the OT and NT contexts, so that the author is applying the text correctly. Others argue for a typological relationship, where the OT text is fulfilled historically but also foreshadows the NT reality. Rikk Watts’ Regent course God’s Faithful Character: The Key to the New Testament’s Use of the Old delves into this thorny topic. Watts thoroughly surveys the factors, examines history of interpretation, interprets numerous texts, and provides a fresh way of looking at the NT use of the OT.
The Psalms are rightfully beloved, but many are unaware of its clear and intentional structure. Or if they are, they have not considered the purpose for its structure. Nancy L. deClaissé-Walford’s Introduction to the Psalms: A Song from Ancient Israel, “seeks to provide the reader with a solid introduction to the Hebrew Psalter, one that is informed by an interest in its shape and shaping” (vii). There are many introductions to the Psalms, but a unique feature to this is that it reads the Psalter as a unified, interconnected work.
“Quiet times”. For some, the term may be fluffy and unintelligible Christianeze. Or perhaps it provokes a pang of guilt for a neglected New Year resolution. For others, though, quiet time is a helpful and even crucial part of their day. For myself, neither regular study nor teaching can substitute my need for open-hearted prayer and Bible reading. Resources like Bible reading plans or the infamous “devotional” can provide helpful guidance or freshness. However, devotionals are often less interested in leading the reader to the rich springs of Scripture and more with jolting them with a sugary soda rush with which to start the day. What if a devotional were concerned with increasing Biblical literacy? Psalms by the Day: A New Devotional Translation by seasoned scholar Alec Motyer fills this very gap. This is a “devotional translation” that draws from Motyer’s fruitful career of scholarship in service of the church.