Philippians is rightly one of the most popular letters of Paul. Highly quotable verses such as Philippians 1:6; 1:21; 2:5; 3:13-14; 3:20-21; 4:6-7; 4:8; 4:13; and 4:19 are lodged in the minds of many. As such, fresh study of the letter is always enjoyable. I had heard good things about Matthew Harmon’s Philippians commentary, and so I used it in my recent preaching through the letter. Let me say up front, it is truly excellent!
Tag: Christian Focus
“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.
When it comes to tracing the Messiah in the Old Testament, the Psalms are key. Psalm 22 dominates the Passion narratives, Psalm 118 is seen in Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem, Psalm 2 appears at key points in Jesus’ life, and Psalm 110 is the most quoted of any OT passage. However, which Psalms are Messianic? And exactly how are they Messianic? Some see Messianic Psalms as fulfilled typologically, others see direct and exclusive predictions of Jesus. Richard Belcher, in The Messiah and the Psalms: Preaching Christ from all the Psalms, presents a different way of reading, where “all the psalms have some relationship to Christ” (p31).