The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament

KeenerThis new edition is scheduled to release in February 2014:

Craig S. Keener. The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament. 2nd ed. Downers Grove: IVP, 2014.

The first edition, which has sold over 600,000 copies, released twenty years ago in 1993, and the second edition slightly revises it. (Keener’s foreword and acknowledgments to the second edition doesn’t specify what he has revised in the second edition, and I haven’t compared the two editions to spot changes.) [Read more…]

The World of the New Testament: Cultural, Social, and Historical Contexts

greenThis 640-page handbook is worth adding to your library:

Joel B. Green and Lee Martin McDonald, eds. The World of the New Testament: Cultural, Social, and Historical Contexts. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2013.

You can view the contents and contributors via Amazon’s “look inside” feature.


  1. Is ‘Background Information’ Ever Necessary to Understand the Bible?
  2. Extracanonical Jewish Literature That Is Significant for NT Studies
  3. The Importance of Extracanonical Jewish Literature for NT Studies


Is ‘Background Information’ Ever Necessary to Understand the Bible?

I attempt to answer that question on TGC’s blog.


  1. Dangers If You Answer Yes
  2. Dangers If You Answer No
  3. Illustration: Wayne Grudem Answers No
  4. Does that Mean that the Bible Isn’t Sufficiently Clear?


  1. Mike Bird reflects on the question.
  2. Don Carson and John Piper discuss the merits of studying hermeneutics and how much time teachers should spend investigating extrabiblical sources:

Critiquing William Webb’s Redemptive-Movement Hermeneutic

Reaoch - coverFive months ago I highlighted Don Carson’s critique of William Webb’s trajectory hermeneutic (copied at the end of this post).

Now there’s a more comprehensive, book-length critique:

Benjamin Reaoch. Women, Slaves, and the Gender Debate: A Complementarian Response to the Redemptive-Movement Hermeneutic. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 2012.

It revises Reaoch’s PhD dissertation at Southern Seminary under Tom Schreiner, who writes the foreword.

Reaoch makes several arguments:

  • Slavery and the role of women are two critically different issues.
  • The NT neither condemns nor commends slavery.
  • Gender passages apply transculturally because they are rooted in creation.

[Read more…]

Watching the Gospels and the Kentucky Derby

penningtonJonathan T. Pennington, Reading the Gospels Wisely: A Narrative and Theological Introduction  (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2012), 152:

I argue in the final chapter of this book that this diminished role for the Gospels is unfounded in light of church history and many theological considerations. But for now we can address this issue through an informative illustration of my experience with the Kentucky Derby. Rather than being merely foundational, past-era historical data, the Gospels are more like a television viewing of the annual Kentucky Derby horse race. [Read more…]