BA Books & Authors on the Web – August 14, 2015

Cover ArtIn the latest issue of Themelios, Christopher A. Beetham reviewed J. Richard Middleton’s A New Heaven and a New Earth.

“I strongly recommend this book. I agree with Donald Hagner, who, endorsing the book, wrote that ‘it could serve admirably as a basic textbook on biblical theology.’ Yes, and so much more. If every evangelical student from Anchorage to Addis Ababa would pick up and read, it could revolutionize global Christianity.”

Also in Themelios:

Gospel of Glory, by Richard Bauckham, was reviewed at Books at a Glance.

“Bauckham’s new monograph is probably the most important guide to selected Johannine themes and passages since Leon Morris’s Jesus is the Christ. A rich, up-to-date resource that no serious student will want to miss.”

Zen Hess, at Theology Forum, reviewed Introducing Evangelical Ecotheology by Daniel Brunner, Jennifer Butler, and A. J. Swoboda.


Barnabas and the split with Paul – an Excerpt from Acts, Volume 3

The following is an excerpt from Acts: An Exegetical Commentary, Volume 3, by Craig Keener.


Cover ArtGiven our evidence for Paul’s later reconciliation with Mark (Phlm 24; Col 4:10) and appreciation of Barnabas (1 Cor 9:6), either this separation did not lead to enmity or relations were later reconciled (whether in person or by letter).

….Luke does not provide us this information, however, because his interests lie elsewhere. Luke thus is certainly not “covering up” for Paul; he may well have known of the reconciliation (especially since he ends up in Rome himself, Acts 28:16; and this was where Mark joined Paul, Phlm 24). Because it is not his focus, he does not revisit their reconciliation, though one topic that interested some ancient writers was notable reconciliation between famous men (Aul. Gel. 12.8).

Although Luke tells us no more about Barnabas (his focus being Paul), later legends filled in Barnabas’s story, many or all of them fancifully. The fullest source, Acts of Barnabas, is from the fifth or sixth century C.E. In it, Barnabas ordained as Cyprus’s bishop one Heracleides, who had spent time with Paul at Kition (Latin, Citium); given that such bishops probably do not predate Ignatius by many decades, this tradition is likely false, though Heracleides may have been an early bishop. The legend claims that Barnabas carried an early gospel from Matthew (on the basis of Papias’s tradition that Matthew wrote first).He confronted Bar-Jesus again, through whose instigation Cyprian Jews burned Barnabas alive in the hippodrome; Mark then went on to Alexandria (the last claim according with earlier tradition).

Tradition also claims that in 478 C.E. Barnabas’s tomb was revealed through a dream to Cyprus’s bishop, Anthemius; Barnabas was supposedly still holding Matthew’s Gospel. Some earlier traditions claim that Barnabas authored Hebrews. What is relevant for the text of Acts is that revisiting the churches was originally Barnabas’s plan (15:36); Barnabas chose to revisit those in Cyprus with Mark (who had remained with them during their Cyprus mission), leaving Paul to deal with southern Asia Minor.

©2014 by Craig Keener. Published by Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.


For more information on Acts: An Exegetical Commentary,Volume 3, click here.

BA Books & Authors on the Web – September 26, 2014

Cover ArtAt First Things, Peter Leithart reviewed Andrew McGowan’s Ancient Christian Worship.

“Andrew McGowan’s Ancient Christian Worship is a very fine introduction to the subject. Though it is up-to-date academically, and, as McGowan says, includes the results of some of his own research, it is accessibly written, clearly organized, and highly informative.”

Dan Miller, at the Calvin history department’s Historical Horizons blog, reviewed The Good of Politics, by James Skillen.

At Crux Sola, Nijay Gupta shared part one of his review of James Thompson’s The Church according to Paul.

G. Wright Doyle, at the Global China Center, reviewed Understanding Christian Mission, by Scott Sunquist.

Abram K-J, at Words on the Word, recommended Andrew Root’s Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker.

Michael Hansen reflected on James K.A. Smith’s Desiring the Kingdom.

Larry Hurtado discussed major commentaries on Acts, including the third volume of Craig Keener’s Acts: An Exegetical Commentary.

At Euangelion, Joel Willitts recommended Galatians and Christian Theology, edited by Mark Elliott, Scott Hafemann, N. T. Wright, and John Frederick.

New Release: Acts: An Exegetical Commentary, Volume 3

Cover ArtHighly respected New Testament scholar Craig Keener is known for his meticulous and comprehensive research. This commentary on Acts, his magnum opus, may be the largest and most thoroughly documented Acts commentary available. Useful not only for the study of Acts but also early Christianity, this work sets Acts in its first-century context.

In this volume, the third of four, Keener continues his detailed exegesis of Acts, utilizing an unparalleled range of ancient sources and offering a wealth of fresh insights. This magisterial commentary will be an invaluable resource for New Testament professors and students, pastors, Acts scholars, and libraries.


“A scholarly achievement that is unlikely to be surpassed in the foreseeable future….Every serious student of Acts owes it to herself or himself to carefully work through this significant contribution to scholarship.” – David E. Aune, University of Notre Dame

“This detailed commentary will deservedly be a major resource on Acts in many libraries–personal and public–for years to come.” – John J. Pilch, Johns Hopkins University

“Scholars of the New Testament, theologians, and classicists, but also laypersons, will want to consult and will benefit from Keener’s erudite, impressive work.” – Andreas Bendlin, University of Toronto

“A gold mine of valuable information….The vast amount of references to ancient sources and literature will be helpful for anyone interested in doing serious research on Acts.” – Samuel Byrskog, Lund University


Craig S. Keener (PhD, Duke University) is the F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He is the author of many books, including Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts, the bestseller The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament, The Historical Jesus of the Gospels, Gift and Giver, and commentaries on Acts, Matthew, John, Romans, 1-2 Corinthians, and Revelation.

For more information on Acts, Volume 3, click here.