BA Books & Authors on the Web – November 1, 2013

Cover ArtAt Jesus Creed, Scot McKnight reviewed Bonhoeffer the Assassin? by Mark Thiessen Nation, Anthony Siegrist, and Daniel Umbel.

“I consider this book a successful challenge to the ruling paradigm that sees a major shift in Bonhoeffer from his idealism of Discipleship to a realist posture in Ethics….I no longer think Bonhoeffer made a tragic mistake in entering into the conspiracy and so shifted from his pacifism because I’m not convinced he entered into the conspiracy. Bonhoeffer may well have sustained his pacifism.”

At Reformation21, Jonathan Huggins reviewed Spiritual Formation in Emerging Adulthood, by David Setran and Chris Kiesling.

Ryan Brymer reviewed James K.A. Smith’s Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism?, for

In his post “Holy Communion, Culture, & Vocation“, Gene Veith reflected on a quote from James K.A. Smith’s Desiring the Kingdom.

Tim Challis featured Tremper Longman’s Proverbs volume from the Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms series, in his Best Commentaries on Proverbs list.

At Thoughts on Theology, Andy Naselli recommended The World of the New Testament, edited by Joel Green and Lee McDonald.

Alan Padgett, author of As Christ Submits to the Church, will be lecturing at Thrive.

Moody Radio recently hosted two interviews with John Fea about his book Why Study History? You can listen here, and here.


eBook Specials

Today only, Friday November 1, the Commentary on Revelation eBook by Robert Gundry is available free at participating retailers, including:



Barnes & Noble


BA Books & Authors on the Web – September 13, 2013

Cover ArtSteve Bishop, at an accidental blog, reviewed James K.A. Smith’s Imagining the Kingdom.

“In the first volume, Desiring the Kingdom, Smith posed an exciting and outrageous question: “What if education wasn’t first and foremost what we know, but about what we love?” In this second volume he follows this up by suggesting that “our actions emerge from how we imagine the world: “What if we are actors before we are thinkers?” (p 32). Smith’s thesis is that we are defined more by what we worship than by what we think or believe. Thus we need to see more clearly how the affective affects the cognitive: to displace functional intellectualism, where what we do is the outcome of what we think”

Jamie Smith was also featured in the Calgary Herald article Faith Takes Practice, and Byron Borger recommended The Fall of Interpretation, Imagining the Kingdom and Desiring the Kingdom in a post about a new collection of Smith’s essays.

At Unsettled Christianity, Joel Watts reviewed Duane Watson and Terrance Callan’s Paideia commentary on First and Second Peter.

Cornelis Bennema reviewed Jonathan Pennington’s Reading the Gospels Wisely, for RBL.

Jeff Borden, at iCrucified, reviewed Classical Christian Doctrine by Ronald Heine.

Larry Hurtado recommended The World of the New Testament, edited by Joel Green and Lee McDonald.

Francis Moloney, author of The Gospel of Mark and the soon-to-be-released Love in the Gospel of John, was featured in two videos about Mark on Matthew Montonini’s blog,  New Testament Perspectives. reviewed Invitation to the Psalms, by Rolf and Karl Jacobson.

J.W. Wartick reviewed For the Beauty of the Earth, by Stephen Bouma-Prediger.

Charles Clark reviewed Daniel Bell’s The Economy of Desire, for Fare Forward.

BA Books & Authors on the Web – September 6, 2013

Cover ArtAt Academics, Matthew Miller reviewed The World of the New Testament, edited by Joel Green and Lee McDonald.

“A local guide is the best resource for gaining intimate knowledge of a place; its mores, assumptions, beliefs, culture, social struggles, sacred objects, and literature. No one can tell you the story about your destination better than a person who has lived there. In The World of the New Testament this is precisely what you receive. More than 30 scholars–each of whom has spent decades studying their respective areas of expertise–lead you on a tour of the most decisive cultural influences that impacted the New Testament’s authors.”

In a discussion at Crux Sola, Nijay Gupta quoted David Instone-Brewer’s article on the Temple from The World of the New Testament.

Matthew Montonini, at New Testament Perspectives, featured an excerpt from Graham Twelftree’s Paul and the Miraculous.

Writing for Schaeffer’s Ghost, Kendrick Kuo reviewed Athanasius by Peter Leithart.

Dale Kuehne, author of Sex and the iWorld, will appear on Moody Radio’s Up for Debate this Saturday, September 7, at 8:00 a.m. CT.

Myron Penner, author of The End of Apologetics, recorded an interview with The Anglican Review. It aired this Tuesday and Thursday, and will be aired again Saturday (9/7) at noon, 7:30 p.m. and midnight (MST), and will be posted to iTunes by 9/9/13.

Giveaway: Back-to-School with Baker Academic

Autumn is just around the corner, and we thought that a giveaway would be the perfect way to kick off a new semester.

Five new titles from Baker Academic will go to the winner of our back-to-school giveaway. To enter simply fill out the form below (and don’t miss extra chances to win via Facebook and Twitter!).

About the Books:

“A number of books illumine either ancient Judaism or the non-Jewish Greco-Roman world, but only a few competently address both….If I were teaching a New Testament backgrounds course this semester, this is the textbook I would use.” – Craig Keener, Asbury Theological Seminary

“John Fea is quickly becoming one of the most important voices in the up-and-coming generation of Christian historians. His reflections on the study of history brim with scholarly insight, age-old Christian wisdom, and practical advice.” – Douglas A. Sweeney, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“In a time when biblical studies has become partitioned between the Hebrew Bible and the Greek New Testament, Schreiner reminds us that there is one God, one book, and one story. A story about God the king, his kingdom, his people, and the triumph of the Lord Jesus Christ.” – Michael F. Bird, Crossway College

“Penner challenges many of the intuitions and assumptions that have shaped traditional Christian thought and invites us to rethink them for the sake of the gospel. In doing so he offers a fresh perspective on the nature of Christian witness.” – John R. Franke, Yellowstone Theological Institute

“[L]earned but lively, provocative but warmhearted, a manifesto and a guide. Smith takes Christians deeper into the artistic, imaginative, and practical resources on which we must draw if we wish to renew not only our minds but also our whole beings in Christ.” – Alan Jacobs, Honors College of Baylor University

[This giveaway will run through Friday September 13, at 9:00 Eastern. Due to shipping costs, the giveaway is only open to residents of the United States]

BA Books & Authors on the Web – August 30, 2013

Cover ArtJordan Barrett, at For Christ and His Kingdom, reviewed Joel Green’s Practicing Theological Interpretation.

“Green’s book is a helpful guide for those wondering about all the hoopla surrounding theological interpretation. He is a careful reader of Scripture who also engages with and knows the great tradition well. As a good listener, Green is sympathetic to his critics but still maintains a strong and sometimes bold voice towards the renewal of relationship between biblical studies and theology. This is a great place to begin or even continue the conversation.”

Darian Burns reviewed Scripture and Tradition by Edith Humphrey.

Chris Brewer reviewed Myron Penner’s The End of Apologetics.

At Near Emmaus, Brian LePort reflected on S. Scott Bartchy’s article “Slaves and Slavery in the Roman World” from The World of the New Testament.

Video: Lee McDonald on The World of the New Testament

Introducing The World of the New Testament

A Comprehensive Resource for Students and Professors 

Cover ArtAbout the Book:

This volume addresses the most important issues related to the study of New Testament writings. Two respected senior scholars have brought together a team of distinguished specialists to introduce the Jewish, Hellenistic, and Roman backgrounds necessary for understanding the New Testament and the early church. The book includes seventy-five photographs, fifteen maps, numerous tables and charts, illustrations, and bibliographies. All students of the New Testament will value this reliable, up-to-date, comprehensive textbook and reference volume on the New Testament world.

For more information on The World of the New Testament, click here.

Joel Green on The World of the New Testament

Why We Put Together The World of the New Testament
by Joel B. Green

“To the church of God that is in Corinth….”

“(This occurred during Claudius’ rule.)”

“He was a Samaritan.”

Here are three good examples where twenty-first-century readers of the New Testament need some help.

The first comes from the opening of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, and already we are bombarded with questions: What should we expect of a first-century letter? How would the Corinthians have gotten their hands on this letter? Could everyone read? Why does this particular letter name Paul and Sosthenes as its authors? What might they mean by referring to a Corinthian “church?” And where is Corinth, anyway? What kind of place was it? How large was it? What was its economic background? What religions were practiced there?

The second is a narrative aside we find in Acts 11, where Luke is writing about a famine and the need for a collection for the believers in Judea. Where was Judea? What kind of economic help might be available to Judeans in times of shortage? Were collections like this typical in the ancient world? Oh, and who’s Claudius (and when did he rule)?

The third text is another narrative aside, this one from Luke 17. Jesus has cleansed ten lepers, but only one returns to give praise to God. What did “leprosy” involve in the ancient world? How would it be diagnosed? What does it mean that Jesus would interact with lepers? Why are lepers cleansed, not healed? Why is this one singled out as a Samaritan? (Which was worse—being a Samaritan or being a leper?)

ICover Artllustrations like these are easy to multiply. People tend to make a lot of assumptions when they communicate. And this works pretty well most of the time—at least, it works pretty well when people know each other and share something of a common history. It’s more difficult when people speak different languages and come from different parts of the world. And it’s even more difficult when people use different languages, come from different parts of the world, and are separated by about two thousand years! But that’s exactly what we face when we read the books of the New Testament.

The history Paul shared with the Corinthians, the cultural values Luke shared with his audience, those experiences of imperial Rome shared between the author and audiences of the book of Revelation: these shaped how words and phrases were heard. Those assumptions could be taken for granted by Paul, Luke, and John, so they don’t write them down on the pages of our New Testaments. Their audiences took them for granted too, so they were able to read between the lines or fill in the blanks. But we don’t always share those assumptions. We can’t always fill in the blanks or read between the lines. In short, we need more than the words on the page. We need some orientation. We need some context.

When it comes to making sense of the New Testament writings, a little background can go a long way. That’s why Lee McDonald and I put together this collection of essays. We wanted to get some basic information about first-century contexts into the hands of as many people as possible. We think of The World of the New Testament as a reference tool on one’s desk or tablet, always within reach. What Scripture did the first Christians read, and how did they read it? What would it have meant to be a slave in the Roman world? Wasn’t an ancient fishing boat discovered at the Sea of Galilee recently? How were ancient synagogues used? When questions like these arise, a reader can turn to the table of contents of The World of the New Testament or refer to the glossary of key terms or the ample indexes. How were children educated in the ancient world? What was Jewish life like outside Palestine? What do I need to know about the Gospel of Judas? We’ve covered questions like those, too.

Altogether, The World of the New Testament has more than forty chapters and dozens of photographs, maps, and diagrams. Every essay concludes with an annotated bibliography for those who want to learn more. Chapters are divided into five sections:

  • Setting the Context: Exile and the Jewish Heritage
  • Setting the Context: Roman Hellenism
  • The Jewish People in the Context of Roman Hellenism
  • The Literary Context of Early Christianity
  • The Geographical Context of the New Testament

A number of our contributors are members of the Institute for Biblical Research, a community of evangelical biblical scholars from a variety of church backgrounds and theological traditions. We recruited a solid, dependable team of writers, spanning three generations of New Testament specialists, with names like James Charlesworth and Everett Ferguson, Ben Witherington and James Dunn, Lynn Cohick and Mike Bird, David deSilva and Lidija Novakovic, Gene Green and Michelle Lee-Barnewall.

We think this is a must for students and pastors, teachers and small group leaders. In fact, given the sheer breadth of coverage of relevant cultural, social, and historical contexts, it’s not hard to imagine that every reader of the New Testament, however new or experienced, would benefit from this volume.


Joel B. GreenJoel B. Green (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is professor of New Testament interpretation and associate dean of the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including the Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics, the Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, The World of the New Testament, Introducing the New Testament, and commentaries on Luke and 1 Peter. He is also editor-in-chief of the Journal of Theological Interpretation.

For more information on The World of the New Testament, click here.