BA Books & Authors on the Web – January 8, 2016

Cover ArtAncient Christian Worship by Andrew McGowen, and Reformed Catholicity by Michael Allen and Scott Swain, were recommended in Reformation 21’s 2015 End of Year Review of Books.

In my humble judgment, Reformed Catholicity: The Promise of Retrieval for Theology and Biblical Interpretation, written by Michael Allen and Ref21’s own Scott Swain, deserves book of the year status. Allen and Swain present a vision for Protestant engagement with the Church’s past and the saints that populate that past that every evangelical Christian really should read.

A Vision for Preaching, by Abraham Kuruvilla, won an Editor’s Choice award in Preaching Today’s 2016 Book Awards.

Exploring Catholic Theology, by Bishop Robert Barron, was reviewed at Stuart’s Study.

At the Ligonier blog, Keith Mathison included Craig Keener’s Acts: An Exegetical Commentary in his post My 5 Favorite Theology Reads of 2015.

Cover ArtIngolf Dalferth’s Crucified and Resurrected was reviewed at Tabletalk Theology.

Crucified and Resurrected is a lovely, meticulously-argued, challenging work that resists simplistic pronouncements. One can only slowly work through it and leave notes in the margins. Readers will be fully rewarded for their efforts.

Alvin Rapien at The Poor in Spirit also reviewed Crucified and Resurrected.

The Accordance blog recommended Rodney Decker’s Reading Koine Greek.

Spiritual Companioning by Angela Reed, Richard Osmer, and Marcus Smucker, was reviewed by Joshua Valdez.

Zack Ford, at Longing for Truth, reviewed An Essential Guide to Interpersonal Communication by Quentin Schultze and Diane Badzinski.

 

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.

 

BA Books & Authors on the Web – May 1, 2015

Cover ArtThe Church according to Paul by James Thompson received the 2015 Book of the Year Award from the Academy of Parish Clergy.

We were in unanimous agreement that it is a great resource for working pastors. It is superlative of the best work coming out of biblical studies, because it is not written simply for the academy’s ivory tower but for the sake of the church.

Dave Hershey reviewed James K.A. Smith’s Who’s Afraid of Relativism?

Jennifer Guo reviewed Reformed Catholicity by Michael Allen and Scott Swain.

Spencer Robinson, at Spoiled Milks, reviewed Frank Thielman’s BECNT volume on Ephesians.

Rodney Decker’s Reading Koine Greek and John Dobson’s Learn New Testament Greek were recommended at Credo Magazine.

Stephen Hildebrand’s Basil of Caesarea was reviewed by Blair Smith at Reformation 21.

Gloria Furman, at The Gospel Coalition, is reading The King in His Beauty by Tom Schreiner, Let the Nations Be Glad by John Piper, and A New Testament Biblical Theology by G. K. Beale.

D. A. Carson was interviewed on Point of View about his new book Praying with Paul, which Point of View also reviewed.

Rob Johnston, author of God’s Wider Presence, was invited to give a series of lectures on faith and culture at Dallas Theological Seminary. You can find the videos here.

BA Books & Authors on the Web – April 3, 2015

Cover ArtAt RBL, Bálint Károly Zabán reviewed John Cook and Robert Holmstedt’s Beginning Biblical Hebrew.

On the whole, the kernel of the book is very well and carefully written but equally impressively designed. With its focus on especially pragmatics, the textbook delves into a subject sometimes avoided by other grammars—a joy to read, a joy to use, and a joy to teach from!

Also at RBL, Darian Lockett reviewed the Paideia commentary on James and Jude, written by John Painter and David A. deSilva.

CHOICEconnect reviewed Early Christianity in Contexts edited by William Tabbernee (here), as well as Handbook of Religion edited by Terry Muck, Harold Netland, and Gerald McDermott (here).

Andy Naselli recommended Rodney Decker’s Reading Koine Greek.

Daniel Block’s For the Glory of God was reviewed at Spoiled Milk.

Engaging the Christian Scriptures, by Andrew E. Arterbury, W. H. Bellinger Jr., and Derek S. Dodson, was reviewed at the Young Restless Reformed Blog.

At Network, Greg Sinclair reflected on religious diversity in light of Our Global Families by Todd Johnson and Cindy Wu.

The Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series was recommended by The Frederick Faith Debate.

At Euangelion, Michael Bird shared a quote from Peter Oakes’ Galatians commentary.

Nijay Gupta, at Crux Sola, interviewed Mikeal Parsons about his recent Paideia commentary on Luke.

At Comment Magazine, James K. A. Smith shared two work-in-progress excerpts from his forthcoming third volume in the Cultural Liturgies series, Beyond “Creation” and Natural Law and Rethinking the Secular, Redeeming Christendom.

 

BA Books & Authors on the Web – March 27, 2015

Cover ArtAt RBL, Catrin H. Williams reviewed Francis Moloney’s Love in the Gospel of John.

Moloney not only argues convincingly for the pervasiveness of the love theme within John’s narrative, but he demonstrates the crucial importance of this theme for understanding the Gospel’s message about the relationship between God, Jesus and believers. Those interested in John’s theology will, as a result, gain much from reading this valuable study.

Also at RBL, Stephen J. Andrews reviewed The Character of Christian Scripture by Christopher Seitz.

Daniel Block’s For the Glory of God and Doug Moo’s BECNT volume on Galatians were both named as finalists in Bible Reference category of the 2015 Christian Book Awards.

Todd Scacewater, at Exegetical.Tools, reviewed Reading Koine Greek by Rodney Decker.

At Panorama of a Book Saint, Conrade Yap reviewed Created for Community, by Stanley Grenz and Jay Smith.

Michael Philliber reviewed First, Second, and Third John by George Parsenios.

Response magazine featured an article by Jeffrey Overstreet about A Compact Guide to the Whole Bible, by Robert Wall and David Nienhuis.

Two articles, In Defense of Proof-Texting by Brandon Smith and Catholic and Always Reforming at Glimpses Elsewhere, engaged with Reformed Catholicity by Michael Allen and Scott Swain.

Access Evangelical Covenant Church is hosting a book launch party for Todd Johnson and Cindy Wu’s Our Global Families.

 

BA Books & Authors on the Web – February 13, 2015

Cover ArtThe Englewood Review of Books reviewed From Every Tribe and Nation by Mark Noll.

Noll’s memoir of discovery calls our attention to the infinitely larger story of global Christianity. May it inspire us to appreciate and share God’s heart for his people whom he is gathering to himself from every tribe and nation.

At Crux Sola, Nijay Gupta reviewed Rodney Decker’s Reading Koine Greek, and reflected on evangelism and community in light of James Thompson’s The Church According to Paul.

Reformed Catholicity, by Michael Allen and Scott Swain, was reviewed by Mark Gignilliat at Reformation 21, and by Patrick Schreiner at Ad Fontes.

Library Journal reviewed Charles Farhadian’s forthcoming Introducing World Religions, and Handbook of Religion, edited by Terry Muck, Harold Netland, and Gerald McDermott.

Jeffrey Weima’s BECNT volume on 1-2 Thessalonians was reviewed at the Young Restless Reformed Blog.

At Blogging Theologically, Aaron Armstrong reflected on the first volume of Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics.

Conrade Yap, at Panorama of a Book Saint, reviewed Mark Noll’s From Every Tribe and Nation.

Shelby Etheridge reviewed Andrew Root’s Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker for The Presbyterian Outlook.

At The Living Church, George Sumner reviewed Understanding Christian Mission by Scott Sunquist.

Drew Trotter reviewed Robert Johnston’s God’s Wider Presence for the Consortium of Christian Study Centers.

A Farewell with Thanks from the Church and Postmodern Culture blog.

Daniel Block, author of For the Glory of God, recently gave a lecture on worship at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

BA Books & Authors on the Web – January 16, 2015

Cover ArtByron Borger, at Hearts & Minds Books, named J. Richard Middleton’s A New Heaven and a New Earth as 2014’s Best Book Of Biblical Studies.

“What a book!…There is no doubt in my mind that this book is urgently needed — among evangelicals and mainline folks alike — to be fully clear about God’s promises of new creation, and how this vision of a restored Earth can animate and sustain our efforts for cultural reform now. Richard is an excellent Biblical scholar and has worked on this serious volume for years; the endorsements have been robust and exceptional, and early readers report it is nearly life-changing.”

Also in his Best Books of 2014 post, Borger gave a double award (Best New Contribution to Bonhoeffer Studies and Best Youth Ministry Book) to Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker by Andrew Root, and an honorable mention to From Every Tribe and Nation by Mark Noll and Reading a Different Story by Susan VanZanten.

At The Hump of the Camel, Jon Garvey reviewed A New Heaven and a New Earth.

RJS continued to discuss Middleton’s A New Heaven and a New Earth in the post “The End of the World” at Jesus Creed.

J. Richard Middleton wrote “God’s Bringing Creation to Its Glorious Destiny” for The High Calling.

Chris Woznicki reviewed Reformed Catholicity, by Michael Allen and Scott Swain.

At First Things, Peter Leithart reflected on the discussion of Reinhold Hutter in Reformed Catholicity.

Reformed Catholicity was listed in The Aquila Report’s New & Noteworthy Books in 2015.

At Panorama of a Book Saint, Conrade Yap reviewed Effective Intercultural Communication by A. Scott Moreau, Evvy Hay Campbell, and Susan Greener.

Christopher Skinner, at Crux Sola, reviewed Chris Keith’s Jesus against the Scribal Elite.

Daniel Gullotta reviewed Ancient Christian Worship by Andrew McGowan.

Elodie Ballantine Emig reviewed Rodney Decker’s Reading Koine Greek for the Denver Journal.

At Theosblog, Lawrence Osborn reviewed Introducing Evangelical Ecotheology by Daniel Brunner, Jennifer Butler, and A. J. Swoboda.

At The Jesus Blog, Anthony LeDonne named Dale Allison’s Constructing Jesus as the best Jesus book of the 2010’s.

Robert Johnston, author of God’s Wider Presence, was interviewed in Tehelka Magazine.

 

BA Books & Authors on the Web – December 19, 2014

Cover ArtAllen Mickle Jr. reviewed Rodney Decker’s Reading Koine Greek.

“Dr. Decker met with me to encourage me to consider using his pre-published Greek text. He gave me a copy to review, and after working through much of the text, I found it a superior version for teaching. Here are my thoughts on why you should consider Decker for first year Greek instruction.”

Seumas Macdonald, at The Patrologist, is working through Reading Koine Greek. You can read his reflections here: Part 1, part 2, part 3.

Chris Woznicki reviewed Galatians and Christian Theology, edited by Mark Elliott, Scott Hafemann, N. T. Wright, and John Frederick.

At Unsettled Christianity, Joel Watts reviewed Atonement, Law, and Justice by Adonis Vidu.

Ed Smither reviewed Stephen Hildebrand’s Basil of Caesarea.

At Faith and History, Robert Tracy McKenzie reflected on Mark Noll’s From Every Tribe and Nation.

Bryan Litfin, author of Early Christian Martyr Stories, was interviewed on Chris Fabrey Live!

William Tabbernee was interviewed on The Janet Mefferd Show, about his new book, Early Christianity in Contexts.

Adonis Vidu discussed Atonement, Law, and Justice at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

The Development of Koine – an Excerpt from Reading Koine Greek

The following is an excerpt from Reading Koine Greek, by Rodney Decker.

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Cover ArtBuilding on his father’s power base in Greece, Alexander III (356–323 BC), best known as Alexander the Great, accomplished a spectacular conquest of the ancient world: Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Persia, and the frontiers of India. In accomplishing this, the young military and political genius spread Greek language and culture over a vast area.

The language in use as this triumph began was standard Attic. The process of assimilating many other cultures (as well as large numbers of foreign troops into the ranks of the Greek army) had a deep impact on the language, becoming Koine Greek (κοινὴ διάλεκτος, “the common dialect”), the lingua franca of the Alexandrian Empire. “For the first time the notion of ‘Greek,’ which hitherto had unified the dialects only as an abstraction, acquired a more or less concrete instantiation in the form of the standard written, and increasingly spoken, Koine.” The language changed as it spread, absorbing some non-Attic features and being simplified grammatically.

Learning this language became imperative for indigenous populations, whether to enable military or civil service in the new regime or simply to do business with their new neighbors and masters. Koine, which was imposed top-down by the Greek rulers in the administrative centers of the empire, served a unifying function “by cementing in place the idea of a common Greek culture based on a common intellectual heritage expressed in a common Greek language.”

Even through the political and military maneuvering of the second and first centuries BC, in which Rome emerged as the new world power, having defeated all the various divisions of Alexander’s empire, Koine Greek remained the lingua franca despite the formal position of Latin as the language of Rome. Greek language (and to a lesser extent Greek culture) remained the de facto standard for most areas of life under Roman rule for several centuries.

©2014 by Rodney J. Decker. Published by Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

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For more information on Reading Koine Greek, click here.

New Release: Reading Koine Greek

Cover ArtThis in-depth yet student-friendly introduction to Koine Greek provides a full grounding in Greek grammar, while starting to build skill in the use of exegetical tools. The approach, informed by twenty-five years of classroom teaching, emphasizes reading Greek for comprehension as opposed to merely translating it.

The workbook is integrated into the textbook, with exercises appearing within each chapter rather than pushed to the end or located in a separate book. This enables students to practice concepts as they encounter them in the chapter–ideal for distance learning or studying beyond the traditional classroom.

Reading Koine Greek covers not only New Testament Greek but also the wider range of Bible-related Greek (LXX and other Koine texts). It introduces students to reference tools for biblical Greek, includes tips on learning, and is supplemented by robust web-based resources through Baker Academic’s Textbook eSources.

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“Readable and user friendly yet remarkably sophisticated linguistically. Students learn not just forms and paradigms but, far more important, how language works and how the text as a whole functions as a communicative event…. This is a pedagogically effective, accurate, and comprehensive text.” – Mark L. Strauss, Bethel Seminary

“Rodney Decker has written a wonderful Koine Greek grammar for the twenty-first century. Unlike most grammars currently in print, Decker’s work is up to date with the cutting-edge issues in Greek linguistics, including verbal aspect, voice, lexical semantics, and pronunciation….This is a modern grammar by a scholar-teacher with a true concern for his students.” – Constantine R. Campbell, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“Rodney Decker’s Reading Koine Greek reflects the most recent discussion of the Greek language, presented in a clear and practical way.” – Roy E. Ciampa, Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

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Rodney J. DeckerRodney J. Decker (1953-2014) received his ThD from Central Baptist Theological Seminary and served as professor of Greek and New Testament at Baptist Bible Seminary in Pennsylvania. He authored Temporal Deixis of the Greek Verb in the Gospel of Mark with Reference to Verbal Aspect and several major Greek study books, including A Koine Greek Reader and the forthcoming Mark volumes in the Baylor Handbook on the Greek New Testament.

 For more information on Reading Koine Greek, click here.