BA Books & Authors on the Web – June 19, 2015

Cover ArtAt First Things, Peter Leithart discussed Simon Gathercole’s Defending Substitution.

“Gathercole finds a common theme running through alternatives to substitutionary conceptions of atonement: They emphasize the cosmic and oppressive power of Sin, but downplay the role of specific acts of sin—sins—in Paul’s theology.”

Justin Mihoc and Joshua Mann reviewed the second volume of Craig Keener’s commentary on Acts for RBL.

“[Acts: An Exegetical Commentary] has already become, and will certainly remain for a long time, a standard reference work in Acts studies. His encyclopedic opus is certainly to be praised and valued by scholars as the most extensive study of sociorhetorical exegesis of Acts.”

Johnny Walker, at Freedom in Orthodoxy, reviewed Matthew Levering’s Engaging the Doctrine of Revelation.

“Wonderful in its clarity and in its breadth of engagement with contemporary positions and proposals. His own account deserves a wide-hearing and will be something of a bench-mark I’m sure for Catholic account of the role of Church and Scripture in God’s self-witness to the world.”

Larry Hurtado reviewed Early Christianity in Contexts, edited by William Tabernee.

“For readers who might want to push out their own frontiers of knowledge of early Christianity, this book will be a gold mine.”

Also, Early Christianity in Contexts was reviewed by Peter Head at Evangelical Textual Criticism.

Herman Bavinck’s Essays on Religion, Science, and Society was reviewed by Dayton Hartman at For the Gospel.

The Bonhoeffer Center reviewed Andrew Root’s Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker.

Linguistic Analysis of the Greek New Testament, by Stanley Porter, was reviewed at The Washington Book Review.

Peter Williamson, author of Ephesians and Revelation in the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture, was interviewed at Catholic Bibles.

Finally, congrats to J. Richard Middleton, whose A New Heaven and a New Earth won the Word Award for the category of Biblical Studies.

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 – 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.

Christianity in Britannia – an Excerpt from Early Christianity in Contexts

The following is an excerpt from Early Christianity in Contexts, edited by William Tabbernee.


Cover ArtStudies from the late twentieth century (Painter 1989; Hassall and Tomlin 1982; 1993; Watts 1991) have shown that early Christianity in Britain was more widespread, more syncretistic, and more continuous than previously thought. It was originally introduced by Britain’s Roman conquerors and viewed as a “Roman religion” by Britain’s Celtic inhabitants, who, when they converted, retained many of their Celtic traditions, practices, and symbols.

….Both Tertullian (Adv. Jud. 7.4) and Origen (Fragmenta ex commentariis in Ezechielem 4) indicate that they took it for granted that Christianity had been established in the British Isles before their own time (cf. Eusebius, Dem. ev. 3.5; Sozomen, Hist. eccl. 2.6.1). Exactly when the first Christians arrived in Britannia is, however, unknown. Legends about the apostles preaching in Britain (Eusebius, Dem. ev. 3.5) and the conversion of a British king named Lucius through correspondence with Eleutherius (i.e., Eleutherus) of Rome (bp. ca. 174/5–ca. 189) (Lib. pont. 14; cf. Bede, Hist. eccl. Angl. 1.4) are surely spurious.

St. Alban may have been martyred around 250 at Verulamium (St. Albans) during the Decian persecution (Thomas 1981, 48–50), but it is also possible that he died during the Diocletianic persecution in the early years of the fourth century. The same holds for two other martyrs, Aaron and Julius, who were put to death at Isca (Caerleon) (Gildas, Exc. Brit. 9.1; 10.2; Bede, Hist. eccl. Angl. 1.7, 18).

At least three bishops from Britain attended the Council of Arles in 314. However, no Christian inscriptions or other extant archaeological materials can be dated securely before the fourth century.

…..When the Romans withdrew from Britannia in about 410, their troops being needed in Gaul and Spain to deal with the Germanic invasions from across the Rhine, the popularity of Christianity waned, but, contrary to earlier scholarly views, it did not virtually die out. The absence of the Romans and especially of the elites who had adopted Christianity, however, enabled the Celtic elements within early British Christianity to predominate.

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


For more information on Early Christianity in Contexts, click here.

New Release: Early Christianity in Contexts

Cover ArtThis major work draws on current archaeological and textual research to trace the spread of Christianity in the first millennium. William Tabbernee, an internationally renowned scholar of the history of Christianity, has assembled a team of expert historians to survey the diverse forms of early Christianity as it spread across centuries, cultures, and continents.

Organized according to geographical areas of the late antique world, Early Christianity in Contexts examines what various regions looked like before and after the introduction of Christianity. The book’s careful attention to local realities adds depth and concreteness to students’ understanding of early Christianity, while its broad sweep introduces them to first-millennium precursors of today’s variegated, globalized religion.


“The global presence of Christian faith is now accepted as commonplace. This carefully researched volume demonstrates convincingly how very early that presence came to an extraordinary range of world locations. Close attention to material and cultural evidence makes this an unusually illuminating book.” – Mark A. Noll, University of Notre Dame

“Foregrounding the material record of Christianity in the first centuries of the Common Era, Early Christianity in Contexts magnificently captures the diversity of Christian experience within and beyond the borders of the Roman world. First-rate research infuses this welcome volume from start to finish, rewarding those who immerse themselves in its captivating treasures.” – Bruce Longenecker, Baylor University

“This is–as always with Tabbernee’s books–a carefully written, precise, and well-documented book, but also a book that is a pleasure to read…..There is no other comparable volume where the new findings from China are integrated into the traditional picture. In short: solid information on archaeological matters is combined with state-of-the-art passages on the history of Christian theologies and denominations.” – Christoph Markschies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin


William Tabbernee (PhD, University of Melbourne), ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), is executive director of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches. He formerly served as president and Stephen J. England Distinguished Professor of the History of Christianity at Phillips Theological Seminary. Tabbernee led an international team of archaeologists and historians that discovered the long-lost site of Pepouza, Montanism’s most holy city. He is the author of numerous books, including Prophets and Gravestones, and lives in Edmond, Oklahoma.

For more information on Early Christianity in Contexts, click here.