New Books to Know About

Posted by on Dec 5, 2012 in Book Notes, Matthew Barrett | No Comments

By Matthew Barrett–

Murray J. Harris. Prepositions and Theology in the Greek New Testament: An Essential Reference Resource for Exegesis. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012.

Are you taking Greek? Are you trying to keep up with the Greek you once took in seminary? Then here is a book that may be of help. Murray Harris has put together a resource that is a study of the places in the NT where prepositions contribute to the theological meaning of the passage at hand. Harris states in his preface that this volume is not meant to be an exhaustive or comprehensive treatment of prepositions (see BDF or A. T. Robertson or BDAG for that). His purpose is to highlight some examples of prepositions that that are used in such a way that they are invested with “theological import.” He admits that choosing which propositions to include is an arbitrary task and his choices simply reflect his own theological interests. D. A. Carson commends the book, “This book, a greatly expanded treatment of Murray Harris’s earlier study of Greek prepositions of the New Testament, will not only increase the rigor of the exegesis of many more generations of students, but will enrich the work of pastors and commentators for decades to come. Highly recommended.”

J. Scott Duvall & Verlyn D. Verbrugge, eds. Devotions on the Greek New Testament: 52 Reflections to Inspire and Instruct. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012.

While we are on NT Greek study tools, here is yet another book but this time by a diverse list of contributors. If the Harris volume is intimidating, this volume may be a better place to begin. The book is broken down into 52 chapters, reflecting in a devotional manner on the greek text. Some chapters I am looking forward to reading include:

Matthew 28:19-20A  The Great Commission, by Craig L. Blomberg

Mark 2:3-5A  Jesus Heals the Paralytic, by David Wallace

John 13:4  Taking Up the Cross, by Matt Williams

John 15:38-39  Play on Words, by William D. Mounce

Without a doubt, given the array of contributors, no reader will agree with everything. But still, this Greek devotional resource will get you interacting with the Greek text on a daily basis in short, bite size portions.

NIV Greek and English New Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012.

The greek resources just keep coming! John R. Kohlenberger III is the general editor of this new NIV Greek and English New Testament. Here are some of the features of this text:

Side-by-side format (Greek text on one page with NIV on the facing page)

Includes Greek text underlying NIV translation, formatted to match.

Footnotes show any differences – often minor – from other Greek texts.

Greek dictionary (from Mounce’s Concise Freek-English Dictionary of the New Testament).

Edward W. Klink III and Darian R. Lockett. Understanding Biblical Theology: A Comparison of Theory and Practice. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012.

These two Talbot School of Theology New Testament scholars survey five major schools of thought when it coms to biblical theology:

Biblical Theology as Historical Description: James Barr
Biblical Theology as History of Redemption: D. A. Carson
Biblical Theology as Worldview-Story: N. T. Wright
Biblical Theology as Canonical Approach: Brevard Childs
Biblical Theology as Theological Construction: Francis Watson

Thomas Schreiner writes of the volume, “The popularity of biblical theology shows no signs of abating, but the variety of approaches to the subject can be confusing and daunting. Klink and Lockett provide a landscape for understanding the discipline by setting forth five different approaches to biblical theology. The much-needed work fills a large gap and will be received gratefully by both professors and students.”

Constantine R. Campbell. Paul and Union with Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Study. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012.

In this tome, Campbell enters into the hotly debated discussion of union with Christ. Campbell’s treatment is extensive. He not only looks at how union with Christ language is used in each instance in the New Testament, but he also looks at how the doctrine has been expressed since twentieth century to today, from Adolf Deissmann to Michael Gorman.

And here are the commendations:

“At the heart of debate over several important theological issues, not least justification, stands a unifying theme: union with Christ. That theme almost everyone espouses but interprets differently or with remarkable vagueness. The strength of Con Campbell’s book is his patient examination of the controlling expressions—what it means to be ’in Christ,’ for example. Here there is no reductionism, but sure-footed guidance through the biblical evidence and sensible, even-handed, conclusions. Highly recommended.”

—D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“Rarely do New Testament scholars and theologians seem interested in the same thing at the same time, although until this volume the latter have done the lion’s share of monograph-style treatments. Holding up the diamond, Professor Campbell explores each facet. Although readers may not agree with all of the conclusions, Paul and Union with Christ is a crucial resource for exegetical reflection and precision on such an important topic.”

—Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California; author, The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way

Matthew Barrett (Ph.D., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Assistant Professor of Christian Studies at California Baptist University (OPS). He is also the founder and executive editor of Credo Magazine. Barrett has contributed book reviews and articles to various academic journals, and he is the editor of Whomever He Wills: A Surprising Display of Sovereign Mercy, as well as the author of several other forthcoming books. He is married to Elizabeth and they have two daughters, Cassandra and Georgia.

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