2 Volumes for NT Introduction

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Exploring The New Testament: A Guide to the Gospels and Acts

This is the Second Edition of a well-received volume by scholars David Wenham and Steve Walton. It’s part of a 2 volume set with another volume by different scholars covering the rest of the New Testament. Actually, there are 4 other corresponding volumes that cover the Old Testament as well. Currently, this volume is available in either an attractive hardback volume or a more economical paperback edition.

It’s aimed at first- or second year college students. Though it has features that will appeal more to those planning to become scholars than pastors or Bible students, it is still a fine volume for anyone.

The page layout is appealing and there are multiple things to look at depending on what you’re studying at the moment. It is not set up as a chapter per NT book only as are so many such volumes. There’s over 40 pages to set the stage of Jesus and the NT. Next there is a a good bit of critical discussion that is not as interesting to many readers. There’s three chapters that discuss the direction of scholarly studies of Jesus. The balance of the book is on the four Gospels individually and Acts .

This book is my favorite of those I’ve used in this series and I recommend it.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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Exploring The New Testament: A Guide to the Letters and Revelation

Here’s the Second Edition of a book by I. Howard Marshall, Stephen Travis and Ian Paul that is often paired with “Exploring the NT: A Guide to the Gospels” by different scholars. Currently, this volume is available in either an attractive hardback volume or a more economical paperback edition.

Aimed at beginning college students, this volume sometimes addresses issues that are more important to scholars than everyone else. Still, it is best that we all be aware at least of where current scholarship is trending.

The setup is exactly the same as its counterpart and that is a plus. In addition to presenting typical introductory issues, the authors give us sidebars to get us thinking. There’s a good introduction to Paul over a few chapters and a chapter for each of the NT books after Acts. Most are helpful, though the one on Revelation is too vague to be of use to the student.

This book and its counterpart are a great asset on studying the New Testament.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

How To Find Economical Used Books

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On occasion people ask me questions about books and I imagine the biggest book question anyone could have is how to find books on the cheap.Whether you just want to buy someone you love a few books for a gift, or whether you are trying to build a first-rate library yourself, it’s imperative to find the best deals as the current retail, and even some used book prices, are exorbitant.

The first step is making a list of the books you most want. If you focus on just one book at a time you will pay more–far more. From a list you can next buy the book that is at the best bargain now. You never know what book you’ll be buying next, but you’ll likely get them all over time and at a great discount. I’ve waited years for some volumes. Maybe you are setting a budget for a certain period of time and you will work in that constraint, but you can still build the best library for the best price that way. My wife and I give ourselves around $20 a week for play money, and since there is absolutely nothing I want in the world other than books, I usually buy from my current list the first of every week based on the best bargain I find.

As we discuss the tools to find these books, just remember the best sites may change over time. There was a time not that long ago I bought the most books from eBay, but that has changed to Amazon as many used sellers list there now. It’s also best, though, to double-check alternate sources before you click “buy” on your favorite site as the price may have dropped too.

Things To Do To Buy Cheap Books: 

  1. Camelcamelcamel.com

This is a site that monitors Amazon. You make a list by searching out the books you want and putting in the price at which you want a notification. There’s also data on what it has sold for in the past on Amazon. If the current price is substantially higher than the listed “lowest price ever”, then likely you should wait a while. Apparently, sellers set prices based on other Amazon sellers. If one seller puts in an absurd price, then several other sellers may do so for a while. It will come back down. Just wait.

2. Addall.com

This is another site that checks many other sites for the cheapest price. It has superior search options and you will likely find the best price. The downside is that you can save your lists by the “memo” options, but it erases every time you clean cookies or other big technical stuff on your computer.  There’s no notifications either.

3. Ebay.com

Ebay has changed over the years and there are now far more “buy it now” listings with a set price than actual auctions. Still, bargains can sometimes be had, and you will get notifications for items in your watch list.

 

There are a few other sites out there like abebooks.com, alibris.com or half.com, but I rarely find the best bargains there. Still, they’re worth checking if you need one specific book only, though addall.com monitors some of them too. Don’t forget to check library sales (even from theological libraries) or thrift stores for a good deal on a more common title.

A Word On Which Book To Buy

Sometimes you can find an inexpensive paperback edition of a book often found in nicer hardback editions. Here it’s best to think about what uses you plan for the book. Will you refer to it often for years to come? In that case, a few extra dollars for a better edition will be worth it.

Best wishes on building your theological library or trying to find that desired volume for a loved one!

 

2 Corinthians and 1 Peter by Lightfoot

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This unique book finishes IVP’s The Lightfoot Legacy Set of the recently discovered unpublished writings of J. B. Lightfoot. If you ever peruse used book listings you will see just how popular his commentaries have been for many years. The book has a gorgeous cover and is, to my mind, as much a collectible item for those who are assembling fairly complete libraries as it is a usable commentary.

On the negative side, you really couldn’t call the portion on either 2 Corinthians or 1 Peter a complete commentary. There is a good bit of untranslated Greek as well. His disdain for the Textus Receptus is palpable too. Still, his logical mind is really good in many places. For example, he makes careful arguments on the chronology of Paul and takes some colleagues to task for carelessness. I wouldn’t agree with all his conclusions, but find interacting with him quite helpful.

Other things are added to this volume that makes it even more valuable. There is an expanded rendition of his justly famous “The Christian Ministry.” The volume concludes with some nice articles by others that have appeared on Lightfoot himself.

If you already have the first two in this series, you will definitely want this one as it is of equal value. The set is a nice one too.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Unceasing Kindness: A Biblical Theology of Ruth

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It’s a tale of two books. There’s the narrow part on Ruth’s canonical placement and how that affects theology and the warm part on the great theological themes of Ruth. One is esoteric and the other is quite helpful to anyone who might be studying the Book of Ruth.

Peter Lau and Gregory Goswell provide this latest entry in the reputable New Studies In Biblical Theology series edited by D. A. Carson. It’s clear they have studied their subject carefully even if there is a mixture of the obscure and the enlightening.

As for that canonical placement there was no information given that would have made me reject Ruth’s current placement and its closest relation to Judges. I’m not saying their conclusions were bad, but I wonder if that whole section would have been better placed in a lengthy appendix.

The book gives its value to our studies when it takes theology straight on as is more traditional in such volumes. For example, the authors really mined the significance of famine and tied it in to the Bible at large. There were profound insights in that section. The volume also, as you would expect, tackles redemption in Ruth. The corollary thoughts on typology (Is Boaz a type of Christ?) are also discussed to advantage.

Overall, despite some chapters that would only appeal to specialists, this is a helpful volume.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Devoted To God by Sinclair Ferguson

This book is special. Its title might not suggest the wallop it packs, though the subtitle “Blueprints For Sanctification” at least sends you the right direction. When the author says he is going to approach his subject by doing some expositions of the key NT passages you still might realize what you are in for. It’s only when you actually start reading and the chapters add up that you see the treasure you have. Those passages he expounds are ones we read over too quickly and their incredible value he simply unfolds. Along the way, the book proves itself an instant classic. That might be cliché, but I believe time will prove it true.

There’s an appendix that lists the “Blueprint Passages” at the end, and he has something to say on each, but he soared in Romans 12, Galatians 2:20, and especially Romans 6. He really helped me see the role the Law has in the life of the Christian today. He steered away from extremes that find so many adherents these days.

I could not say that I agreed with every sentence in the book, but he always carefully explained himself and made you do your own thinking. I can’t follow all reformed conclusions that were made, but I think most Bible believers will be helped and everyone needs this book. I challenge you to see if you can’t agree with his final chapter on the ultimate goal. I sure did.

I must give you warning. This book is not for casual reading. It demands slow, reflective reading. You invest that effort and you will be rewarded immensely. This is one of the great ones.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.