Thursday, April 05, 2007

College Prep

Most of us know about the spiritual cliché of the young man (or woman) who grows up in the church, and promptly loses his faith as soon as he goes to college (or seminary). This is due, in large part, to a lack of adequate preparation.

Below is a reading list which should lay a foundation for a well-informed faith in Scripture. A few comments and caveats:

Always get the latest (revised) edition of any work.

Bauckham is a moderate rather than inerrantist. Still, he’s very useful. The same thing could be said of Craig Evans.

Blomberg’s Historical Reliability of the Gospels is especially useful from the standpoint of hermeneutics. Most so-called Bible “errors” and “contradictions” are due to an artificially wooden notion of what the author was aiming at. Such allegations disregard literary conventions and the like. Blomberg is very good at presenting what might be called a hermeneutic of inerrancy.

Wait until he comes out with the second, revised edition of this title.

Long is in some ways the OT counterpart to Blomberg on the hermeneutics of inerrancy.

Collins is an OEC. I often disagree with him. However, when he’s good, he’s very good.

Walton is also an OEC. There are times when he accentuates the continuity between the OT and ANE to the expense of discontinuity. In general, though, he does an excellent job of enabling the modern reader to “hear” the text the way the original audience would have heard it. We can go seriously astray when we take our own cultural outlook as the point of reference.

JETS has a couple of book reviews which outline the strengths and weaknesses of the titles by Kitchen and (the multi-authored) Provan/Long/Longman:

http://www.etsjets.org/jets/journal/48/48-1/48-1-pp115-197_JETS.pdf

A Survey of Old Testament Introduction
by Gleason Archer

Is The New Testament Reliable?
by Paul Barnett

The Birth Of Christianity: The First Twenty Years (After Jesus)
by Paul Barnett

Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony
by Richard Bauckham

The Historical Reliability of the Gospels
by Craig L. Blomberg

The Historical Reliability of John's Gospel: Issues & Commentary
by Craig L. Blomberg

Luke 1:1-9:50 (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament)
by Darrell L. Bock

Luke 9:51-24:53 (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament)
by Darrell L. Bock

Acts (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament)
by Darrell L. Bock

Introduction to the New Testament, An
by D. A. Carson (Author), Douglas J. Moo

Genesis 1-4: A Linguistic, Literary, And Theological Commentary
by C. John Collins

Genesis: Volume 1 (Evangelical Press Study Commentary)
by John D. Currid

Exodus, Volume 1: Chapters 1-18 (An EP Study Commentary)
by John D. Currid

Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels
by Craig A. Evans

New Testament Introduction (Master Reference Collection)
by Donald Guthrie

Ancient Israel in Sinai: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Wilderness Tradition
by James K. Hoffmeier

Israel in Egypt: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition
by James K. Hoffmeier

A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew
by Craig S. Keener

The Gospel of John: A Commentary (2 Volume Set)
by Craig S. Keener

On the Reliability of the Old Testament
by K. A. Kitchen

Encountering John: The Gospel in Historical, Literary, and Theological Perspective (Encountering Biblical Studies)
by Andreas J. Köstenberger

Art of Biblical History, The
by V. Philips Long

Reading And Writing In The Time Of Jesus
by A. R. Millard

A Biblical History of Israel
by Iain W. Provan, V. Philips Long, Tremper Longman

Exodus (The New American Commentary)
by Douglas K. Stuart

The First Edition of the New Testament (Print on Demand)
by David Trobisch

Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament: Introducing the Conceptual World of the Hebrew Bible
by John H. Walton

The NIV Application Commentary Genesis
by Dr. John H. Walton

7 comments:

  1. This is very helpful. Thanks.

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  2. D.A. Carson? Never heard of him. Has he written any books or anything?

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  3. Steve Jackson4/06/2007 8:36 AM

    Of course, one could add lots of books to this list.

    I would add Wenham: Paul: Follower of Jesus or Founder of Christianity & Ladd: The Presence of the Future.

    For more advanced students, I'd recommend Hurtado: Lord Jesus Christ and Witherington: The Christology of Jesus. Neither is conservative by traditional standards.

    Charlesworth, ed.: Jesus and Archeology is quite good (same caveat as with Witherington/Hurtado), particularly on John's Gospel.

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  4. Hate to be a stick in the mud, here, but it seems Steve is being a bit inconsistent in his theology by making statements like, "Most of us know about the spiritual cliché of the young man (or woman) who grows up in the church, and promptly loses his faith as soon as he goes to college (or seminary). This is due, in large part, to a lack of adequate preparation."

    Just wondering why you even worry about such things -- God saves whomever He wills, right? Why think that "adequate preparation" plays any part, whatsoever? Those who are given the "gift of faith" don't lose it.

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  5. Because God works through means.

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  6. Mud,

    Yeah, because God works through means.

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  7. Is it necessary to always include the qualifier "Of course, if it be God's will" to every statement?

    If you know Steve's theology then you already know that Steve isn't ultimately attributing the apostasy of the college student who loses his faith to his lack of education, but to reprobation. His lack of spiritual education or his hardness once he rejects what he is reading is due to the ultimate reality of reprobation, but does this "behind the scenes activity" always need to be included?

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