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Logos is celebrating the most distinctive American holiday, Black Friday, with a week of deals. From November 16 at 10AM PST until Sunday November 25 at 11:59 PM PST, you can save up to 90% on selected resources for your Logos Library, including a few Mobile courses and a free copy of the Christian Standard Bible.

Check out all the deals here, but here are a few highlights:

There is a little something for every budget, so poke around and see what you can find. The deals are better because you do not have to leave the house or deal with holiday mall music (unless you are into that sort of thing).

Do not forget the November 2018  “Free book of the Month” is New Covenant Commentary on 2 Timothy and Titus (2014) by Aída Besançon Spencer, Nijay Gupta’s 1 & 2 Thessalonians (2016) for only 99 cents, and Michael Bird’s Colossians and Philemon (2009) for only $1.99. That is three good commentaries for your Logos library for a mere $3, less than a cup of that fancy coffee you like so much. As I was purchasing these commentaries I noticed Aída Spencer’s 1 Timothy commentary is only $4.99, if you want to complete your set of commentaries on the Pastoral Epistles in the New Covenant series. In fact, all the volumes of the New Covenant series available in the Logos Library are $4.99 right now.

My book, Jesus the Bridegroom for the Logos Bible Software for $4.99. This is part of the Wipf & Stock sale through Logos which (I assume) runs through the end of November 2018. The book is also available through Amazon and the Wipf & Stock website (the retail price is $33 but there are discounted copies at Amazon and Wipf & Stock). The Kindle version is only $9.99 and claims to have real page numbers, but I cannot see them reading the book with the Kindle App on an iPad. Still, the book looks great in Kindle.

In case you have not seen the announcements, Logos Bible Software released a major upgrade last week. I did a “first look” review of Logos 8 here. There are plenty of new features to justify an upgrade and the software runs much more efficiently than the previous version. Everything seems to run faster than Logos 7. You can save 25% on any upgrades to Logos 8 and pick five free books when you upgrade to Logos 8. Follow the link and used the code READINGACTS8.

The deals start November 16 at 10AM PST and end on Sunday November 25 at 11:59 PM. So enjoy your turkey and stock up some on great Logos Resources.

 

 

I was quite surprised today with a tweet from a former student who bought my book, Jesus the Bridegroom for the Logos Bible Software for $4.99. This is part of the Wipf & Stock sale through Logos which (I assume) runs through the end of November 2018.

Jesus the Bridegroom has been reviewed in a couple of places. Marianne Blickenstaff reviewed the book for SBL’s Review of Biblical Literature (click here to read the review) and Peter Leithart reviewed the book at First Things a bit earlier. Don K. Preston reviewed the book at Amazon, saying he loves “the research that went into this. While Dr. Long’s emphasis is on ‘source’ and my focus is on theology, Nonetheless, I did find this book to be very helpful. I particularly appreciated the linguistic studies, showing the marital language that is used in some texts (e.g. especially Isaiah 4-5) that I had never seen before, and I truly appreciated it. His inter-textual notations were also fruitful. Long’s conclusion that Jesus drew together several strands of Jewish thought, and conflated those strands into a harmonious message, thus, suggesting that Jesus stood well within the framework of a Jewish prophet, is very good”

The book is also available through Amazon and the Wipf & Stock website (the retail price is $33 but there are discounted copies at Amazon and Wipf & Stock). The Kindle version is only $9.99 and claims to have real page numbers, but I cannot see them reading the book with the Kindle App on an iPad. Still, the book looks great in Kindle.

Obviously I would love for you to buy a copy, but I know that is not always possible. Here’s how you can help get the word out for me:

  • Buy the book while it is on sale at Logos, it is only $4.99!
  • Request that the book be added to your college, university, or seminary library.
  • Leave a review on Amazon.com. I cannot stress this enough, it is very difficult to get people to leave a review on Amazon, but the sad fact is Amazon reviews count for something in today’s book buying world.

What is the book about? The full title of the book is Jesus the Bridegroom: The Origin of the Eschatological Feast as a Wedding Banquet in the Synoptic Gospels. The book is an edited version of my dissertation. As I was working on my dissertation, people would ask what I was writing on. I usually said “an intertextual study on messianic banquet imagery in the Synoptic Gospels.” After a moment of awkward silence, I clarified: “Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is like a Wedding Banquet – what’s up with that?”

The book attempts to study the marriage metaphor / motif in the teaching of Jesus. There are a few places in the Synoptic Gospels where Jesus describes the Kingdom of Heaven as a Wedding Banquet, Matt 22:1-14 and 25:1-13 are the most obvious texts. But there are a few places where Jesus describes himself as a bridegroom, and a marriage metaphor appears in a number of other places. My proposal is that Jesus combined the metaphor of an eschatological banquet with the common Old Testament marriage metaphor and described his ministry as an ongoing wedding banquet to which all Israel is now invited. The long period in the wilderness is over and it is time for Israel to return to her Bridegroom.

In order to make this case, I apply what might be called an intertextual method to traditions or set of metaphors. The “text” in this intertextual study is the Hebrew Bible, but that text was heard by Jesus’ original listeners rather than read. They knew the metaphors because they heard them taught in their homes and synagogues. Jesus used these metaphors because they were current, but by combining them to describe himself, he created a new image of the eschatological age as a wedding banquet.

I first examine the eschatological “victory banquet” motif in the Hebrew Bible, starting with Isa 25:6-8 (ch. 3), the use of the Wilderness Tradition in Isaiah 40-55 (ch. 4), and the Marriage Metaphor in Hosea, Isaiah and Jeremiah (ch. 5).  I trace the development of these three themes through the Second Temple Period in chapter 6, and finally apply that database to the sayings of Jesus in chapter 7.

There are a few things that you will not find in this book. First, I did not cover John’s gospel, although there is much there that can be described as “wedding motif.” My reason for this omission are simple-the dissertation was already too long to include another major section on John’s Gospel! Second, there is nothing in this book on the application of the Bridegroom metaphor to the church. I wanted a study of Jesus’ use of the metaphor, not the (much) later theological development of that metaphor. Again, the reason for this is simply that I was writing a New Testament dissertation, doing “biblical theology” rather than “systematic theology.” I wanted to focus on the teaching of Jesus and the origin of the wedding banquet metaphor.

I would really like to hear feedback from anyone who reads the book – feel free to send me an email to continue the discussion. Thanks!

Labor Day Sale

Wipf & Stock is having a Labor Day Sale. Through the weekend you can get 40% off any purchase through their website, using the discount code LABOR40. The best use of this discount is to buy my book, Jesus the Bridegroom (Pickwick, 2015).

cover-1000x1500Marianne Blickenstaff of Union Presbyterian Seminary reviewed the for Review of Biblical Literature (here is a link to the RBL Review)  I am very happy to have her review the book, especially since I read her book, ‘While the Bridegroom is with Them’: Marriage, Family, Gender and Violence in the Gospel of Matthew (London: T&T Clark, 2005) at the very beginning stages of my research on the Wedding Banquet Parable and was influenced by her reading of the Banquet Parable in Matthew 22. I appreciate her very kind review. She summarizes the book and concludes “This study is a compelling counterargument to scholarship that claims the church, and  not Jesus himself, developed the bridegroom and wedding banquet themes. Long has provided well-researched and convincing evidence that Jesus could have operated within Second Temple Jewish interpretive conventions to develop Hebrew Bible themes in new
ways to elucidate the purpose of his ministry.”

The full title of the book is Jesus the Bridegroom: The Origin of the Eschatological Feast as a Wedding Banquet in the Synoptic Gospels and is an edited version of my PhD dissertation. As I was working on my dissertation, people would ask what I was writing on. I usually said “an intertextual study on messianic banquet imagery in the Synoptic Gospels.” After a moment of awkward silence, I clarified: “Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is like a Wedding Banquet – what’s up with that?” I considered that as a title for a (very) short time.

The book is also available through Amazon in paperback and Kindle. The Kindle version is only $9.99 and claims to have real page numbers. There is also a Logos version of the book, if you prefer that format. If you live in the Grand Rapids area, I have a three copies in my office if you want to get one directly from me.

If you have read the book (or at least looked it over semi-seriously), please leave a review on AmazonI would appreciate your comments. Unfortunately Amazon reviews carry weight, so please consider giving the book a good rating and leaving a comment on Amazon if you can.

I would really like to hear feedback from anyone who reads the book – feel free to send me an email to continue the discussion. Thanks!

Baylor University Press is having a Grad Student Sale

The sale itself runs from Friday, June 22th through Sunday, June 24th.  This year the discount codes (BP25, BP30, BP40) apply to all Baylor books, the more you spend the more you save (free shipping on all orders over $75).

Looks like it is time to stock up on the Baylor Handbook on the Greek Text series to survive your next Greek exegesis course. At SBL I was eyeing Christian Oxyrhynchus: Texts, Documents, and Sources edited by Lincoln H. Blumell and Thomas A. Wayment. Matthew L. Skinner’s recent A Companion to the New Testament: Paul and the Pauline Letters is very tempting as well.

It does not look like they are checking your seminary ID card at the door, but the sale is intended for Grad Students. Grab your fall syllabi and spend some quality time exploring the Baylor University Press website.

Remember, if you are in grad school you are supposed to spend all your money on books.

shut_up_and_take_my_money

During the month of March, Eerdmans has some great deals on several volumes of the Socio-Rhetorical Commentaries series. These commentaries are mostly by Ben Witherington III, Matthew is by Craig Keener and Hebrews is by David deSilva. Unfortunately, Witherington’s excellent socio-rhetorical commentary on The Acts of the Apostles is not part of this sale (and does not appear to have been published as a Kindle book). If you do not have a Kindle, you can read the books with the Kindle App on your iOS or Android device on with the Amazon Kindle web app.

What is a “socio-rhetorical” commentary? In these commentaries, Witherington pays careful attention to the cultural background (historical and social) and brings this background to bear on the text. This means there are many references to both Jewish and Greco-Roman sources which illustrate aspects of the text. But these are also exegetical commentaries. Witherington comments on the Greek text and deals with lexical and syntactical matters as expected in an exegetical commentary. the “rhetorical” aspect of the commentary traces the writer’s rhetorical strategy and technique, often drawing comparisons (or contrasts) with the standard Greek rhetorical handbooks (for example, Cicero, Quintilian, Theon, Hermogenes, and Aphthonius).

Although I prefer real books to digital (and Logos books to Kindle), these commentaries are worth buying at $4.99 (the price of one of those fancy coffees you like so much). The sale runs through March 31, 2018.

Socio-Rhetorical Commentaries $4.99 each for Kindle

Other Books by Ben Witherington for Kindle

Eerdmans has a monthly “Commentary Club sale” and this month they are featuring three commentaries in the Two Horizons series. Although this series is an example of the methods of the Theological Interpretation of Scripture, there is usually a blend of traditional exegesis and theological interpretation. I have reviewed several volumes (James McKeown, RuthLindsay Wilson, JobErnest C. Lucas, Proverbs;  Andy Johnson, 1 & 2 Thessalonians) and purchased a few more. Each of these commentaries include lengthy theological essays drawn from the exegesis of the book. These are far more detailed than an “excursus” are worth the price of the book alone.

If you do not mind reading on a Kindle (or Kindle app on a tablet), these are a great deal. Robert W. Wall and Richard B. Steele’s commentary on 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus is only $1.99.  I reviewed this commentary soon after it was published in 2012.

After the exegesis of each book, Wall provides a “rule of faith” reading based on five categories drawn from Tertullian’s “Theological Grammar.” The five categories are: Creator God, Christ Jesus as Lord, Community of the Spirit, Christian Existence and Discipleship, and Consummation in a New Creation. With his exegesis in mind, Wall reads back through each Pastoral Epistle with these five areas in mind, creating a kind of mini-theology for each book. He gathers all the data from the letter on each element and provides a running theological commentary for the book. For 1 Timothy, this is nearly 50 pages!

An additional feature of this commentary are three “case studies” written by Richard B. Steele, Wall’s colleague at Seattle Pacific University. These short sections are applications of each Pastoral letter to a particular historical situation. Steele discusses 1 Timothy’s view of leadership in “John Wesley and Early Methodist Societies,” 2 Timothy in “John William Fletcher: John Wesley’s Designated Successor” and Titus in “Phoebe Palmer and the Wesleyan Holiness Movement.” Given then theological commitments of Wall and Steele, the content of these articles are obviously interested in Wesleyan applications.

Gordon McConville and Stephen Williams commentary on Joshua is $2.99 and Psalms by Geoffrey W. Grogan is $3.99. I did not review these two commentaries, but I do own a copy of Grogan’s book and find it a very useful one-volume commentary on Psalms.

These affordable prices for Kindle versions of the Two Horizons commentaries run  through February 28th, 2018.

I have one more book to give out in celebration of the new academic semester. I used Stanley Porter and Andrew Pitt’s Fundamentals of New Testament Textual Criticism in my Greek class last semester. When I could not find my copy on the shelf, I purchased another copy at the now-shuttered Eerdmans Bookstore and promptly found my original copy.

There were seventeen names left in the comments (I deleted  James Snapp, do read his review of the book though). I  randomized the names and uses random.org to generate a winner, this time Ben Brown gets the book.  If you could contact me (plong42 at gmail dot com) with an address I will ship this out ASAP.

Missed the last giveaway? Follow me on twitter: @plong42

I have one more book to give out in celebration of the new academic semester. I used Stanley Porter and Andrew Pitt’s Fundamentals of New Testament Textual Criticism in my Greek class last semester. When I could not find my copy on the shelf, I purchased another copy at the now-shuttered Eerdmans Bookstore and promptly found my original copy.

I reviewed the book when it came out in 2015:

There are a few features which I found helpful which are not common in other textual criticism textbooks. First, Porter and Pitts include a chapter on canon (ch. 2). To a certain extent this material seems extraneous to the method of textual criticism. I am not sure they make a clear connection between their interesting discussion of the development of the canon and the process of textual criticism. A professor could easily omit it without losing the argument of the book, although from my experience students often have questions about canon at this point in their Greek training.

Second, they include two very useful chapters on the development of the Nestle-Aland and UBS texts.  Chapter 12 is particularly good for professors since it describes how to use both the NA27/28 and the UBS4/5. The book is therefore a good resource regardless of the chosen Greek New Testament chose by the professor. The story of how the two major critical editions developed is more than interesting, this section places the activity of textual criticism into its proper place in church history.

Third, the book includes a helpful summary of translation strategies as they relate to textual criticism (chapter 13). The chapter includes lists of the various abbreviations and marginalia of both editions. Page 148 has a photograph of a page from the NA28 Greek New Testament with arrows identifying everything on the page; page 163 does the same for the UBS4. For some students, this chapter alone will be worth the price of the book.

Craig S. Keener liked it too: “This very readable textbook provides a helpful and balanced introduction to text criticism aimed at just the right level for beginning students. It is clear, introduces multiple views, gives good reasons for the approaches it favors, and — an unexpected bonus — offers in two relevant chapters useful, concise introductions to canon formation and translation theory.”  However, James Snapp, Jr. did not like the book. So leave a comment, win the book, read it and decide for yourself.

I will pick the winner on January 31. Be sure to check back in a week to congratulate the winner.

Missed the last giveaway? Follow me on twitter: @plong42

In order to celebrate the beginning of the new semester as well as my forgetfulness in buying duplicate books, I offered a brand new copy of N. T. Wright’s Pauline Perspectives: Essays on Paul, 1978-2013 (Fortress, 2013) back on January 12.  All you had to do to win was leave me your name and mention your favorite Pauline scholar. I noticed James  Dunn and John Barclay did quite well in this informal poll, but the winner said N. T. Wright was his favorite.

I put all forty two comments (after deleting a couple duplicates) into a spreadsheet and randomly sorted them. I think used random.org to generate a a number. The winner of the N. T. Wright book is:

Jared Kusz

Jared made his saving throw and succeeds in adding this book to his library. Get in touch with me and I will get you this book ASAP.  I will have one more book to give away this semester, to be sure to check that out tomorrow, or follow me on twitter @plong42.

The winner of the Robert Gundry book never contacted me: Charles, if you are out there, contact me via email (plong42@gmail.com) or twitter so I can get you this book. If I do not hear from you in a couple of days I will give it to someone else.

I have a brand new copy of N. T. Wright’s Pauline Perspectives: Essays on Paul, 1978-2013 (Fortress, 2013). This 620-page book is the companion volume to Paul and the Faithfulness of God and collects Wright’s most articles on Paul over the last 35 years. Several are previously unpublished exegetical essays on Paul’s theology. These thirty-three articles are essential reading for students of Paul whether you think Wright is a friend or a foe. Ben Witherington III blurbs the book:

“Pauline Perspectives gathers into one convenient place the multitudinous essays and lectures on Paul and his thought world that have come forth from the prolific pen of N. T. Wright during the course of the last 35 years. Here you can see the development of seminal ideas, major themes, and the relentless pursuit of understanding important trajectories in Paul’s thought, ranging from justification to the righteousness of God to atonement to much more. Reading a book like this is like going to a great feast put on by a master chef and discovering there were no ephemeral starters but all meat, and none of it half-baked either, but well worth chewing over and always nourishing. Bon appetit!”

The book is $70 retail (but who pays retail?) I ended up with two copies, so I will celebrate a new academic semester by sending this book to a randomly selected person who leaves a comment below with their name and and the name of their favorite Pauline Scholar.

I will pick the winner on January 23. Be sure to check back to see if the odds were in your favor. If no one wins, I will send the copy to Jim West since he is a huge N. T. Wright fan.

Missed the last giveaway? Follow me on twitter: @plong42

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My book Jesus the Bridegroom is now available from Amazon in paperback or Kindle


Christian Theology

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