Book Review: John Byron, A Week in the Life of a Slave

Byron, John. A Week in the Life of a Slave. Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP Academic, 2019. 160 pp. Pb; $16.  Link to IVP Academic

John Byron is professor of New Testament at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio and is well-known for his publications on slavery in the Roman world. His Slavery Metaphors in Early Judaism and Pauline Christianity: A Traditio-historical and Exegetical Examination (WUNT/2 162; Tubingen: Mohr-Seibeck, 2003) is a major contribution to the study of slavery in the New Testament and his article “The Epistle to Philemon: Paul’s Strategy for Forging the Ties of Kinship” in Jesus and Paul: Global Perspectives in Honor of James D. G. Dunn for his 70th Birthday (London: T&T Clark, 2009) laid the foundation for this academic novel. As with the other contributions in the Week in the Life series from IVP Academic, Byron is a world-class scholar who knows his material every well as he spins an engaging tale. 

Byron, A Day in the Life of a SlaveByron focuses this book on one particular slave, Onesimus, the escaped slave in the background of Paul’s letter to Philemon. In order to make the plot line work, Byron suggests Paul was imprisoned in Ephesus when he wrote Philemon rather than Rome. His guards at his prison are Christians and they facilitate Paul’s continued ministry while under arrest and also arrange for the escaped slave Onesimus to meet with Paul in his prison cell several times. Since the series books are supposed to place in one week, Paul must be in prison some place close enough to Colossae for Onesimus to escape, travel to Paul and then return to his master within one week. This would simply be impossible if Paul was in prison in Rome. 

In addition to illustrating some aspects of the life of a slave in the Roman world, Byron also suggests how stories about Jesus may have passed between various local churches. He imagines how congregations in Ephesus, Laodicea, and Colossae worshiped together and how the owner of the home hosting a gathering may have had some influence on how the church functioned. Example, in the novel one church permitted slaves to worship alongside free people, but another church did not. This is an excellent illustration of how the Pauline view of equality within the body of Christ had a real-world impact on people. At one point the slave Onesimus is amazed that a master and his slave worship equally and that some masters treat their slaves with respect during the church service.

As with the other contributions to the series, Byron supplements the novel with many sidebars explaining some aspect of slavery in the Roman world. For example, Byron includes information on sexuality and marriage among slaves, how an individual might become a slave, the exposure of infants, slave names, the practice of manumission, etc. Given Byron’s academic interests, he includes almost two pages on slave metaphors in the New Testament. He has a page on the use of slavery or freedom in the New Testament and a two-page note on letters of mediation in antiquity, including the famous letter from Pliny as background for the letter Paul sent to Philemon mediating the situation between Onesimus and his master. 

I will not give away the plot (as if you haven’t read the book of Philemon before), but I do have one concern about this book. Because it focuses on a suggested plot line in the background of Philemon, there are many things about slavery that are not covered in this book. I was expecting a week in the life of a generic Roman slave rather than the story of Onesimus and Philemon. I interacted with John Byron on slavery in the Roman world in this post, and was hoping the book would be more along those lines. Because the book of Philemon is so brief, it generates more than its fair share of fictional narrative and we may not need yet another novel about Philemon. 

Nevertheless, A Week in the Life of a Slave is a very good introduction to slavery in the Roman world. Byron told an entertaining story, which illustrates how the early church may have function in the city of Ephesus, Laodicea, and Colossae. Most readers will be both entertained and educated in this short book.

For reviews of other volumes in this series, see my reviews of James L. Papandrea, A Week in the Life of Rome and Gary M. Burge, A Week in the Life of a Roman Centurion. Although not part of this series, see Ben Witherington, Priscilla: The Life of an Early Christian and Paula Gooder, Phoebe.


NB: Thanks to IVP Academic for kindly providing me with a review copy of this book. This did not influence my thoughts regarding the work.


Book Review: Herbert Bateman and Aaron Peer, John’s Letters: An Exegetical Guide

Bateman IV, Herbert W and Aaron C. Peer. John’s Letters: An Exegetical Guide for Preaching and Teaching. Big Idea Greek Series Grand Rapids, Mich. Kregel, 2019. 441 pp. Hb; $36.99. Link to Kregel Academic.

This new series from Kregel Academic is an exegetical guide for busy pastors, overloaded professors, and students with demanding Greek professors. As Bateman and Peer explain in the introduction to the series, the authors do not make any assumptions that pastors will remember their seminary Greek classes (p.27). 

Epistles of John Exegetical GuideHerb Bateman wrote A Workbook for Intermediate Greek: Grammar, Exegesis, and Commentary on 1-3 John (Kregel, 2008) and thanks Peer in the preface for his years serving as Bateman’s teaching assistant. John’s Letters: An Exegetical Guide differs significantly from this earlier book. The workbook was exactly that; the book was intended as a supplement for reading through the epistles of John in Greek in a classroom. Pages were worksheets that guide the student through syntactical and grammatical questions. My copy of this book came with perforated pages which were three-hole punched so students could remove their assignments, turn them in, and then file them in a notebook. The big Greek idea series is a 400+ page hardback book, we should get a place alongside other exegetical commentaries on the library shelf. 

The book begins with a thirty-two-page introduction explaining what the authors mean by a causal outline. Although this is similar to Bill Mounce’s “phrasing,” Guthrie and Duvall’s “grammatical diagram, or Gordon Fee’s “syntactical display,” there are significant differences. Bateman and Peer focus on visualizing subordinate and coordinate clauses in order to tease out syntactical relationships, parallelisms and other grammatical emphases.  

In the body of the book Bateman and Peer break the epistles of John into units. Each unit begins with a “big Greek idea.” This is the main idea for the unit, reminiscent of Haddon Robinson’s “big idea” for preaching. The authors then provide a structural overview, a brief outline, and their clausal outline for the unit. This clausal outline appears in both Greek and English, interlinear style. Following this display, the authors move through the syntax word by word.  They identify each word grammatically, followed by the syntactical in semantic nuances of the word. This section cites BDAG frequently although there are few references to intermediate and advanced grammars in the section. Verbs are parsed and important uses of tense voice and mood are identified. Bateman and Peer often compare and contrast English translations when there are significant variations. 

Scattered throughout the text are gray boxes which the authors call “nuggets.” These are exegetical insights which will be convenient for a pastor with a little Greek who are looking for an insight to enhance their preaching and teaching. Thankfully, these insights are indexed in the back of the book. 

There are six categories of nuggets in the book, although sometimes these are combined in the text. These are phrased in the form of an answer to an exegetical question. First, grammatical nuggets highlight the function of particular Greek words. For example, how is the word “not” being used in 1 John 2:19 or is the significance of the personal pronoun in 1 John 4:6? 

Second, syntactical nuggets deal with the function of articles, prepositions and cases. For example, is the prepositional phrase in 1 John 4:17 anaphoric or cataphoric (looking forward or looking back)? Although this seems like a fine point of syntactical discussion, Bateman and Peer show why it is important that the prepositional phrase points back to the abiding relationship with God and imitating his self-love. Sometimes these syntactical notes discuss the finer points of Bateman and Peer’s clausal outlines. There are several notes on how a ὅτι clause is being used.  

Third, there are fewer semantical nuggets than the other types, and sometimes these are very similar to the syntactical notes. There are several on ὅτι clauses, for example. One reason this type is less frequent is the grammar of the Epistle of John is simpler than other books in the New Testament. Although Bateman and Peer discuss the meaning of the imperative in 2:15 and the pluperfect in 2:19, it’s just not that much tricky grammar in the epistles of John.

Fourth, lexical nuggets are brief word studies of key vocabulary in the Epistles of John. These insights usually survey the use of a particular word throughout the rest of the New Testament, or the Septuagint if necessary. There is little reference to the standard word study tools, such as TDNT, EDNT, or TLNT. These are listed in the bibliography, but don’t appear in the lexical nuggets. Although some readers may see this is a flaw, it is refreshing to see a word study done rather than a series of reports from other lexicons.

Fifth, there are a quite a few theological nuggets. For example, on 1 John 4:21b, there is some ambiguity regarding the antecedent of the pronoun him. This could refer to God or could refer to Jesus. The authors refer to this as “Trinitarian ambiguity.”  In 1 John 5:16 Bateman and Peer comment on the “sin not leading to death” and place it in the context of other Second Temple texts. 

Finally, there are several textual critical nuggets when a variant appears in the text. Here are the authors way the evidence from the UBS text, and often site Bruce Metzger’s commentary on New Testament textual criticism. Some of these are more brief than I expected. For example, on the classic text critical problem in 1 John 5:9 briefly explain that the Trinitarian language does not appear in the text route tradition until 1215 CE. Perhaps the brevity is the result of the goal of the volume; this is for pastors preparing to preach and teach the text. They do not need a multi-page discussion of the textual history of 1 John 5:9. 

Conclusion. There are several other series which do similar exegetical work as the Big Greek Idea series. The Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament from B&H Academic is similar in some ways to Kregel’s series. See my review of Greg Forbes, 1 Peter (2014); Charles Quarles, Matthew (2017); John Harvey, Romans (2017). But Bateman and Peer have more on closet relationships, and intentionally attempt to assist the pastor in preparing to teach the text. Likewise, the Big Greek Idea series differs from the Baylor Handbooks on the Greek Text deal almost exclusively with grammatical and syntactical issues. There is nothing like Bateman and Peer’s causal outlines in Baylor handbooks. 

John’s Letters: An Exegetical Guide for Preaching and Teaching will be useful for a pastor who is supplementing reading in a commentary on the epistles of John as preparation for preaching and teaching the text. Or, sadly, an over-worked seminary student who wants to get a little ahead in their Greek homework. This is the stated goal of the volume and in this it succeeds. Not every pastor has the time to read their text in the Greek Bible in preparation for a sermon, so this book bridges the gap between reading the New Testament books and the work found in quality exegetical commentaries.


NB: Thanks to Kregel for kindly providing me with a review copy of this book. This did not influence my thoughts regarding the work.


Book Review: David Instone-Brewer, Moral Questions of the Bible

Instone-Brewer, David. Moral Questions of the Bible. Bellingham, Wash.: Lexham Press, 2019. 286 pp.; Pb.  $12.99  Link to Lexham Press

Instone-Brewer’s Moral Questions of the Bible reminds me of a discussion starter book a youth pastor might have used for Bible studies in the 1970s. Each chapter is a short introduction to an issue intended to stimulate thinking about difficult issues. Instone-Brewer does not intend to solve any of these issues in the few pages he devotes to them, rather these are intentionally brief teasers which invite for further meditation. This is exactly the kind of book that would make for a good small group Bible study since it gives some information on the topic but is open ended enough to generate a stimulating discussion. This book covers thirty topics in six sections. The topics include difficult ethical and moral issues such as abortion, homosexuality, racism and slavery. Some topics include personal issues like childlessness divorce submission in marriage. Others concern the practice of the church, such as female leaders and self-promoting leaders. 

Moral Questions of the BibleAs should be expected by anyone familiar with Instone-Brewer’s other work, he does an excellent job comparing the culture of the Roman and Jewish first century to the culture of contemporary society. In many cases, he concludes culture is different today than the first century. This difference may very well help us to understand how to apply a text in a modern context. This is certainly the case for several of the topics which concern the role of women in society in church. He observes long hair in the Roman world was advertising for casual sex. It would be like “wearing fishnet stockings or pending a condom package to your lapel today” (236). 

The first section deals with larger questions of method. Instone-Brewer asks if the Bible can be used as a foundation for Christian morality. For some, the Bible is an ancient book that has very little to do with contemporary issues. Someone might scan down the list of topics in the table of contents and assume that the Bible, especially the Old Testament, has nothing to say about most of them. But as Instone-Brewer suggests in his first topic (“can God’s law change?”) the value of the Old Testament Law lies in its message about God’s purposes. It is through the Law God taught his people what was supremely valuable to him. There’s certainly examples of laws that have changed from the old covenant to the new, such as allowing polygamy in the Old Testament and ruling it out in the New Testament. But Instone-Brewer is clear, God’s principles are unchangeable.

If the Bible can be used for a foundation of Christian morality, what method should a Christian reader use to determine which rules are “for them and which ones still apply to us”?  In the second chapter of the book, Instone-Brewer suggests the rule of love and identifying timeless commands which reflect God’s character and/or expressed or implied in the same way throughout the Bible. This is in contrast to commands Instone-Brewer describes as not timeless. For example, some commands are tied to a particular time and place. He points out that the biggest group of changeable commands concern how to worship God and how God’s people are to live lives of holiness. In the Old Testament living a holy life involved sacrifices and purification rituals. In the New Testament, Christians no longer sacrifice or follow the commands concerning purification rituals before worship. God had changed his Law from an outward ritual to an inner spirituality. For Instone-Brewer, this is the result of Jesus’s death in the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. 

The second section is entitled children, and covers for topics including abortion and infanticide, rebellious children, childlessness, and whether girls should be educated. This last topic seems surprising, of course girls should be educated! However, in the history of the church, this is not always been the case. Instone-Brewer shows how the command to allow women to learn in 1 Timothy 2:11 implies that women ought to be educated. (they are to learn in exactly the same way the men should learn). He believes this lays the foundation for a society that would educate both girls and boys.

The third section of the book deals with sex and marriage. Here he covers things like sexual immorality including homosexuality polygamy but also divorce and marrying non-believers. He also has a short section on what it means for a wife to submit to her husband for the sake of the gospel. For the most part there’s nothing surprising here, he agrees with the New Testament teaching there should be no polygamy, but he does recognize the divorce happens, and believers should avoid marrying non-believers. 

Instone-Brewer entitles the fourth section of the book “church issues” such as female leaders, self-promoting leaders, church discipline. He also has a brief discussion on conversion or tolerance. Since many readers will immediately go to the chapter on female leadership in the church, I will point to his conclusion is that society have changed so that women are no well-educated in perfectly able to teach. However, he does point out that no one should except the authority of either a man or a woman who teaches, preaching should be based on the authority of the Bible. He says “today, both the church and society have listened to Paul’s plea that women should be educated and trusted” because in Christ there is neither male nor female (p. 140). 

Section five covers personal vices. Here are sections on alcohol, drugs, gluttony and crude language. Remarkably, he includes racism under this heading as well. American readers tend to think of racism as a black versus white issue, but as he points out, there are all sorts of racist attitudes throughout the world. He relates this to xenophobia found in most societies. What is Jesus said in the parable of the good Samaritan, Christians are to do good to those who are in need regardless of their race or background.

The sixth section of the book deals with Christian responsibility towards others. The first to deal with variations on hospitality, including visiting prisoners. He includes slavery here but then also several rather practical issues. He deals with fashion, eating animals, and retirement. Remarkably he has a short section on Jesus’s effeminate hair. This chapter also includes the section on head coverings, always a very difficult problem on the application. Instone-Brewer conclude hairstyle is not a timeless command. However, hairstyles or head coverings may hinder the gospel in some cultures.

ConclusionMoral Questions of the Bible succeeds as a collection of brief discussion starters. For the most part the issues that he included in this book will address many of the questions Lee people have in the church today. However, I find it strange that he has not included anything on science or medical ethics. There are many topics which Christians have questions about, such as in vitro fertilization, end-of-life issues, or genetic modifications. Although he has a section on what to eat, it would have been interesting to include a discussion of genetically modified foods. 

Although Instone-Brewer does ground his comments in both the culture of the first century and the importance of the question in the modern world, leaders will need to do some additional homework in order to be fully versed in these topics. The book could have been improved with a short for further reading section at the end of each topic for a bibliography of other detailed studies of applied Christian ethics. 


NB: Thanks to Lexham Press for kindly providing me with a review copy of this book. This did not influence my thoughts regarding the work.

Book Review: Grant Osborne, Luke: Verse by Verse

Osborne, Grant R.  Luke: Verse by Verse. Osborne New Testament Commentaries; Bellingham, Wash.: Lexham Press, 2019. 647 pp.; Pb.  $19.99  Link to Lexham Press

This commentary by the late Grant Osborne on Luke completes the first additions to the series from Lexham Press. The series has been published simultaneously in both print and electronic Logos Library editions.  For reviews of previous volumes, see John, Acts, Romans, Galatians, 1-2 Thessalonians, Prison Epistles, James, and Revelation.

Osborne Verse-by-Verse Commentary LikeIn the twenty-one page introduction to the commentary Osborne expresses traditional and conservative views with respect to authorship and date of the book. The author is Paul’s companion Luke the physician and he wrote both the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts. After briefly surveying the options Osborne proposes the gospel was written from Rome A.D. 60-62. He also mentions briefly he will argue for a mid 50s A.D. date for the Gospel of Mark in a forthcoming commentary in this series. The dating is important because Osborne accepts the consensus “four-source hypothesis” for Luke’s sources. Even though he does not think there is evidence the sayings source Q was a written document, he thins the common material between Matthew and Luke represents an oral tradition. Respect to the purpose of the Gospel of Luke, Osborne argues the gospel was written to encourage believers to know they are part of a divine movement that is bringing God’s reign into this world. In addition, Luke wanted to convince unbelievers that Christ is truly the Lord and Savior of this world.

Osborne then offers a few brief comments on the major theological themes of the book. With perspective salvation, Jesus is saving purpose is evident from the very beginning of the gospel in the birth narratives. This theme of salvation is summed up in Luke 24:47, “repentance for forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all the nations.” In the Gospel of Luke Jesus is the son of the most high God and he will inherit David’s throne. For this reason, Luke emphasizes the Lordship of Jesus. As most commentaries on Luke point out, and emphasis on the Holy Spirit connects the Gospel to the Book of Acts. In addition to these theological themes,

Osborne includes a brief section on Luke’s view of the marginalized. In Luke 4:18-19 Jesus reads from the scroll of Isaiah 61 to show the Spirit anointed Jesus to “proclaim good news to the poor” and liberate the oppressed. For Osborne statement sets up a “pattern of social concern for the entire gospel” (19). Osborne returns to this theme when commenting on Luke’s beatitudes (6:20-23). He explains the eschatological reversal in these sayings concerning the rich and the poor. However, he is also quick to say that Luke does not condemn all of the rich. There are in fact wealthy followers of Jesus like Zacchaeus and Joseph of Arimathea. Osborne suggests that they understand their wealth is a gift from God and they use that wealth to serve God (171).

Osborne includes Luke’s well-known emphasis on women as part of his emphasis on the marginalized. This is illustrated in the story of the woman washing Jesus’s feet and wiping them with her hair (Luke 7:36-50). Husband points out that she is the example of God’s grace and acceptance, not the male religious leader the Pharisee (210). He comments that “the women had a deep involvement in the ministry and mission team. As patrons they would have had some kind of leadership role, for patrons were at the core of the Roman socioeconomic system” (214). Later in the commentary he suggests that the women who were the first witnesses of the resurrection were among the women who followed him in Galilee (541).

With respect to the Olivet discourse, Osborne sees Luke’s version slightly differently than Matthew 24 and Mark 13. In those chapters, Osborne believes that the destruction of Jerusalem is in anticipation of the return of Christ and the great tribulation. “Luke however centers entirely on the former” (485). For Osborne, the apocalyptic discourse in 21:5-38 refers to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Whatever, this is not to say that Osborne does not believe in the return of Jesus. He takes 21:25-28 as referring to the second coming of Jesus.

As with the other commentaries in this series, the commentary is based on the English text, with occasional comments on the underlying Greek. Osborne does not include any footnotes to other commentaries or contemporary literature, and he only rarely enters into exegetical debates with other literature. That is not the purpose of this commentary series. Osborne’s intention in the Verse-by-Verse Commentary series is to serve pastors and teachers who are preparing sermons and Bible Studies on Gospel of Luke. Even though this commentary is over 600 pages, most scholars will find it too brief. Most Bible readers will find this commentary to be an excellent guide as they read Luke’s Gospel.

NB: Thanks to Lexham Press for kindly providing me with a review copy of this book. This did not influence my thoughts regarding the work.

Book Review: John Frame, Nature’s Case for God

Frame, John M. Nature’s Case for God: A Brief Biblical Argument. Bellingham, Wash.: Lexham Press, 2018. 124 pp.; Pb.  $12.99  Link to Lexham Press

Frame says his goal in the book is to show forth the glory of God in the world God has made (13). The biblical foundation for the argument of this book is Psalm 8:3-6 and Romans 1-3, but Frame also refers to Paul’s preaching in Acts 14:15-18 and 17:22-31 as additional examples of natural theology. For Frame, natural theology is finding out about God in the world he has made (17), although in the book itself he does not provide a philosophical argument God exists from nature in the tradition of the teleological argument  

This book is divided into two sections. First, Frame argues for the existence of God from the “witness of the created world.” Based on Romans 1:18-20, he argues we can know some of God’s character from creation, his greatness, oneness, wisdom, goodness, and presence. This is not a traditional quest for the attributes of God in nature, Frame focuses only on the presence of one good, wise God as revealed in creation. He does not actually point out elements of creation which might point to the existence of God, rather he argues this view of God is rational.  

Second, Frame considers evidence drawn from “the witness of human nature.” Here Frame is interested in “four states of conscience.” First, the seared conscience is essentially the sin nature. Second, the accusing conscience refers to the human tendency to know something is right or wrong. Third, the awakened conscience refers to the practice of godliness once someone has become a Christian. Fourth, by the good conscience Frame refers to the evaluation of conduct and the Christian response with actions which please God. When I began to read the second section of the book, I expected something along the lines of C. S. Lewis’s moral argument for God’s existence. This seems to be what Frame has in mind, but two of his four states of conscience refer to post-conversion experience.

Like Frame’s Christianity Considered (Lexham, 2018), this is a very short book and clearly not a full philosophical argument for God’s existence. As a result, more advanced readers will find it frustratingly brief. Frame recognizes this and includes an appendix interacting with David VanDrunen’s A Biblical Case for Natural Law (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Acton Institute, 2008).

Chapters begin with the key Scripture and the book often prints key texts in the body of the chapter. Each chapter concludes with a few discussion questions and a bibliography “for further reading” (often to Frame’s larger works). The book has at least twenty-five pages dividing chapters and sections, so the body of the book is less than 100 pages of text. Some chapters are only a few pages, chapter 9 is barely a page.

However, for the layperson this book may answer some questions about how God has revealed himself in his creation. Frame presents some very difficult philosophical issues in a friendly and accessible manner.

NB: Thanks to Lexham Press for kindly providing me with a review copy of this book. This did not influence my thoughts regarding the work.


Book Giveaway Winner – Peter Enns, Incarnation and Inspiration

Enns Inspiration and IncarnationLast week I offered up an a copy of Peter Enns, Inspiration and Incarnation (Baker 2005). There were fifteen entered, so I used to spin up a random number and the winner of this book is Derek DeMars. Everyone congratulate Derek and tell him how much you envy him reading this book.

I will announce the third book “back to school” book giveaway this afternoon so be sure to check that out!

Book Giveaway – Peter Enns, Incarnation and Inspiration

I just finished my “early Fall” class. this was an Old Testament Survey class taught as an intensive (ten days, 4.5 hours a day over three weeks). To celebrate, I am giving away one book a week for the next month. Last week was Mark Edward’s recent Story of God commentary on Ephesians (Zondervan, 2016). This week I have a copy of Peter Enns, Inspiration and Incarnation (Baker 2005). The subtitle of the book is a hint at the controversial nature of the book: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament.

Enns Inspiration and IncarnationEnns said his concern in the book was “to help readers whose faith has been challenged by critical studies, and I suggest that evangelical faith would be well served by moving beyond a predominantly defensive doctrine of Scripture to develop a positive view that seriously engages contemporary critical scholarship. My proposal is to employ an “incarnational” model of Scripture—one that recognizes and affirms both the divine and human aspects of the Bible.”  For some readers this book was a healthy look at how the Bible fits into the world of the Ancient Near East, for others this book represents the demise of the evangelical doctrine of inerrancy. Greg Beale, for example, wrote The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evangelicalism (Crossway, 2008). Enns participated in a dialog at a national ETS meeting with Al Mohler, Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Michael Bird and John R. Franke (published as Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy, Zondervan, 2013). I did not attend this session because I was presenting at the same meeting to three people who apparently could not wedge themselves into the room for the discussion.

Whatever your stand on the theological issue of inerrancy, and whether or not you agree with Enn’s conclusion, this is a book you ought to read. Enns challenges the reader to think through what the Bible actually says about itself.

To have a chance at winning this book, leave a comment with your name. I will randomize the names from the comments and select one winner at random. I will respond to your comment informing you you have won the book, but you will need to contact me with shipping information.

I will announce the winner on August 28, 2019 (one week from now). Good Luck!