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Two New Books and an Impressive New Study Bible

There are a couple of new books that I want to bring to your attention and recommend for your reading pleasure (and education). I wrote endorsements for both of them. There is also a new study bible just released that you need to be aware of. Continue reading . . .

There are a couple of new books that I want to bring to your attention and recommend for your reading pleasure (and education). I wrote endorsements for both of them. There is also a new study bible just released that you need to be aware of.

The first is Understanding Prophecy: A Biblical-Theological Approach, co-authored by Alan S. Bandy and Benjamin L. Merkle (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2015), 264 pages. Here is what I wrote about it:

“What is prophecy and why should we care? This excellent volume coauthored by a premillennialist (Bandy) and an amillennialist (Merkle) will answer that question and countless more. Rooted in a careful treatment of all the relevant prophetic texts and with a keen awareness to the development of redemptive history, Bandy and Merkle have given us what may be the standard text on biblical prophecy for years to come. Highly recommended.”

Bandy, the historic premillennialist, teaches NT at Oklahoma Baptist University, in Shawnee, OK, not far from where I live. Merkle, the amillennialist, is professor of NT and Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Both men have done an excellent job at describing and defending their respective views. As you probably know, I find myself in agreement with Merkle on this issue.

If there is a downside to the book it is the absence of a Scripture index, as well as an author and subject index. These would have proven extremely helpful for the reader who might want to dip into the book to read the perspectives on particular biblical passages or topics.

The second volume is Urban Legends of the New Testament, by David Croteau (Nashville: B&H Academic, 2015), 255 pages. It bears some resemblance to my two books, Tough Topics (Crossway) and Tough Topics 2 (Christian Focus). Croteau highlights 40 texts or topics in the NT that have been misinterpreted and thus misunderstood. If you read it, and you should, be prepared to have numerous sacred cows thoroughly slain. Here is what I wrote of the book:

“Although we prefer not to acknowledge it, all of us hold fervently to certain beliefs about what the Bible teaches that, on closer inspection, turn out to be false. No one has done a better job of demonstrating this than David Croteau in this excellent and informative book. Not everyone will enjoy reading it, as human nature typically recoils from admitting error and being forced to give up long-held and deeply cherished interpretations. But there is no virtue in error, and no Christian can be edified by it. Read this book closely and humbly. Even though you may not agree with everything Croteau asserts, your grasp of God’s Word will undoubtedly increase.”

Finally, this week saw the release of the long-awaited NIV Zondervan Study Bible, edited by D. A. Carson. Believe it or not, it is 2,880 pages in length! That’s right: 2,880 pages, all in one extremely heavy volume. Carson has done a masterful job of producing what will undoubtedly be the standard study bible for those who prefer the NIV translation of the Scriptures. Although I prefer the English Standard Version, there is a wealth of information in this remarkable resource.

There are countless maps, charts, illustrations, and photos designed to bring the world of the Bible into your life. There is an extensive introduction to each book of the Bible, together with copious notes at the bottom of each page that focus on the more challenging biblical texts. There are 28 articles by a wide array of contributors that cover numerous themes from biblical theology. I was privileged to write the article on Prophets and Prophecy.

Together with the ESV Study Bible, released in 2008, the Church is now blessed with two study resources that provide us with a wealth of knowledge, insight, and application of God’s Word. And if you’re wondering just “how heavy” it is, I put both study Bibles together and placed them on the scales. They weigh in at just under 10 pounds!

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