Posts Tagged ‘Kregel Academic’

Book Review: Reordering the Trinity

Book Review: Reordering the Trinity

Author: Rodrick K. Durst

Publisher: Kregel Academic

ISBN: 9780825443787

Reordering the Trinity: Six Movements of God in the New Testament

Reordering the Trinity is a very interesting book that can inspire great conversation with Rodrick Durst’s observations and thesis ideas concerning the nature and movement of the Trinity as revealed in the New Testament Scriptures.

While I’m not personally convinced of Durst’s defense of his thesis, being unsure that  we can reduce the ordering of the persons of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) to a formulaic purpose of intent regarding their placement of order, I do find the argument very interesting.

In a very brief synopsis, Durst presents his case to support the idea that on the basis of the specific order of the persons of the Trinitarian mentions found in the New Testament, we are able to understand purposeful mission of God. In Part Two of his work, Durst lays out his explanation through the following “Trinitarian Matrix”:

  • The Sending Triad – (Father-Son-Spirit) – Missional Order
  • The Saving Triad – (Son-Spirit-Father) – Regenerative Order
  • The Indwelling Triad – (Son-Father-Spirit) – Christological Witness
  • The Standing Triad – (Spirit-Father-Son) – The Sanctifying Order
  • The Shaping Triad – (Father-Spirit-Son) – Spiritual Formation Order
  • The Uniting Triad – (Spirit-Son-Father) – The Ecclesial Order

As I have mentioned previously, the conversation in this book is very intriguing. The author has done a commendable job of presenting his thesis. There is a wealth of information presented in a very conversational tone. It has been my experience that deep conversations about the work of the Trinity are rare in the travels of my fellow Christian learners. I think Durst’s book can be a valuable tool to ignite these conversations and he has been thoughtful to include discussion starter questions at the end of each chapter.

Finally, I add this thought; the appendices, bibliography, and index reference are worth the investment of the book. Durst has included a number of tables and charts, a glossary of terms, and a host of additional tools helpful with experiential exercises. As mentioned, the bibliography is one of the more extensive I’ve encountered in my Trinitarian studies and I found it fairly represented across a broad steam of traditions and doctrinal representations. I will reiterate my lack of conviction concerning Durst’s proposition, but I am highly impressed with his study and will value his work as a very respectable resource for my continuing studies.

Book Review: A Commentary on 1 & 2 Chronicles

Book Review: A Commentary on 1 & 2 Chronicles

Author: Eugene H. Merrill

Publisher: Kregel Academic

ISBN: 9780825425592

Kregel Exegetical Library: A Commentary on 1 & 2 Chronicles

A Commentary on 1 & 2 Chronicles, written by Eugene H. Merrill is another fine addition in the Exegetical Library Commentary Series by Kregel Academic. I am one of those who rarely does deep study in the books of 1 & 2 Chronicles, not that I do not read from there, but most often the Chronicles is a supporting player to my studies from the books of Samuel and the Kings. It is for this reason I really do not have a strong comparison commentary for 1 & 2 Chronicles and must base my review solely on the merits of this work with a slight nod toward previous commentaries in this Exegetical Series.

One thing I’ve come to appreciate about Kregel’s commentaries is the wonderful charts and tables that are a strong feature in every commentary I’ve reviewed in this series. This work from Eugene Merrill is no exception. It too features a very helpful assortment of charts and tables. Similarly, I really like that the Kregel includes an index of all the charts and special features found within the commentary for easy navigation, for example, there are excurses featured throughout the book and each is notated by page for quick reference, notations of hymns and praises found in the Chronicles are also indexed as are other theological discourses. This, in my opinion, makes this a very handy resource for quick research.

Merrill has included a fairly substantial bibliography at the end of the commentary. I was/am especially impressed with the source material he has referenced for backgrounds and history. I feel my wallet will become substantially lighter after having encountered this list of references, several titles of which really caught my attention.

As I reported earlier in my review, I do not have any comparison to the Chronicles commentary specifically, but I am pleased with the writing style of Merrill and found it understandable and not overly academic or terribly full of Hebrew language, which I would have difficulty understanding since I have no schooling in the language and have to rely on my word study resources and the explanations of the author.

I continue to recommend the Exegetical Commentary Series by Kregel as it represents a solid, Evangelically objective approach to the Scriptures. I’ve come to trust the series and will continue to recommend it to friends and colleagues.

Book Review: A Commentary on Exodus

Book Review: A Commentary on Exodus

Author: Duane A. Garrett

Publisher: Kregel ISBN: 9780825425516

A Commentary on Exodus

The commentaries published by the Kregel Exegetical Library continue to impress me. The Commentary on Exodus by Duane A. Garrett is another strong volume in the Old Testament Series.

One of the many things that I particularly like about this series is there are no compromises where scholastic excellence is involved. The volumes in this commentary series are the pinnacle of academic excellence in my opinion. This can be an intimidating attribute for some, but I would say there is no reason for intimidation. In addition to academic excellence, the commentary is among the most readable that I have experienced. I am not a language or textual criticism expert and I still find the writing conversational and understandable. The marriage of readability and scholasticism is what moves me to rank this series so highly.

Duane Garrett has done an exceptional job with research and exposition of the Exodus narrative. Beginning with an incredibly comprehensive introduction addressing geography, archeology, Egyptian dynasties, socio-political circumstance, textual criticism and so much more, Garrett lays a solid foundation from which he works the major themes in his Commentary on Exodus.

No matter what commentary or commentaries you may have in your  library for this key book from the Old Testament Scriptures, Kregel’s Commentary on Exodus by Duane Garrett is a worthy addition and compliment to your collection.

Book Review: A Commentary on the Psalms

Book Review: A Commentary on the Psalms

Author: Allen P. Ross

Publisher: Kregel Exegetical Library

ISBN: 9780825425639

A Commentary on the Psalms: Volume 2 (42—89)

I continue to be impressed with Kregel’s Exegetical Library and Commentary series. I have obtained and reviewed several offerings from this set and the excellence and consistency remain steadfast. This second volume in Alan P. Ross’ Commentary on the Psalms keeps the “high bar” standard alive in the series.

This is actually the first volume of the Psalms series I have had the opportunity to work in. Volume one was released in February of 2012 and volume three is slated for release later this year (November 2014). I can say that I will be going back for volume one and I’ll be waiting in line for volume three, as I’ve enjoyed this copy immensely and count it as an indispensible resource for my Psalm studies and personal devotions.

Allen P. Ross (PhD, University of Cambridge) is professor of divinity at Beeson Divinity School and has also taught at Trinity Episcopal School of Ministry and Dallas Theological Seminary. Having chaired the Old Testament department at Dallas Theological Seminary and served as Hebrew Scholar assisting in the translations of the New Living Bible and the New King James Bible, Dr. Ross is imminently qualified to offer exegesis and insight from the Psalms.

The treatment of each Psalm begins with an introduction of the text and textual variants. Here Ross shares the English translation and information relative to the original Hebrew, Greek translation variants, and other relevant manuscript and/or translation information. Next, is composition and context indicating the nature and purpose of the Psalm (lament, praise, hymn, confession of repentance, etc.). Following these introductory sections, Ross begins his exegetical analysis and expository commentary. This section is where Ross’ expertise truly shines. His extensive knowledge of the Old Testament and understanding of the Hebrew language combined with the temperament of an educator make this presentation very readable and interesting. I have used many commentaries that tend to gravitate toward one or the other spectrum of too academic or too narrative (almost paraphrasing the text with personal opinion). This commentary series seems to rest in the sweet spot of that spectrum with a comforting push toward the academic side. Ross completes his treatment of each Psalm with a homiletical application or “what does this mean to me” and “what should I do with it” consideration.

As I said at the beginning of my review, this is another fine addition to the Kregel Exegetical Library and should be near the top of anyone’s list for Commentary sets working with the Psalms. You can check out an example chapter here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel Publishing to read and post a review on my site. 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 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: A Commentary on Judges and Ruth

Book Review: A Commentary on Judges and Ruth

Author: Robert B. Chisholm Jr.

Publisher: Kregel Academic ISBN: 9780825425561

A Commentary on Judges and Ruth

I have quickly become a fan of “all things Kregel,” at least where it comes to theological resources. I have reviewed, and now use, quite a few books from the Kregel Academic publishing house. I can honestly report that I have not had a single resource that has disappointed me; each and every book has been a very useful and enlightening tool for my Bible studies. This commentary from the Kregel Exegetical Library Series on the Old Testament book of Judges and Ruth is no exception to my report.

This commentary, written by Robert B. Chisholm, follows a bit of a different format than many of the commentaries I most often go to for my Scripture studies. First, Chisholm uses his own translation of the Hebrew texts (he is eminently qualified for the task as department chair and professor of Old Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary as well as translator and senior Old Testament editor of the NET Bible). Second, Chisholm does not spend a lot of time wrestling with issues of textual criticism. While this might be important at some level of study, I have found it to be mind numbing and tedious when I am more concerned with working with meaning, interpretation, and application of the text. This is where this commentary shines, in my opinion.

There are thorough introductions to both books (Judges, and Ruth), providing expected detail information such as literary structure, chronology, outline, and socio-political landscape in addition to other items helpful in developing a high-level perspective. Included in the introductions, and not familiar to me in other commentaries, is the inclusion of a short section titled “Modern Proclamation of…” where Chisholm makes the effort to connect these ancient manuscripts to contemporary culture. Additionally, he includes preaching ideas for these texts toward the end of the introduction sections and each outline section of the book titled, “Homiletical Vantage Points.” I found these pieces thought-provoking and insightful.

As is expected with most commentaries, this is well-documented with resource references and thoroughly annotated. Concerning resources, a treasure trove bibliography is also included for each book at the end of their respective section. By treasure trove, I mean, the selection for Judges alone is thirty pages of reference titles!

While this is a very academic work, I did not find it “over my head.” I should mention that I am not a language scholar, nor do I hold a seminary degree. I found the commentary very accessible, fairly easy to read and understand (if you’ve had experience working in commentaries), and very practical. I was able to glean and apply information at first glance. This, in my opinion, is a ranking criterion for any “good” resource work and especially a Bible commentary.

As I mentioned at the outset of this review, I am rapidly becoming a huge fan of the works published by Kregel Academic and this Exegetical Library is very exciting to me. There are several other volumes planned in this series with a couple already available. If Kregel is able to maintain continuity of quality as found in this volume for Judges and Ruth, it is likely to become one of my favorite commentary series. This is an excellent choice for studies for these two Old Testament books.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel Publishing to read and post a review on my site. 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 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: Warfare in the Old Testament

Book Review: Warfare in the Old Testament

Author: Boyd Seevers

Publisher: Kregel Academic ISBN: 9780825436550

Warfare in the Old Testament: The Organization, Weapons, and Tactics of Ancient Near Eastern Armies

This has been a fascinating read for me and not entirely because of the content, but as much for the thoughts, the material stirred in me as I read. This is not what I have experienced as the typical or average Old Testament background commentary. The category of warfare is very specific and occupies a narrow bandwidth in the Bible; it is not something that I ordinarily dwell upon and study at length. Some of the details were very specific and at times somewhat disturbing. The range of emotions stirred many questions in me that I feel in the end will be helpful in my future studies and “big picture” understanding.

Technical details about the book are best described with Seevers’ own words from his introduction. He writes the following:

This book will describe the military practices of the following kingdoms from the time of the Old Testament: Israel (Chaps. 1-2), Egypt (Chaps. 3-4), Philistia (Chap. 5), Assyria (Chaps. 6-7), Babylon (Chap. 8), and Persia (Chap. 9). The treatment of each nation will start with some historical fiction describing a soldier’s participation in one of the nation’s major historical battles. It will continue by describing the historical backdrop for the nation during that time, and then its military organization, weaponry, and tactics. Line drawings and reliefs will illustrate the written descriptions of the military in these ancient nations—nations whose soldiers, like my modern Israeli boss, probably couldn’t imagine life without the army. (p.22)

Other notable features of the book include a very well documented references section at the end of the book with suggested reading for further study, subject and Scripture index, and figures and map index. This is the first book of this kind that I have dug into, so my experience is limited, but it seems Seevers has done a great job of researching his subject. Not only are the points and detail documented well, but the fictional narrative accounts are very compelling and engaging, which indicates to me that Seevers has attained a degree of mastery of his subject matter.

In my opinion, this is a definite specialty study resource. I’m not sure how often it will be called upon in my style of ministry, but one thing is for sure; this level of detail for this particular aspect of the Old Testament world has helped me engage the narrative accounts in deeper measure…and this is always helpful to me.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel Academic to read and post a review on my site. 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 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: Interpreting the Pauline Letters

Book Review: Interpreting the Pauline Letters

Author: John D. Harvey

Publisher: Kregel Academic ISBN: 9780825427671

Interpreting the Pauline Letters: An Exegetical Handbook

Interpreting the Pauline Epistles by John Harvey is another world-class offering coming from the presses of Kregel Academics. I realize those are big words of praise, but I’m becoming increasingly impressed with the interpretive handbooks published by Kregel. The last example I had in my hands was Charts on the Life, Letters, and Theology of Paul, which I found incredibly helpful with understanding the writing of the Apostle Paul. This latest volume in the newly proposed series of exegetical handbooks, Interpreting the Pauline Letters, more than complements and completes anything that I might have found lacking in the charts book.

Harvey sets up the handbook with eight broad chapters: The Genre, The Historical Background, The Theology, Preparing to Interpret, Interpreting Passages, Communicating Passages, From Text to Sermon, and a Selected Resources section. Each of these respective chapters is then explored in surprising detail for a rather smallish handbook. I was/am duly impressed with the amount of depth, citation, and bibliographical resources provided.

The Exegetical Handbook series intends to offer four volumes in total. It is primarily directed toward seminary and graduate level students “who have completed at least a year of introductory Greek,” but I found the translation helps and the syntax of the writing such that I was able to understand and work through the handbook without any impediment. This little book is highly accessible and pertinent whether layperson or academic.

This is one of the better (concise) study resources I have found during the course of my twenty-five year experience. There are more comprehensive and exhaustive study helps available, but this is a two-hundred-page handbook referencing thirteen books/letters of the New Testament Scriptures. I do not think you will find a better introductory treatment of the Pauline Letters in a package this size anywhere in the market of Christian academic resources. If you’re studying the Pauline Epistles, the Pauline Letters: An Exegetical Handbook and Charts on the Life, Letters, and Theology of Paul are most definitely a great place to start (both available from Kregel Academic).

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel Academic Publishers to read and post a review on my site. 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 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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