The latest round of Really Recommended Posts is in, dear readers, and is it a good batch, or what? We have a few posts on Crossway’s announcement of the “Permanent Text” of the ESV, a post addressing the claim that Jesus was a false prophet, insight into one of the earliest Christian apologists, and controversy over a citation of a scientist in regards to creationism. As always, let me know your thoughts.
The ESV: The New Inspired Version– A tongue-in-cheek look at the announcement of the “Permanent” ESV and the kind of reasoning it seems like is behind it.
A Permanent Text of the ESV Bible? They Must Be Joking– A more straightforward critique noting several difficulties with the concept of a permanent text or a “literal word-for-word” translation.
The New Stealth Translation: ESV– A post with some more in-depth look at specific aspects of the ESV changed in this “Permanent” text.
Was Jesus Really a False Prophet?– Thorough analysis of the argument that some have made that Jesus was, in fact, a false prophet.
A Crash Course on Irenaeus– Irenaeus offered one of the earliest defenses of the Christian faith. Check out this post with a wonderful infographic to learn the basics on Irenaeus.
Patterson Misquoted: A Tale of Two “Cites”– Some young earth creationists have been using a quote from Dr. Colin Patterson, a paleontologist, to support their claims. Here is a detailed background of the quote and why it does not support young earth creationism.
Aaron Chalmers’ Interpreting the Prophets is an introduction to, well, interpreting the prophetic literature of the Old Testament. He notes that readers are often turned off of the prophets for a number of reasons, whether it is the difficulty of these writings or their seeming irrelevancy for our time. Against these reasons, he argues for and puts forward a relevant and practical guide to reading the Old Testament prophets and coming to a deeper understanding of God’s Word.
The book is laid across 6 chapters, each with a focus on a central aspect of interpreting and applying biblical prophecy. These are: (1) What is a prophet and what is a prophetic book?; (2) The historical world of the prophets; (3) The theological world of the prophets; (4) The rhetorical world of the prophets; (5) From prophecy to apocalyptic; and (6) Guidelines for preaching from the prophets.
There are many insights which will be valuable for both those wishing to engage with the prophets as laity and those interested in drawing out deep exegetical insights from the text. Chalmers’ work serves as a guide for reading without telling readers exactly what various passages are supposed to mean. It is the kind of text that encourages readers to move to the Word and explore it for themselves, laying a solid foundation for interpretation beforehand.
One example of the insights Chalmers provides is his critique of those who would see the prophetic literature as speaking primarily to our time. He notes that this approach of trying to match up biblical prophecies one-to-one with newspaper headlines is mistaken for a number of reasons, including making the texts largely irrelevant to its contemporary hearers. Throughout the book, there are a number of insets that highlight various additional details, like the Ancient Near Eastern background of the text or specific views about things like the dating of a book.
Interpreting the Prophets would best serve as an introductory text for those interested in learning more about and reading the prophetic literature of the Old Testament. It comes recommended.
+Excellent insets provide background information into the world of the Bible
+Incisive critique of some popular approaches to reading the prophets
+Practical advice for readers of the Scripture, pastors, and professionals alike
-Very brief on several important points
Disclaimer: I was provided with a review copy of the book by InterVarsity Press. I was not required to provide any specific kind of feedback whatsoever, nor was the publisher involved in this review in any way.
Book Reviews– There are plenty more book reviews to read! Read like crazy! (Scroll down for more, and click at bottom for even more!)
Aaron Chalmers, Interpreting the Prophets (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2015).
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