The Book Blog

The Book Blog

October 26, 2016

Reflections on Chapterhouse, "The Cross and the 'Other': Exploring Christian Approaches to Race and Economics"


On October 19th, the Book Center hosted our second Chapterhouse of the 2016/17 academic year entitled, "The Cross and the 'Other': Exploring Christian Approaches to Race and Economics." This was our second of three in the series, Political Engagement and the People of God. Our third Chapterhouse will take place next week, Wednesday, November 2nd at 11:30am here in the Bookcenter entitled, "The Cross and the Sword: Exploring Christian Approaches to Nationalism and War." In our second of three posted here our panelists engaged the heated questions regarding racial and economic issues and exploring how Christians have, can, and should address these issues through dialogue and action.

The issues surrounding racial tension in the United States are by no means a new phenomena and have deep roots within the nation's tainted history. For many Christians in variagated social or economic contexts it is difficult to relate to, or to even see, or even further to understand and empathize with others who do not share the same context. How does a Christian begin to bridge these gaps? How are we as Christians to engage in conversations regarding race and economics, and what can and should we do to bring healing where there has been so much division and strife? These kinds of questions are the basis for our most recent Chapterhouse here at the DTS Book Center. For this Chapterhouse, our panel consisted of Dorothy Burton, founder and president of Christians in Public Service and first African-American elected to Duncanville City Council where she served four terms, Dr. Darrell Bock, Executive Director of Cultural Engagement and Senior Research Professor of New Testament, and Dr. Brandon Seitzler, Assistant Professor of Politics and Economics and Director of the PPE Program (Philosophy, Politics, and Economics) at Criswell College. Be sure and listen to our panelists introduce and discuss this controversial topic, followed by Q & A. The audio for Chapterhouse has been made available above. Welcome to the conversation.

October 10, 2016

Reflections on Chapterhouse, "The Cross and the Vote: Exploring Christian Approaches to Politics"



On September 22nd, the Book Center hosted our first Chapterhouse of the 2016/17 academic year entitled, "The Cross and the Vote: Exploring Christian Approaches to Politics." This semester we are hosting three Chapterhouses with the theme, Political Engagement and the People of God. Our next two follow the same trajectory and are entitled: "The Cross and the 'Other': Exploring Christian Approaches to Race and Economics" on Wednesday, October 19th, and finally "The Cross and the Sword: Exploring Christian Approaches to Nationalism and War" on Wednesday, November 2nd. In our first of three posted here, our panelists engaged the question that all too frequently gets overlooked in wider evangelicalism and that is this: just how are we as Christians to approach politics in the first place? Also addressed was Dr. Bock's new book entitled, "How Would Jesus Vote? Do Your Political Views Really Align with the Bible?," a helpful foray into the difficult topic.

In the midst of a wider popular Christian culture that tends to engage in political conversation with strictly issues-based thinking, the more fundamental question often gets overlooked as to what our role and function actually is in the political world we find ourselves in. Often it is already assumed or presupposed how we as Christians are supposed to participate in the public square, heard in statements like "we must vote one way or another," "we must associate with one party or another," etc. This kind of issues-based thinking can fall into the trap of engaging our political world through the lense of the American political spectrum rather than the lense of the kingdom of God and its alternate vision for the world.

What does it mean for me to be distinctively Christian and yet particpate in a democratic republic? What is the Christian's relationship to the state? How do we as Christians go about participating in elections that seem to have no one that truly represents us? Are we as Christians obligated to participate in the political process? What does the Cross of Christ have to do with my vote? These kinds of questions are the basis for our most recent Chapterhouse here at the DTS Book Center. Be sure and listen to Dr. Darrell Bock, Dr. Glenn Kreider, and Dr. Michael Svigel, all professors here at DTS, introduce and discuss this controversial topic, followed by Q & A. The audio for Chapterhouse has been made available above. Welcome to the conversation.

May 23, 2016

Reflections on Chapterhouse: "Did God Murder His Son? Engaging Questions of Violence and Atonement"


On March 29th the Book Center hosted our second Chapterhouse of the academic year. Chapterhouse is an event where faculty, students, and guests are encouraged to participate in engaging controversial theological issues that impact the church and the world. We invite experts on the selected subject matter to speak and introduce the audience to the particular topic, exposing them to differing views and approaches, followed by a designated time for open Q&A and discussion. Our most recent Chapterhouse engaged controversial questions regarding the relationship between the use of violence and the death of Jesus.

Popular Atheist intellectuals in the public square such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens have attacked Christian belief at its core, the death of Christ, by suggesting that Christians believe in a capricious God who is guilty of 'divine child abuse.' The narrative caricature goes something like this: God is so angry and full of wrath toward us because of our sin, that he stored up his wrath due to us all, then pours out all of it on his Son. In this articulation, they maintain the Christian vision of God is one of a malevolent father who cannot control his rage engendered by his creatures' offense to his holiness.

Though the charge of 'divine child abuse' has been hauled up by these dissenters, the same accusation has been brought against many Protestants who maintain the wrath of God was poured out on Christ for our sins from fellow Christian traditions who do not share the same view of the atoning work of Christ. This disagreement in the Christian tradition here centers around penal substitutionary views of the atonement versus non-penal views. "Penal" in these theological conversations generally refers to the idea that Christ suffered the penalty due to sinners (or the elect) in order to satisfy the requirements of God's justice, for in this view, no sin can go unpunished and God remain just. This view has frequently been challenged with questions of violence and agency in the atonement; questions such as who killed Jesus? Was it God, the Romans, the Jewish leadership, etc? If violence is used or allowed by God in the atonement, does that somehow implicitly sanction the use of violence to satisfy justice in the world? These kinds of questions are the basis for our most recent Chapterhouse here at the DTS Book Center. Be sure and listen to Dr. John Hannah, Dr. Glenn Kreider, and Dr. Michael Svigel, all theology professors here at DTS, introduce and discuss this controversial topic, followed by Q & A. The audio for Chapterhouse has been made available above. Welcome to the conversation. 

May 9, 2016

Book Review: Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia: A Reader’s Edition


BIB HEB READBiblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia:A Reader’s Edition

ISBN: 9781598563429

By: Donald R. Vance, George Athas, and Yael Avrahami

Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft/Hendrickson Publishers, 2014

Review by: David Burnett

After surviving your first year of Biblical Hebrew, many are anxious to jump right into reading their Hebrew Bible but lack the vocabulary proficiency to make any real progress. The Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia: A Reader’s Edition is the perfect tool for you. For students, pastors, and scholars alike, the BHS Reader provides features necessary for those with a basic understanding of the language to begin their foray into the Hebrew Bible:

– Complete text of the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, checked against the Leningrad Codex

– All words that occur fewer than 70 times are parsed and contextually defined in the apparatus

– Glossary listing of all other words

– Improved layout of poetic texts

– All weak verb forms are parsed

The text is clean and easy to to read, though the “improved” layout of the more poetic texts can take some getting used to. The parsing at the bottom of the page has a bit of a learning curve as well. Zondervan’s A Readers Hebrew Bible (which we also carry) may have a bit clearer vocabulary and parsing section for some, while the text of the BHS Reader may be a bit more crisp and clear. The BHS Reader also includes a helpful paradigms section at the back of the bible that covers all the major conjugations for reference.

German Bible Society along with Hendrickson has produced a helpful resource for all students and teachers of Hebrew that wish to dive into their Hebrew Bible/Old Testament with assistance. Make sure and come by the DTS Book Center and pick up your copy today!

May 2, 2016

NA28 Greek New Testament: What's Different from the 27th Edition?


NA28Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft recently published the 28th edition of Nestle-Aland’s Novum Testamentum Graece.  This edition lists citations from the newly discovered Papyri 117-127, which is a significant addition for text critics. For instance, P127 (fifth-century) contains a text that differs greatly from Codex Vaticanus and Codex Bezae, revealing the most significant information we have for the development of Acts since the discovery of P38 in 1927 (D.C. Parker, ed., et al., The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, vol. 74, Graeco-Roman Memoirs, No. 95 [London: Egypt Exploration Society], 1-5). P117-126 also offers fresh new insights into the text of John (P119-122), Romans (P118) 1 Corinthians (P123), 2 Corinthians (P117, P124), 1 Peter (P125) and Hebrews (P126). All of this information is now made available for readers of the NA28.

Some changes were made to the Catholic Epistles, based on text critical insights from the second edition of theEditio Critica Maior of the Greek New Testament , (ECM) a critical edition produced by the Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschungm. Most changes are insignificant, such as word order, addition of the article, etc. For instance, James 2:3 reads ἤ κάθου ἐκεῖ (NA28) instead of ἐκεῖ ἤ κάθου (NA27), and James 4:10 says τοῦ κυρίου (NA28), instead of κυρίου (NA27).  Some changes are more significant, such as 2 Peter 3:10, which now reads οὺκ εὺρεθήσεται  (“will not be found” supported by sa) instead of εὺρεθήσεται (“will be found” supported by א B, P, 1175 1448 1739txt 1852 syph mss txt syhmg). A full list of changes is found in the introduction. You can also find a list of examples here.

NA28 reflects the second edition of ECM in another manner. ECM provides a split guiding line, where editors remain undecided over certain readings. This split guiding line appears in NA28. For instance, readers can see that the editors of ECM struggled to decide between αύτὸ τοῦτο δὲ and αύτὸ δὲ τοῦτο  in 2 Peter 1:5. A ♦ is placed in the text of NA28 before the disputed reading (♦ αύτὸ τοῦτο δὲ). The second reading appears in the apparatus with a ♦before it also (♦ αυτο δε τουτο).

Another significant change is the abandonment of consistently cited witnesses of the first and second order. NA27 places manuscripts into these categories based on their value. Witnesses of the first order are considered highly valuable and are cited consistently for every textual problem. Second order witnesses are considered valuable only if they disagree with