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Copyright © 2000-2017, John W. (Jack) Carter, Ph.D.  All rights reserved.
A peer-reviewed, weekly, open-access journal, now in its eighteenth year.

Victor I. Ezigbo.  Introducing Christian Theologies:  Voices from Global Christian Communities, Volume 2  The Lutterworth Press.  340 Pages.  ISBN: 9780718894450

For too long African, Asian, and Latin American theologians have been left out of mainstream theological discussions. Few standard textbooks on Christian theology acknowledge the unique contributions theologians from these continents have made to global Christianity.  Consistent with the international flavor of The American Journal of Biblical Theology, Introducing Christian Theologies explores the works of key international theologians, highlighting their unique contributions to Christian theology and doctrine.  $50.00 from Amazon.com

Tim Carter.  The Forgiveness of Sins.  James C. Clark & Company.  209 Pages.  ISBN: 9780227176054

In The Forgiveness of Sins , Tim Carter examines the significance of forgiveness in a New Testament context, delving deep into second-century Christian literature on sin and the role of the early church in mitigating it. This crucial spiritual issue is at the core of what it means to be Christian, and Carter’s thorough and erudite examination of this theme is a necessity for any professional or amateur scholar of the early church.  The Forgiveness of Sins is a painstaking, clear-eyed exploration of what forgiveness meant not only to early Christians such as Tertullian, Irenaeus and Luke, but to Jesus himself, and what it means to Christians today.  $55.00 from Amazon.com

Beáta Tóth.  The Heart Has its Reasons  James C. Clark & Company.  209 Pages.  ISBN: 9780227175873

The Heart Has Its Reasons explores a hitherto neglected area of theological anthropology: the unity of human emotion and reason embodied in the Biblical concept of the heart. While the theological contours of human rationality have long been clearly drawn and presented as the exclusive seat of the image of God, affectivity has been relegated to a secondary position. In conversation with patristic and medieval authors like Irenaeus, Tertullian, Gregory of Nyssa, Maximus, and Thomas Aquinas, and in dialogue with more recent interlocutors such as Blaise Pascal, Ricoeur, Marion, Milbank, and John Paul II, this text pursues a novel theological vision of the essential unity of our humanity..  $33.00 from Amazon.com

Mark D. Owens.  As it Was in the Beginning: and Intertextual Analysis of New Creation in Galatians, 2 Corinthians, and Ephesians   James C. Clark & Company.  209 Pages.  ISBN: 9780227176016

The meaning of Paul’s comments about the new creation in 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Galatians 6:15 has long been obscured. Debate has raged for years, with some arguing that the phrase “new creation” solely refers to the inward transformation believers have experienced through faith in Jesus Christ, and others that this phrase should be understood cosmologically and linked with Isaiah’s “new heavens and new earth”. Still more advocate an ecclesiological interpretation of this phrase that centres Paul in the new community formed around Jesus Christ. In As It Was in the Beginning , Mark Owens argues that the concept of “new creation” should be understood within the realm of Paul’s anthropology, cosmology, and ecclesiology. Paul’s understanding of new creation belongs within an Urzeit-Endzeit typological framework, especially within 2 Corinthians 5-6 and Ephesians 1-2. Owens’s reading of “new creation” gives due weight to the use of Isaianic traditions in Paul’s letters, and demonstrates that the vision of new creation in 2 Corinthians and Galatians is in striking harmony with that of Ephesians.  $37.00 from Amazon.com

Kim Huat Tan.  Mark:  A New Covenant Commentary  The Lutterworth Press.  286 Pages.  ISBN: 9780718894238

Believing that the needs of beleaguered Christian communities in turbulent times would be best met by resourcing the life of Jesus, Mark wrote a Gospel that was at once plain and subtle, fast-paced and yet profound. He clarified the essence of being a follower of Jesus, so that these communities might differentiate the essential from the trivial and be fortified in their testimony to the one, true Gospel. In his important new commentary Kim Huat Tan expounds the artistry of Mark in achieving all this in its original setting, by focusing on the larger picture of themes and thrusts, paragraphs and plot, but without dodging important issues of interpretation. Following in the footsteps of his Gospel, Mark attempts to bridge the horizons between then and now, and show how it is still a powerful resource for being a disciple of Jesus today.  $40.00 from Amazon.com

Sune Fahlgren and Jonas Idestrom.  Ecclesiology in the Trenches:  Theory and Method Under Construction  James C. Clarke, & Co.  219 Pages.  ISBN: 9780227175774

This book takes the reader into the trenches of ecclesiological research where the actual work of reading, writing, interpreting, and analyzing is being done. Ecclesiology is dealt with as a systematic, empirical, historical, and liturgical discipline. Essays explore theology in South Africa as shaped by apartheid, liturgical theology, the diaconate in an ecumenical context, Free Church preachership, suburban ecclesial identity, medieval church practices, liturgical texts, church floor plans, and ecclesiology as a gendered discipline. $37.00 from Amazon.com

Margaret G. Sim.  A Relevant Way to Read:  A New Approach to Exegesis and Communication  James C. Clarke, & Co.  177 Pages.  ISBN: 9780227174425

In A Relevant Way to Read , Margaret G. Sim draws on her in-depth knowledge of New Testament Greek to forge a new exegesis of the Gospels and Paul’s letters. Locating her studies in the linguistic concept of relevance theory, which contends that all our utterances are laden with crucial yet invisible context, Sim embarks on a journey through some of the New Testament’s most troubling verses. Here she recovers lost information with a meticulous analysis that should enlighten both the experienced scholar and the novice. Whether discussing Paul’s masterful use of irony to shame the Corinthians, or introducing the ground-breaking ideas behind relevance theory into a whole new field of study, the author demonstrates her vast learning and experience while putting her complex subject into plain words for the developing student. $35.00 from Amazon.com

Matthew Newkirk.  Just Deceivers: An Exploration of the Motif of Deception in the Books of Samuel.  James C. Clarke, & Co..  177 Pages.  ISBN: 9780227175507

Is it ever right to lie? Does the Bible allow us to deceive? These are perennial questions that have been discussed and debated by theologians for centuries with little consensus. Entering this discussion, Just Deceivers provides a fresh analysis of this important topic through a comprehensive examination of the motif of deception in the books of Samuel. While many studies have explored deception in other Old Testament texts―especially the patriarchal narratives of Genesis―and a few articles have initiated examination of this motif in Samuel, Just Deceivers builds upon this groundwork and offers an exhaustive treatment of this theme in an important portion of the Hebrew Bible. Newkirk takes the reader through the books of Samuel, investigating every occurrence of deception in the narrative and exploring how the author depicts these various acts of deception, and then synthesises the results to offer an exegetically based theology of deception. In so doing, this study both challenges commonly held views concerning the Bible's stance on falsehood and illustrates the importance of attending to the sophisticated literary character of biblical narrative. $9.99epub/$36.50hc from Amazon.com

Walter Brueggemann.  The Role of Old Testament Theology in Old Testament Interpretation.  James C. Clarke, & Co..  177 Pages.  ISBN: 97807227175453

This collection of essays is drawn from a series of previous collections to which the author has contributed that were designed to honor senior scholars in the discipline of Old Testament study. Each of these essays reflects a distinct intention depending on the nature of the original collection in which they appeared and the scholar who was being honored. Taken together, however, this collection amounts to an articulation of Brueggemann's distinctive approach to theological interpretation of the Old Testament. Already in his major volume on Old Testament theology, Brueggemann proposed a dynamism of tension, dispute, and contradiction as the text of ancient Israel sought to give voice to the mystery of God as a sustaining and disruptive agent in the life of the world. Over a long period of time, this collection reflects the author's growing clarity about the task of Old Testament theology. It further reflects on the nature of the biblical text and the way in which the God who inhabits the text runs beyond all of our attempts to define and explain. These essays reflect not so much on methodological issues, but take up the substantive questions that regularly occupied these ancient text-makers. $30.00 from Amazon.com

Douglas Ellory Pett.  The Healing Tradition of the New Testament.  The Lutterworth Press.  181 Pages.  ISBN: 9780718893873

Over the last twenty years there has been a great surge of interest in the healing ministry, yet this ferment of activity seems not to have been matched by an equally fresh or energetic study of healing in the New Testament, which ostensibly forms the basis, and is still claimed as supplying the inspiration for the revival of this ministry.  This work is the first, serious, critical study of healing in the New Testament as a discrete subject.  It's purpose is to arrive at a clearer understanding of what Scripture actually tells us about healing, not what we imagine it says, but what the sacred authors actually wrote, and more to the point, what they meant by what they wrote.  $39.00 from Amazon.com

Tricia Miller, (May 2015). Jews and Anti-Judaism in Esther and the Church James C. Clark, LTD.  224 Pages. ISBN: 9780227174470

A careful study of the book of Esther and its anti-Jewish interpretations in the Church.  By placing the book of Esther in the context of politics and hermeneutics that are filled with Jewish resistance to attempted genocide, Tricia Miller address the history of Christian anti-Judaism, the errors of replacement theology and anti-Zionism as the new anti-Judaism.  It addresses the encouraging pattern of cooperation and support between Christians and Jews that developed over recent times.  Purchase at:  Half.com.  $8.49

Heather Anne Kendall, (2006) A Tale of Two Kingdoms  Ontario, Canada:  Essence Publishing.  427 Pages.  ISBN 155452003-7

"A great tool to assist the keen Bible student, A Tale of Two Kingdoms carefully traces the unfolding history of salvation described in the Holy Scriptures as it presents the antagonism between the kingdom of Christ and the kingdom of Satan.  Over the centuries the physical gives way to the spiritual and Christ and His church are presented as the fulfillment of prophesy.  Finally, the kingdom which is not of this world, appears in apocalyptic vision to defeat the kingdom of darkness.  The author details what went on in the silent years between the testaments.  She concludes with the eschatological views of representative Apostolic Fathers."  Dr. G.A. Adams, former Principal of Toronto Baptist Seminary and Bible College. Purchase at:  Half.com.  $8.49,

Calum Carmichael, Ed., (2010) Law and Wisdom in the Bible  West Conshohocken, PA:  Templeton Press.  201 Pages.  ISBN 978-1-59947-345-1

"That over forty years after they were delivered, these famous but unavailable Gifford Lectures should be published as occasion for celebration.  Once again, we hear Daube's voice, patient and probing, as he turns over, as he tests, as he pushes fresh inquiries, and as he finds new insights.  No man has had such a subtle sense of scriptural texts matched by such a supple sense of the practices and particularities of human beings engaged in the legal process.  Law and Wisdom in the Bible, is classic Daube."  John T. Noonan Jr. United States Circuit Judge.    Purchase at:  Templeton Press.  $39.96

Dana C.E. Millson, Ed., (2011) Experiment and Interpretation:  The Use of Experimental Archaeology in the Study of the Past.  Oxford, UK:  Oxbow Books.  142 Pages.  ISBN 978-1-84217-399-2

"Experimental archaeology is today forging new links between archaeological scientists and theorists.  Many of the best archaeological projects today are those which use methodology and interpretation from both the sciences and the arts.  The papers presented here reflect this interdisciplinary approach and focus on the sites and material culture spanning from the Mesolithic to the Late Medieval periods.  They range from the history of experimentation  in archaeology and its place within the field today, to the theory behind "the experiment", to several projects which have used controlled experimentation to test hypotheses about archaeological remains, past actions, and the scientific processes we use."  (Back matter) 

Purchase at:  Oxbow Books. $60.00

Thomas W. Mann, (2011) The Book of the Former Prophets  Cambridge, UK:  James Clark & Co.  423 Pages.  ISBN 978-0-227-68010-0

"Having retold the first part of the Bible story of ancient Israel in his acclaimed The Book of the Torah, Thomas Mann now presents the second half with critical and theological acumen.  The difficult themes and pictures are not glossed over, but Mann's rich interpretive retelling opens up avenues into contemporary appropriation of this story, on which, for better or for worse, the Christian community is grounded."  Patrick D. Miller, Princeton Theological Seminary.    

Purchase at:  Amazon.com $60.00

Jack R. Lundbom, (2013) Jeremiah Among the Prophets  Cambridge, UK:  James Clark & Co.  141 Pages.  ISBN 978-0-227-17407-4

"Jack R. Lundbom makes a careful study of Jeremiah from chapter one to fifty one, with an accessible but comprehensive interpretation of the book, analysis of the life of the prophet, and consideration of the context of the Old Testament.  Lundborn sets out careful exposition of key issues.  The dreams and prophecies of Jeremiah are examined with an astute eye for signature rhetorical and textual devices; this is taken with a view of the lamentations found within the book of Jeremiah, which earned Jeremiah the nickname of "The Weeping Prophet."  The work of ancient scribes and scribal practices are shown to have contributed to the transmission of Jeremiah's wisdom to the present, helping us to understand the nature of the text and prophet."  Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary.

Purchase at:  Amazon.com $35.00

C. Athanasopoulos and C. Schneider, Ed., (2013) Divine Essence and Divine Energies  Cambridge, UK:  James Clark & Co.  288 Pages.  ISBN 978-0-227-17386-2

"A composite book of essays by ten scholars, Divine Essence and Divine Energies provides a rich repository of diverse opinion about the essence-energy distinction in Orthodox Christianity - a doctrine which lies at the heart of the often fraught fault lines between East and West and which, in this book, inspires a lively dialogue between the contributors.  A valuable addition to the dialogue between Eastern and Western Christianity, this book will be of great interest to any reader seeking a rigorously academic insight into the wealth of scholarly opinion about the essence-energy distinction." (Back matter)

Purchase at:  Amazon.com $50.00

Tom Holland, (2004) Contours of Pauline Theology.  Scotland, UK:  Christian Focus Publications.  382 Pages.  ISBN 185792469x

Theologians have been rather hard on the apostle Paul.  Many have accused him of taking the Christian faith in a direction of his own, changing basic teachings of Jesus to suit his own views.  Tom Holland presents a conservative, if provocative, thesis that affirms the consistency of Paul's teaching with that of Jesus.  He does so by causing the reader to look into the mind of the Jewish Paul to understand how he views the Old testament, his source of scripture.  Holland shows how Paul's Christology was formed from Old Testament prophesies both in the prophetic writings and in the Jewish traditional rituals.  He shows how his theology was shaped by and formed for Jewish thought.  Those who would seek to discredit Pauline theology will appreciate Holland's scholarship and the sound arguments on Paul's behalf.  Those who ascribe to Paul as an apostle of Jesus Christ will appreciate Holland's apologetic prowess and find Paul's Jewish hermeneutic illuminating.  This text is a must read for a serious student of Pauline theology, and may be too technical for the casual reader.      

Purchase at:  Christian Book Distributors.  $16.99

George M. Marsden, (2003) Jonathan Edwards: A Life.  New Haven, CT:  Yale University Press.  615 Pages.  ISBN 0300096933

Anyone who is a student of the life and times of Jonathan Edwards will thoroughly enjoy and gain from this seminal work by George Marsden.  Written as a scholarly narrative, this text is a thorough exposition of the historical setting within which Jonathan Edwards lived, and its influence on his theology.  Edwards preached during the formative years of the American nation, and the influences on Edward's life came from both English and American sources.  Marsden digs deeply into those sources as they shape the man who would be known as one of most influential Christian theologians of his era.  The Journal gives this text its very highest recommendation.  Thank you Mr. Marsden for such a wonderful treatise of Mr. Edwards.  Several of the Journal staff are specifically interested in the life and theology of Jonathan Edwards, and your work has served to deepen our own understanding of the man and his times. 

Purchase at:  Christian Book Distributors.  $32.99

A.D. Bauer, (2004) The Beginning:  A Second Look at the First Sin.  Baltimore, MD:  Square Halo Books.  327 Pages.  ISBN 0965879860

Were Adam and Eve innocent before their submission to the consequences of their own sin, or were they inherently wicked to start with?  These and many other questions of theology and doctrine have fueled an active debate surrounding this basic subject:  the fall of man as recorded in the Bible book of Genesis.  Rev. Bauer presents a very readable and engaging discussion on the nature and consequences of the original sin using the biblical accounts as his primary authority.  A concerted effort is made to assure that the biblical context is maintained.  Rev. Bauer not only presents the doctrines surrounding the biblical presentation of the original sin, but provides application in many of the facets of daily life.  A sound background in scripture, a solid presentation of his positions, and generous application make this book a very good reference on the subject.

Purchase at:  Student Books Online.  $21.95

Kenneth W. Shafer, (2002) Searching for J.  Baltimore, MD:  Gateway Press, Inc.  82 Pages, with appendix.  ISBN 0974745715

What are the biblical sources for text in the Old Testament?  Variant approaches to similar scriptural events suggest that more than one source was used to create the documents.  Originally entitled, Rescuing the Documentary Hypothesis, this work attempts to investigate the documentary hypothesis attributing more of the content of the books to the J source, that which makes frequent reference to Jehovah, than is heretofore considered. A brief defense is presented that asserts that the identity of this source is identifiable, and may be female.    Following the text is a 90-page appendix that contains a table that correlates the text of the Old Testament books in question with their documentary sources.  Mr. Shafer's defense of his hypothesis is based upon a review of the literature and a comparison of biblical texts and current documentary theories.  This book is not written for one who is interested in personal devotion, but rather for one who wishes to better understand the documentary hypothesis and investigate the positions held by modern scholars. 

Purchase at: Gateway Press, Inc.  1001 N. Calvert St. Baltimore, MD.  21202-3897

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