Thursday, November 30, 2006

Update on Robert Gurney's 2nd edition of "God in Control"

Dr Robert Gurney has almost completed his revision of his book God in Control - an exposition of the prophecies of Daniel. I am now awaiting the new maps that have been produced and hope to get the book on-line within a few days.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Evangelical Quarterly articles to be placed on-line - how you can help

Among my other current projects I am working at placing a large number of articles from Evangelical Quarterly on-line - with the copyright holder's permission. EQ started in 1929 and because my funds are limited I am requesting help in locating copies of the articles. I have listed a prelimenary selection of articles that I currently have access to here.

If you have copies of EQ in your library you might consider:
  1. Loaning me your copies to be returned after I have copied them.
  2. Send me photocopies of the journal.
  3. Selling me your copies (at a reasonable price)

I have several articles in preparation which should be available shortly.

Update 28th November 2006

Many thanks to those who responded so quickly with offers of assistance. I now have access to every edition of EQ except Volume 1.1 & 1.2. I better get to work!

Note that due to their content these articles will be distributed between my four websites, so you might wish to subscribe to the Feedblitz notification emails for my other blogs (see top of this page on left hand side for links to my other blogs).

Please note that I cannot supply copies of articles before they are placed on-line.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Forthcoming: Articles from Gospel Perspectives series

I am pleased to announce that I have just received permission from Rebecca Vaughan-Williams of Continuum Books to place on-line one chapter from each volume of the Gospel Perspectives series published by JSOT Press in the 1980's (in 6 voluimes). The hardest part of this project will be choosing which of the many excellent articles to use. Reproduction is still subject to each individual author granting permission.

Update 27th November

I am pleased to tell you that Craig Blomberg has kindly given his permission for me to reproduce his article "The Miracles as Parables" in Volume 6 of the series (he wrote "Sounds great!"). At present this is the only volume I have in my collection and so I have requested vols. 1-5 from the British Library. When these arrive I hope to post the lists of articles here and allow visitors to suggest their favourite article from each for inclusion.

Robert Gurney on the Daniel 11:40-45

I have just uploaded the following article in PDF:

Robert J.M. Gurney, "A Note on Daniel 11: 40-45," TSF Bulletin 47 (1967): 10-12.

My thanks to Dr Gurney for his permission and for providing me with a scan of the article.

Alan R. Millard on the Historicity of Daniel 1 - 6

The following article is now available on-line:

Alan R. Millard, "Daniel 1 - 6 and History," Evangelical Quarterly 49.2 (1977): 67-73.

This article presents the evidence for the historicity of Daniel chapters 1-6. Writing in response to my request to use the article Prof. Millard wrote: "Yes, I am happy for you to reproduce my essay... It has continuing value."

University Christian Unions stand up for Gospel Freedoms

When I was at University in the 1980's the Student's Union there banned the Christian Union from meeting on its premises because we refused to accept its position of "abortion on demand". Since then the situation seems to have become worse as this news from the Lawyer's Christian Fellowship demonstrates:

Summary
There was a significant amount of media coverage this weekend regarding several Christian Unions fighting for their right to preach the Gospel. Exeter, Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt (in Scotland) and Birmingham Universities are all challenging their respective University authorities and Student Unions to grant them freedom of speech to proclaim Biblical truth. It is crucial that we support these students as much as possible. We can do this through prayer and in other practical ways (explained in full below). Each Christian Union is facing a slightly different challenge. Please read the full facts and details regarding each case, below.

Media Coverage-17th-18th November

November 18, 2006

BBC: November 17, 2006

The Times: November 18, 2006 (3)
November 19, 2006

Express and Echo: November 18, 2006

The Scotsman: November 19, 2006

United Press International: November 20, 2006

Independent Catholic News: November 20, 2006

Further detailed information

Exeter University
The Christian Union (CU) was disaffiliated from the Guild of Students after one student wrote to them stating that he thought the CU was discriminatory because although he wanted to become a member, he did not feel that he could sign the Declaration of Belief (this simply required a Declaration of adherence to basic Biblical principles). Ultimately, after an Extraordinary General Meeting, an Annual General Meeting and a University referendum, the Christian Union was disaffiliated from the Guild, with its funds frozen, as well as losing all the privileges associated with membership of the Guild. A letter was sent by the CU on 13th November 2006, stating that the students were prepared to take legal action if the University and Student Guild refused to change its policy. The University authorities are currently meeting to decide what action to take. Please pray that God’s will is done, and that the students would be strengthened and galvanized to proclaim God’s word with boldness.

Edinburgh University
The Christian Union has been banned from teaching the “PURE” course on University facilities. This course advocates sexual purity, and teaches that sex is only appropriate within the context of a marriage. Gay rights groups claim that the course is homophobic because it states Biblical truth on homosexual practice. The University authorities have agreed with this view stating that the viewpoints contained in the PURE course are contrary to its Equality and Diversity Policy and have banned the course from the University premises. The CU have sent a letter to the University authorities stating that the students have taken legal advice and are prepared to take legal action to guarantee their right to freedom of speech. Pray that God will be with the students and that His name will be glorified.

Heriot-Watt University
The Christian Union at Heriot-Watt has been disaffiliated from the Student Association for some time because of its requirement that members sign a Statement of Faith setting out basic, orthodox Christian beliefs. The Student Association have refused to allow the Christian Union to join unless they change that Statement of Faith. On the 21st November, the CU sent a letter to the University authorities to state that they had taken legal advice, and that they were prepared to take legal action unless the situation was resolved. Please pray for these students as they seek to proclaim the Gospel.

Birmingham University
In 2005 the Christian Union was disaffiliated from the Students Union at Birmingham University because of its Statement of Belief. The students there are still seeking a resolution with the University authorities, pray that God would grant them wisdom in seeking to glorify Him.

Practical ways in which you can help
There are a number of practical ways in which you can help these students

Use the letters pages of local/regional and national press. There will be an email address given on every letters page of your favourite newspaper. Write a letter in support of Christian students and their rights to freedom of speech etc. Keep it under 200 words, don't preach or attack, just explain the Christian point of view in a calmly reasoned manner. We particularly need letters in The Times/Telegraph/Daily Mail.

Question Time (BBC Thursdays): Log on to www.bbc.co.uk/questiontime and click the button Send Your Questions. There is a facility now for anyone to submit questions which the panel may then be asked to answer. The chair, David Dimbleby and the production team will respond to a large number of questions about any one topic, i.e. Christian Students and their Freedoms.

Any Questions: Log on to www.bbc.co.uk/anyquestions and click on the Contact Us button. Same as QT above, send a question for the panel to answer.

If we get a mention on QT and AQ it will keep up the momentum, and even if letters don't get published in the press, it shows the press the level of feeling. If they have not covered the topic before, the newsroom may well decide to do so as editors respond to readers' concerns as they want to sell newspapers!

Financial support for the work that is going on in the Universities cases is essential to enable that work to continue. Please consider making a donation to Christian Concern for Our Nation and express it to be for ‘public litigation’ work if you want to ensure that the money is used for cases such as those at Exeter, Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt and Birmingham. Make a donation at http://www.christianconcernforournation.co.uk/donation.php

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Stanley E. Porter on Understanding Pauline Studies (2 of 2)

As promised, the following article is now available in PDF:

Stanley E. Porter, "Understanding Pauline Studies: Part 2," Themelios 22.2 (1997): 13-24.

This article evaluates a wide range of literature and commentaries on Paul's letters. A very helpful introduction to a vast subject.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Stanley E. Porter on Understanding Pauline Studies (1 of 2)

The following article is now available in PDF:

Stanley E. Porter, "Understanding Pauline Studies: Part One," Themelios 22:1 (October 1996): 14-25.

This article provides a helpful overview of research on Paul in the late 90's. Part 2 should be available in a few days.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

David L. Baker on the Jubilee and the Millennium

The following article is now available on-line:

David L. Baker, "The Jubilee and the Millennium," Themelios 24.1 (October 1998): 44-69.

Dr Baker explains how the institution of the Jubilee in the Old Testament should have implications for issues seemingly as diverse as the Christian approach as the Millennium year, ecology and Third World debt.

Friday, November 17, 2006

D.A. Carson on Christological Ambiguities in Matthew

The following article is now avialable in PDF:

D.A. Carson, "Christological Ambiguities in the Gospel of Matthew," Harold Rowden, ed., Christ our Lord. Studies in Christology Presented to Donald Guthrie. Leicester: IVP, 1982. Hbk. ISBN: 0877849552. pp.97-114.

Professor Carson's work always impresses me. It stands in sharp contrast to those who seem to think the writers of the New Testament incompetent bunglers with scissors and paste. Reading this article I was impressed once more by the great insight and artistry Matthew used in preparing his Gospel. I heartily recommend it.

The rights to place this article on-line have been purchased from IVP. If you find it helpful and would like to speed the process of placing others on the Web then please consider supporting me.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Vox Evangelica to be available on-line

One of my passions is to ensure that high quality theology books and articles that have gone out of print are made available again through my websites. This is why the sites host several lecture series, such as the The Campbell Morgan Memorial Bible Lectureship, and the Ethel M. Wood Lectures at the University of London, as well as as well as many of the Tyndale Press Monographs to name but a few. A full list can be found here.

For some time now I have had it on my heart to place a complete evangelical journal online and as I thought about it further it occurred to me that Vox Evangelica would be an ideal candidate.

In my opnion it has several factors in its favour:

1) The articles it contains are of very high quality and enduring value. For example, I was reading an article recently that was written in 1992 which cited an article from Vox Evangelica from 1964!

2) The journal is now no longer in production - so an Internet version will not effect current sales.

3) The journal is extremely rare and expensive to buy - even some large UK Bible Colleges such do not have a complete set in their libraries.

London School of Theology has agreed to my proposal and granted me the necessary permission and I so plan to start putting articles on-line within a few weeks. All articles will be listed on this page:

http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/articles_vox_evangelica.php

as well as on the appropriate pages throughout my four sites.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Brian S. Rosner on the Concept of Idolatry

The following article is now available in PDF:

Brian S. Rosner, "The Concept of Idolatry," Themelios 24.3 (May 1999): 21-30.

Rosner concludes in part:
In one sense idolatry is the diagnosis of the human condition to which the gospel is the cure. At root, the problem with humans is not horizontal ‘social’ problems (like sexual immorality and greed), but rebellion against and replacement of the true and living God with gods that fail (which leads to these destructive sins). If the story of the human race is a sorry tale of different forms of idolatry, the height of human folly, the good news is that God reconciles his image-bearers back to himself in Christ. It is no accident that the prophets envisage a time when idols will ultimately be eradicated and replaced by true worship.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Craig Blomberg on Eschatology

The following article is now available in PDF:

Craig Blomberg, "Eschatology and the Church: Some New Testament Perspectives," Themelios 23.3 (June 1998): 3-26.

Dr Blomberg provides insightful commentary on such issues as annhilationalism, the nature of hell, the fate of the unevangelised, eternal life, the intermediate state and provides an overview of the relevant NT passages. Anyone wishing to get to grips with eschatology should read this article.

Listing of Themelios articles complete (well, almost...)

Last night I uploaded the last installment of the complete listing of Themelios articles. Complete, that is, except for a few volumes that are missing from my library. Now that I know which these are I will see if I can order back-issues from IVP. In the process of creating the list I have asked for permission from the authors to reproduce some more of the articles - and have so far received five approvals. Look out for new material by Gerald Bray, Craig Blomgerg & David L. Baker.

Up to mid-2005 the authors of articles submitted to Themelios retained the copyright. Since then I think this has changed and IVP now controls the rights. There was talk of them putting the journal on-line, so perhaps they will do so now that they have control of it - we will see.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Another Way to Support this Site

If you have found my websites useful and would like to share them with others I have had some business cards made that you can use. If you would like some, please contact me. The first 10 people who request cards will get a free fridge magnet!

Andreas Kostenberger on Jesus as Rabbi in John

I have just uploaded the following article in PDF:

Andreas J. Köstenberger, "Jesus as Rabbi in the Fourth Gospel," Bulletin for Biblical Research 8 (1998): 97-128.

Here is the abstract:
Studies of John’s portrayal of Jesus usually focus on the Fourth Gospel’s high Christology. The presentation of Jesus as rabbi tends to be attributed to the Synoptics. This trend prevails all the more since John is customarily viewed as less concerned about the historical aspects of Jesus’ life than the Synoptic writers. The present study, while not contending that rabbi is the primary or exclusive designation of Jesus in John’s Gospel, sets out to correct these stereotypes. It is argued that the Fourth Gospel shows that Jesus was perceived by his contemporaries primarily as a rabbi.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Ronald Pierce on the Politics of Esther and Mordecai

I have just uploaded the following article in PDF:

Ronald W. Pierce, "The Politics of Esther and Mordecai: Courage or Compromise?" Bulletin for Biblical Research 2 (1992): 75-89.

This is one of those articles that challenges accepted views and adds a new dimension to your understanding of a biblical story. Dr Pierce notes that:

...when reading Mordecai’s words, it is important to notice the commonly overlooked fact that he actually threatens Esther’s life, regardless of the outcome, unless she goes to Ahasuerus on behalf of the Jewish people. One would have expected to read, "If you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will not arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish," or perhaps, "If you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will not perish." But, it is puzzling to read that if Esther remains silent, the Jewish people will be delivered but she will die. Why would harm befall the queen and not the other Jews? Again, the answer lies in recognizing the secular tone in the narrative. That is, when Mordecai speaks of deliverance coming "from another place" (4:14), he is not making a veiled "allusion to God" or exhibiting "an unfailing trust in God’s providential care." Rather, he is threatening Esther with the proposition: "If you do not help you will die, even if the rest of the Jewish people are delivered!" In short, it seems that he was prepared to take matters into his own hands if she refused to help. And, if it became necessary, he would make sure that she paid the price for her disloyalty to her people.

Pierce's conclusion is also thought-provoking:

As Judaism’s most "secular" festival, Purim involves feasting and drinking wine in excess until one is no longer able to distinguish between blessing Mordecai and cursing Haman. All of this is permitted, according to Talmudic sanction, in joyous celebration of the deliverance effected in Esther’s day (Meg 7b). However, Purim was also instituted as a time for sober reflection, a time
to fast, lament (9:31) and remember that compromising one’s identity as a person of God is not a necessary prerequisite for surviving as his people, even in a hostile environment.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Ernest Best on the Central Message of the New Testament

The following extremely rare lecture is now available on-line:

Prof. Ernest Best, On Defining the Central Message of the New Testament. London: University of London, 1986. Pbk. ISBN: 0718707613. pp.17.

Professor Best discusses various inadequate attempts to distil the essense of the New Testament. He writes:

This brings us to the crux of our problem. The existence of the Gospels makes any central message a shadowy substitute for the real thing. If we think back a little to the reasons offered for the value of the diversity of the New Testament we will recollect that it was its very diversity which enabled it to be used in our culture and situations. If we reduce it to a set of statements, a simple drive or a core then we shall always have difficulty in applying it. (This may not be a problem if we are concerned only with discovering some centre for academic purposes). It is important then to retain both the diversity of ethical situation and response in the letters and to retain the variety of outlook in the four Gospels. If we attempt to formulate a central message may we not be robbing the New Testament of something which is essential to it and to our use of it?
When I did a search on addall.com a short while ago I could not find a single copy of this book on sale. The British Library managed to lose their copy in the process of sending it to my local branch, thus increasing the book's rarity (!). Thankfully King's College Library took better care of their copy. This addition brings my tally of Ethel M. Wood lectures to 33.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

How to find out of print books on-line

Your first port of call in any search for an out of print book should be www.addall.com/, a free service that searches around 21 of the larger Internet bibliographic databases. I could end this post here, but it is worth noting three of these databases in more detail.

Amazon

Amazon needs little introduction. Its "Marketplace" now provides perhaps the easiest and most profitable method for individuals to sell their books via Amazon's ubiquitous portal. Sellers often have to compete to offer the lowest price for a title, meaning that buyers get the best possible price for titles that are in plentiful supply. The buyer should beware of some opportunistic vendors that are attempting to sell rare - and sometimes not so rare - volumes for hundred of dollars. These titles are often available at a much lower price from other (more reputable) sources. When selling on Amazon Marketplace the seller undertakes to despatch the book within 2 working days of ordering. While most sellers do their best to abide by this there are some that ignore it - check feedback before ordering.

Advanced Book Exchange

The Advanced Book Exchange is used mostly by professional booksellers are so you are likely to get a good idea of a realistic market price of the book you are looking for. Like Alibris (below) Advanced Book Exchange charges a flat rate for shipping, which can be expensive if you have to import your chosen title from overseas. However on several occasions a seller has reduced the postage rate after the order has been placed, which is always appreciated.

Alibris

Alibris is very similar to the Advanced Book Exchange except that all books ordered are despatched from the seller to Alibris's distribution centre in the US and then on to the buyer. The postage rate is similar to Addall's, but the bizarre delivery process will often delay the arrival of your book. On one occasion I Googled the name of the bookseller who had the book I wanted and ordered direct over the telephone. I didn't get the book any cheaper, but it did reduce the shipping time by weeks. Customers in the US would probably not notice this delay to such a degree.

A post on my favourite "real life" bookshops to follow shortly.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

John H. Walton on the Purpose of Jonah

I have just uploaded the following article in PDF:

John H. Walton, " The Object Lesson of Jonah 4:5-7 and the Purpose of the Book of Jonah," Bulletin for Biblical Research 2 (1992): 47-57.

I found this passage particularly thought-provoking:
This is not a book for missionaries, for Jonah’s oracle concerns only impending judgment, not the offer of hope or salvation; God is not striking a bargain. The book likewise has nothing to do with Jewish exclusivism, for Jonah is not given a Jewish message to preach, nor even a positive one. The book has little to do with politics, for Assyria was not a serious political threat to Israel in the days of Jeroboam II. The message is a theological one. It presents a picture of God that encourages hope for grace even when the sentence has already been passed.

Douglas A. Oss on Paul's Use of Isaiah

I have just made the following article available in PDF:

Douglas A. Oss, "A Note on Paul's Use of Isaiah," Bulletin for Biblical Research 2 (1992): 105-112.

Oss concludes in part:
There is no doubt, if the witness of the Gospels to Christ’s teaching is accepted, that it was Christ himself who originated the approach to Isaiah that was followed by Paul. It was Christ himself who first cited Isa 61:1-2 and then proclaimed, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing" (Luke 4:18-21); and it was Christ himself who first taught the church that all the scriptures spoke of him (Luke 24:25-27, 44-45).

Furthermore, it was Christ’s fervent apostle, Paul, gifted with a mind of creative theological ability, who more than any other single NT writer forged the path for the interpretation of Isaiah. In his citations from Isaiah, we see Paul at work enlarging the cache of Isaian testimonies available to the church in the defense and propagation of the gospel. But Paul’s work was not accomplished in a vacuum. He is breaking new interpretive ground by bringing an established interpretive tradition to bear on an increasing number of contexts in Isaiah. Christ laid down the comprehensive hermeneutical framework for the church―that all the scriptures spoke of him. Paul was busy finding the fulfillment of the ages there. But his work was always informed by the interpretive framework already laid down in the church by the Lord.

Biblical Studies Top 10 for October 2006

In October www.biblicalstudies.org.uk received 29,006 visitors from around 115 countries who together downloaded a total of 6.4 Gigabytes of material - the second highest figure to date.

I thought it would be interesting to see which articles visitors were downloading, so here is the "Top Ten" listing:
  1. Figures of Speech (Rob Bradshaw)
  2. The Integrity of the Biblical Canon in th Light of its Historical Development (Lee Martin MacDonald)
  3. Elijah (Rob Bradshaw)
  4. Abraham (Rob Bradshaw)
  5. Covenant (Rob Bradshaw)
  6. Baptism in the New Testament (Oscar Cullmann)
  7. Daniel (Rob Bradshaw)
  8. Tyre (Rob Bradshaw)
  9. Deuteronomy (Rob Bradshaw)
  10. The Purpose Behind Paul's First Letter to the Thessalonians (Rob Bradshaw)
The folks involved in the Blue Cord Bible Dictionary project will be encouraged to note that most of the articles listed are "Dictionary Style" - proving (if anyone doubted it) that there is a demand for a good quality on-line Bible Dictionary (whether my articles are "good" I will leave for others to decide). Top of the list (as ever) is my study on Idioms.