Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"No Intelligence Allowed" on YouTube

This film is interesting. Even if you care nothing about the argument about origins it is worth watching simply for its implications for freedom of speech.

Part 1

Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11

Monday, December 15, 2008

W. Ward Gasque on Sir William M. Ramsay

The following book is now available in PDF:

The contribution of Sir William Ramsay to New Testament studies is often overlooked. Ward Gasque's study illustrates Ramsay's significance in the Nineteenth Century and the continuing impact of his research.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Book Review: The Chronological Study Bible

I can look back at my early days as a Christian and identify a number of books that helped me to gain an understanding of the Bible. The year I spent going through the Bible chronologically using a set of study notes from CWR helped me to understand the order of the events described in the Bible. Likewise F.F. Bruce’s book Israel and the Nations gave me an understanding of how the events in the land of Israel related to those in the wider context of the Ancient Near East. Because these two books were so influential on me I was delighted when Thomas Nelson Publishers offered me a chance to review their new Chronological Study Bible as it combines the benefits of both of these approaches.

The introduction states the purpose of this book:

The Bible was not written at one time nor by one author. The books of the Old and New Testaments were written over a period of more than 1,000 years, and their contents cover a variety of ancient peoples and cultures. If we are to understand and appropri­ate the Bible's message today, we need some sense of the historical and cultural context in which its di­verse parts appeared. We read the words of the Bible today under entirely different circumstances than those under which they were written. To ne­glect the historical and cultural background of the biblical books is to risk misunderstanding them.

Unfortunately for modern readers, the individ­ual books of the Bible do not always provide the in­formation necessary to understand the Bible's his­torical and cultural background. At the time that these books were written, readers would have al­ready been familiar with the world the writings de­scribe. But thousands of years later, the events and customs that the original readers would have recog­nized immediately are often confusing and only dimly understood by modern readers.

The Chronological Study Bible will take you on a journey through the history and culture of the Bible. It will allow you to step back into biblical times and discover the world out of which the Bible grew. It will help you follow the flow of events in the Scriptures and see where sacred and secular history converge into one story of salvation. You will learn how sacred history fits into the context of secular history—why an event happened, how events relate to each other, as well as the cultural, religious, political, and geographical background that influenced the events.

In order to achieve this the entire text of the Chronological Study Bible is arranged in the order in which it is thought the historical events occurred. So when one comes to the Books of 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings and 1 & 2 Chronicles, the Psalms of David and the writings of the various prophetic books are placed at the appropriate points in the account. The Wisdom Literature is placed in the lifetime of Solomon because of its probable date of composition (although Job is set in Patriarchal times and some of the Proverbs date from the time of Hezekiah by their own ascriptions). Likewise in the Gospels, in a similar way to any good Gospel synopsis, the events of Jesus’ life and ministry are rearranged and in the Book of Acts, the New Testament letters are inserted.

As the Introduction recognizes there is disagreement in the exact dating and order of a number of Biblical books and events and the various options are presented to reflect this. As anyone who has compared the various Synopses of the Gospels available will know there are a number of ways of arranging events in the life of Jesus as the exact timing was not always the writer’s concern.

A number of other features are included. Numerous timelines and charts relate the biblical events with those in the surrounding nations. Archaeological discoveries such as the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III and the Moabite stone are pictured and their significance to the Biblical text explained.

A couple of problems should be noted that may be corrected in later editions. The map on page 46 "Jacob Returns to Canaan" seems to have been erroneously copied from page 237 ("The Conquest of Canaan"). Other maps are not as clear as they could be. For example the map on page 73 showing the possible routes of the exodus contains no key to explain the various coloured lines.

Despite these minor flaws I am sure that this Study Bible will be of great help to a wide range of Bible readers, from new Christians to experienced Bible teachers. Fellow homeschoolers, for example, would find it useful when used in conjunction with Susan Wise Bauer‘s History of the World or any other course approaching world history chronologically. Such is the breadth of the study of Biblical history and background brought together in this volume that any reader is bound to gain some fresh insight and be able to use this to enrich their own study with their usual canonically ordered Bible.

[Thanks to Patricia Flynn for her keen eye for detail].

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Year End Review

From time to time it is useful to review what work remains outstanding - especially as more is being added on a weekly basis. The following listing gives some idea of what material is likely to appear on my websites during the next year.

I am particularly grateful to those who have taken out PayPal subscriptions to support this site recently. This helps towards achieving my aim of being able to work on the websites full-time.

Material Currently Under Negotiation with Copyright Holders(s):

Tables of Contents


Scottish Bulletin on Evangelical Theology


Donald Wiseman

G.B. Caird


Articles by Donald Wiseman (various sources)

Material in Preparation


Carl Armerding (almost ready)

John Barton Payne

Tables of Contents

Anvil (to be finalised in the next few weeks)

Bibliotheca Sacra

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library


The Harvester

Review & Expositor

The Witness


Bulletin of the Evangelical Theological Society (complete run of issues Vols 1-11 in progress)

Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester (all of F F Bruce's articles)

Canadian Journal of Theology (various articles)

Evangelical Quarterly (various articles)

Evangelical Review of Theology (various articles)

Faith & Thought (various articles)

Journal of the Transactions of the Victoria Institute (various articles)

Vox Evangelica (complete series in progress)


Sir William Ramsay by W. Ward Gasque (awaiting copy from British Library)

NT Interpretation (edited by I.H. Marshall)

Reconciliation and Hope (Essays in Honour for Leon Morris)

Christ the Lord (essays in Honour of Donald Guthrie) - on hold as IVP are charging £30 per chapter for use of this work!

E.J. Young's PhD. Thesis - delayed due to the large anount of handwritten Greek and Hebrew text in the footnotes

Monday, December 01, 2008

E.C. Blackman on Hermeneutics: the Bible as the Vehicle of God's Word Today

The following article is now on-line in PDF:

E.C. Blackman is perhaps best known for his book Marcion and His Influence (London: SPCK, 1948). Through a chance remark by a correspondent I was able to make contact with his son and obtain permission to reproduce his articles from The Canadian Journal of Theology. The other four should appear on-line over the next few weeks, here and on