Reading Isaiah as Christian Scripture

25 Key Resources for the Book of Exodus

1.David L. Baker, “Ten Commandments, Two Tablets: the Shape of the Decalogue,” Themelios 30.3 (Summer 2005), 6-22.

2.John J. Bimson, Redating the Exodus and Conquest, (Sheffield: Almond Press, 1981).

3.Walter Brueggeman, The Book of Exodus, (The New Interpreter’s Bible; Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1994).

4.Umberto Cassuto, Commentary on the Book of Exodus, (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, Israel, 1974).

5.Brevard S. Childs, The Book of Exodus: A Critical, Theological Commentary, (OTL, Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1974).

6.Brevard S. Childs, “A Traditio-Historical Study of the Reed Sea Tradition.” Vetus Testamentum 20 (1970), 412-14.

7.Richard J. Clifford, “The Exodus in the Christian Bible: The Case for ‘Figural’ Reading.” Theological Studies 63.2 (2002), 345-361.

8.G.I. Davies, “The Theology of Exodus.” in Search of True Wisdom: Essays in Old Testament Interpretation in Honour of Ronald E. Clements. (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1999),  137-152.

9.Terence E. Fretheim, Exodus, (Interpretation; Louisville: John Knox Press, 1991).

10.Terence E. Fretheim, “Suffering God and Sovereign God in Exodus.” Horizons in Biblical Theology 11 (1989), 31-56.

11.Terence E. Fretheim, “The Plagues as Ecological Signs of Historical Disaster.” Journal of Biblical Literature 110.3 (1991), 385-96.

12.John Goldingay, “‘That You May Know That Yahweh Is God’:  A Study in the Relationship between Theology and Historical Truth in the Old Testament.” Tyndale Bulletin 23 (1972), 58-93.

13.Donald Gowan, Theology in Exodus: Biblical Theology in the Form of a Commentary, (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1994).

14.Baruch Halpern, “Radical Exodus Redating Fatally Flawed.” Biblical Archaeology Review 13.6 (1987), 56-61.

15.Baruch Halpern, “The Exodus from Egypt: Myth and Reality.”  In The Rise of Ancient Israel. (Ed. H. Shanks. Washington D.C.: Biblical Archaeological Society, 1992), 86-117.

16.James K. Hoffmeier, Israel in Egypt:  The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition, (New York:  Oxford University Press, 1997).

17.Meredith G. Kline, “The Two Tables of the Covenant.” Westminster Theological Journal 22 (1960),133-146.

18.Tremper Longmann, How to Read Exodus, (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2009).

19.Patirck D. Miller, The Ten Commandments, (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2009).

20.R.W.L. Moberly, At the Mountain of God: Story and Theology in Exodus 32-34, (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1983).

21.J. Alec Motyer, The Message of Exodus, (Downers Grove: IVP, 2005).

22.Nahum Sarna, Exodus, (JPS Torch Commentary, 1995).

23.John Van Seters, “The Plagues of Egypt: Ancient Tradition or Literary Invention.” Zeitschrift fur dei alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 98 (1986): 31-39.

24.Gordon J. Wenham, “The Gap between Law and Ethics in the Bible.” Journal of Jewish Studies 48 (1997), 17-29.

25.Bryant G. Wood, “The Rise and Fall of the 13th Century Exodus-Conquest Theory,”  JETS 48.3, 475-489.

25 Key Resources for the Book of Genesis

I am staring a new series of posts.  Over time, I hope to provide a collection of “25 Key Resources” for each of the books of the Old Testament.  Here will be an eclectic collection of commentaries, books and articles.  Combined they could serve a starting place for research for those who desire to plunge deeper into the study of individual books of the Old Testament.  I do not claim to be exhaustive or original.  Not all interpretive traditions will always be equally represented.  This is a haphazard collection from one lover of Scriptures to another.  Feel free to comment and suggest texts that you might find especially helpful.

Here is the first installment…


1.Arnold, B.T.  Genesis.  The New Cambridge Bible Commentary; Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
2.Bimson, J.J.  “Archaeological Data and the Dating of the Patriarchs,” in  A.R. Millard & D.J. Wiseman, eds., Essays on the Patriarchal Narratives. Leicester: IVP, 1980.  59-92.
3.Brueggemann, W.  “David and His Theologian”, CBQ 30, 1968, 156-181
4.Brueggemann, W. Genesis. Int. Westminster John Knox, 1982.
5.Childs, B.S. “The Etiological Tale Re-Examined”, VT 24, 1974, 387-397
6.Clark, W.M. “The Flood Story and the Structure of the Pre-patriarchal History”, ZAW 83, 1971, 184-211
7.Clines, D.J.A.  “The Theology of the Flood Narrative,” Faith and Thought 100, 1972-1973, 128-142.
8.Coats, G.W. “The Joseph Story and Ancient Wisdom: A Reappraisal”, CBQ 35, 1973, 285-297.
9.Fishbane, M.  “Composition and Structure in the Jacob Cycle,” JJS 26, 1975, 15-38.
10.Fretheim, T.E.  Creation, Fall and Flood.  Studies in Genesis 1-11.  Augsburg, 1969.
11.Hamilton, V. The Book of Genesis.  NICOT.  2 vols. Eerdmans, 1990.
12.Kitchen, K.A. “The Patriarchal Age, Myth or History?” Biblical Archaeology Review 21.2 (1995): 48-57, 88-95.                                                                                                                                                                                 13.Longmann, T. How to Read Genesis.  IVP 2005.

14.Malamat, A. “King Lists of the Old Babylonian Period and Biblical genealogies”, JAOS 83 1968, 163-173.
15.Mazar, B.  “The Historical Background of the Book of Genesis,” JNES 28 1969, 73-83.
16.Moberly, R.W.L. The Theology of the Book of Genesis.  Cambridge University Press, 2009.
17.Sarna, N.M. Genesis. The Jewish Publication Society Torah Commentary. Jewish Publication Society, 1989.
18.Speiser, E.A.  “The Wife-Sister Motif in the Patriarchal Narratives,” Biblical and Other Studies, ed. A. Altmann, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1963, 15-28.
19.Thompson, P.E.S. “The Yahwist Creation Story”, VT 21 1971, 197-208
20.Waltke, B.K. Genesis: A Commentary.  Zondervan, 2001.
21.Walton J.H., “The Mesopotamian Background of the Tower of Babel Account and Its Implications,” Bulletin for Biblical Research 5, 1995, 155-175.
22.Walton, J.H.  The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmologies and the Origins Debate.  Inter-Varsity Press, 2009.
23.Wenham, G.  “Original Sin in Genesis 1-11”, Churchman 104 1990, 309-321
24.Wenham, G.. Genesis WBC. 2 vols. Word, 1987-1994.
25.Westermann, C. Genesis. 3 vols. Augsburg, 1984-86.

Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash

Posted in Ancient Near East, Books Worth Reading by Bacho on February 5, 2011

The Talmud is a body of Jewish law and lore accumulated over a period of seven centuries 200 BC to 500 AD, both in Israel and Babylon. The word Talmud derives from Hebrew root  l-m- d which means “to study” or “teach”. The Talmud is comprised of Mishnah and Gemara.  Mishnah is the oldest collection of Jewish oral law, as rabbis deliberated and interpreted the law found in the Tanakh [Hebrew Scripture that Christians refer to as the Old Testament].  In essence it was an attempt to supplement the written laws in the Tanakh.  Mishnah was compiled by a series of scholars over two centuries and was given final form in the 3rd century AD by rabbi Judah ha-Nasi [ יהודה הנשיא].  Gemara means “completion,” from the Hebrew gamar גמר: “to complete” or “learning”-from the Aramaic “to study”. It is a discussion of the Mishnah and related writings that often ventures onto other subjects and expounds broadly on the Tanakh.  Gemara emerged as a result of In the rabbinic discussion of the Mishnah.   For three centuries following the emergence of the Mishnah, rabbis throughout Palestine and Babylonia analyzed, debated, and discussed that work.  Around 500 AD the majority of this discussion was put together and printed.  The word “Gemara” is also used for the Talmud in its entirety.

There are two Talmuds: The Jerusalem Talmud (Talmud Yerushalmi) and the Babylonian Talmud (Talmud Bavli). For many centuries the Jerusalem Talmud, though older, was largely neglected and the term “Talmud” came to be applied exclusively to the Babylonian Talmud.

I am looking for a good introduction to the Talmud.  A basic text that would be a first port of call for anyone interested in the Jewish oral law and the rabbinic literature.

What I have in my library is H.L. Strack’s Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash. A recent review of this book in The Jewish Quarterly Review claims that “there is no other book similar in scope and value.”  Is this true?  Is this indeed the best intro?  Any other suggestions?

God, idolatry, and the essence of faith according to the Decalogue

“Then God spoke all these words: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.  You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.  You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.  You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.”  [Exodus 20:1-7]

No other god before me is not a matter of philosophical orthodoxy, but a matter of practical loyalty.”  [Christopher Wright, Deuteronomy, 69.]

“What is God?  Answer: A god is that which we look for all good and in which we find refuge in very time of need.  To have a god is nothing else than to trust and believe him with our whole heart.  As I have often said, the trust and faith of the heart alone make both God and idol.”  [Martin Luther, Large Catechism, 366]

“What other gods could we have besides the Lord? Plenty. For Israel there were the Canaanite Baals, those jolly nature gods whose worship was a rampage of gluttony, drunkenness, and ritual prostitution. For us there are still the great gods Sex, Shekels, and Stomach (an unholy trinity constituting one god: self), and the other enslaving trio, Pleasure, Possessions, and Position, whose worship is described as “The lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16). Football, the Firm, and Family are also gods for some. Indeed the list of other gods is endless, for anything that anyone allows to run his life becomes his god and the claimants for this prerogative are legion. In the matter of life’s basic loyalty, temptation is a many-headed monster.”  [J.I. Packer, Your Father Loves You, 36]

“All idols started out life as the god somebody wanted…Left to myself, the god I want is a god who will give me what I want.  He will boost my sense of being…The net result is that I become god; and this god I have made becomes my puppet.  Nobody falls down on their face before the god they wanted.  Nobody trembles at the word of a home-made god.  Nobody goes out with fire in their belly to heal the sick, to clothe the naked, to teach the ignorant, to feed the hungry, because of the god they wanted.  They are more likely to stay at home with their feet up.”  [N.T. Wright, For All God’s Glory, 24]

”Idolatry is more than simply giving homage to finite realities.  It consists in the denial of the true God though failure to trust the only One who may be trusted.  Idolatry is the assumption that salvation can come elsewhere than from God.  Prayer is the protest against idolatry.  In prayer, we give the Creator what is due, acknowledging the joyful surprise that we exist.  Moreover, in prayer, we claim our existence as gift, grace.  The Decalogue is God’s gift to Israel continually to teach Israel how to live, not by wits, but through gift.”  [Hauerwas and Willimon, The Truth About God, 35]

“This prohibition [You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the LORD your God] is basically concerned with the divine reputation.  That is, it is designed to protect the divine name from being used in any way that brings God or God’s purposes for the world into disrepute.  It assumes the close relationship between name and renown”  [Terrence Fretheim, Exodus, 227]

Books Worth Reading

Posted in Books Worth Reading by Bacho on September 11, 2010

I have been uploading here some posts from my old blog.  Trying to consolidate two blogs into one.  In the process of reading one of my posts I came up with an idea.  I love books.  I like to find good bargain books and buy them.  I like to read them.  I like to talk about them.  So i thought about starting a new post series “Books worth reading.”  I will try to highlight books that have proven worth reading to me.  So maybe others can chime in along the way to round out my collection.

1. One book that you would give to a non-believer today: Mere Discipleship by Lee Camp

2. One book that you’ve read more than once: Wisdom of Each Other by Eugene Peterson

3. One book that shaped your ministry grid: Under the Unpredictable Plant by Eugene Peterson

4. One book that made you think hard: Our idea of God by Thomas Morris

5. One book that made you cry: The Night by Elie Weisel

6. One book that you are glad you read recently: The Second Naiveté: Barth, Ricoeur, and the New Yale Theology by Mark Wallace.

7. One book that you wish had never been written: The Last Temptation of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis

8. One book you’re currently reading: Shantung Compound by Langdon Gilkey

9. One book you’ve will read soon: The Cost of Moral Leadership: The Spirituality of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Geoffrey B. Kelly and F. Burton Nelson

10. One book you are waiting for Amazon to deliver: ICC Commentary Isaiah 1-5 by H.G.M. Williamson