Mark the Action Movie

And immediately! Mark’s Gospel has earned a reputation as the fast-moving, action-oriented Gospel out of the four. It is shorter than the other two Synoptic Gospels and John (cool chart on NT book length here). At times Mark’s urgency in his narrative accounts feels like an action movie. He frequently uses the Greek  εὐθὺς (“at … Continue reading Mark the Action Movie

Would Mark’s Jesus have us handle snakes and drink poison? (part 1 of 2) (BibleWorks 9 review, continued)

Many believe that Mark’s Gospel ends rather abruptly at 16:8 (“for they were afraid”), but others have found it difficult to think of a Gospel ending with Jesus’ followers’ being afraid to say anything to anyone about the resurrection. So there is the so-called shorter (add-on) ending of Mark, which adds to the above, “…the … Continue reading Would Mark’s Jesus have us handle snakes and drink poison? (part 1 of 2) (BibleWorks 9 review, continued)

Seven Events that Shaped the New Testament World, reviewed

What was the world–or, better, what were the worlds–in which early Christians lived? Seven Events that Shaped the New Testament World answers that question by highlighting seven key “events” in the seven or so centuries surrounding Jesus. Here, from the table of contents, is what the book covers: 1. The Death of Alexander the Great … Continue reading Seven Events that Shaped the New Testament World, reviewed

Restoration in the Wilderness

I heard a good joke today. Good by my standards, anyway, which not all who know my humor will wholly trust. Question: “What do John the Baptist and Kermit the Frog have in common?” Answer: “Well, besides their affinity for water, they both share a middle name of the.” That made me think again about my … Continue reading Restoration in the Wilderness

frameworks (How to Navigate the New Testament): a review

Why the book frameworks? Author Eric Larson says, frameworks, quite simply, is a book about Bible navigation and context, material that’s designed to build your confidence in your ability to negotiate the text and understand it. Think of it as a guidebook, a Bible companion, written for anyone who would like to have a personal biblical … Continue reading frameworks (How to Navigate the New Testament): a review

Septuagint Sunday: I Heart Maccabees

I’d give away half a bookshelf worth of books to see Mark Wahlberg or Matt Damon star in a film adaptation of 1 Maccabees. Judas Maccabeus (“Hammer” will be his nom de film) and his Hasmonean family drive out imperial powers and call the Jewish people back to faithful observance of the Torah. They do … Continue reading Septuagint Sunday: I Heart Maccabees

Restoration in the Wilderness

From the wilderness comes restoration. The wilderness for Israel was all too often a place of dissension and lack of trust in God’s promises. Exodus 17:7 says, “Moses called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, on account of the quarreling of the children of Israel, and on account of their testing Yahweh, which … Continue reading Restoration in the Wilderness