Today, we are releasing four new biblical studies titles from Eerdmans Publishing. These books cover diverse subjects such as culture, literature, interpretation, and missional mandate.
In many circles, the late Dr. John J. Pilch’s name was synonymous with understanding the culture of the Ancient Near East. Published in 2012, Cultural Handbook to the Bible is the culmination of a lifetime of research and a permanent legacy of teaching content from a favorite instructor. In an age when multiple books tell us to look at the biblical world through Middle Eastern eyes rather than through Western lenses and 2000 years of history, Pilch had been teaching these concepts for decades.
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Pilch’s Cultural Handbook of the Bible is topical arrangement of his “A Window into the Biblical World” column in The Bible Today from 1998 to 2006. This book is a fascinating exploration of subjects from the ancient understanding of the cosmos (heaven, earth, and hell) to biblical ideals for the family structure among many other topics. Pilch even has a section titled “Entertainment” that covers a number of subjects including “good” films that illustrate biblical themes and sports in the ancient world.
Cultural Handbook to the Bible
Regular Price $25.90
Holmes Professor of Old Testament Criticism & Interpretation at Yale Divinity School, John J. Collins has collected 19 of his essays on apocalyptic and pseudegraphic literature written in the last 15 years, two of which had not been published before. The essays are divided into five sections:
Apocalypse and Prophecy
Variations on the Apocalyptic Genre
Themes in Jewish Apocalyptic Literature
Pseudepigraphy (illustrated in three examples)
Ethics & Politics
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With the incredible diversity of ancient apocalyptic texts, this volume by Collins is a welcome contribution to understanding these works that still defy easy definition and categorization.
Apocalypse, Prophecy & Pseudepigraphy: On Jewish Apocalyptic Literature
Regular Price $33.90
It has been said that we discard the wisdom of those who came before us at our own peril. In the last two centuries, historical-critical method, as it developed, became the standard way to interpret the Bible in most modern Bible colleges and seminaries. If historical-critical method allows us to arrive at “objective facts” about the Bible, it doesn’t always give us anything from Scripture that can nourish our soul.
Ephraim Radner, Professor of Historical Theology at Wycliffe College in Toronto, Canada, suggest that we reconsider “figurative/figural” reading of the Bible (sometime called in its various forms “spiritual” readings or even “allegorical” readings) as a means for discovering overarching themes in the biblical writings that transcend the individual writings themselves. These were the methods of the early church and even Jewish thinkers before them.
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Before exploring this approach to the Bible, Radner presents a fascinating account of the method’s (if one can call it a method) rise back into prominence in recent years. Radner’s own personal engagement with the shifting thought of Brevard Childs on the subject is described all the way to examining recent theological understandings proposed by N. T. Wright.
Time and the Word: Figural Reading of the Christian Scriptures
Regular Price $49.90
In the preface Michael W. Goheen, Director of theological education at Missional Training Center in Phoenix, Arizona, writes that the word missional is “a kind of biblical interpretation that views the participation of God’s people in his redemptive mission as a central theme in Scripture, a reminder of the true nature of the church as it exists for the sake of the world and of the kind of theology needed to equip the church for its vocation.”
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The essays in this volume originated from “A Missional Reading of Scripture” conference hosted by Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in November 2013. Collected here are the addresses by Goheen and an impressive list of contributors such as N. T. Wright, Joel B. Green, Richard Bauckham, and others. As biblical studies often (even if unintentionally) neglect the mandates in Scripture for the People of God to change the world, this volume is a significant exploration into the thoroughgoing missional aspects of the Bible.
Reading the Bible Missionally
Regular Price $34.90