Some Recent New Books

I have recently acquired some just-published commentaries. Leithart on Kings, Williamson on Isaiah 1-5, Davids on 2 Peter-Jude, Lincoln on John, and Klein on 1 Chronicles.

Leithart disappoints me the most, though I have not read the work itself. Bibliographically, it is strangely lacking. He shows no knowledge of Cogan/Tadmor in the Anchor Bible, Devries in WBC, Montgomery/Gehman in ICC, Fritz in CC, Long in FOTL, House in NAC, Seow in NIB, Ellsworth in Welwyn, and does not even quote Gray (OTL) once, though he is listed in the bibliography. These are some of the regular standards in the literature. Now, if there were a massive number of commentaries available on Kings (such as is available on Romans or John), this might be excusable. One cannot read everything. However, Kings is notoriously lacking in solid exegetical material. One needs to make use of everything that is available. He listed some of the weaknesses of the commentary on pp. 13-14, but neglected to mention the bibliographical weaknesses. I still hope to derive profit from this work, but that is a lot of holes. I was also hoping for something a bit lengthier. 304 pages, including the indices, is not a very long commentary, when one considers that he is taking in both 1 and 2 Kings.

Bibliographically better is Davids on 2 Peter/Jude. Much better. He seems to have read everything of importance. Unfortunately, he comes down agnostic on the issue of the authorship of 2 Peter. He gives too much to Bauckham when he says that Bauckham’s position on authorship (that it is a pseudonymous author) is fully compatible with orthodoxy on Scripture. The letter claims to be from Peter. It’s one thing if the writing is anonymous (like Hebrews is, technically). It is quite something else when the letter claims authorship for itself. The early church made a habit of rejecting letters that were not from whom the letter purported to be from. So, the early church was not ignorant of forgeries. The liberals have never been able to answer this problem. I’m sure that Davids’s commentary is excellent is most other ways. It is quite long (348 pages, including indices) for just two short epistles. There will be much meat there, I’m sure.

Williamson on Isaiah looks to be a very interesting, meaty commentary. He produced an excellent commentary on Ezra-Nehemiah in the WBC, and has now produced this one in the ICC.

Lincoln on John also looks to be helpful. It is a much longer commentary than most of the commentaries in that series tend to be (584 pages, including indices). Plus, he is not nearly as liberal as Bultmann or Brown. He seems to have read everything of importance, as well (not easy, when commenting on John!).

Klein is quite an expert on Chronicles and that history, though he is a bit liberal. Nevertheless, this looks to be a full treatment in the venerable Hermeneia tradition.  

The Trinity in Ephesians 1

For Robert Letham, Ephesians gets a lot of attention (he has an entire excursus on the Trinity in Ephesians).

I merely wish to point out the Trinity as we find it in Ephesians 1:3-14, specifically

The passage can be divided into three parts, one for each of the Trinity. Textually, the divides occur after vs. 6a and after vs. 12. The dividing mark is the phrase “to the praise of his glorious grace” (εἰς ἔπαινον δόξης τῆς χάριτος αὐτοῦ). This marks the end of each section (vv. 4-6a, 6b-12, 13-14). Notice that all the benefits that we have come “in Christ Jesus,” or some such variant.

The point, though, is to see just how thoroughly Trinitarian Paul is at this juncture. The blessings that we have all come from the Trinity. Ephesians 1 ought to prove just how practical this doctrine of the Trinity is: all the saving benefits that come our way come to us by way of the Trinity. From the Father we receive every spiritual blessing (ἐν πάσῃ εὐλογίᾳ πνευματικῇ), predestination not only to salvation, but also to holiness and blamelessness (ἐξελέξατο…προορίσας), and adoption (υἱοθεσίαν).

From the Son, we have received redemption (ἀπολύτρωσιν), forgiveness (τὴν ἄφεσιν τῶν παραπτωμάτων), revelation (γνωρίσας ἡμῖν τὸ μυστήριον τοῦ θελήματος αὐτοῦ), and an inheritance (εἰς οἰκονομίαν).

From the Holy Spirit, we have received the seal of the promised Holy Spirit (πιστεύσαντες ἐσφραγίσθητε τῷ πνεύματι τῆς ἐπαγγελίας τῷ  ἁγίῳ), the guarantee of our inheritance. This is a “holy conspiracy” for our salvation. Let anyone who thinks the doctrine of the Trinity irrelevant, arid, scholarly, or impractical beware: he is spitting on the Scripture.

Critique of Poythress’s new book on science

Here is a very interesting critique of Vern Poythress’s new book on science.

On Perseverance and Revelation 22:19

Great post on perseverance and Revelation 22:19 over here.