Stunning video of a river flooding a dry riverbed

This is a stunning video of huge rainfall in the hill refilling the River Zin in the Negeb. The villagers are gathered to watch this amazing event. This illuminates Isaiah 44:3 ‘I will pour out water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground’ or Psalm 126:4 ‘Restore our fortunes, O YHWH, like the watercourses in the Negeb’—verses that make sense in the context of Israel/Palestine in a way that they rarely (although occasionally) do for a westerner like me. 2 minutes 45 Continue reading →

Useful review of Schnabel’s commentary on Acts

    Here’s a very useful review of Eckhard Schnabel’s commentary on Acts in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the NT series. I’m enjoying engaging with this commentary, both for the careful analysis of and comment on the Greek text, and for Schnabel’s evident concern for what it means to read Acts today. It’s thus helpful to have this careful and clear review by Daniel L. Smith of St Louis University—he does what good reviewers do: after setting the context of the book, he spends Continue reading →

Learning and church structures: a stimulating book by Claire S. Smith

This book addresses a really important topic, the ‘learning’ nature of the Pauline communities (especially in Corinth, Ephesus and Crete)—although the title is technical rather than inviting—and it’s stimulated me to write about a particular point arising from it. In general, I’ve enjoyed reading Claire Smith’s book and a full review (I wrote almost 2500 words) will appear on the excellent Review of Biblical Literature in due course (I’ll post here when the time comes). The particular point that I want to note here is Continue reading →

Judy Redman on the parable of the wheat and weeds (tares)

Here’s a great piece by Judy Redman from her blog about the parable of the wheat and weeds (tares) in Matthew 13:24-30—well worth reading. I’m particularly struck by the way she uses her training in agriculture to inform her reading of this parable and to show how much sense it makes in the first century, where agricultural practices were different to day. I love the fact that there was a law against people spreading darnel seed among wheat seed, which suggests that Jesus’ scenario in Continue reading →

A very helpful resource for reading the Greek New Testament

Michael H. Burer & Jeffrey E. Miller, A New Reader’s Lexicon of the Greek New Testament, Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2008; ISBN 978-0825420092; £23.99 (list price). I’m a bit behind in discovering this book, but now that I have, I recommend it warmly to friends who have learned Greek in the past and are puzzling over ‘keeping it up’. The New Reader’s Lexicon gives you the meanings of Greek words found less than 50 times in the New Testament, verse by verse through the whole NT. There are just over 300 Greek Continue reading →