Identifying Repeated Terms in Biblical Narratives

The authors of the Old Testament used word repetition to emphasize key points in their writings, but this literary device is not always accessible to English readers.

In this video, Todd Bishop will show you an example of word repetition in a familiar Old Testament story, and then demonstrate how you can identify occurrences of this literary feature using the Word List tool in Logos 5. This tool enables you to build a list of words from a particular text or book of the Bible, and then sort your list according to frequency, making it easy to identify repeated terms. Logos even allows you to transform your word list into easy-to-memorize flash cards.

The word list tool comes standard with all Logos 5 base packages. As an added bonus, Logos has just released a free Greek and Hebrew Flashcards app, which allows you to stay on top of your vocabulary, even on the go. You can now generate a word list on your desktop and make that list available in the flashcards app.

With Logos 5 you’ll enjoy all-new features, such as Word Lists, Flashcards, and more. Get your custom upgrade price, and study with the most powerful tools.

An Interview with Doug Moo plus our Galatians Commentary Sale

When it comes to the works of the Pauline corpus, no book has been more central in recent controversies in Pauline scholarship than the book of Galatians. We have placed a handful of Galatians commentaries on sale for a very limited time. Grab the commentaries you don’t already have today at a great price—deals end Thursday!

In this letter Paul chastises the Galatian church for submitting themselves to false teachers that have set themselves up against the gospel of grace. Traditionally, theologians writing in the wake of the Reformation have believed that Paul is writing against those who base their righteousness upon their works rather than the free grace found in Christ. However, since the 1970s, some scholars have stood upon the shoulders of E.P. Sanders, whose in depth study of Second Temple Judaism sought to prove that Paul’s critique was against the boundary markers of circumcision and dietary laws and not against doing good works per se.

One of the scholars seeking to better understand these critical issues surrounding Paul’s letter to the Galatians is the NT scholar Douglas Moo, the Kenneth T. Wessner Chair of Biblical Studies at Wheaton College and Chair of the Committee on Bible Translation for the New International Version (NIV). His recently released commentary on Galatians in the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament is the fruit of his efforts to understand the crisis in Galatia and its implication for Paul’s thought on a variety of subjects, such as justification, the role of works, and the New Perspective on Paul. I had the opportunity to ask Dr. Moo a few questions regarding the book of Galatians, his thoughts on exegetical method, and what surprised him most about studying Galatians.

What would we be missing if the book of Galatians had never been written?

Much of the teaching of Galatians has parallels elsewhere in the letters of Paul–especially, of course, in Romans. But no other biblical book so clearly and passionately teaches the absolute centrality of Christ and his cross. Because Paul writes to believers about whom he has deep concern, he writes with “no holds barred.” The decision between Christ and his cross, on the one hand, and any other “religion” or way of seeking to relate to God is crystal clear. Controversially, Paul even goes so far as to set Judaism, with its OT roots, in contrast to the cross. Of course, he is equally clear about the way in which God himself has used the law and the OT period to prepare for the era of the Messiah. But in his effort to oppose the false teachers who are in danger of leading the Galatians astray, he bluntly argues that the system of the law is outmoded now that Christ has come: a choice has to be made.

Which do you consider to be the most influential commentaries on Galatians, and how did they influence your work?

While I would not want to minimize the contribution of the very early expositors of Galatians in the patristic period (Chrysostom is especially insightful), I would single out Luther, J. B. Lightfoot, and J. Louis Martyn as the three commentaries that contributed especially to my own work. In Luther’s exposition of the letter (he actually wrote two of them), we are brought to the very fountainhead of the Reformation, with its particular theological emphases. As a child of the Reformation myself, I am deeply influenced by the critical concern with “faith alone,” “grace alone,” and “Christ alone” that pervades Luther’s work. Lightfoot wrote at the height of the great golden era of careful historically based exegesis (the late 1800s). His concern to root the message of Galatians in its particular historical context continues to shape the way we read the letter. And his exposition is a model of concise penetrating comment on the Greek text. The modern era has seen a flood of excellent commentaries on Galatians: e.g., Mussner, Bruce, Longenecker, deBoer, Schreiner. But I single out Martyn’s commentary because of its very distinctive and thorough-going attempt to read Galatians from a particular theological angle. I think his “apocalyptic” reading is finally overdone, setting up barriers in the continuity of salvation history that create canonical problems. But his bold and fresh approach forces one to think about the text in a new way–even if one ends up disagreeing.

What have you you learned while working on your Galatians commentary that surprised you?

When I wrote a major commentary on Romans in the 1990s, I of course had to deal with the letter’s teaching on justification. I concluded that Paul in Romans presented justification as a “definitive” act associated with our initial coming to Christ. One was “justified” at the point of conversion, and then ultimately “saved” at the coming of Christ (e.g., Rom. 5:9). Shortly after I began work on Galatians, I decided to write a paper on the critical passage 5:5–6. Not long after I began this work, it became clear to me that Paul was here speaking of “righteousness” (“justification” by another name) as a future gift for the believer. This future focus on justification I then found elsewhere in the letter (of course, alongside an emphasis on the present experience of righteousness). A key doctrinal matter that I had thought rather neatly “solved” in my work on Romans now became a bit more complicated. In my Galatians commentary, I have taken a stab at integrating these present and future aspects of justification, but I am continuing to think about the matter and to seek better ways of expressing the doctrine.

Can you provide us with some right practices for interpreting the Epistle to the Galatians? In other words, what was your method for interpreting passages from Galatians while researching for your commentary?

There is no “one way” to do good biblical exegesis; and I would certainly not want my own approach to be held up as a model for everyone. But, unlike many of my colleagues, who do their own detailed work in the text first before turning to the scholarly literature, I like to save my detailed textual work for the last step. After familiarizing myself with the text, I immerse myself in the literature, taking copious notes. With all that mass of opinion in view, then, I turn back to the text, testing these various approaches against the text itself. I find it useful to have in my mind, as the last thing I do before I write, the text itself.

Another consideration especially important in interpreting and drawing theological conclusions from Galatians is to keep in view its occasional nature. Paul speaks very strongly about the law in this letter, and one could get the impression that he is rather consistently “anti-law.” Of course, Galatians must have its say, and what Paul says about the law is important. But the contested issues in Galatians force Paul to take an “unbalanced” approach, stressing the negative side of the law in order to correct an imbalance the other way. Our view of Paul’s teaching about the law must ultimately rest on a much broader interaction with Paul’s teaching on this matter.

Announcing our Galatians Commentary Sale

For a limited time we are placing many of our Galatians commentary on sale. This means that you can get 50 commentaries on Galatians at a great price! These deals won’t stick around forever. After Wednesday, these items are taken off sale and go back to retail price.

Check out our Galatians commentary sale today!

July Monthly Sale: Grammars, Patristics, Calvin, and More

This month, we have some special resources on sale, letting you take advantage of low prices on items that can help you in your studies. Whether it’s church history or New Testament studies, we are offering big discounts on the items you need to build your academic library. Here are just a few of the books included in our July Monthly Sale:

Institutes of the Christian Religion

Regularly $69.95get it for $54.95

Calvin is rightly known as the greatest theologian that the Protestant Reformation produced. His commentaries are still referenced by other biblical commentators and the Institutes of Christian Religion, his magnum opus, is considered one of the top systematic theologies ever written. Divided up into four books, Calvin moves logically through the different loci of Christian theology, beginning with the knowledge of God as creator and moving through the doctrine of God the redeemer, His work in salvation, and the role and function of the church. Although he does not comment on this theme as often as his critics claim that he does, Calvin’s focus on the sovereignty of God influenced generations of Reformed theologians who came after him. The importance of this work for understanding Christian history cannot be overstated.

Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (29 vols.)

Regularly $308.00get it for $231.00

Recently, there has been a resurgence of what has been called the Theological Interpretation of Scripture. This means reading texts primarily for their theological insights, taking into account their historical context but not letting it dominate its meaning for us. Interpreters have gone ad fontes, back to the sources of Christian theology in the early church fathers to elucidate the meaning of the Old and New Testament scriptures. This commentary set, edited by the renowned Patristics scholar Thomas Oden, offers the best of Old and New Testament interpretation by the church fathers. Some of the patristic commentary in these volumes have been translated for the first time, letting you peer into the exegetical thought world of the church’s greatest thinkers. With Logos, these commentaries integrate with the rest of your library, allowing you to study the texts of scripture with the insights of the earliest biblical interpreters.

A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew, rev. ed.

Regularly $74.95get it for $54.95

Paul Joüon’s complete Hebrew grammar has been masterfully translated and revised by Hebrew scholar Takamitsu Muraoka. This advanced grammar provides detailed information regarding each level of Hebrew grammar, including phonology, morphology, and syntax. Although most introductory grammars are laid out according to pedagogical needs, Joüon/Muraoka’s grammar is meant to be used as a reference for those working with the original text of the Old Testament. Whether it be questions concerning accents or defective verbs, this grammar will help you to better understand the Hebrew Bible. In the Logos Software, this grammar appears alongside your other Hebrew grammars to quickly and efficiently help you understand whatever Old Testament text you are studying, putting the grammars to work for you.

These deals won’t be around forever!

There are plenty of deals to take advantage of this month, but as with all things good, they won’t last long. Make sure to pick up these items at the best prices. Get all three today.

First, Evangelical Theology—Now Introducing Evangelical Greek!

Earlier you heard from Michael F. Bird on Evangelical Theology. Now learn about “Evangelical Greek.”

To really brush up on your Greek, check out these resources from Con Campbell and Logos. And don’t forget to grab the fantastic Evangelical Theology by Michael F. Bird at a great discount with coupon code BIRD14. Get it today!

An Interview with Michael F. Bird on Evangelical Theology

Last year, Dr. Michael Bird released an exciting new volume, Evangelical Theology. Using the gospel as the impetus for his framework, he takes a unique approach to theology—an approach that has garnered high praise since the book’s fall release. Dr. Bird was kind enough to answer a few questions regarding his work.

For a limited time get $8.00 off Evangelical Theology with coupon code BIRD14, and let us know what you think of the book!

What responses have you received to Evangelical Theology?

For the most part very positive. People have liked an approach to theology that makes the gospel the beginning, center, and integrating theme. It resonates with the evangelical ethos and missional direction of many churches. People have also liked the decision to turn the gospel into an interpretive lens through which the various loci of theology are understood. Even in places where there has been criticism, some reviewers have acknowledged the validity of the approach, though they are critical on points of its precise execution.

For those who have not yet read your book, why should they read it?

There are a lot of good theology books out there, and there are several good ones to choose from (e.g., Erickson, Horton, Bray, Grudem, Migliore, etc.). What makes my Evangelical Theology distinct is that it is the attempt—however successful—to develop a consistently evangelical theology where the evangel, the good news about Jesus Christ, really drives the structure, content, method, and approach of theology. I also have this idea that theology is about “gospelizing,” whereby the goal of theology is to conform us to the shape and power of the gospel. When you magnetize a piece of metal it becomes magnetic. When you sterilize a surgical tool it becomes sterile. So when you are gospelized you begin to express and experience the grace of the gospel in your life, work, preaching, ministry, and prayer, so that you ooze gospel as a person. I want to see people gospelized.

Evangelical Theology takes a different layout than the typical 10-doctrine format. Can you explain why you chose to go that route?

I do a few things a little differently. I don’t start with the doctrine of Scripture. Rather, I start by defining the gospel, what it is and why it matters. Thereafter I do the doctrine of the “God of the gospel” with special reference to the self-revelation of the God who is Trinity. Next—and this weirds people out a bit—I do the “gospel of the kingdom” and launch into eschatology. Eschatology is not an epilogue at the end of a theology; rather, eschatology pervades our theology at every point: church, ethics, work of Christ, doctrine of God—these all must be understood in light of God’s invasive act to reconcile the world through Jesus, its now and not yet moment. So that has caused a few folks to go, “hmm” or “hmpf.”

In the section titled “Marks of the Church” you structure your thoughts according to the Nicene Creed. How do you see the traditional creeds impacting Modern Christianity? Do you feel Evangelical Protestants are abnormally opposed to a creedal model when compared to the broader international church?

I think our churches need to see themselves as part of a broader tradition that is “catholic.” Sadly, Evangelical Protestants have defined themselves over and against Roman Catholicism. So you sometimes get the impression that the Roman Catholic church was never a church and that everything Roman Catholic is bad. However, the Reformation was about reforming the Roman Catholic church to bring it back to its apostolic roots. It was not a denial of the apostolic roots of the Roman Catholic church, nor was it attempting to create a religious group that was only vaguely related to the past. I think a great source of renewal for evangelical churches will come about by developing what folks are calling a Reformational Catholicism. By “Reformational Catholicism” I mean holding to the main tenets of the Reformation, but also recapturing those things of our “catholic” heritage that we’ve neglected, like the Trinity, the importance of the physical presence of the church, the wisdom of the church fathers, creeds as summarizing biblical faith, the Lord’s Supper and Baptism as a means of grace, and the like.

How do you envision your book being used as a textbook in seminaries and bible colleges?

It’s my sincere hope that Evangelical Theology will prove to be useful to teachers and students as a way—though not the only way—of enabling people to have an evangelical faith seeking missional understanding. I hope that this book contributes to the spiritual formation, ministerial development, and theological maturity of as many as use it.

Discover a new and exciting perspective on theology. Get Bird’s Evangelical Theology and save $8.00 off the regular price with coupon code BIRD14. Get your copy today.

Happy Birthday Hans Joachim Iwand

Hans Joachim Iwand was born this day, 1899, in Pisary, Poland. He became a remarkably influential theologian in the Lutheran tradition, though unfortunately few recognize his legacy today. Activly teaching during the Nazi regime, he was issued a Reichsredeverbot (gag order) in 1936 for his bold teaching and illegal training of pastors and theologians in Germany. After World War II, while serving as a professor at Göttingen and Bonn, he was tirelessly active in socio-political and ecclesiastical matters.

Contemporaries such as Karl Barth greatly influenced his theology, and he—like Luther—fervently believed and relied on the Reformed tenets Sola Fide and Sola Gratia, preaching a robust and active justification that relies solely on God’s work.

For the whole month of July, a recent translation of his Glaubensgerechtigkeit nach Luthers Lehre—or The Righteousness of Faith according to Luther—is completely free in Logos. Add this important volume to your library today, and don’t forget to pick up Brett Muhlhan’s Being Shaped by Freedom for only 99 cents. Get them both today!

Here’s an excerpt from the editor’s preface:

At the request of his friends to “explain the fundamentals of Luther’s theology in the most condensed form possible,” Iwand sets forth in accessible and compelling language the doctrine of justification by faith, which lies at the heart of Luther’s theological revolution and which propels the evangelical explosion of the sixteenth century into the heart and imagination of Christian preachers today. As Gregory Walter notes in his introduction, Iwand’s essay is organized around two concepts—promise and simultaneity—both of which are crucial to understanding the doctrine of justification as Luther set it forth. The language of promise presents justification to the believer as a reality that has yet to arrive or is hidden under present reality. The language of simultaneity provides the linguistic means to admit the “both/and” which is so crucial to acknowledging the realities that confront theological reflection, such as, for example, 1) the Word of God as both law and gospel, 2) the believer as both sinner and saint.

If these concepts seem commonplace among students of Luther’s theology today it is only a measure of Iwand’s influence in shaping contemporary appreciation of Luther’s contribution to Christian theology. Of course the danger of common place is that it can quickly become passé. We may be tempted to imagine that we have passed beyond the fundamentals to other more important matters. And there is no denying that for many, the existential and ecumenical realities of today constitute a situation for which the doctrine of justification is no longer relevant. But if that should be the case, then our situation, ironically, appears much the same as the situation which Iwand was addressing in 1941. In his words, “It could be … [that the traditional hold of justification] … on our inherited confession is weakening and we must ask again about what constitutes the basis for our confessional understanding. It could also be that we find ourselves in a time in which it is not very easy to support a division of the church on the basis of a confession … and that we ought to ponder once again the possibility of unity, since the confessional differences of the past do not appear to be as strong as they once were.” Iwand faces head on the questions and objections of his day: “Do we think that Luther has exaggerated this article … attributed too little to Christian piety and lifestyle … sacrificed the unity of the church by insistence on the centrality of the article. Or do we imagine that the article may be taken for granted so that we may move on to the more pressing social and political agenda of the real world?” Such questions and objections have a contemporary ring to them. But if there is a resonance between the present time and the time when Iwand’s study was first published, it can only mean now what it meant then. The questions and objections must be faced head on.

Add The Righteousness of Faith According to Luther to your library free today!

Dr. Bryan Chapell—Christ-Centered Preaching

In this week’s podcast, Johnny Cisneros talks to Dr. Bryan Chapell, senior pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria, Illinois, and president emeritus at Covenant Theological Seminary. Topics include Christ-centered preaching, redeeming the expository sermon, and preaching through prophecy in the Old Testament.

What is Mobile Ed?

Logos Mobile Education is different from any other form of education—it is created to work seamlessly with your Logos software to equip you with the biblical and theological training you need to further your ministry. Lecture videos and their enriched transcripts can live side-by-side on your PC as you read along, or you can watch the videos on your mobile device wherever you are. Courses cover a wide variety of topics, with more being filmed every week.

Get started—enhance your learning with Mobile Ed.

Learn more:

75% Off Boice’s Expositional Commentaries (27 vols.)

During the month of July, you can take 75% off the 27 volumes of Boice’s Expositional Commentaries with coupon code BOICE2014. You’ll find this series to be invaluable in your devotional study and in your sermon preparation. But don’t just take our word for it—see what others are saying:

I praise God for the extraordinary ministry of James Montgomery Boice—a compelling preacher, a profound theologian, and a champion for the truth of God’s Word. Through his pastorate at Philadelphia’s Tenth Presbyterian Church and through teaching at many schools and churches around the world, Dr. Boice’s ministry served as a model for many other ministers of the gospel. His expository commentaries are an enduring treasure for the church, with clear explanations of the biblical text and practical applications for healthy Christian discipleship.
—Philip Ryken

Boice’s commentaries contain no pyrotechnics and no clever rhetorical flourishes, simply good, solid exposition and sound application. For myself, I have found his work on the Psalms especially to be extraordinarily helpful.
—Carl Trueman

Dr. Boice’s commentary series is a treasure for the church and for her pastors. No expository preacher can afford to be without it.
—R.C. Sproul

Use coupon code BOICE2014 to grab this collection for only $99.95. The regular price is $399.95, so don’t miss this chance to save hundreds on a timeless collection!

Add it to your library today.

An Interview with Abner Chou on Lamentations

Dr. Abner ChouWith the publication of Lamentations, the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary continues to be on the cutting edge of scholarship. I recently had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Abner Chou, who is not only the author of the volume on Lamentations but also one of my good friends. Dr. Chou is Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at The Master’s College and Seminary. He has been involved in research for commentaries, books, and journal articles, and he has contributed papers to the Evangelical Theological Society. Abner is also a member of both the Evangelical Theological Society and the Society of Biblical Literature.

Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, Abner. Before we get into specifics, can you tell our readers a little about yourself? Where do you teach, where were you educated, etc.?

I currently teach at the Master’s College in the biblical studies department. TMC is in California, but I did not grow up on the west coast. I grew up in the Midwest around St. Louis, Missouri. I was raised in a Christian home, went to AWANA, and did all of the typical church activities. In junior high and high school I was really convicted to examine and study the Word. Upon doing so, I realized that although previously I had thought the Bible to be shallow and boring, it really was sophisticated and profound. That led to my motto of “never again.” Never again would I allow someone on my watch to believe that the Word of God (or the God of the Word) was insignificant or unengaging. So I went to the Master’s College for my undergraduate studies in biblical languages and exposition, and in God’s providence I never left. I began teaching different classes (e.g., biblical languages and Bible survey classes) nearly right after I graduated from college, and I earned my ThD from Master’s Seminary, specializing in how the New Testament uses the Old.

What compelled you to write a commentary on Lamentations?

Technically, the OT editor did! Dr. Barrick, my doctoral advisor, asked if I would be interested in writing a commentary on Lamentations. I had done some initial work in studying the book for the classes I teach, as well as for my dissertation. However, I think what motivates me the most to study any book of the Bible is the delight of discovery. I am confident that every part of God’s Word is profound and incredible, and I look forward to seeing the rich truths in a book that I have not studied thoroughly. So I think you could ask me to write on any book of the Bible, and if I had time, I would say “yes” just to learn and enjoy the Word of God and the God of the Word.

What was your process like when you sat down to write? That is, how did you approach not only the writing of the commentary but also preparing yourself spiritually to comment on the text?

For me, writing a commentary and studying Scripture share a significant amount of overlap. Particularly, one must balance the tension of understanding the text in all its intricacies while making sure those intricacies definitively shape one’s life. So when I sit down to write a commentary (on Lamentations), I am contemplating the issues of historical background, textual criticism, genre, discourse structure, poetic structure, argument of the book, the various layers of context, syntax, and lexical issues; and at the same time, I am endeavoring to put all of that together so I can understand not only what the author said but also the range of intended implications and applications of the text. I compare this endeavor to cooking—we have all the ingredients, but seeing how the text balances all of these elements and then tasting and enjoying them is the job of a Christian exegete.

So for a practical process, I begin with prayer, confessing sin and asking that I would listen carefully to the text and depend on the Lord for wisdom in understanding and communicating his Word. Then I begin to research that particular passage and verse, and I engage in all the technical areas of study. I type up notes (or write them on a piece of paper or keep them in my head). When I have gathered a host of information, I then think. I contemplate how all the information regarding the texts comes together to deliver the author’s contextual point. I contemplate how his point plays out in redemptive history. I contemplate how the author’s intent would impact the reader originally and the reader today. At this point, I may diagram it on a white board and pray through it. After this, I think about how to organize it for the commentary. What should I put down in the comment for this verse? How do I communicate the various factors involved so as to enhance the author’s message? What should I save for a devotional thought? What should I not put in because it is not as helpful or more personally beneficially, as opposed to being beneficial for the reader? What should I reserve for the discussion on biblical theology?

I suppose the key to writing a commentary is to always remember that we are handling God’s Word. That accountability drives our care with the text (2 Tim. 2:15) and our care to live it (James 1:23).

Did you find any passages particularly challenging?

A variety of passages contain technical and theological challenges. For example, how does the author use the perfect verbs in Lamentations 3:52-66? And what is the author precisely saying and not saying in Lamentations 5:7? Seeing the intertextuality of Lamentations in the OT and NT was really fascinating, especially the way it draws on messianic psalms that describe our Lord’s death (cf. Lam. 2:15-16; Ps. 22:7, 13; Matt. 27:19). So a lot is happening in this book!

Nevertheless, I think the biggest challenge was understanding how the book fit together as a whole. I suspect many know that Lamentations contains five chapters—the first four are an acrostic, and the final chapter is patterned after the Hebrew alphabet. The acrostic structure helps to unify a given chapter, but scholars have also rightly observed that it also provides parallelism across chapters. For example, compare 1:20 and 2:20, and see the similarities between the two verses. Also, numerous parallels exist between chapters 1 and 5 as well as chapters 2 and 4. Piecing together these layers of parallelisms and identifying its significance were great challenges. However, the benefits are tremendous. I often read commentaries that said, “This verse just communicates more suffering.” It almost made Lamentations seem like a book that was a jumbled mess of ramblings on pain. Conversely, understanding the structure on a macro level allows you to see the contours of the book.

The author talks about grief, but he does so in important and nuanced ways that are organized and communicate a coherent and distinctive message. For instance, the parallels between chapters 2 and 4 are significant. They not only bring out similarities but also differences. In 2:14, the poet records that the prophets saw false visions, but in 4:13, he labels this as sin. The shift may be subtle to the modern reader, but it is substantial. We can observe suffering around us, but we must also confess sin. Lamentations moves from grieving over suffering and hurt (and there is an important place for that) to embracing responsibility for our sin through repentance. This hinges on chapter 3 and the great loving-kindness of our God. In this way, the book is a big chiasm, and understanding how the book fits together on a macro level allows us to see the significance of the poet’s discussion on suffering. Certain verses may sound the same, but they are purposed for different (albeit complementary) ends.

The book walks us through the various aspects of pain in exile, on a societal and corporate level, as well as within our relationship with God. It shows that such pain will be transformed because of God’s great faithfulness in making all things new, a reality linked with the new covenant mentioned in Jeremiah. Hence, the book shows how to acknowledge suffering in this time, but it also shows the entire scope of God’s plan, which provides hope.

Who were you closet friends (i.e. commentaries) while you were writing?

House (Word Biblical Commentary), Parry (Two Horizons), Berlin (Old Testament Library), Hillers (Anchor) Bergant (Apollos Old Testament Commentary), Renkema, Dobbs-Allsopp, Provan (New Century Bible), and Longman (New International Bible Commentary).

What need do you see your Lamentations commentary filling within academia and the church?

When I began the research on Lamentations, I was surprised to find that academia had commented on the book quite extensively. They particularly focused on the poetry, genre criticism, and ethical (suffering) issues. In addition, you have commentaries with a variety of strengths and weaknesses. Some commentaries are incredibly detailed, but you feel lost in the trees of the forest. Others give you a good feel for the forest, but you wonder why the trees then even mattered. While all of this discussion was taking place, other scholars (like Barry in NSBT) began to broach the issue of Lamentations in biblical theology. A lot of important individual connections between Lamentations and the suffering of believers, Paul’s ministry, and even our Lord’s death on the cross exist. Interestingly enough, independent of this biblical theological discussion, we can observe how other scholars have made great strides in showing the redemptive historical storyline of Scripture and the matter of exile in particular.

So all of these factors set up a need, both in academia and in the church. We needed a commentary that could show the flow of the poetry in Lamentations while also showing scholars and pastors the uniqueness of each line of poetry and how each line uniquely contributes to that flow. We needed a commentary that could synthesize the plethora of scholarly research and show how it can enhance our exegesis and theology of Lamentations. We needed a commentary that could situate the role of Lamentations in biblical theology, to make a case for how the church can legitimately live out its message. My hope is that my commentary will help to synthesize the flow and detail of the book, show its role in biblical theology, and explain its practicality in a variety of unique ways. I hope even my comments above illustrate my endeavor to show how Lamentations—on a variety of levels—sets forth a theology of how we fundamentally understand, respond to, and live in exile, which was set in motion in 586 B.C. but continues in our day as well (cf. 1 Pet. 1:1; 2:11).

What are you currently working on these days?

I am recovering from a busy year of writing. In addition to the Lamentations commentary, I wrote a book, I Saw the Lord: A Biblical Theology of Vision (Wipf and Stock), which deals with the visions of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Paul, and John. I also wrote a book on hermeneutics, exploring the hermeneutics of the prophets and the apostles with a view to seeing what we can learn from them (The Prophetic, Apostolic, and Christian Hermeneutic, Kregel). I also edited a book with the TMC faculty on the issue of Genesis 3 and Adam (What Really Happened in the Garden, Kregel). In the midst of this recovery, I am gearing up to write a chapter on intertextuality and inerrancy, and I am also thinking through several book ideas, including a reexamination of typology, a book on Job, and a book on how biblical theology can show us the significance and importance behind what we do as believers in everyday life. Of course, I am also preparing for classes and spending some time with the family.

Add Dr. Chou’s volume on Lamentations—along with the rest of the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary—to your library today!

Dr. Constantine Campbell—Verbal Aspect, Language, and Jazz

Dr. Campbell talks about his work on verbal aspect in Greek and the correlation between jazz music and the study of language.

Constantine R. Campbell is associate professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and he taught for several years at Moore Theological College, Sydney. He’s the author of Paul and Union with Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Study (Zondervan, 2012), which won the 2014 Christianity Today Book Award in Biblical Studies; Verbal Aspect, the Indicative Mood and Narrative: Soundings in the Greek of the New Testament (Peter Lang, 2007); Verbal Aspect and Non-Indicative Verbs: Further Soundings in the Greek of the New Testament (Peter Lang, 2008); Basics of Verbal Aspect in Biblical Greek (Zondervan, 2008); Not Ashamed: 2 Timothy (Aquila, 2008); Keep Your Greek: Strategies for Busy People (Zondervan, 2010); Outreach and the Artist: Sharing the Gospel with the Arts (Zondervan, 2013); and Colossians and Philemon: A Handbook on the Greek Text (Baylor, 2013).

A trained jazz saxophonist, Dr. Campbell is also an active preacher and evangelist. He’s ordained in the Anglican Church of Australia, and he and his wife, Bronwyn, have three children.

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