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Notice board: The Bible

25 October 2013

"One more thing, before I go . . .": a typical illustration by John Williams for Nick Page's Simply the Bible, which briefly introduces each of its books in a lively style (Lion Hudson, £8.99 (£8.20); 978-0-7459-5523-0)

"One more thing, before I go . . .": a typical illustration by John Williams for Nick Page's Simply the Bible, which briefly introduces each of its ...

THE Old Testament scholar John Goldingay has added to his For Everyone volumes another, on 1 and 2 Chronicles. As with Tom Wright's New Testament series, this is a readable commentary with an anecdotal style, aimed at a non-academic audience (SPCK, £9.99 (£9); 978-0-281-06131-0).

Philip Oakeshott believes that St Mark's Gospel is mostly historically accurate, and derived from St Peter's eyewitness accounts. He asserts that too much has been made of St Mark's own purpose and theology in recent criticism. He sets out his arguments in The Man that Peter Knew (Sessions Books (www.sessionsbooks.co.uk), Unit 4, Birch Park, Huntington Road, York YO31 9BL; £9.99 plus p&p; 978-1-85072-411-7).

The Two Horizons Old Testament Commentary seeks to bridge the gap between biblical studies and systematic theology, by focusing primarily on theological readings of texts. In Ecclesiastes, Peter Enns gives a section-by-section analysis, but considers theological horizons, how Ecclesiastes has contributed to biblical theology, and its significance today (Wm B. Eerdmans, £16.99 (£15.30); 978-0-8028-6649-3).

Whole Life, Whole Bible is a series of 50 short readings (followed by questions for reflection) to help people to relate scripture to everyday life, while enabling them to see each selected passage in the context of the whole biblical story. For coherence, the authors (Antony Billington with Margaret Killingray and Helen Parry) have divided their material into six sections: creation, corruption, covenant, Christ, Church, and consummation (BRF, £6.99 (£6.30); 978-0-85746-017-2).

A practical approach to Bible-reading for survivors of sexual abuse (and their carers) is offered in We Were the Least of These by Elaine Heath. She takes biblical passages that have helped her and other survivors experience healing, and offers interpretations. Each chapter ends with questions and suggestions for action (Brazos Press, £11.99 (£10.80); 978-1-58743-271-2).

The part played by the Spirit in the Old Testament is the theme of Presence, Power and Promise, edited by David Firth and Paul Wegner. The 21 essays, by a range of theologians, are divided into seven sections: orientation to the Spirit in the Old Testament and Ancient Near East, creation, wisdom, creativity, prophecy, leadership, the future, and Qumran (Apollos, £19.99 (£18); 978-1-84474-534-0).

What are Christians to make of parts of the Old Testament which appear to condone violence? Taking a chapter that on first appearance does not seem very relevant for us today, Julie Woods explores Jeremiah 48 as Christian Scripture. She emphasises the undercurrent of lament, looks at the difference between the Masoretic and Septuagint texts (more than is often the case in the OT), compares this oracle against Moab with a similar one on Isaiah, analyses recent theological interpretations of this chapter, and suggests ways to engage with it (James Clarke, £21.25; 978-0-227-17378-7).

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