Book Review: Jesus and the Last Supper

Jesus and the Last SupperJesus and the Last Supper by Brant Pitre
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Interesting read. The book is a scholarly work but reads fairly well. The author engages thoroughly with other scholars, which can be good. However, it wears thin taking scholars seriously who’ve found much agreement in modern times that Jesus existed and was likely a Jew. It feels at times that too much weight is given to second temple Judaism literature along with early Jewish literature outside of Scripture. He does deal with the biblical data and does a good job confirming the Last Supper was indeed the Passover meal and resolves well the supposed contradictions between John and the Synoptics. Could’ve used broader biblical harmonization, particularly in the implications of eschatology.

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Book Review: How to Read Proverbs

How to Read ProverbsHow to Read Proverbs by Tremper Longman III
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is well done and helpful in what it sets out to do. The title is truth in advertising as this book helps orient the reader of the book of Proverbs. It is not a deep dive study of wisdom literature, but that wasn’t the intention of the author. Issues like the overall organization and structural and thematic unity of the book are only touched on enough to whet your appetite. Longman doesn’t deal with intertextuality per se, but he does have a chapter for interaction between Proverbs and Job and Ecclesiastes, and a later mention of the New Testament book of James. The book particularly shines in giving attention to the fact that you must take any individual sayings in light of the whole book.

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Book Review: The Lord’s Supper: Remembering and Proclaiming Christ Until He Comes

The Lord's Supper: Remembering and Proclaiming Christ Until He ComesThe Lord’s Supper: Remembering and Proclaiming Christ Until He Comes by Thomas R. Schreiner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is a compilation with each chapter written by a different author. The book varies a little from chapter to chapter, but the editors did a good job pulling it all together. The book looks at the communion supper from exegetical, theological, historical, and practical viewpoints. I didn’t agree with all the conclusions by the various authors, and even they didn’t all agree everywhere. The book also did a good job as far as identifying the major contentions and attempting answers from the author’s point of view. Some of the history sections seemed to drag on a little, but the summaries and conclusions at the end were helpful.

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Book Review: Eternal Israel: Biblical, Theological, and Historical Studies that Uphold the Eternal, Distinctive Destiny of Israel

Eternal Israel: Biblical, Theological, and Historical Studies that Uphold the Eternal, Distinctive Destiny of IsraelEternal Israel: Biblical, Theological, and Historical Studies that Uphold the Eternal, Distinctive Destiny of Israel by Barry Horner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is a follow up to the author’s earlier book, Future Israel. He interacts with some of the feedback from the first book and continues to blend writings from history to current times. Horner is right about the pervasive nature of supersessionist theology, though I know most do not like that term and would rather play games with words to cover their replacement theology. Horner not only covers the writings of supersessionists, but also their politics. Horner also deals with some of the problems with dispensationalists in reference to Israel. Horner also points out the pride of supersessionism that is exactly what Paul warned against in Romans 11:17-21. Of course, Horner presents the inevitable conclusion, supersessionism must be repented of and turned from. I’ve been surprised to see replacement popping up in the preaching of supposedly premill adherents that acknowledge some place for Israel, but see the “church” superseding Israel in place and importance.

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Book Review: The Wrath of Grapes: Drinking and the Church Divided

The Wrath of Grapes: Drinking and the Church DividedThe Wrath of Grapes: Drinking and the Church Divided by Andre S. Bustanoby
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Bustanoby’s books is a helpful contribution to studying the issue of wine from the Bible. He helps to clear up some of the myths and erroneous conclusions on both sides of this issue, which cloud many discussions of it. He presents a moderationist view and ably defends it as the scriptural view. He spends time on exegetical and lexical work with words used and the meaning of relevant biblical passages. He echoes the condemnation and warning from scripture concerning drunkenness or the abuse of alcohol. He ends with a few practical chapters on alcohol abuse and alcohol abusers. This felt a little beyond the scope of the book, but had some helpful information. That section particularly could use some updating.

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