It’s that time of the year again. That is, I get to reflect and review what I read over the past year. Since 2007 I average about 5,100 pages of reading per year, which amounts to about 30 books. But this year, by the grace of God, I read 43 books/articles, which totaled 6,196 pages.
Contrary to what people might think, for me this is not the time for self-gloating or feeling self-satisfied. Rather, the opposite is true. That is, I generally feel ashamed of how much time I’ve wasted on frivolous things as to not reading or praying more as I could have done. Nonetheless, I thank the Lord for the knowledge I acquired, teachers I gained, perspectives I pondered, methods I tested, and sins I repented.
The following is the list of books and articles that I read in 2011 (in the order of which I completed). I hope this list can somehow serve some people to be wise on what to read or perhaps to read something better.
Lloyd-Jones, Bethan. Memories of Sandfields. Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth, 2008. 104 pp.
If you’re a fan of D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, you’ll enjoy this. This is written by wife of the great “Doctor” (Bethan) as she reflects on their eleven years at Bethlehem Forward Movement Church (a.k.a. Sandfields), Aberavon, right after their honeymoon in 1927. It is true that behind every great man, there is greater woman.
Osborne, Grant R. Matthew. Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (ZECNT). Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2010. 1,154 pp.
The entire ZECNT series is worth considering, written by many notable evangelical scholars of the NT (e.g., Clinton Arnold, Thomas R. Schreiner, Craig Blomberg). Each volume treats the literary context and structure of the passage in the original Greek, and each writer provides his own translation based on the literary structure. What’s impressive is that each volume also provides the main point, an exegetical outline, verse-by-verse commentary, and theology in application in each section of every commentary. It is designed for the expository preachers in mind.
In this volume, Grant Osborne (the author of The Hermeneutical Spiral and many other notable works) offers much help to the most widely read Gospel out of the four. Unlike many preachers who completely ignore the grammatical-historical method of interpretation and disregard the original authorial intention, Osborne considers the both. In fact, he believes that even application must be directly connected to the original author’s intention. He says, “We should ask, ‘If Matthew was standing in my pulpit, what would he ask my congregation to do as a result of this passage?'”
So far, this volume along with The Gospel According to Matthew (PNTC) by Leon Morris and “Matthew” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary by D. A. Carson have helped me exegetically the most in the first book of the New Testament.
Kidner, Derek. Genesis. Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity Press, 1967. 224 pp.
This concise running style commentary is helpful, especially, the forty-one pages of introduction though I didn’t always agree with his conclusions.
Davis, John J. Paradise to Prison: Studies in Genesis. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996. 363 pp.
The thirty-six pages of introduction was helpful, especially, his arguments for Mosaic authorship.
Calvin, John. “Genesis.” In Calvin’s Commentaries. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2003. 523 pp.
Although the introduction contains sixty-six pages, I didn’t find this to be much helpful. A bit letdown from one of the Magisterial Reformers and one of my heroes.
By far, one of the best exegetical treatments on the first book of the Bible. The first 100 pages alone (i.e. the introduction) was worth my time and money.
Greidanus, Sidney. Preaching Christ from Genesis. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007. 518 pp.
If you’re looking for a big picture of the Old Testament, Greidanus is helpful. This is especially true of Genesis. He interprets the OT, especially, Genesis from the redemptive-historical perspective, a perspective that is largely theologically driven than exegetically driven (grammatico-historical). Nonetheless, he is very helpful.
Stay tune for Part 2.