Best Books in 2009

The year 2009 has once again seen the publication of plenty of significant works in the area of biblical and theological studies. Here is my list of the “Best of 2009.” Disclaimer: “best” means significant and potentially influential; I do not necessarily endorse the views represented in these books, not have I as of yet read all of their contents.

1. Bruce Ware, Big Truths for Young Hearts (Crossway): a theological treasure for training the next generation.

2. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary: Old Testament (ed. John Walton; Zondervan): the equivalent to the New Testament 4-volume set edited by Clint Arnold, now complete.

3. N. T. Wright, Justification (IVP): like him or not, an important contribution to the ongoing debate.

4. Gary Burge, Lynn Cohick, and Gene Green, The New Testament in Antiquity (Zondervan): a helpful resource on the background of the New Testament.

5. The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible (Zondervan): the updated version of the time-honored Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible.

6. John Sailhamer, The Meaning of the Pentateuch (IVP): just out, a significant new book on the Pentateuch.

7. Dennis Hollinger, The Meaning of Sex (Baker): a very useful, thorough discussion, generally very sane and solid.

8. Michael Austin, Wise Stewards (Kregel): an excellent contribution on a biblical philosophy of parenting, an often neglected but vital topic.

9. Russell Moore, Adopted for Life: the new standard treatment of adoption, passionately presented.

10. Harry Poe, The Inklings of Oxford (Zondervan): a beautifully produced treatment of C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and their friends.

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