Best Books in 2014

I am grateful for the publication of several volumes in 2014 that will equip serious exegetes and preachers to study and proclaim God’s word with greater accuracy and authority. This pertains particularly to the study of Acts, Galatians, 1-2 Thessalonians, and 1 Peter. Other important books pertain to the divinity of Jesus, church leadership, and heaven. In the interest of full disclosure, while no books I authored are included, there are several books to which I contributed an essay (6, 7) or which I edited (2, 4).

1. New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis. 5 vols. Second edition. Edited by Moises Silva. Zondervan. This linguistically informed dictionary of New Testament Greek words and concepts seeks to avoid the methodological pitfalls of the 10-volume Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Includes 800 entries covering 3,000 Greek words and a semantic domain index.

2. A Theology of James, Peter, and Jude. Biblical Theology of the New Testament. By Peter H. Davids. Zondervan. Gene Green (Wheaton) assesses Davids’s work thus: “With key commentaries on James, the Petrine Epistles, and Jude under his belt, there are few scholars in the arena better equipped than Peter Davids to tackle a theology of these biblical books. Davids is clear, comprehensive, and cogent.”

3. How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature: A Response to Bart D. Ehrman. By Michael Bird, Craig Evans, Simon Gathercole, Charles Hill, and Chris Tilling. Zondervan. An excellent response to Bart Ehrman’s How Jesus Became God. I have reviewed both books here and here.

4. 1 Peter. Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament. By Greg W. Forbes. B&H Academic. Mike Bird calls this “an exegetical gold mine” and says the “high standard of the EGGNT has been set even higher.” Volumes on Colossians/Philemon (Murray Harris) and James (Chris Vlachos) are already available; the volume on Philippians (Joseph Hellerman) is forthcoming.

5. Galatians. By Douglas J. Moo. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament; and

6. 1–2 Thessalonians. By Jeffrey A. D. Weima. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Baker. Thomas Schreiner calls Moo’s an “outstanding commentary” and says he is “scrupulously fair to opposing viewpoints and nuanced and careful in his explication of the text.” Stanley Porter calls Weima’s “a full and authoritative commentary.”

7. Heaven. Theology in Community. Edited by Christopher W. Morgan and Robert A. Peterson. Crossway. This is the sixth volume in the series, D. A. Carson says the volumes are characterized “by rigor and reverence and, better yet, they remain accessible to all serious readers. Contributors include Raymond C. Ortlund Jr., Jonathan Pennington, Stephen Wellum, Gerald Bray, Ajith Fernando, and others.

8. Shepherding God’s Flock: Biblical Leadership in the New Testament and Beyond. Edited by Benjamin L. Merkle and Thomas R. Schreiner. Kregel. From the Old Testament synagogue to today, this volume provides a biblical and historical theology of shepherding/leadership. In addition to the editors, contributors include Jim Hamilton, Michael Haykin, Gregg Allison, Jason Duesing, and Bruce Ware.

9. The Acts of the Apostles: A Newly Discovered Commentary. Lightfoot Legacy Set. By J. B. Lightfoot. Edited by Ben Witherington III and Todd D. Still. This newly discovered commentary by Lightfoot (1828–1889), an English scholar and bishop of Durham, is of historic significance. This first of 3 projected volumes covers Acts 1–21; volumes on John and 2 Corinthians/1 Peter are forthcoming.

10. Hidden But Now Revealed: A Biblical Theology of Mystery. By G. K. Beale and Benjamin L. Gladd. IVP. One does not have to agree with everything in this book to recognize that the topic is exceedingly important in understanding the relationship between the Testaments and the fabric of progressive revelation in Scripture.

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