Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Bibliography on First Peter

Preaching requires work, and a good pastor will put in the hours.  Here's what I'm using for preaching through 1 Peter, in case you're interested.
  • Arichea, Daniel C. and Eugene Albert Nida, A Handbook on the First Letter from Peter, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1980).
  • Abernathy, David. An Exegetical Summary of 1 Peter, 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: SIL International, 2008).
  • Alford, Henry.  Alford’s Greek Testament: An Exegetical and Critical Commentary, Vol. 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: Guardian Press, 1976).
  • Black, Allen and Mark C. Black, 1 & 2 Peter, The College Press NIV Commentary (Joplin, MO: College Press Pub., 1998).
  • Calvin, John and John Owen, Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010).
  • Case, David A. and David W. Holdren, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, Jude: A Commentary for Bible Students (Indianapolis, IN: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2006).
  • Clowney, Edmund.  The Message of 1 Peter. The Bible Speaks Today, (Downers Grove: IL, Inter-Varsity Press, 1989).
  • Dockery, David S. et al.  Holman Bible Handbook (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 1992).
  • Elwell, Walter A. Evangelical Commentary on the Bible, Vol. 3, Baker Reference Library (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1995).
  • Fruchtenbaum, Arnold G. The Messianic Jewish Epistles: Hebrews, James, First Peter, Second Peter, Jude, 1st ed. (Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries, 2005).
  • Grudem, Wayne.  Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: InterVarsity Press, 1994).
  • Hart, J.H.A. “The First Epistle General of Peter,” in The Expositor’s Greek Testament: Commentary, vol. 5 (New York: George H. Doran Company, n.d.).
  • Hiebert, D. Edmond. 1 Peter, (Chicago: Moody Bible Institute, 1984).
  • Huther, Joh. Ed. Critical and Exegetical Handbook to the General Epistles of Peter and Jude, trans. D. B. Croom and Paton J. Gloag, Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1893).
  • Kelly, J. N. D. The Epistles of Peter and of Jude, Black’s New Testament Commentary (London: Continuum, 1969).
  • Lange, John Peter et al., A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: 1 Peter (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2008).
  • Lenski, R. C. H. The Interpretation of the Epistles of St. Peter, St. John and St. Jude (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House, 1966).
  • Lumby, J. Rawson. “The Epistle of St. Peter,” in The Expositor’s Bible: Ephesians to Revelation, ed. W. Robertson Nicoll, vol. 6, Expositor’s Bible (Hartford, CT: S.S. Scranton Co., 1903).
  • MacArthur, John. 1 Peter. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2004.
  • Mare, W. Harold. New Testament Background Commentary: A New Dictionary of Words, Phrases and Situations in Bible Order (Ross-shire, UK: Mentor, 2004), 394.
  • Marshall, I. Howard. 1 Peter, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1991),
  • Metzger, Bruce Manning. United Bible Societies, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, Second Edition a Companion Volume to the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament (4th Rev. Ed.) (London; New York: United Bible Societies, 1994).
  • Michaels, J. Ramsey. 1 Peter. Word Biblical Commentary, (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1988).
  • Radmacher, Earl D., Ronald Barclay Allen, and H. Wayne House, Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Commentary (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1999).
  • Robertson, A.T. Word Pictures in the New Testament (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1933).
  • Schreiner, Thomas R.  1, 2 Peter, Jude, vol. 37, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2003).
  • Simeon, Charles. Horae Homileticae: James to Jude, vol. 20 (London: Holdsworth and Ball, 1833).
  • Thomas, Robert L. Exegetical Digest of the Epistle of 1 Peter, (Robert L. Thomas, 1974).
  • Tuck, Robert.  I & II Peter, I, II & III John, Jude, Revelation, The Preacher’s Complete Homiletic Commentary (New York; London; Toronto: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892).
  • Vincent, Marvin Richardson. Word Studies in the New Testament, Vol. 1 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1887).
  • Wuest, Kenneth S. Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997).
  • Zerwick, Max and Mary Grosvenor, A Grammatical Analysis of the Greek New Testament (Rome: Biblical Institute Press, 1974).

Saturday, April 16, 2016

What About the Apocrypha?

 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (2 Tm 3:14–17).

Sometimes people wonder about "full" Bibles, copies of Holy Scripture that contain the apocryphal or deuterocanonical books.  Should we revere as God's Word more than the sixty-six books we commonly read?

The 1689 London Baptist Confession speaks briefly and plainly to the matter:
1:3 The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon or rule of the Scripture, and, therefore, are of no authority to the church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved or made use of than other human writings. (Luke 24:27, 44; Romans 3:2)
The term "deuterocanonical" means "second canon." In short, these books were never part of the original canon, being added later by the Catholic Church as part of the counter-reformation.  Looking back in the annuls of church history, we see every early canon excluding these books.  As there is no evidence of inspiration and Christians have rejected the Apocrypha throughout the ages, then there is no reason to view them as approved for faith or practice above any other work of man.
1:4. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man or church, but wholly upon God (who is truth itself), the author thereof; therefore it is to be received because it is the Word of God. (2 Peter 1:19-21; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 John 5:9)
Someone might object that if a Pope or Catholic council approved these books for Christian use, then they become as such.  However, no man has the ability to transform that which is human in origin into something divine.  God determines the canon by inspiring Scripture, and the church must bow her knee to truth of God.

As such, you won't find us preaching from the Apocrypha on Sunday mornings.  We want to know precisely what God written for our benefit, not confusing ourselves with the sinful, fallible ideas of people.

Monday, February 8, 2016

What is Dispensationalism?

I mentioned the word "dispensation" Sunday.  Whether you are a theology buff or not, it is an important term to understand in reference to end-times prophecy.

Dr. Michael Vlach has posted a helpful introduction to the history of the dispensational theology that is worth checking out.

If you want to dig deeper, Vlach recommends 40 resources for understanding dispensationalism better.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Ten (ish) Books Every Christian Should Own and Read

Someone asked me a few weeks ago for a recommended reading list for the new year.  So, here is a top ten (ish) as of now.  There are readers out there who put me to shame, so feel free to let me know what you might add!

The first item on the list shouldn’t be on the list, because it should go without saying—a Bible.  Not just any Bible, though, but a good, text-only translation of the Bible.  Every Christian should become conversant in the book God gave us, and a faithful translation is essential.  Moreover, Christians need a Bible that won’t distract them with commentary and notes from others, which is where the text-only version comes into play (getting an MSB below is great, but you need to read a Bible in which you are free to observe on your own first).  Good translations include the English Standard Version (what I preach from) or the New American Standard Version.  The King James Version would also fall into this category, though its language proves difficult for modern audiences (The New King James Version is a good alternative).

Okay, with that said, let’s start the list:

  1. A MacArthur Study Bible (MSB).  As a twenty-first century believer, you’ll need help to understand the background and historical context of the books of the Bible.  The MSB represents years of expertise from the professors at the Master’s College and Seminary, becoming an invaluable resource to the Body of Christ full of notes, maps, and charts.  You can purchase a MacArthur Study Bible today in multiple versions, including the ESV, NASB, NKJV, and even the NIV.
  2. Knowable Word, Peter Krol.  Krol wraps a powerful Bible study tool in a small package, paring acres of difficult hermeneutical texts down into this accessible 100+ page resource.  His book leaves you with confidence that you can actually understand Scripture through the tested Observe-Interpret-Apply method.
  3. Knowing God, JI Packer.  This classic may be a bit heady in places, but it will ultimately challenge you to reconsider and refine what you mean when you say you “know God.” 
  4. A Gospel Primer for Christians, Milton Vincent. I’ve read it several times in the past few years to remind myself of the clear scriptural truths concerning the gospel. It is an essential read for Christians young and old.
  5. Our Sufficiency in Christ, John MacArthur. This book calls believers to the center of our faith—Jesus Christ—and challenges us to reject anything which might rob us of trusting fulling in Him.
  6. Whichever of these three is (or mix-and-match as) appropriate: 
    1. Disciplines of a Godly Man, Kent Hughes
    2. Disciplines of a Godly Woman, Barbara Hughes
    3. Disciplines of a Godly Family, Kent and Barbara Hughes.  Another required read for parents in particular would be Shepherding a Child’s Heart, Tedd Tripp.
  7. Understanding End Times Prophecy, Paul Benware.  Everyone has an opinion on what the end-times will bring, and the world seems obsessed with this question.  The Bible talks about the events surrounding Christ’s Second Coming in a way that tells Christians God wants them to know.  This book will give you a good overview of the biblical scenario that will soon unfold.
  8. Charismatic Chaos, John MacArthur.  This lightning-rod will help you develop an understanding and wariness of some of the Holy Spirit hucksters and hustlers the Bible warned us about.  A good follow-up to this book is Strange Fire, edited by the same author.
  9. Think Biblically, John MacArthur and the Faculty of TMC.  Being a Christian doesn’t stop at learning about God and believing the gospel; Christians must develop a thorough-going Christian worldview on science, social issues, politics, etc.  This book is a great place to start.
  10. Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, Mark Dever.  If you are not in a church, God wants you in a sound fellowship of believers under the preaching of His Word.  This book will help you either gain appreciation for your local fellowship or send you on a path to look for a biblical congregation.   
There we have (what we could round to be) ten books every Christian should read.  

And Valley of Vision to have a book to pray through.

Have a blessed year in reading!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sunday Sermon: God's Love at Work - 1 John 4:17-21

1 John 4:17-21 | Shaun Marksbury | Cornerstone Church of Savannah | 18 October, 2015

God’s love is at work in the heart of every true believer. Here are two points to keep in mind about that work of love today: 1.) God’s love confirms us, and 2.) God’s love compels us.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sunday Sermon: By This You Know that You Know God - 1 John 4:13–16

1 John 4:7–12 | Pastor Shaun Marksbury | Cornerstone Church of Savannah | http://cornerstonesavannah.org/ | 4 October, 2015

John says here that because Christians have a true connection to God, we can love as we ought, even in the midst of spiritual confusion.  In fact, John will really spend the rest of this chapter on that thought.  So, we begin today to examine our motivations for loving one another.  Why should Christians love one another? 

I. Love because you know the God of love (vv. 7–8) 
II. Love because you know God’s demonstration of love (vv. 9–11) 
III. Love because you know God better through love (v. 12)