Friday, March 29, 2013
Unfortunately, I have some issues with the way the book is marketed. It announces a “Rabbi” on the front cover, but Bernis admits inside that he is not an actual Jewish Rabbi, but a self-called “Messianic Rabbi;” that is, no university or yeshiva granted him the title. Most people probably expect Bernis to be a former Jewish Rabbi converted to Christianity.
I am also a little uncomfortable with the content. In my Kindle version, at location 1161, Bernis mentions “the book of Josephus” as one of his sources; but Bible students know that Josephus wrote more than just one book. It was surprising to me that the editors didn’t catch this.
On the positive side, the book makes for an interesting read and keeps the reader engaged. Bernis’ warnings about ‘newspaper eschatologists’ and inaccurate or fabricated ‘prophecy fulfillments’ are right on the money. Too many self-proclaimed prophecy teachers are sensationalistic rather than exegetical when it comes to Bible prophecy (most leave the Bible aside to engage in countless speculations).
The book may work as an introduction to Jewish–Christian eschatology, but to learn more about prophecy from a Messianic Jew, I would probably suggest Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s The Footsteps of Messiah. Though pricey, it is a good resource.
Disclosure: The book was received for free from Net Galley book review program. The program does not require a positive review, only a truthful one.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Review: Singing Grammarian Video Series by H. Daniel Zacharias
The big title actually needs to say “Greek” somewhere. Having to read the small print to see what type of Grammar the videos are about is less than perfect marketing; other than that, ten points for creativity! The songs are catchy, even if the lyrics do not always match with the tunes. These videos are plain cool and very helpful. Try one and you’ll be hooked!
The videos are strictly for memorizing the Greek paradigm charts; so, the student needs to understand Greek grammar prior to using these tools.
Once I had watched the videos a few times I started wishing there was accompanying mp3’s that I could just sync to my iPod to take on the road.
After a while, I also wished the creative attention getters in the songs could be skipped to listen to the paradigms alone. Also, it would have been really useful to have them repeated a few more times each to help with memorization.
The only thing I would like to say to the creators is: when will the Hebrew paradigms be released? I really, really need them!
Disclosure: The video series was received for free from Kregel Academic & Ministry review program. The program does not require a positive review, only a truthful one.
Book Review: Charts on the Book of Hebrews by Herbert W. Bateman IV
I have to disclose that I am a fan of the Kregel Charts of the Bible series and this one did not disappoint. Bateman has managed to pack a whole lot of information and the amount of investigation he did seems massive.
Do I disagree with some of Bateman’s views in the book? Definitely. Read everything with discernment. And, of course, there’s always the danger of letting an author do all the thinking for you. Avoid the temptation to adopt new and creative positions immediately. Let the theology marinate in you for a while before committing to a position.
Anyone doing research on the Book of Hebrews would not only save a lot of time by using this resource, but cannot expect thoroughness in his understanding of the epistle without availing himself of this book.
Disclosure: The book was received for free from Kregel Academic & Ministry book review program. The program does not require a positive review, only a truthful one.