Monday, June 25, 2007

User Created Modules in Bibleworks 7

One of the many amazing features of Bibleworks 7 is the opportunity for users to create add-on modules that function in ways very similar to modules like Wallace's Greek Grammar, Waltke & O'Connor's Hebrew Syntax, etc. Two Bibleworks aficionados (not officially connected with Bibleworks) have created a website/blog where they post the downloadable files for these add-on modules. That site is

Instructions for installing these modules can be found in the Bibleworks help file in chapter 47. Basically, after downloading the files, you need to copy the unzipped files into the "databases" folder in your Bibleworks 7 folder. Restart Bibleworks (if it is open), and the module should show up under the resources menu.

Depending on the user who created them, these modules have varying levels of funtionality. Many of them will show up in the resource summary tab of the analysis window, indexed to the particular passages mentioned in the resource. And they are always accessible by going to the resources menu as well.

Some of my favorites include the works of Augustine and Chrysostom, the geocoding module in coordination with Google Earth, Greek Grammars by Smyth and Goodwin, Keil & Deilitsch OT Commentary, and the most recent addition - Calvin's OT commentaries.

N.B. Some of the available downloads are not modules, but are instead "versions" that function just like Bible versions in BW7. To install those requires a different set of instructions, available in the BW7 Help File chapter 38.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Getting to Christ from Genesis 16

Yesterday I preached on Genesis 16 at the church my in-laws attend (sorry, no audio available to post). Genesis 16 is the story of Sarai giving her Egyptian maid Hagar to Abram to produce a child, the eventual result of which is the birth of Ishmael. As I have reflected on this text, I thought it would serve as an excellent text to discuss how to connect this passage to the larger storyline of Scripture and get to Christ from here. In preaching it yesterday, I made my own stab at moving from Genesis 16 to Christ, which I may share in the comments. But I want to hear from you. As you look at Genesis 16, how would you make the move from this story to Christ in a way that (1) emerges from Gen 16 itself; (2) does not seem "tacked on"; and (3) connects to the larger biblical storyline?

As I said, I made my own attempt, but before I share what I did (not that I think how I did it is the only or even the "best" way) I'd like others to take a stab at it.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Rocky Mountain High, Colorado

Yesterday, after two days, about 1,200 miles of driving, and one desperate roadside stop for my young sons to go to the bathroom, we arrived in Colorado. I am part of a team that teaches a four week course on Biblical Interpretation and Communication for the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ. This will now be the fifth consecutive summer I have taught this class, and I am still persuaded it is one of the most strategic ways I can spend a few weeks of my summer. After all, someone has to suffer for Christ in the mountains of Colorado.

What this means for blogging remains unclear. I am hopeful to be able to resume the 1-2/wk pattern, but as James 4:15 reminds us, "If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that."

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Saving Righteousness of God

The Saving Righteousness of God
Studies on Paul, Justification and the New Perspective
Paternoster Biblical Monographs-PBM
by Michael F. Bird
Paternoster Press, 2007
xvii + 230 pages, English
Paper, 6 x 9
ISBN: 9781842274651
List Price: $29.99
Your Price: $26.39

This book by Michael F. Bird is the latest on my summer reading list. I'm only about 30% through the book, but this summary paragraph (from pp. 32-33, with my own emphasis added) struck me as thought-provoking:

"In this perspective, pre-Sanders scholarship was correct to identify Jewish particularism as the context of Paul's missionary career and how righteousness is the resolution to Paul's anthropological pessimism concerning the law, flesh, sin and the final judgment. However, it failed to identify exactly how righteousness and justification relates to the problem posed by Jewish particularism. In contrast, much of post-Sanders scholarship correctly identifies and prosecutes the significance of Jewish particularism in relation to Paul's theology of righteousness. Yet the error is frequently made of mistaking the context of justification with its content or purpose. There can be no doubt that justification and righteousness are rooted firmly in the debate concerning the identity of the people of God, but it is wrong to think that the verdict rendered in justification can be reduced to sociological descriptions of group-identity and self-definition. That would evacuate the language of righteousness of its apocalyptic and juridical sense."
To me, that seems to be a a particularly accurate and penetrating of the New Perspective on Paul, or at least many who in some fashion of another identify themselves with this redefinition of justification/righteousness in Paul.