To Read This Week: New Testament Transmission, Thanksgiving, and Messianic Prophecy

1. Want to Understand the Transmission of the New Testament – Michael Kruger does a quick review of a new book that I will soon be getting on the transmission of the New Testament.  A quick taste of Kruger’s review:

Fundamentals of NT TCWhenever I teach textual criticism to my seminary students, I usually get two very different responses.  For some students, their eyes glaze over and they tune out as soon as they hear the word “paleography” for the first time.

For others, they find themselves fascinated by how texts were transmitted and copied in the ancient world.  And they are excited by the  fact that we can go to museums and see actual NT manuscripts–the earliest artifacts of Christianity. This archaeological component to textual criticism makes it a very tangible enterprise. . . .

This conundrum has, in my opinion, been largely solved by the new book by Stan Porter and Andrew Pitts, Fundamentals of New Testament Textual Criticism (Eerdmans, 2015). . . .

Porter and Pitts aim for (and, I think, hit) the proverbial middle ground between,  . . .thus providing an excellent introduction to seminary students with the appropriate level of detail.

2. Thanksgiving at Faith and History – Robert Tracy McKenzie, professor of history at Wheaton College, has been doing of series of posts at his blogsite (Faith and History) commenting on Thanksgiving, our national memory of Thanksgiving, and misconceptions we commonly hold.  I read his book The First Thanksgiving last year and thoroughly enjoyed it.  A quick description of the book form

The Pilgrims’ celebration of the first Thanksgiving is a keystone of America’s national and spiritual identity. But is what we’ve been taught about them or their harvest feast what actually happened? And if not, what difference does it make? Through the captivating story of the birth of this quintessentially American holiday, veteran historian Tracy McKenzie helps us to better understand the tale of America’s origins―and for Christians, to grasp the significance of this story and those like it. McKenzie avoids both idolizing and demonizing the Pilgrims, and calls us to love and learn from our flawed yet fascinating forebears. The First Thanksgiving is narrative history at its best, and promises to be an indispensable guide to the interplay of historical thinking and Christian reflection on the meaning of the past for the present.

3. A Look at Messianic Prophecy: The Messiah as “The Branch”Eric Chabot over at analyzes one the titles for messiah: the branch.  As we move into the Christmas season this would be a good read for reflection of the incarnation of Christ as our messiah.