My #AARSBL23 Book Pile

There is some debate about the hashtag here – I privilege #AARSBL23 over #SBLAAR23 as I’m an AAR Member – it is also worth noting that ETS is a distinct conference, and some of the books were gained there…

Historical Note – I did a similar blog post after my first experience at ETS/SBL in 2017, as well as a blog post last year.

My #AARSBL23 Book Pile

Attending ETS/IBR/SBL/AAR in my current role is an interesting thing – this year I didn’t give a paper, but had a tranche of meetings, and even made it to some sessions. As with last year, I was in a book-aqquiring mode, with two broad things in mind. Firstly, commentaries, books I can work through with an eye on the projects I’ll work with in the coming years on the Tyndale Old and New Testament Commentary, the Apollos Old Testament Commentary, and the New Studies in Biblical Theology series – alongside a few other exciting but unannounced projects at IVP. Secondly, an interest in what’s being published and my particular theological interests – theological anthropology, biblical hermeneutics, and biblically rooted ethics.

My #AARSBL23 Book Pile

With that in mind, this blog post is divided into two parts – the biblical commentaries I begged, bought, or was given; and the ‘other books’, which intersect in various ways with my work for IVP, and the other theological work I’m doing. First, because the Bible is foundational, I’ll unpack why I picked up copies of the commentaries I picked up – it’s worth noting that I bought some personally, some with my professional book allowance, and a couple were given to me. The method of acquisition is not the most important thing – though it does come into bear on my reading and reviewing – and so I’m leaving it out of this post.

Without further ado, on to the commentaries, in canonical order:

The Commentaries from #AARSBL23

Numbers, by Mark Awabdy, in the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament (BECOT) Series. Numbers is a book of the Bible I’ve really reconnected with and resonated with in recent years – whilst working editorially on a longer technical commentary, a shorter pastoral commentary, and a Lent Devotional on the book. I generally like the BECOT series – I appreciated John Goldingay’s Genesis entry, and am intrigued to see how Awabdy tackles Numbers. Last year I picked up and reviewed Timothy Ashley’s recent 2nd edition NICOT on Numbers.

Judges, by Mark J. Boda and Mary L. Conway*, in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament. The ZECOT is the countpart to the New Testament commentary – the entry on John by Klink was one of my highlights of 2023. I’m intrigued to see how the subtitle to the Old Testament series, ‘a discourse analysis on the Hebrew Bible’, plays out – will this be like the ZECNT for the OT, or will it be something else?

Ruth, by Peter Lau* in the New International Commentary on the Old Testament (NICOT). I’m generally a NICOT fan – though I didn’t gel with John Goldingay’s recent entry on Lamentations – so I was glad to pick this up. Excited to read it devotionally.

Esther, by Adele Berlin, in the Jewish Publication Society (JPS) Old Testament Commentary. I’ve bumped into the JPS series in a range of contexts, and am excited to dig in to a book of the Bible with it. This commentary comes in an interesting format – sparking conversations on the journey home, and since getting it home.

Proverbs, by John Goldingay in the new Eerdmans Commentaries for Christian Formation (CCF) series. With N. T. Wright’s recent volume on Galatians proving somewhat underwhelming, I’m hoping that Goldingay will buck the trend and show me the potential of the CCF series. Regardless, I’m looking forward to Amy Peeler’s Hebrews entry in this series next year.

Isaiah, by Gordon J. McConville in the BECOT series. Isaiah is a powerful book – and one that has a lot of theological resonance fo Christians. I’m intrigued to see how McConville engages with Isaiah, having appreciated his AOTC on Deuteronomy, another foundational Old Testament book.

Lamentations, by Federico G. Villanueva*, in the Asia Bible Commentary series from Langham. Lamentations is a book I’ve increasingly come to appreciate – and have reviewed commentarys on it including the aforementioned Goldingay, the Wisdom Commentary, and the entry by Jonny Gibson in the ESV Expository Commentary. I am excited to hear from Villanueva’s contextual and evangelical perspective.

Matthew, by Powell in Westminster John Knox’s new ‘Interpretation Bible Commentary’ – a new commentary on the first gospel is an interesting way to inaugurate a new series, so I’ll read this with interest.

Acts of the Apostles, by Linda M. Maloney and Ivoni Richter Reimer*, in the Wisdom Commentary series. Having been underwhelmed by if tentatively appreciative of the Lamentations volume in this series, I’m professionally and personally interested in how the series handles this key book of the New Testament.

Galatians, by A. Andrew Das, in the Concordia Commentary. This is a series I know little about – and so I’m going to start my reading of it with the Pauline epistle I’m most comfortable with. This is a substantial volume – and I’m genuinely intrigued by the possibilities of this commentary and the series it is one example of. Difficult to find in the UK – I’d hope to aqquire an Old Testament volume in the coming months.

Galatians, by Nijay K. Gupta* in the Story of God series from Zondervan. Galatians is where I would go if I were to be a New Testament Scholar, and Gupta is an interesting New Testament Scholar. Having mostly enjoyed Chris Wright’s Exodus entry in this series, i’m quite intriegued to see how the Story of God format plays out for a Pauline epistle.

Ephesians, by Constantine R. Campbell, in the Pillar New Testament Commentary series. Now solely published by Eerdmans, with the excpetion of Carson’s venerable entry on John, this is the first ‘new’ Pillar I’ve got no professional connection to, replacing a much-appreciated volume by Peter O’Brien. I’ve been reading it in my devotional time since I aqquired it, and will review it soon.

The ‘not commentaries’ are recorded in the order they are piled up in!

Women Who Do, by Holly J. Carey* – this is an interesting-looking book at the women who followed Jesus, and how that/they can inspire our discipleship today. I picked it up as an asymmetric entry in the complementarian/egalitarian debate.

Romans – This scripture journal, including the ESV text, will be a useful companion when I get to Romans in my read-through of the Bible next year.

Turnaround, by Jason K. Allen – this is a book on leadership, drawing on Allen’s experience, that I’m intrigued by. I look forward to reading it, particularly in contrast to the ‘doom and gloom’ narratives of much of Christian institutional/leadership discourse.

Male and Female He Created Them, by Denny Burk, David Closson and Colin Smothers. A curriculum on complementarianism, I’m intrigued to consider both structure and content.

Reading Luke, by Frank Dicken. Having loved Lucy Peppiatt’s ‘Cascade Companion’ on the Imago Dei last year, I’m interested to see how that series format engages with a biblical book, in this case Luke’s Gospel.

Reading Mark, by Kelly R. Iverson*. As above, but with the peculiarities of Mark’s gospel!

The Trinity in the Canon, edited by Brandon D. Smith. I’m excited to dig in to this edited volume, combining as it does the doctrine of the Trinity (who God is) with a canonical treatment of the whole Bible (what God says).

Nobody’s Mother, by Sandra Glahn*. This is an interesting monograph that has been getting a bit of buzz online, at least in the circles I move in. I’m intrigued to see what Glahn digs up, and consider how it relates to discussion of gender in the church today.

Blessed are the Peacemakers: A Biblical Theology of Violence, by Helen Paynter*. I appreciated an earlier entry in this ‘Biblical Theology for Life’ series from Zondervan – and am excited to see how Paynter will tackle this tricky topic.

Aquinas on Beatific Charity and the Problem of Love, by Christopher J. Malloy. A new book in a newish series from a publisher that’s new to me – I’m excited to get stuck in to this rather-different-from-my-normal-fare book.

The Gospel and the Modern World, by D. A. Carson, edited by Bryan Tabb. Having heard about this book, I’m delighted to see it in the flesh and read a range of thoughts from and around Carson, whom I seriously respect.

The Church’s Unholy War, by Nicholas Densyenko. With the invasion of Ukraine by Russia continuing, this book looks to be an intriguing examination of some of the forces at play.

Created in the Image of God, edited by David S. Dockery. An edited volume on the imago Dei? Yes, please! I’m intrigued to dig into this.

The Rise and Fall of Dispensationalism, by Daniel K. Hummel. This looks to be an interesting book, which I hope will school me on some of the eschatological strangeness/niceties, of American evangelicalism, from one perspective.

[Not in photo] Humanity (Theology for the People of God), by John S. Hammett and Katie J. McCoy*. This is an important entry in a series I’ve not dipped into before, from B&H Academic. I’m intrigued to see how McCoy and Hammett handle this topic.

The careful reader might have noted a ‘*’ next to some author names – this echoes my reading goals in 2023 to read books written by people who are not like me, and so in this blog post it denotes female authors/co-authors, and authors who are of a different ethnicity to me. It is encouraging that this represents a larger number than last year, and I’m excited to see what I’ll learn from these brothers and sisters in Christ.

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