Commentaries on 1 Peter

That would be ‘first’ Peter, not ‘one’, for those unfamiliar with the Bible.

So, I’m not going to review 1 Peter here, at least not in the usual book review sense. I may put a few notes out there later, but for now I want to leave a few thoughts on the commentaries I used.

First and foremost, you should be using a commentary.

We just wrapped up our study on 1 Peter this morning. It has been a great eight week study that had us deep in the text and introduced me to a few guys at our new church. I used a few different commentaries in my study – Tyndale was my main one, which I read word for word. I consulted Baker Exegetical New International,  as well as a little bit in the New Bible and the abridged Expositors.

I was surprised to find how readable Baker’s was. I have to say it was probably my first choice overall, the one I found the most insightful. I would definitely recommend Baker’s if you are going for a highly technical one.

Tyndale’s commentary was, as usual, highly readable and approachable, but 1 Peter was written by Wayne Grudem, so it is certainly technical enough. As he has written one of the most of the most popular and readable systematics, it’s not surprise this one pack so much in. If you are watching your budget, take Tyndale over Bakers, but if you can, do both.

I don’t think one is enough (ever really), but especially when you some tricky topics, such as Jesus proclaiming to the spirits in prison.  Baker’s Jobe as posits a somewhat different view of the audience than you’ll likely read in other commentaries. I found it very compelling and would say it’s very much worth the read. The New Bible Commentary entry was a bit short, but I will probably find that more and more as I use other, larger commentaries. Probably still a worthwhile read as an into to a book.

The abridged Expositor’s I found somewhat lacking. I’ll admit I didn’t jump into the unabridged, so, I may be more a byproduct of the editing than of the overall content itself. And of course, I used one of my study Bibles, in this instance, it was the Reformation one and it was also great as an overview.

It was overall a great study, sad to see it over. However, Mrs. MMT and I are now jumping into the first 11 chapters of Genesis. Her and I have never done a study, just us two, so I’m excited and interested to see how that works out. As always, I’ll have thoughts on the commentaries used and hopefully a few mediocre study notes posted.

If you are interested, you can buy the commentaries I mentioned:

1 Peter (Tyndale New Testament Commentaries)
1 Peter (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament)
The First Epistle of Peter (The New International Commentary on the New Testament)
Hebrews – Revelation (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary)

Blogging Bavinck 3 – History of Dogma

Dogmatics, therefore, is not a dull and arid science. It is a theodicy, a doxology to all God’s virtues and perfections, a hymn of adoration and thanksgiving

I’m a big Ol’ History nerd, so I really enjoyed Chapter 3 – The Formation of Dogma: East and West (pgs. 115-142). Scripture is not a work of dogmatics or systematics, it is the inspired word of God and “the immediate expression of life.” He says that Scripture had not yet become the something that early believers reflected upon with a ‘thinking conscience.’

For this reason, the early church merely articulated dogmatics in epistolary writings and basic creeds. Outside of the canonical epistles, we have those that came later, i.e. Clement, Shepherd of Hermes, etc. As the church grew, we entered the era of apologetics. No longer writing just answers to questions of actions, we were forced to reflect more deeply on scripture in order to defend our beliefs in the face of persecution or our community being ostracized.

Educated converts such as Justin Martyr and Irenaeus defended the faith against Gnosticism and created a ‘Christian vocabulary and worldview.’ Later through Tertullian and Origen, the foundations of Theology were set and Christianity increasingly became to be ‘understood primarily as a set of idea.’

The fourth century led to great developments in dogmatics as, after becoming the official religion, questions of theology moved from external attacks to internal struggles. The most compelling issues where those of the Christological nature, especially that of homoousia, that is the dual nature of Christ. Athanasius strongly asserted that the deity of Christ was the essence of Christianity; that is Christ had to be God to bring salvation. He along with others (Basil, the Gregorys, etc.) wrote polemic on this, the Trinity and the incarnation, all over and against the Arians and Macedonians. Orthodoxy was settled in 381 A.D. at the Synod of Constantinople.

The next four centuries were ones of turmoil for doctrine. For the eastern church the focus was that of humanity being subject to sin and corruption, and through Christ, we do not die but partake in life. The west focused on our relationship with God. We are guilty of violating the commandments, but through the work of Christ, we have grace. He notes that John resonates with the East and Paul with the West. I have no idea if this is still true of the Orthodox church today, but it always seemed to me there is a further division in the West, that the protestants resonate with Paul, while Catholics focus on Peter. Continue reading

Easter Sunday

Special edition of Metal Friday, Sunday version.

I’ve always found this song a powerful victory song. That’s what today is. He conquered death and the gates of hell will not prevail against Him. We worship a living God, we served the one that overcame the grave, that we may never die, but have eternal life.

Death – where is your sting, where is your victory?

They thought that You were bound by nature’s laws
He is risen! He is risen!
For the veil that was torn in two and the darkness that would ensue
A symbol alas that the debt was finally paid
When the stone it was rolled away, He was no longer where He lay
Surely our King had risen from the dead

From their CD Captors

Good Metal Friday

I hope that’s not sacrileges.

Think today, as we remember and reflect on the Lamb that took our place and suffered the Wrath of God. He, for our sake, was separated from God (hell) so that we would be counted righteous and be adopted sons, never to be snatched away, but spend eternity praising Him, who is on the Throne.

The Father of grace and mercy has poured out His wrath completely,
on His Son for our sake, we are free, brought the Lamb to slaughter for me

There is love! Here is love! This is love! There is love!!



Book Review: Confessions

Confessions– St. Augustine

 My Rating – If You Have Time

 Level – Moderate, seems longer than it is.

Basically his autobiography for the first nine chapters, then a chapter on memory, and wraps up his last three chapters in discussing the first chapters in Genesis. His life story is interesting enough, his mother was a Christian and that influenced him. He went off to school and talks about his shenanigans with his boys.

Later on he joins up with the Manicheans but, after the death of a friend, becomes disillusioned with them. Eventually he hears Ambrose preach and after discussion with friends and reading Romans in a garden, he converts and is baptized.

 My Thoughts
My confession: I didn’t really like this book. It’s considered a seminal work in Christian Literature, but I just never got into it. Maybe because of the translation (Penguin Classic), but I didn’t like the writing. It was one of those, say in 20 words what you could say in five type writing styles.

His time at school was probably the most interesting to me. His pondering as to why he would steal pears when he had his own, probably better ones. It certainly should make most people question these things in general, and resonates with males who engaged in general jackassary as adolescents in particular. The thoughts on memory are interesting in a philosophical way, and his chapters on Genesis are worth reading for his style of exegesis.

Overall, I just wasn’t a fan. I hesitated to rank as I have, instead of lower, at the same time, feeling I should rank it higher, due to its place in history. So, I guess, if you have time, check it out and see for yourself.