Ten Theology Books to Watch For – Sept. 2018

September 13, 2018 — Leave a comment

 

Here are a some excellent theology* books that will be released this month:

* broadly interpreted, including ethics, church history, biblical studies, and other areas that intersect with theology

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The First Testament: A New Translation 

John Goldingay

IVP Academic

Awash in a sea of Bible translations, do we need yet another?

Most translations bend the text toward us. They make the rough places smooth, the odd bits more palatable to our modern sensibilities. In every translation something is gained and something lost. In The First Testament: A New Translation, John Goldingay interrupts our sleepy familiarity with the Old Testament. He sets our expectations off balance by inviting us to hear the strange accent of the Hebrew text. We encounter the sinewed cadences of the Hebrew Bible, its tics and its textures. Translating words consistently, word by word, allows us to hear resonances and see the subtle figures stitched into the textual carpet. In a day of white-bread renderings of the Bible, here is a nine-grain translation with no sugar or additives. In The First Testament the language of Zion comes to us unbaptized in pious religiosity. Familiar terms such as salvation, righteousness, and holiness are avoided. We cock our ears to listen more carefully, to catch the intonations and features we had not caught before: “Yahweh said to Abram, ‘Get yourself from your country, from your homeland, and from your father’s household, to the country that I shall enable you to see, and I shall make you into a big nation. I shall bless you and make your name big and you’ll become a blessing.” (Gen 12:1-2) “Hey, you who wish
for Yahweh’s day.
What good really is Yahweh’s day to you?―
it will be darkness, not light.”
 (Amos 5:18) “My shepherd being Yahweh, I don’t lack;
he enables me to lie down in grassy pastures.
He leads me to settled water;
he turns my life back.”
 (Ps 23:1-3) The First Testament is an invitation to read the sacred text through the eyes of one of the most accomplished Old Testament scholars in the English-speaking world today. With introductions to each book, it is an attractive translation for the classroom as much as for personal study and enjoyment.

 

 Christian Flesh (Encountering Traditions) 

Paul Griffiths

Stanford UP

A sustained and systematic theological reflection on the idea that being a Christian is, first and last, a matter of the flesh, Christian Flesh shows us what being a Christian means for fleshly existence. Depicting and analyzing what the Christian tradition has to say about the flesh of Christians in relation to that of Christ, the book shows that some kinds of fleshly activity conform well to being a Christian, while others are in tension with it. But to lead a Christian life is to be unconstrained by ordinary ethical norms. Arguing that no particular case of fleshly activity is forbidden, Paul J. Griffiths illustrates his message through extended case studies of what it is for Christians to eat, to clothe themselves, and to engage in physical intimacy.

“As ever, Paul Griffiths is almost alarming in his lucidity and intelligence. Very few theologians can boast a comparable combination of profound questioning and precise reasoning. This is a book worthy of the most serious reflection, debate, and admiration.” – David Bentley Hart Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study

 

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