Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
JOTGES 25:49 (Autumn 2012) p. 91
Devotions on the Greek New Testament: 52 Reflections to Inspire & Instruct. Edited by J. Scott Duvall and Verlyn D. Verbrugge. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012. 154 pp. Paper, $16.99.
Thirty-one different authors present fifty-two different devotions based on the Greek text of the NT. The articles are arranged in canonical order. There are ten articles based on passages in the Synoptic Gospels, five from John’s Gospel, three from Acts, twenty-four from Paul’s epistles, two from Hebrews, one from James, two from Peter’s epistles, one from 1 John, one from Jude, and three from Revelation.
The exegesis in this book is remarkably free from doctrinal dogmatism. Rarely did I find the author of a devotion basing his interpretation on what his tradition tells us must be true. Instead, authors cite evidence from the text itself for their views.
Seven of the articles stood out to me as especially helpful.
The article on Luke 2:4-5 concerns Mary and Joseph going to Bethlehem for the census. The author, Verbrugge (who is also the co-editor), points out that not only was the woman not required to go, “engaged people in the ancient world were never seen together without their parents” (p. 33). One of the two options he considered is that Joseph took Mary with him because she was pregnant and he knew that Messiah had to be born in Bethlehem (p. 34). Verbrugge prefers a second option. He believes that Joseph took her with him, although she was pregnant, because she “was no longer welcome to live with her parents” (p. 34). Either way, he sees the point that God ensured that Joseph took Mary so that the Messiah would indeed be born in Bethlehem.
Deppe discusses John 1:50-51 and the difference between you, singular, and you, plural (pp. 43-45). He also comments on John 3:7 in this regard.
There is a good discussion of Rom 5:1 (pp. 61-63), 1 Cor 3:17 (pp. 67-69), and 1 Tim 6:17-19 (pp. 109-111).
JOTGES 25:49 (Autumn 2012) p. 92
I found the exegesis of 2 Cor 5:16-17 (pp. 75-76) by Linda Belleview and of 2 Tim 3:16 (pp. 114-16) by C. Marvin Pate to be outstanding.
What I liked about Belleview’s article is that even though I disagreed with her translation of
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