It’s been a while since my last post on book releases. I’m hoping to do these posts at least once per quarter (every three months). Depending on the releases, I may discuss books that will be released in the future, or stick to ones that have already been released.
Already in the first quarter of 2017 there have been a number of great books that have been released that I think are of interest for the Trinity/Oneness exchange and also for learning in general. Here’s just a sample.
1. Handbook on the Gospels — Jeffrey Brickle (April 9)
Jeffrey Brickle is an instructor at the Urshan Graduate School of Theology (UGST), the accredited institution for higher education in the UPCI. It’s exciting to see that the UPCI is beginning to step up its game in terms of scholarship.
The Handbook on the Gospels is only one volume in the Apostolic Handbook Series (AHS). These books are not intended to be commentaries on Scripture, but are essentially introductions to the different types of books in the Bible.
Handbook on the Gospels by Dr. Jeffrey Brickle, Urshan Graduate School of Theology professor of Biblical Theology. Engaging, informative.
— David K. Bernard (@davidkbernard) April 15, 2017
I haven’t had the chance to go through the AHS yet, but I imagine it is going to be important for further interaction between Oneness Pentecostals and Trinitarians.
You can also get each volume in the AHS in print or .epub formats from Pentecostal Publishing House.
2. The Essential Trinity (March 31)
This book is edited by Brandon D. Crowe and Carl R. Truman. (It was actually released earlier in the U.K.) This book has a discussion about the Trinity in each of the New Testament books. This is a very important volume for Oneness Pentecostals to become familiar with.
Richard Bauckham’s chapter on “The Trinity and the Gospel of John” is especially challenging. For one thing, he argues against the notion held by scholars like John A. T. Robinson (and Oneness Pentecostals!) that the term “Son” only refers to the hypostatic union (or joining of Jesus’ two natures in one person). He points to John 17, and which he sees as a “counterpart” to the prologue of John.
Oneness Pentecostals must deal with Bauckham’s argument. If the term “Son” ever refers to the person who preexisted the Incarnation, then many Oneness explanations of Scripture collapse.
3. How to Understand and Apply the New Testament — Andrew David Naselli (March 31)
Notice that this book (and the next!) was released on the same day as The Essential Trinity. That’s no surprise given that they are all put out by P & R Publishing. Simply put, P & R dropped fire on March 31!
There are many excellent books on hermeneutics (biblical interpretation). The term “hermeneutics” generally refers to the whole task of interpreting the Bible, from exegesis to application. Sometimes the term is only used to refer to the application of Scripture, but this is a narrow sense of the term. The broad sense of the term refers, as I say, to the entire enterprise of interpretation.
What’s great about this (and the following) book is that it takes us all the way from the beginning of the hermeneutical task to the end. There are great books that address individual aspects of this process, but this book covers the whole process.
The only place where this book needs supplemental information is genre analysis. In other words, this book doesn’t give an in depth discussion of how to interpret the different kinds of writing in the New Testament (narrative, poetry, parable, etc.). It gives great pointers in this regard, but supplemental volumes can be used alongside this book to help everyone learn how to properly interpret and apply Scripture.
4. How to Understand and Apply the Old Testament — Jason S. DeRouchie (March 31)
What I said about Naselli’s volume above applies here as well. While both volumes do discuss genre enough to get you started, there are a number of books that can be used as a supplement to these.
A good New Testament or Old Testament introduction text can serve you well here. Otherwise you can read Fee and Stuart’s How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth as a supplement.
At some point I’ll devote a whole series to hermeneutics. Naselli and DeRouchie’s books will be essential reference works here. I would also commend these volumes to you:
- Grant Osborne, The Hermeneutical Spiral. (This is a standard, graduate level textbook on hermeneutics.)
- Gordon D. Fee, New Testament Exegesis.
- Douglas Stuart, Old Testament Exegesis.
- David K. Bernard, Understanding God’s Word.
Of course, Bernard is the only Oneness Pentecostal in all of the recommended hermeneutics volumes.