Some great Kindle Bible commentaries on sale

Here are a couple very good books on sale right now ($1.99 each).

Commentary on the Torah by [Friedman, Richard Elliott]

Commentary on the Torah, by Richard Elliott Friedman

from Amazon description: In this groundbreaking and insightful new commentary, one of the world’s leading biblical scholars unveils the unity and continuity of the Torah for the modern reader. Richard Elliott Friedman, the bestselling author of Who Wrote the Bible?, integrates the most recent discoveries in biblical archaeology and research with the fruits of years of experience studying and teaching the Bible to illuminate the straightforward meaning of the text — “to shed new light on the Torah and, more important, to open windows through which it sheds its light on us.”

Friedman is a leading Jewish Scholar on the Torah. He wrote, “Who Wrote the Bible?”, one of the best works on the Documentary Hypothesis for laymen. He will help us reach back to the early Jewish understanding of scripture, allowing us to see it in a new light.

 

How God Became King: The Forgotten Story of the Gospels by [Wright, N. T.]

How God Became King, by N.T. Wright

From the Amazon description:

“Despite centuries of intense and heavy industry expended on the study of all sorts of features of the gospels,” Wright writes, “we have often managed to miss the main thing that they, all four of them, are most eager to tell us. What we need is not just a bitof fine-tuning, an adjustment here and there. We need a fundamental rethink about what the gospels are trying to tell us.”

What Wright offers is an opportunity to confront these powerful texts afresh, as if we are encountering them for the first time. How God Became King reveals the surprising, unexpected, and shocking news of the gospels: this is the story of a new king, a new kind of king, a king who has changed everything, and a king who invites us to be part of his new world.

N.T, Wright is one of the leading scholars today on the New Testament. He is the former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England. His writings are innovative, and do not toe the Anglican or standard Protestant line, but he discusses concepts as given by scripture and other evidence.

 

15 thoughts on “Some great Kindle Bible commentaries on sale

  1. Of course, when considering these, Amazon suggests other reads.

    One that I’d like a comment on before reading would be Bart D. Ehrman’s How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee. The blurb seems to suggest that Erman finds Jesus to have been just a guy who then happened to appear to disciples, and that even those divine manifestations didn’t cause believe in Jesus as God in the manner moderns would understand.

  2. how well do the books mesh with LDS doctrine and our current understanding of the plan of salvation?

    Are they more basic than, or more advanced than, say, the LDS Institute manuals on the OT and NT?

    Ram, your understanding of LDS doctrine and current teachings is pretty advanced, So what well known or basic LDS and LDS-authored works/books/manuals would you recommend someone read prior to reading these two non-LDS works so that the reader doesn’t get led out into the weeds or into left-field?

    Do the books get heavily into doctrinal matters, or are they mostly explanation of culture and idioms?

    I don’t mean to warn people away from non-LDS-produced stuff, but I’ve found that a good grounding in the CES Institute manuals on the standard works, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and Talmage’s Jesus The Christ, and the standard works themselves, are needed as a pre-requisite so that non-LDS works on the Bible don’t lead one off into the weeds, so to speak.

  3. +1 to that. I read the blurb on the Wright book and thought “how is that different from Jesus the Christ?”.

  4. I can heartily recommend anything by N.T. “Tom” Wright he is both a scholar of the first order and a man of deep and abiding faith in Jesus Christ. Anything on The New Testament by Richard Holzapfel (https://deseretbook.com/t/editor/richard-neitzel-holzapfel?ref=product-producer-list) will have at least 3 things by Tom in the bibliography. In fact I was reading How God Became King the same night i attended a fireside w/ Bro Holzapfle and we enthused about him together. You will come away from any thing you read by him with a deeper testimony and understanding of Christ, His Mission, His Kingdom and His Holy House.
    See Here http://ntwrightpage.com/ , and here http://ntwrightonline.org/

    I’ve read the Ehrman book, it should be read in conjunction with a series of rebuttal essays “How God Became Jesus”. He is a textbook example of someone whose faith died because it was built on far to brittle a foundation, but he is an excellent scholar and provides a good challenge to Christian assumptions with ought being aggressively hostile.

  5. Bart Ehrman is a former conservative Christian who is now agnostic (at least). He has traded one sort of fundamentalism for another – when younger, he defined the inerrancy and total accuracy of the Bible, but now he argues it’s completely unreliable and basically useless. He’s wrong and intellectually dishonest, but he’s the flavor of the year amongst the cool kids in the chattering classes, so he gets a free pass on that.

  6. Wright’s stuff is usually 90% compatible with LDS thinking, at least in my experience. I haven’t read this specific book yet, but I’ve read the four volumes of his “Christian Origins” series (volume three on the Resurrection is simply the best book ever on the Resurrection, period).

    The main differences (other than the obvious ones of him being Anglican instead of LDS) is that NT Wright is also a very respected academic and his work is based on all the latest research and findings; he’s still quite conservative/orthodox and rejects nearly all of what we might find troubling about academic Biblical “higher criticism” – but in that case, it’s the conclusions drawn by others that are the issue. NT Wright bases his writing on the facts – what new do we know about the world at the time of Jesus (for example, Talmage gets the Pharisees and the Jewish expectation of a Messiah somewhat wrong/incomplete – new information and findings have come out in the decades since that reveal a lot more about the culture and times and expectations).

  7. Bookslinger, LDS leaders are not always gospel scholars. Talmage took most of JTC from Farrar’s book. Bruce R McConkie was a scriptorian, not a gospel scholar. The former memorizes scripture and interprets it via his culture. The latter studies scripture, history, archaeology, etc, and explains scripture from the view of the ancients. Eisegesis vs exegesis.

    Would you ask the same of a math or science book? Can we not “seek out of the best books” without first getting approval from the First Presidency? These are quality authors.

    Meg, Ehrman is an excellent NT scholar. He is agnostic, and so reports all from that perspective, but is usually fair in his assessment.

  8. BTW, the CES manuals are next to useless. They are outdated and inaccurate. They do not include the JSPP, etc.
    Using old text books can be like studying an astronomy book from 1960, no info on moon landings, ice planets, etc. It has good stuff, but misses very important new things.

  9. Another excellent book is Jesus of Nazareth: What He Wanted, Who He Was, by Gerhard Lohfink. He is a Roman Catholic priest, but none of what he wrote would be offensive to a Latter-day Saint. He explains how the parables, for example, would be interpreted by the people who actually heard them — valuable insight — based on the realities of the place and time as understood by an honest historian. He also posited that we don’t really understand Jesus’s message today — Jesus’s preachings about the Kingdom of God being present right then and there sounds like N.T. Wright’s thesis.

    Reading Lohfink’s book made me a better Latter-day Saint.

  10. I would hardly call Ehrman fair or excellent. His “Misquoting Jesus” is the most intellectually dishonest book I have ever had the displeasure of reading. His main thesis that the NT’s textual history renders the entire thing not just unreliable, but a mass of nonsense is silly, inaccurate, and flat out wrong. Even scholars that don’t believe in Jesus as the Christ know that we can determine the NT text with a high degree of reliability. Ehrman is basically trying to destroy other people’s faith because he can only either have a totally perfect, infallible NT or a totally inaccurate, useless NT but nothing in-between.

  11. Ram, I didn’t mean to be jingoistic or not-invented-here-istic. Ivan’s and Joseph M’s comments were more along the line of the info I was seeking.

    You’re well-versed in scriptures, gospel doctrine and church history. Therefore, you can easily discern and ignore those parts of “outsider” books that are in direct contradiction with LDS understanding or even contain scholarly interpretations based on unspoken assumptions that go against the restored gospel.

    A less spiritual/learned reader may not as easily (as you can) see how an author’s statement of an “obvious meaning/take-away” is actually a deduction based on some other unstated false assumption that supposedly “everybody knows.”

    Many LDS adult-converts and born-in-church young adults have nothing more than one or two read-throughs of the standard works and Gospel Principles.

    There are lots of non-LDS religious and Bible history and Bible commentary books that are suitable for that audience. I was wondering if your recommendations were among those, or if it required a more mature understanding, and if so, what LDS material could get the reader there, or “innoculate” them against the wrong parts.

    Ivan’s and Joseph M’s comments make Wright sound pretty safe, and Ehrman to be avoided. But I’m also NOT saying that any particular non-LDS author is black/white, or good/bad. There are degrees and levels. I’m a fan of the stoic philosopher Epictetus, and at least one book by modern day evangelical Michael L. Brown, but they have to be read with a degree of care and an analysis with an LDS lense.

    By the way, books on, or books of, the Joseph Smith Papers Project are now at store.lds.org.

    I know you’re very familiar with the CES material. (I remember you subbing for Br Hunt’s Inst class years ago.) I kind of felt like the CES manuals on the OT and NT were like 1960 astronomy books too. Do you think the CES manual on the D&C is also outdated, or is it still worth the read?

    Does the “Revelations in Context” book/manual replace the CES D&C manual, or merely extend it?

  12. Bookslinger,
    Elder Ballard, just spoke this week and is on BYUtv, an authoritative voice on the limits of his authority :

    “I am a general authority, but that doesn’t make me an authority in general. [laughter] My calling and life’s experiences allow me to respond to certain types of questions. There are other types of questions that require an expert in the specific subject matter. This is exactly what I do when I need an answer to such questions. I seek others including those with degrees and expertise in such fields. I worry sometimes that members expect too much from Church leaders and teachers, expecting them to be experts in subjects well beyond their duties and responsibilities. The Lord called the apostles and prophets to invite others to come unto Christ, not to obtain advanced degrees in ancient history, biblical studies, and other fields that may be useful in answering all the questions we may have about scriptures, history, and about the Church. ***Our primary duty is to build up the church, teach the doctrine of Christ, and help those in need of our help.*** Fortunately the Lord provided this counsel for those asking questions: ‘seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith’ (D&C 88:118). If you have a question that requires an expert please take the time to find a thoughtful qualified expert to help you. There are many on this campus and elsewhere who have the degrees and expertise to respond and give some insight to most of these types of questions.” (emphasis added)

    starting about 12:13 (h/t Ben Spackman for the transcript)

    That said, we must always use due diligence with all experts

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