I’m always reading… almost always. Occasionally, I’ll take a break and go for two or three days without reading… or without reading much. I love to read. And, I love to read many different books at the same time and different kinds of books at the same time. I’m always reading books that are required for my Ph.D. seminars. At the same time, I’m usually reading “fun books” – “fun books” and “fun reading” are names that Margaret, my wife, has given to the reading that I do that is not required for school.
Here are the books that I’m currently reading:
I’m reading this first set of books for a Ph.D. seminary on the Gospel of John.
1. An Introduction to the Gospel of John by Raymond Brown. Actually, I finished reading this book recently. I’ve heard about Brown, but this was the first chance that I had to read one of his book.
2. John (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) by Andreas J. KÃ¶stenberger. This is the only commentary that we are required to read for this seminar. However, we have to refer to another commentary for exegetical work for each seminar meeting.
3. What We Have Heard from the Beginning by Tom Thatcher. This is a very interesting book that includes essays about Johannine research from leading scholars, plus responses from other scholars.
4. The Gospel of John by Rudolf Bultmann. Everyone talks about Bultmann, so I thought, “Why not read straight from the horse’s mouth.” This is the commentary that I’ve chosen to study for each of my exegetical exercises.
For the seminar in Old Testament Theology, I’m reading the following books:
5. Old Testament Theology by Gerhard Hasel. I am enjoying this book immensely. He covers the history and different methodologies of Old Testament theology.
6. Old Testament Theology: Flowering and Future by Ben Ollenburger. This book includes several classical essays and excerpts from the last century in Old Testament theology.
7. An Old Testament Theology: An Exegetical, Canonical, and Thematic Approach by Bruce Waltke and Charles Yu. I haven’t actually started reading this book yet, but I have to start soon. In a few weeks, I have to present a section of this book in class.
8. The Gospel of Genesis by Warren Gage. I haven’t started reading this book either, but it is also part of my in-class presentation. So, I will start reading it soon.
9. Old Testament Theology: Israel’s Faith by John Goldingay. Every student has to summarize a book by an Old Testament theologian. This is the book that I’m going to summarize.
Finally, here are the books that I’m reading for “fun”:
10. Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola and George Barna. I read the original edition a couple of years ago, and I talked about it recently in a blog post called “Living in the Necessary“. In response to that post, someone (Jeanette) working with Frank Viola offered to send me a review copy if I would review it on my blog. So, I will be reviewing this book soon.
11. An Echo in the Darkness by Francine Rivers. Margaret recommended the Mark of the Lion series to me because she thought I would enjoy the historical fiction set in first century Rome. She was right. There are a few things that bug me, like the say that characters quote NT Scripture in 70 AD, and the way they use 20th century Christian phrases like “ask Jesus into your heart”. But, overall its a good series.
What are you reading?