Holiday Cookiesby Elisabet Der Nederlanden

Holiday Cookies, written by Elisabet Der Nederlanden and published by Ten Speed Press, is a great little cookbook full of delicious holiday bakes.

Each of the recipes in this book sound fantastic, though I’m particularly impressed by the reimagining of some Christmas classics. Overall, I can see this book receiving a lot of use during the winter.

I would rexommend this book to anyone who loves to bake and is bored with the “same old, same old” holiday recipes.

This book was provided to me by Ten Speed Press via blogging for books in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

Philippians (EGGNT) by Joseph H. Hellerman

51asyucrskl-_sx336_bo1204203200_As a student of Biblical Greek, of which this mastery did not come easy, I am always on the lookout for new aids in the study of biblical original languages.  Most of these works are in the form of reference materials, such as grammar books.  The Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament series is a lexical aid and exegetical Biblical Greek commentary.  One of the more phenomenal works in this fantastic series is Philippians by Joseph H. Hellerman, and edited by series editor Andres J. Köstenberger and Robert W. Yarborough and exceeds all of my preconceptions.

Needless to say , one must have a through knowledge of Biblical Greek to use this work.  Yet if you do have a thorough knowledge of Biblical Greek then this exegetical guide is an invaluable resource for those who want to dig deeper into the text and shine light into difficult to translate passages.   Digging into the work itself, it begins with the traditional introductory matters.  This might be the only weakness of this aid, and the reason is that it is only two pages long, which could be expanded upon.  Yet with these matters not being of primary importance in a lexical aid with some added commentary, two pages is all that is needed.

One of the greatest strengths is also found in the introduction section. Hellerman has a small section that details what he perceives are the greatest and most helpful commentaries on the gospel of Philippians.  After seeing the scholarly work which Hellerman put into this exegetical guide these recommendations are worth the cost of the guide itself.

This aid to Philippians is truly unique in its approach; each verse is broken down with each Greek word being expertly dissected with a small argument about syntax and commentary.  I look forward to the new installments in this recently begun series.  In the end I fully recommend this work to any pastors who know their Biblical Greek and want to use it in their sermons.

This book was provided to me free of charge from B & H Academic Publishing in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.

Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament: Philippians

© 2015 by Joseph H. Hellerman

Publisher: B & H Academic Publishing

Page Count:  368 Pages

ISBN: 978-1433676864

Publishers Website:

Genesis 1-11:26 (NAC) by Kenneth A. Matthews

41gtud6f0fl-_sx314_bo1204203200_Genesis 1-11:26 is an Old Testament commentary, written by Kenneth A. Matthews and published by B&H Academic is an enduring work of academic excellence and superior Exegesis with pastoral care.  This commentary is a foundational edition of the New American Commentary Series, a prestigious series which is synonymous with outstanding exegesis and unparalleled application, this volume not only continues this legacy, but propels it to new heights.  Genesis 1-11:26 is one of the most articulate and practical commentaries on the first book of the Pentateuch in Holy Scripture.  This was a study that is needed in the light of the current culture’s attack of the concept of sin and foundationalism. Matthews is a highly regarded scholar and professor at Beeson Divinity School and has written two other commentaries in the NAC series (Genesis 12-50 and the Judges portion of the Judges & Ruth commentary).

Genesis 1-11:26 has two main sections the typical general introduction, and then followed by a insightful exegetical commentaries on the first book of the Pentateuch.  With regard to the general introduction Matthews spends a great deal of time defending the hisoricity of the book of Genesis as well as varying literary motifs.   Matthews spend just shy of 100 pages on his introdcution and it is very well worth a read.   The translation of Genesis that Matthew uses is the NIV (New International Version), thankfully it is the 1984 version of the NIV rather than the 2011 version, which has rid itself of much of God’s gender.

While I disagree with Matthews on a few of issues with regard to Old Testament interpretation, his scholarly work on the first book of the Pentateuch is very well researched and written for a pastor preaching or teaching through the book of Genesis exegeticaly. In the vein of recommending, Genesis 1-11:26, to others I would recommend this commentary to pastors and scholars.  There are many commentaries about Genesis available at this moment but Genesis 1-11:26 of the New American Commentary series is commentary too good to pass on.

This book was provided to me free of charge from B&H Academic in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.

Genesis 1-11:26: New American Commentary

© 1996 by Kenneth A. Mattews

Publisher: B&H Academic

Page Count: 528 Pages

ISBN: 978-0805401011

1 & 2 Samuel (OTL) by A. Graeme Auld

31opew0qfxl-_sx331_bo1204203200_1 & 2 Samuel, written by A. Graeme Auld and published by Westminster John Knox Press, is one of the most well written modern commentaries on this book of the Bible. 1 & 2 Samuel is one of the more recent volume of the Old Testament Library, a series which is synonymous with critical scholarship, this volume continues this legacy. Auld is no stranger to studious commentaries series on scripture yet this is his first foray into the Old Testament Library Commentary series.

1 & 2 Samuel begins with the typical study into the introductory matters of this book of the Bible, yet while introductions are common; this introduction is atypical of most commentaries.  It is not that this work doesn’t dive into history and recent scholarship, which 1 & 2 Samuel does a phenomenal job of; rather, it is the thoroughness that Auld takes with these introductory matters which makes this commentary atypical. In a day where these matters are either glossed over to get to the exegesis of the text or are so cumbersome that they become useless, Auld has found a good balance in being thorough, communicating depth and attention to recent scholarship, all without losing the forest in the trees.  I must readily admit that while Auld shows the depth of scholarship, some of the conclusions that he draws are more liberal than my taste.  This in no way negates his scholarship or his contributions Old Testament scholarship.

In reference to the commentary on the text of these books of the Bible, Auld takes great care in carefully showing the original context of passage while sprinkling practical application to the reader throughout the textual commentary.  This book is helpful to any pastor who is looking for a depth that other commentaries do not provide.


This book was provided to me free of charge from Westminster John Knox Publishing in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.

1 and 2 Samuel: The Old Testament Library

© 2012 by A. Graeme Auld

Publisher: Westminster John Knox

Page Count: 686 Pages

ISBN: 978-0664239718

Honest Evangelism by Rico Tice

51obvaug28l-_sx324_bo1204203200_Rico Tice is a name you can trust he is the founder and leader of Christianity explored Ministries which is one of the best vandalistic programs but it’s ever been created. With this in mind I was very excited to see his new book honest evangelism debut with the good book company.

Honest Evangelism, fulfills its title completely. Rico Tice is extremely honest in how a person should talk about Jesus, the trials that a Christian will go through in sharing the gospel, and how we must remember that is God who saves not ourselves. This phenomenal treatment of practical evangelism is broken down into eight sections. Each section is brutally honest for the reader and reminds the Christian who seeks to do with evangelism that they must be honest in the cost of the Gospel.

The Practical nature and invaluable methods that Tice explains in this work can be used by any Christian regardless of the length of time they have been a Christian. Each chapter focuses on the reader’s knowledge of Christ and how to convey the work and attributes of Christ to the reprobate. Above All Else this work stays true to God’s word never proof texting nor teaching the reader to express the Prosperity Gospel.

For those who hold to a reformed understanding of scripture and are outside the united states, this book is even more valuable to you for it is one of the few books which teaches evangelism from a reformed Evangelical perspective from a Minister who is on the front lines when it comes to reaching the unchurched in Europe. I highly recommend this work to all Church officers, and laymen desire to embody the Great Commission to share the gospel with any and all people they come in contact with.

This book was provided to me free of charge from The Good Book Company in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.

This book was provided to me free of charge from The Good Book Company in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.

Honest Evangelism: How to talk about Jesus even when it’s tough

© 2015 by Rico Tice

Publisher: The Good Book Company

Page Count: 112 Pages

ISBN: 978-1909919396


Publishers Website:

Book’s Landing Page:

Peppers of the Americas by Maricel E. Presilla

61cv97ynvhl-_ac_us218_Peppers of the Americas, written by Maricel E. Presilla and Published by Lorena Jones Books,  is a gorgeous book detailing the history of peppers, the science behind them, and their impact on cooking in various cultures.

This book is packed full of great information as well as beautiful pictures and illustrations to accompany the text. The recipe section on the last third of the book is full of delicious recipes for salsas, vinegars, and other amazing, pepper infused foods.

While I love the focus this book has on the history and science of peppers throughout the Americas, I do wish there were more recipes, as rhe recipes are contained only in the last 1/3 of the book.

Overall I would recommend this book to anyone who loves spicy foods and a look at food history.

This book was provided to me by Lorena Jones books via blogging for books in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

Tranquility: A prayer and Coloring Journal

421794Tranquility: “a prayer and coloring journal” is a wonderful integration of a prayer journal and the peaceful act of coloring.

Each page has a verse from the Bible, a thought or idea to focus prayers on, and a repetitive pattern to color in (similar to a mandala).

This is a fun little journal to get someone into the idea of meditating on prayer and scripture. It’s not deep or indepth, but it is relaxing and a good push to use the time to focus on the word of God and talking to Him about it.

Overall, I would recommend this as a great stocking stuffer or small gift.

This book was provided to me by Tyndale House Publishing in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

The Unreformed Martin Luther by Andres Malessa

5444562The TV show Mythbusters was a phenomenal hit for its entire run the simple fact that it lived up to its name, debunking myths or proving them true is something that our culture desires. It is therefore our desire to seek truth in a world of fake news.
The Unreformed Martin Luther: A Serious (and Not So Serious) Look at the Man Behind the Myths by Andres Malessa takes this cultural desire to “bust myths” and focuses it on the most well-known Protestant reformer. Malessa aims to prove or debunk 25 of the most interesting, perplexing, and provocative myths that circulate around this polarizing man.  Well some of these myths are easy to prove or disprove others explain parts of medieval culture which would be completely foreign to most people. While there is a definite black of footnoting in this work due to its popular nature, the sources which are quoted are either from Luther himself or well-known Luther Scholars.
This book is by no means an academic treatment on Luther rather a fun and easy read exploring medieval culture and legends surrounding a man who is larger than life. Well I do not agree with the tone that is taken in a few sections of a book I did thoroughly enjoy it.  If you were looking for either a biography or celery treatment of Luther himself or his theological leanings I would search elsewhere but if you are looking for a book that will make you laugh, cry, and question your knowledge of medieval culture this book is for you.  Furthermore this book comes an opportune time to celebrate this is historic Reformation.  For this year is the 500th anniversary of Luther creating and dispersing the ninety-five theses of which created the spark which lit the flame of the Reformation.

This book was provided to me free of charge from Kregel Press in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.

The Unreformed Martin Luther: A Serious (and Not So Serious) Look at the Man Behind the Myths

© 2017 by Andres Malessa

Publisher: Kregel Press

Page Count: 176 Pages

ISBN: 9780825444562

Jesus According to Scripture (2nd Edition) by Darrell L. Bock with Benjamin I. Simpson

51fl7wj0x8l-_sx329_bo1204203200_In an age where the “Quest for the Historical Jesus,” eg. the “Real Jesus of History” still rages on, a work demonstrating Jesus according to scripture is needed. Baker Academic has recently released the second edition of their aptly titled, Jesus According to Scripture: Restoring the Portrait from the Gospels, by Darrell L. Bock with Benjamin I. Simpson. Both of these authors are highly respected scholars whose research has taken them on the offensive when it comes to restoring the correct image of Christ, as He is portrayed in Holy Scripture.

Seeking the correct understanding of the person-hood of Jesus, has been a debate both in scholarly and in the public domain for many years. Furthermore countless books have been written on the subject, ranging from topics such as Jesus’s ability to perform miracles, to addressing Jesus claim to be the Son of God. Yet this work, Jesus According to Scripture, makes sure that the debate stays within the confines of Holy Scripture, while still engaging new critical arguments posed about the person-hood of Jesus and who he claimed to be.

To begin their argument the authors examine the “Quest for the Historical Jesus” by looking at various “Form Critics” to see where the modern Quest has taken us. From this point the author’s take their readers on a journey through 294 accounts in the life of Jesus, showing how they are presented in the synoptic gospels while rebutting the critical arguments against each account.  After this section of the book, a second yet just as thorough study on critical theory takes place.  The authors examine the personhood of Jesus and how he is portrayed in the Gospel of John. This study is the same as the study in the synoptic gospels yet focusing on accounts that are specific to the Gospel of John.

This work is powerful, well-researched, and expertly worded. Due to the high academic nature of this book, it is best used by scholarly pastors, scholars and seminary students. Yet it may be of some use to laymen who have a high academic degree. Bock and Simpson are names you can trust to proclaim the true Jesus as portrayed from the pages of Holy Scripture as well as to draw Orthodox conclusions from it. I highly recommend this text.

This book was provided to me free of charge from Baker Academic Publishing in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.


Jesus According to Scripture: Restoring the Portrait from the Gospels, Second Edition

© 2017 by Darrell L. Bock with Benjamin I. Simpson

Publisher: Baker Academic

Page Count: 768 Pages

ISBN: 978-0801098086

Publishers Website:

Book Landing Page:

A History of Israel by Walter Kaiser Jr and Paul D. Wergner

51eiin4kunl-_sx348_bo1204203200_There are many books on the history of Israel, most are very Starling and full of critical scholarship. Which makes most of the academic treatments of a history of the nation of Israel inaccessible to the Layman as well as too many pastors who did not have an extensive academic training in seminary. This is not the case with a revised edition of Walter Kaiser Jr and Paul D. Wergner’s, A History of Israel: From the Bronze Age Through the Jewish Wars. Wing in just over 700 Pages this book is extremely thorough without becoming tedious.
Each page of this book is in full color which is the best feature of the entire work. Most books on history, even ones that have been revised or published in the last decade, are in full black and white, even in their photos. More to the point most photos and other works are also so grainy it is hard to see the map for the item that is being highlighted. This is not the case with a history of Israel. Almost every page has an illustration or table to draw the reader to engage with the item. While while this is no means a book you would read all the way through like a novel at one time. It is the perfect reference work or text book for class on Old Testament Israelite culture as well as some inter testimonial studies.
It is hard to say anything negative about this work. The only negative part about this book is was to be used as a textbook, there are no study questions or review questions at the end of each chapter. So it is not your traditional textbook, but it can definitely be used as one. If used as a textbook, the work would be best served as a high-level college or masters level class in a seminary.

This book was provided to me free of charge from B and H Academic Publishing in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.


A History of Israel: From the Bronze Age Through the Jewish Wars

© 2017 by Walter Kaiser Jr and Paul D. Wergner

Publisher: B and H Academic

Page Count: 728 Pages

ISBN: 978-1433643187