Monday, January 03, 2005

Cross & tomb books

"He has risen!" Mark 16:6
In 2003, almost all my Sunday morning sermons
focused on the cross of Christ. I looked at all the major
texts in the New Testament that mention the
crucifixion of Jesus. As I prepared those sermons,
I found five books to be especially helpful in my
research of Scripture's teaching on the cross.
Those five books were, in no particular order:
Crucifixion by Martin Hengel (Fortress, 1977)

The Cross of Christ by John R.W. Stott (IVP, 1986)

The Cross in the New Testament by Leon Morris
(Eerdmans, 1999)

The Cross of Jesus by Leon Morris (Paternoster
Press, 1994)

The Core Gospel by Bill Love (ACU Press, 1992)
This past year (2004), virtually all of my Sunday morning
sermons the first nine months of the year dealt with
Jesus' resurrection. As I researched the New
Testament's references to the resurrection, I made
good use of two books in particular:
Life in the Face of Death: The Resurrection Message
of the New Testament
by Richard N. Longenecker
(Eerdmans, 1998)

The Message of the Resurrection by Paul
Beasley-Murray (IVP, 2000).
However, of these two the latter was hands down the
biggest help of all, being easier to read and much more
practical in terms of immediate application.

You might recognize the surname of its author:
Beasley-Murray. G.R. Beasley-Murray wrote, in my
opinion, the best in-depth commentary on John's
Gospel in print today (part of the Word Biblical
Commentary series) and a truly watershed work
on the subject of baptism (Baptism in the New
Testament
- Eerdmans, 1962). Paul is G.R.'s son
and has clearly inherited his father's gifts of
careful, clear and practical study of the New
Testament text.

Paul's book is divided into 35 sections (15 of which
deal with the Gospel accounts) under 8 major
headings. Though there are a few passages you might
hope to see dealt with are not discussed, this book is
very well done. I would highly recommend it to any
preacher or teacher who will be discussing Christ's
resurrection in any depth. The ten page study guide
at the end of the book also makes it suitable for use
in a class or group setting.