Below is a list of the better books and articles I read for my classwork during this past semester at Wake Forest University School of Divinity.
I attempted to group the books and articles by topic. My classes this semester: New Testament Letters Interpretation with Dr. Katherine A. Shaner (items 1-35 in the list below), New Testament Greek II with Dr. Mary L.B. Pendergraft (36-37), The Problem of Evil with Dr. Kevin Jung (38-58), Spirituality and Discernment with Dr. Chris Copeland (59-66), and a Public Theology Internship (67-81).
This list includes around 85% of our assigned reading and of the major resources for some of my papers and public-theology work. For most of these, we read the entire work. For some of them—the Bibles, the commentaries, the Greek Lexicon, etc.—we read only part.
Below my classwork list is a list of some of the other books recommended over the past semester by people I trust.
The cite formatting varies and is often non-standard. It became too time-consuming to standardize all the cites for the purpose of a blog article and my natural cite format after 24 years of law practice (mostly the Blue Book) is different from standard academic formatting. Maybe you will forgive me?
The ones marked with a * are the ones I reccomend to a broader audience.
- * The HarperCollins Study Bible, Revised Edition, edited by Harold W. Attridge, San Francisco: HarperOne (2006).
- * The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha, Third Edition, New Revised Standard Version, New York: Oxford University Press (2001).
- * The New Interpreter’s Study Bible, New Revised Standard Version With the Apocrypha, Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press (2003).
- * The Jewish Study Bible, 2d ed., New York: Oxford University Press (2014).
- The Jewish Annotated New Testament, 2nd ed., New York: Oxford University Press (2017).
- Mary Ann Tolbert, Soundings in Cultural Criticism: Perspectives and Methods in Culture, Power, and Identity in the New Testament, Francisco Lozada Jr. and Greg Carey, eds., Minneapolis, MN: Fortress (2013).
- Sylvester Johnson, “The Bible, Slavery, and the Problem of Authority,” pages 231–248, in Beyond Slavery: Overcoming Its Religious and Sexual Legacies, Bernadette J. Brooten, ed., New York: Palgrave MacMillan (2010).
- Krister Stendahl, “Ancient Scripture in the Modern World,” in Scripture in the Jewish and Christian Traditions: Authority, Interpretation, Relevance, Nashville, TN: Abingdon (1982), pages 202–214.
- Daniel N. Schowalter, “Seeking Shelter in Roman Corinth: Archaeology and the Placement of Paul’s Communities,” in Corinth in Context: Comparative Studies on Religion and Society, Steven J. Friesen, et al., eds., Boston: Brill (2014), pages 327–41.
- Melanie Johnson-DeBaufre, “‘Gazing Upon the Invisible’: Archaeology, Historiography, and the Elusive Wo/men of 1 Thessalonians,” in From Roman to Early Christian Thessalonikē: Studies in Religion and Archaeology, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press (2010), pages 73–108.
- Charalambos Bakirtzis, “Paul and Philippi: The Archaeological Evidence,” in Philippi at the Time of Paul and After His Death, Helmut Koester, ed., Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Trinity Press International (1998), pages 37–48.
- Davina Lopez and Todd Penner. “Objects, Objectives, and Objectivities: Material and Visual Culture and New Testament Studies,” in De-Introducing the New Testament: Texts, Worlds, Methods, Stories, Oxford, UK: Wiley Blackwell (2012), pages 119–167.
- Todd Penner and Davina C. Lopez, “Rhetorical Approaches: Introducing the Art of Persuasion in Paul and Pauline Studies,” in Studying Paul’s Letters, Joseph A. Marchal, ed., Minneapolis: Fortress Press (2012), pages 33–52.
- Katherine A. Shaner, “Seeing Rape and Robbery: άρπαγµαός and the Philippians Christ Hymn (Phil. 2:5-11),” Biblical Interpretation 25 (2017), pages 342–363.
- Pamela Eisenbaum, “Jewish Perspectives: A Jewish Apostle to the Gentiles,” in Studying Paul’s Letters: Contemporary Perspectives and Methods, Joseph A. Marchal, ed., Minneapolis, Minnesota: Fortress Press (2012), pages 135–154.
- John Gager, Reinventing Paul, New York: Oxford University Press (2000).
- Stephen Motyer, “The Relationship Between Paul’s Gospel of ‘All One in Christ Jesus’ (Gal. 3:28) and the ‘Household Codes,’” Vox Evangelica 19 (1989), pages 33–48.
- Marianne Bjelland Kartzow, “‘Asking the Other Question’: An Intersectional Approach to Galatians 3:28 and the Colossian Household Codes,” Biblical Interpretation 18 (2010), pages 364–389.
- Clarice J. Martin, “The Haustafeln (Household Codes) in African American Biblical Interpretation: ‘Free Slaves’ and ‘Subordinate Women,’” Pages 206–231, In Stony the Road We Trod: African American Biblical Interpretation, Edited by Cain Hope Felder, Minneapolis, Minnesota: Augsburg Fortress Press (1991).
- Elsa Tamez and Paul Burns. “I Timothy and James on the Rich, Women, and Theological Disputes,” in Many Voices of the Bible, London: SCM Press, (2002), pages 49-58.
- Brian J. Tucker, “The Jerusalem Collection, Economic Inequality, and Human Flourishing: Is Paul’s Concern the Redistribution of Wealth, or a Relationship of Mutuality (or Both)?” Canadian Theological Review 3 (2014), pages 52-70.
- Julien M. Ogereau, “The Jerusalem Collection as κοινωνία: Paul’s Global Politics of Socio-economic Equality and Solidarity,” New Testament Studies 58, no. 3 (July 2012), pages 360-378.
- Hal Taussig, “The Hellenistic and Early Christian Social Practice of Festive Meals,” in In the Beginning was the Meal, Minneapolis, MN: Fortress (2009), pages 21–54.
- Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, “Essentializing Gender—Theologizing the Feminine,” in Congress of Wo/men: Religion, Gender, and Kyriarchal Power, Cambridge, MA: Journal for Feminist Studies in Religion (2016), pages 65–95.
- Kelly Brown Douglas, “The Black Church and Homosexuality: The Black and White of It,” Union Seminary Quarterly Review 57, no. 1-2 (2003), pages 32-45.
- Karl A. Kuhn, “Natural and Unnatural Relations between Text and Context: A Canonical Reading of Romans 1:26-27,” Currents in Theology and Mission 33 (2006), pages 313-329.
- Helmut Koester, “Imperial Ideology and Eschatology in 1 Thessalonians.” in Paul and Empire, ed. Richard A. Horsley, Harrisburg, PA: Trinity International (1997), pages 158-166.
- Joan M. Martin, “A Sacred Hope and a Social Goal: Womanist Eschatology,” in Liberating Eschatology, Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press (1999), pages 209-226.
- Barbara Rossing, “Hastening the Day when the Earth Will Burn: Global Warming, 2 Peter, and the Book of Revelation,” in The Bible in the Public Square: Reading the Signs of the Times, Minneapolis, Minnesota: Fortress (2008), pages 25-38.
- Dan Otto Via, Jr., “Revelation, Atonement and the Scope of Faith in the Epistle to the Hebrews: a Deconstructive and Reader-response Interpretation,” Biblical Interpretation 11, no. 3-4 (2003), pages 515-530.
- * Joseph A. Marchal, Studying Paul’s Letter: Contemporary Perspectives and Methods, Minneapolis, Minnesota: Fortress (2012).
- Anthony C. Thiselton, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (2000).
- David E. Garland, 1 Corinthians, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2003.
- Mark Finney, “Honour, Head-coverings and Headship: 1 Corinthians 11.2-16 in its Social Context,” 33 Journal for the Study of the New Testament, No. 1 (Sept. 2010), pages 31-58.
- Preston Massey, “Long Hair as a Glory and as a Covering: Removing an Ambiguity from 1 Cor 11:15,” Novum Testamentum 53 (2011).
- Clayton Croy, A Primer of Biblical Greek (Eerdmans, 1999).
- Bruce M. Metzger, Lexical Aids for Students of New Testament Greek, 3rd edition (Baker, 1998).
- * Chad Meister and James K. Dew, Jr. eds. God and the Problem of Evil: Five Views, Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2017.
- Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. Penguin Classics, 2006.
- Voltaire, Candide, New York: Dover Publications, 1991.
- David Bentley Hart, Doors of the Sea, Eerdmans, 2011.
- Shirley Jackson, The Lottery.
- L. Mackie, “Evil and Omnipotence,” Mind, New Series, Vol. 64, No. 254 (April 1955), pages 200-212.
- Alvin Plantinga, “God, Evil, and the Metaphysics of Freedom” (1978).
- William Rowe, “The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism,” American Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 16, No. 4 (Oct., 1979), pages 335-341.
- Paul Draper, “God and Evil: A Philosophical Inquiry,” 9th Annual Plantinga Fellow Lecture, University of Notre Dame (2010).
- Roderick M. Chisholm, “The Defeat of Good and Evil,” Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 42 (1968), pages 21-38.
- Richard Swinburne, “Why God Allows Evil,” Is There a God?, New York: Oxford University Press (1996), pages 95-113.
- Robert Adams, “Must God Create the Best?” Philosophical Review Vol. 81, No. 3 (1972), pages 317-332.
- St. Augustine, On Free Choice of the Will, Book III.
- Talal Asad, On Suicide Bombing, ch.3 New York: Columbia University Press (2007).
- Immanuel Kant, Religion within the Limits of Mere Reason, 1st essay.
- Diogenes Allen, “Natural Evil and the Love of God,” Religious Studies Vol. 16, No. 4 (Dec. 1980), pages 439-456.
- John Hick, “Soul-Making and Suffering,” In Marilyn McCord Adams & Robert Merrihew Adams (eds.), The Problem of Evil, New York: Oxford University Press (1990), pages 168-188.
- Eleonore Stump, “The Problem of Evil,” Faith and Philosophy 2 (4), pages 392-423 (1985).
- Peter Van Inwagen, “The Place of Chance in a World Sustained by God” in Divine and Human Action, Thomas V. Morris, ed., Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press (1988), pages 211-235.
- Richard Swinburne, “A Theodicy of Heaven and Hell,” in The Existence & Nature of God, A. Freddoso (ed.), Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press (1983), pages 37–54.
- Michael Levine, “Swiburne’s Hell: One Hell of a Place,” Religious Studies, Vol. 29, No. 4 (Dec., 1993), pages 519-531.
- Wilkie Au & Noreen Cannon Au, The Discerning Heart, Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press (2006).
- * Nancy L. Bieber, Decision Making & Spiritual Discernment, Woodstock, Vermont: Skylight Paths (2012).
- Suzanne Farnham, et. al. Listening Hearts, Revised Edition, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Morehouse (1991).
- * Elizabeth Liebert, The Way of Discernment, Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox (2008).
- Matthew Linn Dennis & Shelia Fabricant, Sleeping with Bread, Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press (1995).
- Matthew Linn Dennis, & Shelia Fabricant, Good Goats: Healing Our Image of God, Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press (1993).
- * Henri Nouwen, Discernment, New York, New York: HarperOne (2013).
- Parker Palmer, “Clearness Committee,” Weavings (July/Aug 1988), pages 37-40.
- Mark A. Schuster, M.D., Ph.D., Sari L. Reisner, Sc.D., and Sarah E. Onorato, B.A., “Beyond Bathrooms — Meeting the Health Needs of Transgender People,” N Engl J Med (July 14, 2016).
- Laura Ungar,”Transgender people face alarmingly high risk of suicide,” USA Today (August 16, 2015).
- * Two Views on Women in Ministry (Revised Edition), ed. by Stanley N. Gundry (series editor) Grand Rapids: Zondervan (2005).
- The Bible in American Life, New York: Oxford University Press (2017).
- The Stone-Campbell Movement: A Global History, Edited by D. Newell Williams et al., St. Louis: Chalice Press (2013).
- The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement, ed. by Douglas A. Foster et al., Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (2004).
- Lesly F. Massey, “Alexander Campbell and the Status of Women: A Case Study in Ambivalence,” CBE International.
- * Richard T. Hughes, The Churches of Christ (Student Edition), Westport, Connecticut: Praeger (2001).
- Carroll D. Osburn, Women in the Church, Abilene: ACU Press (2001).
- Billie Silvey, ed., Trusting Women: The Way of Women in Churches of Christ, Orange, California: New Leaf Books (2002).
- How I Changed My Mind About Women in Leadership: Compelling Stories from Prominent Evangelicals, ed. by Alan F. Johnson, Grand Rapids: Zondervan (2010).
- * Scot McKnight, The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible, Zondervan (2016).
- * Gordon D. Fee & Douglas Stuart, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, 4th ed., Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan (2014).
- Gordon D. Fee & Douglas Stuart, How to Read the Bible Book by Book, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan (2014).
- * Gordon D. Fee & Douglas Stuart, How to Choose a Translation for All Its Worth, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan (2007).
Also, here is a list of some of the books suggested to me during the semester by people I respect, in no particular order (I have not read these):
- Behind the Text: History and Biblical Interpretation, Craig Bartholomew et al., eds., Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan (2003).
- Peter J. Gomes, The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Heart and Mind, HarperOne (2002).
- Randolph Richard & Brandon J. O’Brien, Misreading Scripture With Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible, IVP Books (2012).
- Neil Lightfoot, How We Got the Bible, Abilene, Texas: ACU Press (1986).
- Christian Smith, The Bible Made Impossible: Why Biblicism Is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Brazos Press (2011).
- Kathleen Norris, Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith, Riverhead Books (1999).
- Douglas A. Foster, The Story of the Churches of Christ, Abilene, Texas: Abilene Christian University Press (2013).
- Ed Harrell, Sources of Division in the Disciples of Christ, 1865-1900: A Social History of the Disciples of Christ, Volume 2, University Alabama Press (2003).
- Earl Irvin West, The Search for the Ancient Order: A History of the Restoration Movement, Volumes 1-4, Religious Book Service (1990).
- Foster Stanback, Into All Nations: A History of the International Churches of Christ, IPI (2005).
- Les Ferguson Jr., Still Wrestling: Faith Renewed through Brokenness, Abilene, Texas: Leafwood Publishers (2018).
- Shawn Copeland, Enfleshing Freedom, Fortress Press (2009).
- Richard Rohr, The Immortal Diamond, Jossey-Bass (2013).
- Austen Hartke, Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians, Westminster John Know Press (2018).
- Richard Rohr, Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer, The Crossroad Publishing Co. (2003).
- The Failure and the Hope: Essays of Southern Churchmen, Will D. Campbell & James Y. Holloway, eds., Wipf & Stock Publishers (2004).
- Dallas Lee, The Cotton Patch Evidence: The Story of Clarence Jordan and the Koinonia Farm Experiment, Wipf & Stock Publishers (2011).
- Will D. Campbell & James Y. Holloway, Up to Our Steeples in Politics, Wipf & Stock Publishers (2004).
- Yves Congar, The Meaning of Tradition, Ignatius Press (2004).
- Richard B. Hays, The Moral Vision of the New Testament, HarperOne (1996).
- Carol Meyers, Rediscovering Eve: Ancient Israelite Women in Context, Oxford University Press (2012).
- James Cone, The Cross and the Lynching Tree, Orbis Books (2013).
What books would you add to this list of theological books to read?
(The picture is one I took in the main library at Wake Forest University.)