Each month the Bishop Payne Library invites a member of the VTS faculty
to share what books they are reading for research, curriculum or pleasure.
Stephen L. Cook, Ph.D.is the Catherine N. McBurney Professor of Old Testament Language and Literature. He joined the VTS faculty in 1996. His areas of expertise include Hebrew, Aramaic, Ugaritic, Ezekiel, Deuteronomy, Prophetic and Apocalyptic Scripture, Social Setting of Scripture, and education technology.
We are using Ellen's brand new introduction to the Old Testament in our year-long Old Testament Interpretation course right now, and the students are loving it. It is concise but rich, both theologically and spiritually. Here in a single accessible volume, beautifully written, is Ellen's rich illumination of the Hebrew Scriptures pitched to contemporary readers who may not know how to appreciate the treasures. Accumulated from a long career of teaching the Hebrew Bible to seminarians, here is wisdom condensed into one volume that is not to be missed!
Like Ellen Davis, Meg Warner is an Anglican Hebrew Bible scholar who has taught here at VTS and won the heart and mind of many a student. This gem of a volume is both accessible to the non-scholar and spiritually nourishing. At the same time, it takes the Genesis stories of the ancestors highly seriously, expertly wielding theological exegesis to illuminate their relevance for each of our faith journeys. Walk with Abraham, other ancestors of our faith, and with Meg herself, all the while growing in knowledge of, and closeness to God.
Meg Warner's volume, just recommended, reminds us that Abraham and Sarah received three visitors at their tent. They welcomed the strangers as honored guests, not knowing for quite awhile that this was none other than the Lord God, talking and eating with them. Tolstoy's classic masterpiece beautifully tells a compelling version of a shoemaker's similar encounter with three passersby in need after hearing God promise in a dream that God would visit him on the morrow. The story can be read aloud in 33 minutes (it's available on Audible), and it is widely and rightly regarded as one of Tolstoy's very best short stories.
Stephen L. Cook, Ezekiel 38-48, Anchor Yale Bible, Yale Press, 2018, 9780300218817
My own latest book is an Anchor Bible commentary on the last third of Ezekiel, on which I labored relentlessly for many years. I unlock the fascinating and provocative theology and spirituality of some of the most challenging of scriptural texts, the Gog of Magog Apocalypse and the Visionary Tour of the Utopian Temple. If you enjoy discovering exciting new parts of scripture that lie waiting to enlarge your vision of God and faith, this volume may be for you! The volume includes ten images illuminating Ezekiel's visions and the Near Eastern iconography that they recall. Numerous hyperlinks (especially accessible in the Kindle edition) offer many more images and artwork, some by the author.