Five Important Books

Nick Norelli tagged me with the book meme. The rules of this one state that I’m supposed to list five books that influenced the way I read Scripture (this will be books outside of Scripture).

1. Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (also known as the Book of Concord, 1580). There are practical approaches to doctrine and life (Luther’s Small and Large Catechisms), as well as profound insights into properly understanding the Scriptures (Defense of the Augsburg Confession, Article IV, Justification; Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Articles III (Righteousness of Faith) and V (Law and Gospel).

2. The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel by C. F. W. Walther (CPH). While originally given as a series of Friday evening lectures to students at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, 1878ff, it is a profound book that every pastor should read at least every five years.

3. What Does This Mean? Principles of Biblical Interpretation in the Post-Modern World by James Voelz (CPH). I can’t recommend this book enough! He uses this to teach seminary students but every pastor would learn much from the book. His examples are always critical texts that illustrate clearly what he presents. Voelz is professor of NT at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis and a brilliant teacher. You can also listen to the audio or watch the video of the entire class (29 sessions), by going to iTunesU on the seminary web site – all free!

4. Acts and the Isaianic New Exodus by David W. Pao. Very insightful book that links Isaiah and the book of Acts in ways that I have not seen before. He is very thorough yet not pendantic. Well worth reading.

5. Multipurpose Tools for Bible Study by Frederick Danker. The title sounds like an introductory guide for lay reading, but in fact, it is a profound book that deals with the serious tools for detailed study based on original languages. I read this originally in 1981 prior to attending seminary, while I was teaching myself Greek. The 1993 edition is far better; I have read it twice and referred to it many times. Any seminary student, pastor, or serious lay person should consider reading this book.


Author: exegete77

disciple of Jesus Christ, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, teacher, and theologian

5 thoughts on “Five Important Books”

  1. Nice. I’ve not read any of those. I only listed Luke and John because there really weren’t five books that have influenced the way I read Scripture.


  2. I watched the Voelz lectures on hermeneutics and loved them. I picked up the up when I found it at Half Price. I hope to go through it with the video lectures sometime this or next year. I also corresponded with him a few times through email and he was super helpful. A really nice guy.

    If you like Pao’s book you should check out Rikk Watts “Isaiah’s New Exodus in Mark”. It’s great. He’s also been very helpful when I’ve corresponded with him through email.

    You went to seminary in 1981?

    Bryan L


  3. I was in the MDiv program from 1982-1986 at CSL. Then I got my STM in Exegetical Theology, finally with Voelz as my advisor (my first advisor had died when I was half way through my thesis).


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