The Reading List – Feb 11-17

A new thing I’m doing this year is to take full advantage of continuing library membership and regularly reading stuff. I will chronicle this adventure with frequent posts about what I’ve been reading, frequency depending on whether I made it to the library that week.

On to this week’s stuff then.

1) John Day’s PhD in book form about Chaoskampf in the Old Testament. This is part of my ongoing interest in the associated typologies surrounding the ‘millennial’ section of Revelation, and general interest in Old Testament theology. Since it’s a published version of a PhD, it’s fairly dry. It’s also a little old, so the next book on this subject will probably be David Tsumura’s more recent volume on the same subject. For those of you who don’t know or can’t read German, Chaoskampf refers to the imagery of a god versus the sea monster/sea/dragon/dragon-type monster. This imagery is found in Canaanite mythology (various references in Ugaritic texts, for example), Babylonian (like the Enuma Elish), and in various places in the OT, like Job and some Psalms. An understanding of this helps to illuminate the meaning of the imagery in these texts.

2) Pitkanen’s Joshua commentary for the Apollos series. Fairly straightforward and relatively easy to read, much like the rest of the series. Has good coverage of all the issues involved. I’m interested in Joshua because I think the conquest of Canaan is the type behind the battle in Revelation 19.

3) Michael Gilmour, Gods and Guitars: Seeking the Sacred in Post-1960′s Popular Music. This is my ‘random category’ book of the week. That is, I like to read something a bit different to just keep things interesting. Whilst the book offers some insights in lyrical criticism especially with regard to how religious symbols and language are used, abused, subverted, challenged, or exalted, it’s otherwise not all that exciting. I think the book might have worked better if he didn’t go from ‘theory’ to ‘example’, but rather, started with interesting examples that actually give an idea of what the heck he’s going to talk about, with longer lyrical excerpts, and then explored ‘theory’. Not particularly recommended.

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