Archive for March, 2011

New Testament Times by Merrill C Tenney

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

New Testament Times by Merrill C Tenney
publisher: Hendrickson Publishers

First, it is not a story book. This is much more like a high school textbook. It is rather dry and the photos that are included are of poor quality. I guess that they didn’t want to increase the cost of the book by adding glossy pages so that the photos would come out better. That was a mistake. There are enough footnotes to please the dilettante wiseguy.

The title is a bit of a misnomer. It is a history book that covers much more than the 50-100 years of the middle-east surrounding the time of Jesus. It begins with Alexander the Great and ends with the Roman emperor Hadrian. That is a time span of 500 years. The first 350 years deals with the conquest of the Greeks and the rise and demise of the Maccabean dynasty of Israel. Onto the stage comes Rome and the Herod dynasty, if you can call it a dynasty, and the fledgling church. In the end, the history stops at the height of Roman power and the expansion of Christianity through the known world.

It is written to show windows on an era. The first thing that the author writes about is the geopolitical structure of a particular time. The major power of the world, then the regional power, if any, of a more limited middle-east. The next part deals with the religious struggles of the people in Israel (and later the church). The chapter ends and the author moves fifty years or so into the future and repeats the pattern of explanation: major power, regional power, religious struggle.

As a history book it is passable. It was somewhat interesting, but a dry read. I do not recommend it for the average reader. A more interesting book is called “The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah” by Alfred Edersheim. It too can be a bit dry but it has a superior presentation and is limited to the time of Jesus.

I give this book two stars out of a possible five. And that is a stretch.

DHL Email – virus!

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

For those of you that do not have a virus checker on your computer I thought I would give you a heads up. I received an email from DHL (the delivery service) that stated that the package in route to me has been delayed. The email contains an attachment with additional information. That information contains the virus. Do not open the email of course.

Header reads

from: DHL notification system
subject: DHL notification

AVG, my virus checker, caught this virus this morning.

Did I expect a package? No, but then I am not the only one who orders something on this computer. Once or twice a year my AVG catches a virus. Thankfully that saves a lot of potential grief. Somedays we click without thinking. For those moments I am glad I have a checker.