Welcome—and thanks for visiting!

My most recent publication is the Tyndale New Testament Commentary on the Book of Revelation. You can order it from Amazon and other online retailers (make sure you order mine, and not the previous edition by Leon Morris!), or directly from the publisher on the IVP website.

My other recent publications include:


Why bother resting?

Richard Briggs writes: Something strange happened when the Bible was split up into chapters: certain texts were bound together and others were suddenly thrust apart. The very first example of chapter division in Genesis raises some interesting questions, concerning what is now Gen 1:31 and Gen 2:1. The first three (or three and a half) verses of Gen 2 really belong with the Bible’s opening chapter. But here they stand now, kicking off chapter 2. It is as if the two great panels of ‘Genesis Creation Stories’ do not quite join up. What light shines through where the join should be?

Here I want to read these three (and a half) verses looking backwards, to Gen 1, and then looking forwards, to what comes after. Since these verses were part of a continuous text, pre-chapter-divisions, it should not be surprising that they work both ways. Also, along the way, and to avoid sounding like a grumpy ‘expert’ complaining about something that everyone normally just gets on with, I will say a word about, and in favour of, chapter divisions.

Three and a Half Verses of Rest

Six days in to the Bible’s most famous and most poetically majestic creation account, with the earth now formed and filled in wondrous, life-bursting, and blessing-giving ways, we turn the page (I did once have a Bible that reached the end of Gen 1:31 at the bottom of its first page, in fact), and behold, a change of pace:

Gen 2:1-3a  Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude.  2 And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done.  3 So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.  4 These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created. (NRSV)
A few details: ‘multitude’ (v.1) is a typically cloth-eared and earnest NRSV translation of the gloriously awkward Hebrew word tsava’, ‘host’, as in all those KJV-shaped hymns that celebrated ‘Yhwh Sabaoth’ (or however it was spelled) – the Lord of hosts, as named in the English translations of Luther’s ‘A Mighty Fortress Is Our God’, no less. So here is the vast array of all that God hosts, one might say – all completed.