The TransformedBlog asked the faculty of Western Seminary to give a brief list of the most influential books (other than the Bible) that they have read. Dr. J. Carl Laney, Professor of Biblical Literature, lists his 10 most influential books – other than those that he’s written:)
Walt Kaiser, The Promise Plan of God.
This is a classic development of a biblical theology of God’s promise and fulfillment.
Walt Kaiser, Toward Old Testament Ethics.
This is a great study of the ethical problems and difficult texts in the Old Testament. He has an excellent chapter on polygamy.
As the title says, this is a selection of published articles from evangelical scholars on the interpretation of biblical books and texts. The essay by J. Stafford Wright on Ecclesiastes is worth the price of the book.
Claus Westermann, Praise and Lament in the Psalms.
This book presents a study of the structure and categories of the psalms. I regard it as essential to an understanding and exegesis of the Book of Psalms.
Harold Hoehner, Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ.
This book provides thorough research on chronological issues relating to the life of Jesus—year of his birth, year of his death, day of his resurrection and Daniel’s 70th week chronology.
Michael Griffiths, The Example of Jesus.
This is the best study of the life of Jesus as an example to believers. It is a scholarly book, but written with a very devotional approach.
Brad H. Young, Jesus the Jewish Theologian.
This book places Jesus in the context of his Jewish life and culture. It is loaded with great insights drawn from the Mishnah, Talmud and other first century resources.
Marvin R. Wilson, Our Father Abraham.
This book presents the Jewish roots of our Christian faith helping believers understand their own history and connections with Abraham and the people of Israel.
J. Dwight Pentecost. Things to Come.
This book is the most well researched and consistent presentation of the biblical basis for a premillennial understanding of God’s prophetic program.
Ken Bain. What the Best College Teachers Do.
If you are interested in teaching, this book will inform, motivate and challenge you. Bain provides principles and case studies showing how teachers can improve their skills.
About J. Carl Laney
J. Carl Laney teaches Biblical Literature at Western Seminary and is an instructor for Western's Israel Study Program. Carl has authored numerous books, including most recently, “Loving Your Enemy: A Biblical Alternative to Revenge” (Ministry: International Journal for Pastors, July 2011).