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During the month of March, Eerdmans has some great deals on several volumes of the Socio-Rhetorical Commentaries series. These commentaries are mostly by Ben Witherington III, Matthew is by Craig Keener and Hebrews is by David deSilva. Unfortunately, Witherington’s excellent socio-rhetorical commentary on The Acts of the Apostles is not part of this sale (and does not appear to have been published as a Kindle book). If you do not have a Kindle, you can read the books with the Kindle App on your iOS or Android device on with the Amazon Kindle web app.

What is a “socio-rhetorical” commentary? In these commentaries, Witherington pays careful attention to the cultural background (historical and social) and brings this background to bear on the text. This means there are many references to both Jewish and Greco-Roman sources which illustrate aspects of the text. But these are also exegetical commentaries. Witherington comments on the Greek text and deals with lexical and syntactical matters as expected in an exegetical commentary. the “rhetorical” aspect of the commentary traces the writer’s rhetorical strategy and technique, often drawing comparisons (or contrasts) with the standard Greek rhetorical handbooks (for example, Cicero, Quintilian, Theon, Hermogenes, and Aphthonius).

Although I prefer real books to digital (and Logos books to Kindle), these commentaries are worth buying at $4.99 (the price of one of those fancy coffees you like so much). The sale runs through March 31, 2018.

Socio-Rhetorical Commentaries $4.99 each for Kindle

Other Books by Ben Witherington for Kindle

Eerdmans has a monthly “Commentary Club sale” and this month they are featuring three commentaries in the Two Horizons series. Although this series is an example of the methods of the Theological Interpretation of Scripture, there is usually a blend of traditional exegesis and theological interpretation. I have reviewed several volumes (James McKeown, RuthLindsay Wilson, JobErnest C. Lucas, Proverbs;  Andy Johnson, 1 & 2 Thessalonians) and purchased a few more. Each of these commentaries include lengthy theological essays drawn from the exegesis of the book. These are far more detailed than an “excursus” are worth the price of the book alone.

If you do not mind reading on a Kindle (or Kindle app on a tablet), these are a great deal. Robert W. Wall and Richard B. Steele’s commentary on 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus is only $1.99.  I reviewed this commentary soon after it was published in 2012.

After the exegesis of each book, Wall provides a “rule of faith” reading based on five categories drawn from Tertullian’s “Theological Grammar.” The five categories are: Creator God, Christ Jesus as Lord, Community of the Spirit, Christian Existence and Discipleship, and Consummation in a New Creation. With his exegesis in mind, Wall reads back through each Pastoral Epistle with these five areas in mind, creating a kind of mini-theology for each book. He gathers all the data from the letter on each element and provides a running theological commentary for the book. For 1 Timothy, this is nearly 50 pages!

An additional feature of this commentary are three “case studies” written by Richard B. Steele, Wall’s colleague at Seattle Pacific University. These short sections are applications of each Pastoral letter to a particular historical situation. Steele discusses 1 Timothy’s view of leadership in “John Wesley and Early Methodist Societies,” 2 Timothy in “John William Fletcher: John Wesley’s Designated Successor” and Titus in “Phoebe Palmer and the Wesleyan Holiness Movement.” Given then theological commitments of Wall and Steele, the content of these articles are obviously interested in Wesleyan applications.

Gordon McConville and Stephen Williams commentary on Joshua is $2.99 and Psalms by Geoffrey W. Grogan is $3.99. I did not review these two commentaries, but I do own a copy of Grogan’s book and find it a very useful one-volume commentary on Psalms.

These affordable prices for Kindle versions of the Two Horizons commentaries run  through February 28th, 2018.

I have one more book to give out in celebration of the new academic semester. I used Stanley Porter and Andrew Pitt’s Fundamentals of New Testament Textual Criticism in my Greek class last semester. When I could not find my copy on the shelf, I purchased another copy at the now-shuttered Eerdmans Bookstore and promptly found my original copy.

There were seventeen names left in the comments (I deleted  James Snapp, do read his review of the book though). I  randomized the names and uses random.org to generate a winner, this time Ben Brown gets the book.  If you could contact me (plong42 at gmail dot com) with an address I will ship this out ASAP.

Missed the last giveaway? Follow me on twitter: @plong42

I have one more book to give out in celebration of the new academic semester. I used Stanley Porter and Andrew Pitt’s Fundamentals of New Testament Textual Criticism in my Greek class last semester. When I could not find my copy on the shelf, I purchased another copy at the now-shuttered Eerdmans Bookstore and promptly found my original copy.

I reviewed the book when it came out in 2015:

There are a few features which I found helpful which are not common in other textual criticism textbooks. First, Porter and Pitts include a chapter on canon (ch. 2). To a certain extent this material seems extraneous to the method of textual criticism. I am not sure they make a clear connection between their interesting discussion of the development of the canon and the process of textual criticism. A professor could easily omit it without losing the argument of the book, although from my experience students often have questions about canon at this point in their Greek training.

Second, they include two very useful chapters on the development of the Nestle-Aland and UBS texts.  Chapter 12 is particularly good for professors since it describes how to use both the NA27/28 and the UBS4/5. The book is therefore a good resource regardless of the chosen Greek New Testament chose by the professor. The story of how the two major critical editions developed is more than interesting, this section places the activity of textual criticism into its proper place in church history.

Third, the book includes a helpful summary of translation strategies as they relate to textual criticism (chapter 13). The chapter includes lists of the various abbreviations and marginalia of both editions. Page 148 has a photograph of a page from the NA28 Greek New Testament with arrows identifying everything on the page; page 163 does the same for the UBS4. For some students, this chapter alone will be worth the price of the book.

Craig S. Keener liked it too: “This very readable textbook provides a helpful and balanced introduction to text criticism aimed at just the right level for beginning students. It is clear, introduces multiple views, gives good reasons for the approaches it favors, and — an unexpected bonus — offers in two relevant chapters useful, concise introductions to canon formation and translation theory.”  However, James Snapp, Jr. did not like the book. So leave a comment, win the book, read it and decide for yourself.

I will pick the winner on January 31. Be sure to check back in a week to congratulate the winner.

Missed the last giveaway? Follow me on twitter: @plong42

In order to celebrate the beginning of the new semester as well as my forgetfulness in buying duplicate books, I offered a brand new copy of N. T. Wright’s Pauline Perspectives: Essays on Paul, 1978-2013 (Fortress, 2013) back on January 12.  All you had to do to win was leave me your name and mention your favorite Pauline scholar. I noticed James  Dunn and John Barclay did quite well in this informal poll, but the winner said N. T. Wright was his favorite.

I put all forty two comments (after deleting a couple duplicates) into a spreadsheet and randomly sorted them. I think used random.org to generate a a number. The winner of the N. T. Wright book is:

Jared Kusz

Jared made his saving throw and succeeds in adding this book to his library. Get in touch with me and I will get you this book ASAP.  I will have one more book to give away this semester, to be sure to check that out tomorrow, or follow me on twitter @plong42.

The winner of the Robert Gundry book never contacted me: Charles, if you are out there, contact me via email (plong42@gmail.com) or twitter so I can get you this book. If I do not hear from you in a couple of days I will give it to someone else.

I have a brand new copy of N. T. Wright’s Pauline Perspectives: Essays on Paul, 1978-2013 (Fortress, 2013). This 620-page book is the companion volume to Paul and the Faithfulness of God and collects Wright’s most articles on Paul over the last 35 years. Several are previously unpublished exegetical essays on Paul’s theology. These thirty-three articles are essential reading for students of Paul whether you think Wright is a friend or a foe. Ben Witherington III blurbs the book:

“Pauline Perspectives gathers into one convenient place the multitudinous essays and lectures on Paul and his thought world that have come forth from the prolific pen of N. T. Wright during the course of the last 35 years. Here you can see the development of seminal ideas, major themes, and the relentless pursuit of understanding important trajectories in Paul’s thought, ranging from justification to the righteousness of God to atonement to much more. Reading a book like this is like going to a great feast put on by a master chef and discovering there were no ephemeral starters but all meat, and none of it half-baked either, but well worth chewing over and always nourishing. Bon appetit!”

The book is $70 retail (but who pays retail?) I ended up with two copies, so I will celebrate a new academic semester by sending this book to a randomly selected person who leaves a comment below with their name and and the name of their favorite Pauline Scholar.

I will pick the winner on January 23. Be sure to check back to see if the odds were in your favor. If no one wins, I will send the copy to Jim West since he is a huge N. T. Wright fan.

Missed the last giveaway? Follow me on twitter: @plong42

Gunrdy, PeterIt is time to give a few books way to celebrate the New Year. I happen to have an extra copy of Robert Gundry, Peter: False Disciple and Apostate according to Saint Matthew (Eerdmans 2015). The book is new, but the cover has some damage (possibly heat on rippled the finish). If you look at it in the right light, it looks perfect.

This short study by Robert Gundry makes the surprising claim that Matthew considered Peter to be a “false disciple and apostate.” In the introduction to the book Gundry makes his motivations clear: this is not an anti-Catholic book nor is he interested in subverting any traditions about Peter. He not particularly interested in the “historical Peter,” assuming a history of Peter’s life could be written. Gundry’s project is strictly limited to the presentation of Peter in Matthew’s gospel only.

In order to reach this conclusion, Gundry analyzes every appearance of Peter in the Gospel of Matthew using redaction criticism in order to show Matthew edited Mark’s narrative to present Peter as an example of a disciple who was very close to Jesus but ultimately failed to follow through on his commitment to Jesus. In the end, Peter is left “outside in the darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Gundry’s use of redaction criticism is well-known from his commentaries on Matthew and Mark, therefore many will pre-judge some of his comments based on his method alone.

I reviewed the book in August 2015 and I cannot recall another book review which generated so many responses (both for and against Gundry’s thesis). So read the review, stay for the comments and then enter to win the book.

To have a chance to win the book, leave a comment on this post and I will pick a random winner Friday, January 12, 2018.

Evangelical Quarterly Digitisation

Rob Bradshaw at BiblicalStudies.uk.org has been scanning theological journals and other resources for many years, with more than 32,000 articles available for free download. He just added Evangelical Quarterly. As Rob explains on his blog,

The Evangelical Quarterly (1929-present) represents a tremendous resource for Bible students. It contains contributions from the best of 20th Century Evangelical scholarship, including G.W. Bromiley, I. Howard Marshall and F.F. Bruce. This morning I completed the digitisation of the back-issuesa project that I have been working on for over 10 years. Paternoster Publication’s archive of this journal was destroyed in the 1990s, so a complete set of scans has been sent to the current publisher. I would like to acknowledge the assistance of a number of UK Bible College who provided copies for scanning, including Highland Theological CollegeWycliffe Hall and Tyndale House.

Just browsing the table of contents, I can see many articles which are valuable for biblical and theological studies. One thing that makes this particularly important is that Evangelical Quarterly does not appear in the ATLA database in full text PDF. I have been occasionally frustrated by finding a pertinent article in EQ then not having access through the ATLA database. This new collection solves that problem.

Most, but not all all of the articles are online in PDF format due to Paternoster’s copyright policy: after one year the copyright reverts to the author, so he must contact each of authors of the 1500+ article individually for permission. If you are copyright holder and have not given your permission, contact Rob so he can add your article to this collection.

I want to thank Rob for making this database available. If you have not used his site, certainly visit it and see what is available. Leave a donation to help keep the servers running.

Baylor University Press is having a Grad Student Sale

The sale itself runs from Friday, June 9th through Sunday, June 11th. Use the discount code “BJUN” to order books from their website at a 50% discount! The code applies to all books published in 2016 or earlier. Looks like it is time to stock up on the Baylor Handbook on the Greek Text series to survive your next Greek exegesis course.

shut_up_and_take_my_money

I have my eye on the volume edited by Beverly Roberts Gaventa, Apocalyptic Paul: Cosmos and Anthropos in Romans 5-8, or  François Bovon’s The Acts of Philip: A New Translation.

It does not look like they are checking your seminary ID card at the door, but the sale is intended for Grad Students. Grab your fall syllabi and spend some quality time exploring the Baylor University Press website.

Remember, if you are in grad school you are supposed to spend all your money on books.

Fellow-Grad-Students

romans-debateIt is time to draw a name for The Romans Debate, Revised and Expanded Edition (1991, Baker Academic). This book is a brand new paperback (with a remainder mark) and is my own copy.

There were 24 people signed up (I allowed only one entry per person). I took each of your names, sorted randomly and then pasted them into Excel. Random.org gave me a number between 1-28, and the winner is…..

Rubén de Rus

Congratulations to Rubén, better luck next time for the rest of you. Rubén should contact me privately with his shipping info, I will get the book out tomorrow.

I at least one more book to give away, so look for another post later today.

 

 

 

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