As expected, a few of these are inexpensive “stocking stuffers” like Morna Hooker’s excellent The Gospel According to Saint Mark in the Black’s series (Free!) or Logos 8 Gospel Studies Library Expansion (72% off). I see a couple of New Studies in Biblical Theology for only a few dollars each. Poke around and see what you can find and stuff that stocking properly.
There are some really deep discounts on larger collections, if you have been waiting for a big sale at the end of the year, this is it:
Bible for Everyone Commentary Collection (35 vols.) 62% off, $119.99 sale price
Challies Recommends: Best Old Testament Commentaries (55 vols.) 50% off, $442.99 sale price
Romans-Philemon, 21 vols. (New Testament Technical Commentary Collection) 65% off, $232.99 sale price
New Studies in Biblical Theology Series Collection | NSBT (50 vols.) 52% off, $299.99 sale price
NIV Application Commentary: New Testament | NIVAC (20 vols) 55% off, $199.99 sale price
New International Commentary: Old Testament | NIC (28 vols.) 51% off, $499.99 sale price
Popular Patristics Series Collection (53 vols) 54% off, $229.99 sale price
Ancient Christian Reference Collection (55 vols.) 50% off, $549.99 sale price
Like most people who teach the Bible regularly, I have owned quite a few Bibles over the years. When I went to college my parents gave me a nice leather bound NIV Bible. I used that one for years be eventually had to retire it because the NIV translation had been revised several times. I tried several other Bibles but have never quite found one that had the same feel. I have a couple of well-worn NIV 2011 variations, and I am a sucker for a Crossway Readers edition. I even bought a goatskin ESV Psalms volume at ETS a few years ago (it is a beautiful book that will likely outlast me).
Since 2005, I have been using variations on the ESV Bible, settling eventually on a hardback ESV Study Bible soon after it was released in 2010. I have used that Bible in classes and in Bible studies for the last ten years, and it is looking a bit long in the tooth. The cover is loose and there are some awkward coffee stains in the Pauline epistles. I thought about a new edition of the NRSV (which I use in Logos Bible Software, and I do have a hardback with the Apocrypha handy in my office).
I recently upgraded the hardback ESV Study Bible to a nice TruTone binding of the same edition. It looks exactly like my comfortable old ESV, but it feels just a bit more special. I got the Bible from Personalized Bible, a website which focuses almost exclusively on Bibles. I say almost exclusively, because non-Bibles sometimes turn up in searches.
Their website is very user-friendly, you can by translation (KJV, NIV, ESV, NKJV, NASB, NLT, HCSB), and then adjust the search by price of the Bible (in case you do not want to be tempted by those Cambridge calf-skin leather Bibles). They have a wide selection of Study Bibles in various translations, including the old Scofield Reference Bible (“if it was good enough for Paul, it is good enough for you”) and the Ryrie Study Bible.
As for imprinting, they will do two lines for maximum of 25 characters each for an additional $7.99. Not every Bible can be customized, so look the imprintable Bibles if you want to add your name. This is also a good source for a gift and award Bibles that can be customized. They have both large print (12-point) and giant print (14-point) Bibles. Honestly, I did not know a giant print existed, but as I get older, that is more and more attractive. I noticed a “super giant print” 17-point ESV Bible. There is an economy giant print ESV ($8.54 each), churches might consider buying a case to help out the older folk who attended Bible studies.
The prices are competitive and they are lightning fast on shipping (even for a personalized Bible). Check them out when you are in the market for a new Bible.
Logos is offering a great Free Book of the Month as well as some real gems at deep discounts. Logos is giving away J. Louis Martyn, History and Theology in the Fourth Gospel, 3rd ed. (The New Testament Library Series, 2003). Martyn is best known for his Anchor Bible commentary on Galatians and his association with the “Apocalyptic Paul.” The first (1968) and second (1979) edition of this book were influential, whether Martyn’s conclusions were accepted or not. This third edition reprints D. Moody Smith’s essay “The Contribution of J. Louis Martyn to the Understanding of the Gospel of John” from The Conversation Continues: Studies in Paul & John in Honor of J. Louis Martyn (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1990). Moody cites John Ashton’s Understanding the Fourth Gospel as presenting the work of Rudolf Bultmann and J. Louis Martyn the “two major pillars or benchmarks of Johannine scholarship in the twentieth century.”
In addition to this important monograph on John, Logos is offering the following resources for 90% or more off:
For $1.99, Paul J. Achtemeier, 1 Peter (Hermeneia, 1996)
For $3.99, Brevard Childs, The Book of Exodus (The Old Testament Library, 1974)
For $5.99, John Collins, Daniel (Hermeneia, 1993)
For $9.99, Walther Eichrodt, Theology of the Old Testament, Volumes One & Two (1961, 1967)
That is $22 for five excellent resources. If I were to put the “almost free” resources in order of importance, I would recommend Collins on Daniel first, then Achtemeier on 1 Peter. But that is just my preference, both Childs and Eichrodt are classics, and well worth the investment.
If you scroll down to the very bottom of the page, Logos is running a giveaway for the 33 volume Westminster Bible Companion Series. This series is concise, yet non-technical. ideal for individual study and for Bible study classes and groups. There are four ways to enter the giveaway, may the odds be in your favor.
If you do not already own Logos, you can get the basic edition for free and read these books, or get Logos Fundementals for 50% off for a limited time. This is a collection of 53 resources for $49.95. Follow that link and you can select one additional resource for free and choose a few more for $1.99 each. Try using the code PARTNEROFFER8 at checkout.
I recently received a review copy of Max J. Lee, Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind: Mapping the Moral Milieu of the Apostle Paul and his Diaspora Jewish Contemporaries (WUNT/2 515; Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2020. xxxv+658 pp. Pb; €139,00; Link to Mohr Siebeck). Since this is a lengthy book, I thought I would do a book notice based on first impressions now, with a lengthy review when I am able to finish the book.
Lee’s goal is “to fill some important gaps in the cultural encyclopedia of knowledge which Paul and his Greco-Roman audience assumed each other knew but we modern need to reconstruct” (p. 567). For the most part, this encyclopedia of knowledge on the philosophy of mind is unfamiliar to the New Testament scholar.
Since understanding Paul’s thought in a Jewish context dominates intertextual studies, so Lee focuses on the Greco Roman environment. He therefore proposes to study models of moral transformation in Middle Platonism (part 1), Stoicism (part 2). A future volume will address Epicureanism and Diaspora Judaism. The justification for using these examples is the preserved the orthodoxy of their founders with some significant innovations and were influential in the first century. Certainly, Cynics and Neo-Pythagoreans were active in the first century, but since neither were interested in controlling passions, Lee sets them aside in this book.
What is philosophy of the mind? Ancient philosophy of the mind is the study of the soul and the ethical implications of what the soul is and how it functions. This differs from modern philosophy of the mind which is interested in how the mind and the body relate. Ancient philosophy of the mind asks whether passions can be controlled. If so, what forces impede moral transformation? Is character pre-determined at birth? Or is character developed over time through training and education?
What is moral transformation? In the context of first century C.E. Greco-Roman philosophy, ethical systems were interested in transforming the “common barbarian sick with vice into a leading citizen of the Roman empire, capable of virtue” (p. 5). Lee will focus on the language of power in each philosophical school in order to understand how passions act as forces which must be mastered. Moral transformation is there for control of the passions. What are the sources for controlling the passions? This may come through education, training, or asceticism. What is the relationship of theology and ethics? Do the gods enable moral transformation? If so, how central is this divine aid?
All three philosophical systems agree the human mind or reason is the main power source for self-mastery. But only when the human mind has been properly trained by philosophy (p. 15). Although it is not the topic this book, Lee suggests Diaspora Judaism shares much in common with Greco-Roman philosophy, although it places much more emphasis on the role of the divine. Self-control is not merely a human action; God actively intervenes in the transformation of the soul. Late in the book Lee suggests Diaspora Judaism falls somewhere between Middle Platonism and Middle Stoicism (about where he places Epicureanism, p. 522). Diaspora Judaism has a wider range than the other philosophical schools; we must await the next volume for the details.
The first two chapters of the book introduce methodology and the components of moral transformation. With this background in mind, Lee introduces “the Body-Beating Platonist” (part 2) and the “Superhumans Stoic” (part 3). Part three includes two chapters on neo-Stoics, a chapter on the Stoic self and a chapter on the Stoic god. The final section is a retrospect of the argument of the book and a prospect for further study.
The book includes with two appendices which are absolutely critical for the philosophy specialist to read before moving into the body of the monograph. The first appendix surveys the main sources for Middle Platonism; the second the main sources for Early, Middle and Late Stoicism. Since most of this literature is not well-known to New Testament scholars, these two appendices will help navigate the massive data contained in this book.
For Lee, the main value of this study is the demonstration of Paul’s method of engaging the pluralism of his day. However, this theological payoff is only hinted in the book. Setting aside his discussion of Enberg-Pedersen’s Paul and the Stoics (pp. 25-27), there are only fourteen references in Paul’s letters in the index (there are twenty-seven to Philippians on those pages alone). This is not a criticism; the book is an in-depth study of Greco-Roman philosophical thinking on moral transformation rather than on Paul’s use (or non-use) of this material.
Paul established a precedence for patristic figures in the second century as the apologists began to engage the philosophical world with the claims of the Gospel. Paul’s strategy has great potential for how the church in our day can engage a complex pluralistic world with diverse ideas which challenge the gospel (p. 529). This “encyclopedia of knowledge” sets the stage for examining Paul’s appropriation of the language of philosophical discourse to exhort this Gentile churches.
I look forward to further work in this important monograph. Be sure to request your university or seminary library obtain a copy!
Here is a new book that combines two of my interests, the book of Acts and the use of Scripture in the New Testament: Aaron W. White, The Prophets Agree: The Function of the Book of the Twelve Prophets in Acts(Biblical Interpretation Series 184; Brill, 2020). White completed his PhD at Bristol University under the supervision of John Nolland. He currently serves as pastor of First Presbyterian Church in South Charleston, Ohio.
White has previously published an article on this issue, “‘The Creative Use of Amos by the Author of Acts’ Reexamined: The Lukan Appropriation of LXX-Amos in Acts and What it Tells Us About Luke,” Biblical Theology Bulletin 46.2 (2016).
The title of the book alludes to James’ enigmatic used of Amos 9 at the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15:15-17), although Acts 15 is only one of the four quotations from the Minor Prophets in Acts. He devotes a chapter to each citation:
“I Will Pour out My Spirit”: Jesus the Lord and the Lukan Reading of LXX-Joel 3:1–5 in Acts 2
“Forty Years”: The Divided People of God and the Lukan Reading of LXX-Amos 5:25–27 in Acts 7:42–43
“I Am Doing a Work”: The Gentiles as God’s People and the Lukan Reading of LXX-Habakkuk 1:5 in Acts 13
“All the Gentiles Who Are Called”: Sending the Gentile Mission and the Lukan Reading of LXX-Amos 9:11–12 in Acts 15
White compares Luke’s use of the minor prophet to an example from Second Temple Period literature. For example, Testament of Judah 24 alludes to Joel 3:1–5 in a messianic context. The Damascus Document: CD-A 7:13–8:1 alludes to Amos 5:25–27. For Habakkuk 1:5 in Acts 13, White 1.16–2.10 examines 1QpHab 1.16–2.10. For the perplexing use of Amos 9:11, White turns to 4Q Florilegium.
The book argues for the importance of reading the Twelve Prophets in unity when it is quoted in Acts and the integral role these citations play in the redemptive-historical plotline of Acts. White focuses on the place of the Minor Prophets in Acts asks what difference it makes to regard these four quotations as a singular contribution to Acts from a unified source.