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I have not given away a book on Reading Acts in a while, but a giveaway is a good way to overcome the summer blogging malaise.  I recently reviewed Gerald McDermott’s recent book, Israel Matters: Why Christians Must Think Differently about the People and the Land (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Brazos Press, 2017).  I ended up with two copies, so I am offer a copy to a reader of this blog.

From my review:

Gerald McDermott edited a volume of essays on the status of Israel in the current age (The New Christian Zionism: Fresh Perspectives on Israel and the Land, InterVarsity Press, 2016). The volume included essays by two scholars associated with progressive dispensationalism (Darrell bock and Craig Blaising), two writers associated with the Philos Project (an organization which promotes positive Christian engagement in the Middle East, Robert Nicholson and Shadi Khallou), two writers who edited an Introduction to Messianic Judaism (Zondervan, 2013; Joel Willitts and David Rudolph). This new volume by Brazos Press is an attempt to present the ideas of this previous work at a popular level.

To have a chance at winning these books, leave a comment with your name so I can contact you if you win. I will randomize the names from the comments and select one winner at random.

I will announce the winner picked at random on June 21, 2017.

mcknight-galatiansToday is the day I pick a winner for a hardback copy of the NIVAC commentary by Scot McKnight on Galatians.

There were 23 comments (after I deleted some duplicates), so I pasted your names in a spreadsheet, sorted them randomly, then generated a random number at random.org.

And the winner is…..

Sam Van Eerden

Congrats to Sam! His favorite commentary on Galatians was Leon Morris, but I think F. F. Bruce was the most popular among the comments, with Luther getting honorable mention. Please contact me via email (plong42 at gmail .com) with your mailing address and I will drop the book in the mail ASAP.

If you have not already done so, head over to Jennifer Guo’s blog, she is giving away the NIVAC volume on Psalms by Gerald Wilson. You have until 11/13 and several ways to enter to win the Psalms commentary. Better luck next time for the rest of you, I have another book or two to give away soon. You can follow this blog or follow me on twitter (@plong42) to hear about future book giveaways.

Thanks to Zondervan for providing this book for the giveaway. Zondervan is offering the 42 volumes of the NIV Application commentary for $4.99 each for a limited time. You have until November 13, 2016 (11:59pm ET) to purchase any volume of this series in an eBook format for only $4.99. They also have a few “bundles” which offer more savings.

 

Samuel-AdamsI have a huge pile of papers to grade before the end of the semester, so I have decided to do a little spring cleaning in my office instead of dispatch my responsibilities.

I have an extra copy of Samuel V. Adams, The Reality of God and Historical Method: Apocalyptic Theology in Conversation with N. T. Wright (New Explorations in Theology; Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarstiy, 2015).

Alan J. Torrance (University of St. Andrews) says “Adams draws on the immense strengths in Wright’s program while offering critical yet constructive theological engagement of a kind that significantly advances the discussion of his work. As such it is an outstanding theological introduction to what Wright is seeking to accomplish that should also inspire and challenge biblical scholars and theologians to examine the interface between their work and the essential affirmations of the Christian faith. Not only should this book prove invaluable to academics and students alike, but its lucidity and eloquence should also make it accessible to a wider audience. Highly recommended!”

This is the first book in a new monograph series from IVP Academic which hopes to publish the work of younger scholars in systematic, historical philosophical and practical theology.

To have a chance at winning these books, leave a comment mentioning  Or just leave your name so I can contact you if you win. I will randomize the names from the comments and select one winner at random.

I will announce the winner picked at random on Monday, April 25.

 

Michael Bird - The Gospel of the LordToday is the day I pick a winner for Michael Bird’s The Gospel of the Lord (Eerdmans, 2014). There were 46 people signed up (there were more comments, but 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 1-57, and the winner is…..

Craig Benno

Congrats to Craig, please contact me via email (plong42 at gmail .com) with your mailing address and I will whip the book to you ASAP. Better luck next time for the rest of you, I will probably run another giveaway in a couple of weeks.

As for the Gospels scholar people are most thankful for, N.T. Wright led the list with six votes, followed by Michael Bird with five. I was hoping for a tie so I could schedule a steel-cage death match to decide a winner. Scot McKnight had three votes followed by R.T. France, Jonathan Pennington, Darrell Bock, D.A. Carson, Craig Blomberg, Chris Tilling and Ben Witherington with two each. Thanks to everyone who offered their favorite scholar, there were many good suggestions, it is worth looking over the list for a basic reading list for Gospels studies.

NB: This book was my own personal copy; it was not provided by the publisher.

Reading Scripture

Today is the day I pick a winner for these two excellent books. There were 57 people signed up (62 comments, but 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 1-57, and the winner is…..

Alan Jones

Congrats to Alan, please contact me via email (plong42 at gmail .com) with your mailing address and I will pop these in the mail ASAP. Better luck next time for the rest of you, I will probably run another giveaway in a couple of weeks.

The contest was for a copy of Christopher A. Hall’s Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers Paperback (IVP 1998) and Ancient & Postmodern Christianity: Paleo-Orthodoxy in the 21st Century-Essays In Honor of Thomas C. Oden (IVP 2002), edited by Kenneth Tanner  Christopher Hall. The Festscrhrift for Thomas Oden includes essays by Richard John Neuhaus, Alan Padgett, J. I. Packer, Wolfhart Pannenberg, Carl Braaten, Stanley Grenz, Bradley Nassif, Thomas Howard. These were my own personal copies and were not provided by the publisher.

Reading ScriptureIt is August, so it is just about time to start thinking about “back to school.” In fact, I have just started teaching an OT Survey course in an August intensive format, so to celebrate a new school year, I am going to give away a couple of Church History books.

I have extra copies of Christopher A. Hall’s Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers Paperback (IVP 1998) and Ancient & Postmodern Christianity: Paleo-Orthodoxy in the 21st Century-Essays In Honor of Thomas C. Oden (IVP 2002), edited by Kenneth Tanner  Christopher Hall. The Festscrhrift for Thomas Oden includes essays by Richard John Neuhaus, Alan Padgett, J. I. Packer, Wolfhart Pannenberg, Carl Braaten, Stanley Grenz, Bradley Nassif, Thomas Howard.

To have a chance at winning these books, leave a comment mentioning , or at least your name.  I suppose some other snarky comment will do as well.  I will announce the winner picked at random on August 21.

Wallace, Daniel B. Senior Editor, Brittany C. Burnette and Terri Darby Moore, Editors.  A Reader’s Lexicon of the Apostolic Fathers.  Grand Rapids, Mich. Kregel, 2013. 250 pp. Hb; $34.99. Link.

A Reader’s Lexicon is different than a traditional lexicon. Rather than sorting the words alphabetically, a reader’s lexicon glosses words by chapter and verse so that someone trying to read through a particular text can get a quick gloss for a word rather than looking it up in a traditional lexicon. This makes for a faster reading an unfamiliar text. When I was taking Greek in College some students (certainly not me!) cribbed their assignments with Sakae Kubo’s A Reader’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. While that book is still available through Zondervan, it has been supplanted by Reader’s Editions of the Greek New Testament from the United Bible Society and Zondervan. Words appearing less than 40 times in the Greek New Testament are glossed at the bottom of the page, allowing a person with a year of Greek to read quickly and make sense of the text.

Reader's LexiconThis new book edited by Dan Wallace is a companion to Michael H. Burer and Jeffrey E. Miller’s A New Reader’s Lexicon of the Greek New Testament (Kregel, 2008).  Wallace is clear that the hard work for this Lexicon was done by two former students, Brittany C. Burnette and Terri Darby Moore. In fact, they are listed as editors on the cover the book, Wallace is the Senior Editor of the project.

The Reader’s Lexicon of the Apostolic Fathers offers a running glossary of words thirty times or less in the New Testament. Wallace explains that most students who approach the Apostolic Fathers have already done work in the New Testament and should better grasp of the vocabulary than users of most New Testament Reader’s lexicons.

A Reader’s Lexicon is an important tool for gaining experience as a reader of Greek. A native English speaker can read through a book worrying too much about the definitions of words. When we encounter words we do not know, we infer the meaning from context or by parallels to other words we do know. For a beginning Greek reader, reading a paragraph of Greek can be frustrating since there are so many words that are unknown and sometimes un-guessable from context. A Reader’s Lexicon’s purpose is to facilitate faster reading so that the meaning of the whole document becomes more clear.

The Lexicon uses the Greek text of the Apostolic Fathers found in the popular edition by Michael Holmes (Baker, 2007), but will be useful for any Greek text of the Fathers (Loeb editions, etc.) The editors of this lexicon have used Bauer’s Greek-English Lexicon (BDAG; Third edition, Chicago, 2000), Lampe’s Patristic Greek Lexicon (Oxford, 1961), Liddel and Scott’s Ninth Revised edition (Oxford, 1968), the revised five-volume edition of Lightfoot’s Apostolic Fathers (Baker, 1981), and Michael Holmes’s translation of the Apostolic Fathers (third edition, Baker, 1999).

A word about glosses: A gloss is not a definition. If someone is studying a text in detail, there is no excuse not to go to the lexicons and do a proper study of the word. A gloss is simply a quick hint at the word’s meaning without any other comment. This is the difference between “what you learn for your vocabulary quiz” and reading an entry in BDAG.  As most second year Greek students learn, there is far more to a word that the brief line from the back of  a vocab card.

The Lexicon format is simple. Under the chapter and verse, the reader will find glossed words in bold, followed by a series of numbers and a brief gloss. The numbers refer to occurrences in the book, in the author and in the Apostolic Fathers collection. For a single author, only the book and total appear. So for the Didache 1:1, the word διαφορά is followed by 1, 3 and the gloss difference. The word appears only once in Didache and three times in the Fathers. For Ignatius’ Letter to the Philadelphians 1:1, ἀνήκω is followed by 1, 3, 11 and the gloss to exult. This means the word appears once in this letter, three times in Ignatius, and eleven times in the collection. All words appear in their lexical form, not the form that appears in the text. In the case of Ignatius’ used of ἀνήκω, the letter has an aorist participle (ἀνήκουσαν). The student ought to be able to connect inflected form to the lexical form in the glossary in most cases.

Conclusion. This Lexicon does exactly what it claims to do, provide enough vocabulary for the intermediate Greek student to read the Apostolic Fathers in Greek. It is not a full lexicon nor does it claim to be. It is an excellent companion to any edition of the Apostolic Fathers. One potential objection to the need for such a book is the proliferation of lexical aids on the computer. Logos and Accordance provide not just glosses for the Apostolic Fathers, but links to BDAG and other lexicons. The computer based texts not only offer glosses but the texts are full tagged with parsing information so that even a beginning Greek student can crib their way through the text of the New Testament or Apostolic Fathers. What need is there a physical book containing this information?

In my opinion, computer programs can cheapen reading Greek (or Hebrew) to decoding a secret message. Certainly anyone can click on a word and see a lexicon or a syntactic description of a word. But that is no guarantee that there is any understanding of what the word means in context or how a syntactical construction ought to be understood.  A generation ago people decoded Greek using Strong’s numbers, but that is not reading Greek and it surely does not yield a good understanding of the text. A Reader’s Lexicon of the Apostolic Fathers will help a student really read a text with understanding so that they can begin to make sense of this wide range of literature. If you really want to read the text, A Reader’s Lexicon of the Apostolic Fathers will help you with that goal.

NB: Thanks to Kregel for kindly providing me with a review copy of this book. This did not influence my thoughts regarding the work.

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