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Brannan, Rick.  The Apostolic Fathers in English. Lexham Classics; Bellingham, Wash.: Lexham Press, 2017. 289 pp.; Pb.  $19.99  Link to Lexham Press

Rick Brannan is the “Information Architect for Logos Bible Software” He edited the Apostolic Fathers Greek-English Interlinear (Lexham Press, 2011), a resource available in Logos Bible Software. Brannan described his method for producing the interlinear edition in the introduction to that resource:

“Using the Greek text of Kirsopp Lake’s edition, tools provided by Logos Bible Software, and a whole lot of coffee, I spent my early mornings with the Apostolic Fathers working through each verse at least three times. One pass to consider the appropriate article to assign from the Louw-Nida lexicon, one pass to determine a proper lexical form gloss—somewhat like the gloss you would see in a Greek-English lexicon or dictionary, and one pass to align a context-sensitive English translation with each Greek word in the text. From here, sequence numbers were added to facilitate reassembly of the translation into something resembling a stilted English translation. Further, there are points where the stilted English is not sufficient, so an idiomatic translation of the phrase was further annotated.”

In the introduction to this new translation, Brannan indicates this new translation of the Apostolic Fathers is not meant to replace either Michael Holmes (1999, Baker) or the Loeb edition translated by Bart Ehrman (Harvard 2003). His goal was to “to create a tighter and more transparent relationship with the underlying Greek text.” He hopes this will be useful in reading the texts as well as studying “how words and structures found in the New Testament are used in contemporary literature.” (There is a typo in both the online and print version, “studing” rather than “studying.”)

For many years the standard edition of the Apostolic Fathers J. B. Lightfoot (originally published in 1891). Ehrman’s translation replaced Krisopp Lake in the Loeb library (originally published in 1912). Brannan edited the Krisopp Lake edition which now appears in the Logos library. Comparing one text from Didache 9:1-3 in five translations shows how Brannan’s translation is quite close to the others. Perhaps other examples would yield more differences.

B. Lightfoot (1891) But as touching the eucharistic thanksgiving give ye thanks thus. 2First, as regards the cup: We give Thee thanks, O our Father, for the holy vine of Thy son David, which Thou madest known unto us through Thy Son Jesus; Thine is the glory for ever and ever. 3Then as regards the broken bread: We give Thee thanks, O our Father, for the life and knowledge which Thou didst make known unto us through Thy Son Jesus; Thine is the glory for ever and ever.

Kirsopp Lake, 1912 AND concerning the Eucharist, hold Eucharist thus:  2 First concerning the Cup, “We give thanks to thee, our Father, for the Holy Vine of David thy child, which, thou didst make known to us through Jesus thy child; to thee be glory for ever.”  3 And concerning the broken Bread: “We give thee thanks, our Father, for the life and knowledge which thou didst make known to us though Jesus thy child. To thee be glory for ever.

Michael W. Holmes, 1999 Now concerning the Eucharist, give thanks as follows. (2) First, concerning the cup: We give you thanks, our Father, for the holy vine of David your servant, which you have made known to us through Jesus, your servant; to you be the glory forever.  (3) And concerning the broken bread: We give you thanks, our Father for the life and knowledge which you have made known to us through Jesus, your servant; to you be the glory forever.

Bart Ehrman, 2012 And with respect to the thanksgiving meal [Literally: eucharist], you shall give thanks as follows. 2. First, with respect to the cup: “We give you thanks, our Father, for the holy vine of David, your child, which you made known to us through Jesus your child. To you be the glory forever.” 3. And with respect to the fragment of bread: “We give you thanks, our Father, for the life and knowledge that you made known to us through Jesus your child. To you be the glory forever.

Rick Brannan, 2012 Now, concerning the Eucharist, practice it as follows. 2 First, concerning the cup: We give thanks to you, our Father, for the holy vine of David your son, which you made known to us through Jesus your son, glory to you ⌊forever⌋.  3 Next, concerning the broken bread: We give thanks to you, our Father, for the life and knowledge which you made known to us through Jesus your son, glory to you ⌊forever⌋.

Brannan translates οὕτω εὐχαριστήσατε as “practice it as follows.” Like Holmes, Brannan capitalizes Eucharist, perhaps implying a more formal liturgy than Lightfoot’s “eucharistic thanksgiving” or Ehrman’s “thanksgiving meal.” Lake and Ehrman translates Δαυὶδ τοῦ παιδός σου “your child,” Brannan clarifies the phrase as “your son,” whereas Holmes has “your servant,” a possible translation of παῖς. I am not sure why Brannan places “forever” in brackets. In the Greek interlinear version he explains these [I   I] brackets indicate an idiomatic phrase, in this case εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας ought to be translated idiomatically as “forever.” Since this is an extremely common idiom, I see no reason for the brackets.

One of the most valuable features of Brannan’s edition are his footnotes. Some of these provide alternate translations (often using the phrase “literally”). Others deal with textual variants and translation differences between Lightfoot, Lake and Ehrman. Others provide a brief commentary on a difficult passage. For example, Barnabas 10:6 contains the rather odd explanation for why the Law forbade rabbit: “You shall not become, he means, a child molester, or even seem like such as these, because the rabbit multiplies its anus each year, for as many years as it lives, so many holes it has.” In a footnote on this line, Brannan summarizes several suggestions from Kraft as well as his conclusion that “popular Hellenistic natural history…has been transformed into moral lessons in association with Mosaic food prohibitions.”

Brannan also include reference to citations of Scripture as well as potential allusions or cross-references to other texts. Although Ehrman occasionally identifies citations, Brannan provides far more potential allusions. For example, in Ignatius’s epistle to the Magnesians 7:1, Brannan suggests “Therefore, just as the Lord did nothing without the Father” alludes to John 8:28 and John 10:37. Both texts in John indicate the “I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me” (John 8:28). In the Epistle to the Philadelphians 2:2, the phrase “trustworthy wolves” is tagged as an allusion to Acts 20:29 and John 10:12; the phrase “take God’s runners captive” is tagged with 2 Timothy 3:6 (taking people captive with false teaching) and Galatians 5:7 (the metaphor of running a race). What is unclear is the point of these notes: are they suggested allusions or simply a cross-reference to verses with similar material? In either case this data will be valuable for studying the use of texts by later writers.

The electronic version of this book has a 2012 copyright, the print version is 2017. I notice there was a preface in the 2012 edition which does not appear in the 2017 edition. The section on Shepherd of Hermas adds a paragraph on the two different numbering systems used for the book.

Conclusion. Do we need another translation of the Apostolic Fathers? Perhaps not, especially if the translations use the same general method and only have minor differences from existing translations. There is nothing like a dynamic equivalence translation of the Apostolic Fathers let alone an easy to read paraphrase in the tradition of TheMessage.

Nevertheless, Brannan’s Apostolic Fathers is a very good translation with extremely helpful notes published in an inexpensive format.

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

Last week I offered a brand new copy of Ernst Käsemann, On Being a Disciple of the Crucified Nazarene: Unpublished Lectures and Sermons (Translated by Roy A. Harrisville; Eerdmans, 2010). I bought the book this weekend at the Eerdmans Warehouse Sale (one of the major benefits of living in Grand Rapids). I had a suspicion I already had the book, but bought it anyway. Once again, my leaky memory is to your benefit.

With  twenty-two comments (I deleted a duplicate name), then I randomized the names and used random.org to select a winner. For the first time I can recall doing these giveways, the first comment was the winner:

Tim Bertolet

So congrats to Tim being first and winning this excellent book. Please contact me via email (plong42 at gmail .com) or a DM on twitter (@Plong42) with your mailing address and I will pop this book in the mail ASAP.

Somehow I lost a week in the flurry of a new school year. I promised to give away another book I have recent purchased then found it was already on my shelf. This week I have a brand new copy of Ernst Käsemann, On Being a Disciple of the Crucified Nazarene: Unpublished Lectures and Sermons (Translated by Roy A. Harrisville; Eerdmans, 2010). I bought the book this weekend at the Eerdmans Warehouse Sale (one of the major benefits of living in Grand Rapids). I had a suspicion I already had the book, but bought it anyway. Once again, my leaky memory is to your benefit.

Commenting on Ernst Käsemann, Scot McKnight said about

“Käsemann’s theology is about breaking free from the idols of his age, in fact of any age, and this collection of essays will put before readers a window into Käsemann’s brilliant explorations of how to live as a disciple of Jesus in a world gone mad at times, in a world where we are called to resist, in a world where we are called to follow The Crucified One.”

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 September 20, 2017 (one week from now). Good Luck!

Cover ArtIt is time to give away my extra copy of  Charles Talbert’s Reading the Sermon on the Mount: Character Formation and Decision Making in Matthew 5–7 . As I mentioned in the previous post, I plan on teaching through the Sermon in my Sunday School class (which is now called “Second Hour” for hipster reasons which sometimes escape me). Browsing through Sermon on the Mount titles at Baker Books in Grand Rapids, I bought a copy of Talbert, only to discover it was already on my shelf.

There were 25 names in the hat, I randomly sorted the names and then used random.org to pick a number. The winner is:

Dwight Gingrich

Huzzah to Dwight for winning this  book. Please contact me via email (plong42 at gmail .com) or a DM on twitter (@Plong42) with your mailing address and I will pop this book in the mail ASAP.

I will launch the next give away this afternoon, so be sure to check back soon.

Cover ArtOnce again, to celebrate the end of the summer and beginning of the new academic year, I am giving away a few books. In this case, it is another book I purchase and then discovered I already had it on the shelf. Since I am planning to teach through the Sermon on the Mount in my Sunday School class this fall, I went to Baker Book House in Grand Rapids picked up several classic books on the Sermon. I grabbed a copy of Talbert’s Reading the Sermon on the Mount: Character Formation and Decision Making in Matthew 5–7 and did not realize I already had it until I put it on the shelf. The good news is I am now offering a copy to a reader of this blog.

In his back-of-the-book endorsement, Dale C. Allison Jr. said “Charles H. Talbert’s expertise regarding the relevant ancient sources, whether Greco-Roman or Jewish, is matched by his thorough familiarity with recent critical study of the Sermon on the Mount. He is also theologically sensitive and hermeneutically sophisticated. The result is a lucid and sure guide to the minefield that is the Sermon on the Mount.”

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 September 8, 2017 (one week from now). Good Luck!

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.

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