Eerdmans Sale on Kindle Books for July 2019

During the month of July, Eerdmans has some great deals on Kindle versions of recent publicationsAlthough I prefer real books to digital (and Logos books to Kindle), these books are worth the price. If you do not own a Kindle device, you can get an App on most devices to read Kindle books. I use the iPad Kindle App, it is very convenient for travel (or reading in the dark).

Although used hardback copies are available for less, George Eldon Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament (1974) is $4.99. This was one of the most influential books on evangelical scholarship. Ladd “popularized a view of the kingdom as having two dimensions: ‘already/not yet’” (The Gospel Coalition, Trevin Wax, A Theologian You Should Know).

Commenting on Ladd’s legacy John D’Elia said

Ladd’s legacy within evangelical scholarship is hard to overstate. I argue in the book that he carved out a place for evangelicals in what was then the threatening and bewildering world of critical biblical scholarship. By demystifying the methods of critical scholarship, Ladd made them available to evangelicals who wanted to use them in their study of the Scriptures. Historic premillennialism, then, is really an incidental part of Ladd’s story.

A few other interesting titles:

Michael F. Bird’s The Gospel of the Lord: How the Early Church Wrote the Story of Jesus (2014), 3.99. I reviewed this book in three parts starting here. To quote myself:

Michael Bird’s The Gospel of the Lord: How the Early Church Wrote the Story of Jesus is a study of the origins of the New Testament Gospel. The first three chapters concern the pre-literary forms of the Gospels, focusing on the shape of the Jesus tradition. He includes a chapter on the Synoptic Problem and another on the genre of the Gospels, two often discussed issues in Gospels introductions. Finally, he concludes the book with a chapter on the reason four Gospels were included in the canon of Scripture rather than only single story of Jesus. Each chapter concludes with a related excursus. While most excurses are brief expansions on some technical aspect of a chapter, some of Bird’s excurses are long enough to be chapters on their own. The book was named one of Christianity Today’s top books of the year in the Biblical Studies category.

Michael Green’s Thirty Years That Changed the World: The Book Acts for Today (2004) is a quick overview of the book of Acts.

Anthony J. Saldarini, Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees in Palestinian Society (2001, The Biblical Resource Series; $2.99). An excellent academic text on Second Temple Judaism.

Reinhard Pummer, The Samaritans: A Profile (2014, $2.99). I reviewed this book in 2016, concluding:

Pummer’s introduction to the Samaritans goes beyond the usual topics to include the whole history of Samaritan culture. By blending literary and archaeological sources, Pummer presents a clear and concise picture of the Samarians both in antiquity and in the modern world. Although the arrangement of topics is sometimes odd, this book will be a useful contribution to the ongoing study of the Samaritans.

William Dever’s Did God Have a Wife?: Archaeology and Folk Religion in Ancient Israel (2008, $3.99) caused a bit of a stir when it was published. Ziony Zevit blurbbed the book:

“Once again William Dever has written a page-turner for thoughtful individuals interested in the Bible. This time, however, he explores what most biblicists ignore — the folk religion of ancient Israel, the religion as lived and practiced. . . Although written for the general public, this is one book that scholars cannot afford to miss. . . Writing in a personal style sprinkled with anecdotes, Dever has produced a rare work — a book that may be read and appreciated by all who take the Bible, archaeology, and history seriously. Packed with information, crackling with brilliant observations.”

For church history, Michael Graves, The Inspiration and Interpretation of Scripture: What the Early Church Can Teach Us (2014, $3.99). I reviewed the book here.

Here is a different sort of title for me: Dale Allison’s Night Comes: Death, Imagination, and the Last Things (2019,$1.99). This short book was developed from Allison’s Stone Lectures at Princeton Theological Seminary in October 2014. As he notes in his preface, these essays are edited and are more like a series of thoughts and reflections on life, death and the afterlife. As the book develops, there is a sense of Allison’s struggle as a scholar to deal some very basic issues human existence. You can read my full review of the book here.

There are quite a few others, so poke around the Eerdmans books on Amazon and see what you can find.

The sale runs through the end of July 2019.

Eerdmans Sale on Kindle Books for May 2019

During the month of May, Eerdmans has some great deals on Kindle versions of recent publications

Although I prefer real books to digital (and Logos books to Kindle), these are worth buying at the price. If you do not own a Kindle device, you can get an App on most devices to read Kindle books. I use the iPad Kindle App, it is very convenient for travel (or reading in the dark, which is sometimes a thing).

There are quite a few interesting books on the list this month, but I notice several volumes of the Socio-Rhetorical Commentary series for $4.99 each. As the title for the series implies, these commentaries focus on the social world of the author (Second Temple Judaism and the Greco-Roman world) as well as tracing the rhetorical strategies of the authors. The latter works best in the letters and sometimes can seem tedious, but this careful examination of how Paul (for example) argued his points has the potential to unfold the letters in new and exciting ways.

I have used many volumes in this series and usually found them helpful. Keener and DeSilva are always good,and Witherington always has something to stimulate my thinking. I looked for Witherington’s Acts but it is not available in Kindle format for some reason. It is really the best of the Socio-Rhetorical Commentary series.

In the non-commentary section of the sale, I noticed Richard Bauckham’s The Gospels for All Christians: Rethinking the Gospel Audiences ($2.99). This is a collection of essays which argue the four gospels were not written to specific churches (Matthew to Syrian Antioch, for example) but to the whole church.

For archaeology, Fant and Reddish, Lost Treasures of the Bible: Understanding the Bible through Archaeological Artifacts in World Museums is a mere $1.99. The book discusses key artifacts now housed in museums all over the world. I reviewed this book soon after it came out, it is well worth reading. In the review, I concluded “This is an excellent book for general readers interested in archaeology as background for the Bible. Whether it is used in conjunction with a visit to a major museum or not, Lost Treasures provides the reader with good descriptions of the most important artifacts illustrating the world of both the Old and New Testaments.”

For the philosopher/theologian, The Analytic Theist: An Alvin Plantinga Reader is $3.99. The book has thirteen essays and book excerpts in four sections (“Natural Theology and Atheology; Reformed Epistemology; Divine Nature and Attributes; Christian Philosophy). Think of this as Plantinga’s Greatest Hits.

There are quite a few others, so poke around the Eerdmans books on Amazon and see what you can find.

The sale runs through the end of May 2019.

Eerdmans Sale on Kindle Books for March 2019

During the month of March, Eerdmans has some great deals on Kindle versions of recent publications

Although I prefer real books to digital (and Logos books to Kindle), these are worth buying for a few bucks. If you do not own a Kindle device, you can get an App on most devices to read Kindle books. I use the iPad Kindle App, it is very convenient for travel (or reading in the dark, if you are into that).

I think the highlight of this month’s sale is J. R. Daniel Kirk, A Man Attested by God: The Human Jesus of the Synoptic Gospels. James McGrath said “This may well be the most important book about New Testament Christology to appear in recent years.” Kirk argues against the idea the Gospels present Jesus as divine, but rather he is a idealized human similar to other ideal humans (Moses, Elijah, etc.) It is a challenging book, well worth reading and considering his arguments.

There are quite a few others, so poke around the Eerdmans books on Amazon and see what you can find.

The sale runs through the end of March 2019.

Eerdmans Sale on Kindle Books

During the month of February, Eerdmans has some great deals on Kindle versions of recent publications.  Although I prefer real books to digital (and Logos books to Kindle), these are worth buying for a few bucks (the price of one of those fancy coffees you like so much).

There are quite a few others, so poke around the Eerdmans books on Amazon and see what you can find.

The sale runs through February 28, 2019.

Discovering Biblical Texts from Eerdmans Sale

thiselton-discovering-romansAmazon has a great deal on the four published volumes in the Discovering Biblical Texts from Eerdmans. Each volume of the series provides an excellent introduction to the exegetical problems a particular books as well as an example of a commentary from the perspective of Reception History.

When I reviewed the Romans volume by Anthony Thiselton I said:

Discovering Romans is an excellent handbook and guide to the story of Romans. It will make an excellent textbook for the seminary classroom, but will be of great assistance to anyone who wants to keep up with recent developments in the study of Romans. More than this, Thiselton’s goal of reading Romans along with writers in different periods of Church history provides the modern reader with important perspectives which are often overlooked or intentionally ignored. Despite the brevity of the commentary, it is rich with details pointing interested readers to commentaries and monographs to dig deeper into this most important book of the New Testament.

If you read books on a Kindle (or Kindle App), Amazon has the first four volumes of this series on sale for 99 cents each. That is four serious books for your library for the price of a cup of coffee (at least a fancy cup of coffee). I much prefer a real book to the Kindle version, but the price is right for these excellent volumes. If you have an iPad (or other tablet), use the Kindle App to read these books.

Click the title to read my review of the book and then the Amazon link to add the book to your Kindle Library.

Ian Boxall, Discovering Matthew     Link to Amazon

Ruth Edwards, Discovering John     Link to Amazon

Anthony Thiselton, Discovering Romans     Link to Amazon

Iain Provan, Discovering Genesis     Link to Amazon

HT to Jennifer Guo (@jenniferguo) who tweeted links to the NT volumes. I have no idea how long this sale might last, so grab the books while you can.



Free Kindle Books

Several years ago I happened to visit one of my favorite local used book stores and they had a table set up in the front of the store for a special sale – “buy a foot of books for a dollar.”  Imagine what sort of books get sold by the foot!  There were old Pulpit Commentaries and McClaren’s commentaries with the covers half off, and a fair amount of old Christian fiction.  (I am not a fan of Christian fiction to start with, but Christian fiction form the 1950’s is particularly loathsome).  I looked over the pile of books and would not have wanted to buy any of the books, even at a dollar a foot.

As I was browsing for something else on Amazon this morning, I ran across Luther’s Commentary on Galatians, free for Kindle.  I do not have a physical copy of the book, only the Logos version.  So I downloaded the book to my iPad.  This version is public domain, and Amazon states that the “book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers,” indicating that these are mostly Project Gutenberg texts.  This is the text that has been floating around the internet for some time, converted nicely to Kindle and made available for free.  I looked at a few books, the formatting looks good, which is not always the case on converted books.

Amazon is always very good about suggesting more things for me to by, so across the bottom of the page is “other customers bought.”  This amounts to many pages of other books which are free to Kindle users.  Here are a few other highlights:

Luther, Galatians, Concerning Christian Liberty, and many others from Luther’s Works.

F. G. Smith, The Revelation Explained An Exposition

G. K. Chesterton, All Things Considered, and just about everything else from Chesterton is there! Time to read The Wisdom of Father Brown.

Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God Is Within You, and many other of Tolstoy’s spiritual writings.

Marcus Dods, The Expositor’s Bible: The Gospel of St John

H. G. C. Moule, Philippians

Alexander McClaren commentaries, many of which now include “real page numbers.”

Walter Rauschenbusch, The Social Principles of Jesus

James Stalker, Life of St. Paul

Poke around, see what else you can find.  It is better than a “foot of books for a buck!”

Loebolus – A Collection of (Free) Downloadable Loeb Classics

Josephus, Life

I realize that Loebolus sounds like a rather bad SyFy channel horror movie, maybe something about a zombie classics scholar terrorizing Harvard.  Loebolus is actually a very cool project from Ryan Baumann which  collects all 245 of the downloadable Loeb Classics on a single page.  You can download any individual volume or the whole set in a  single 3.2 GB file.

Ed Donnelly has had most of this information on line for some time, along with links to ABE or Amazon to purchase the actual books. But this site gets you directly to the PDF without entering captcha codes.  I downloaded two files as a trial, both were scanned so that each page is a separate image, Greek and English alternate.  I sent Josephus’ Life to my Kindle App on my iPad for easy reading.

This is a goldmine of information which has all passed into the Public Domain.  All of these books are avaliable from a variety of sources, inclulding Logos (See my comments on the Perseus Collection from Logos here). For biblical studies, the works of Josephus are available.  While I realize that Josephus is commonly reprinted, these PDF files will also give you the Greek text and an abundance of information via footnotes. Strabo’s Geography, Herodotus, Xenophon,  Plutarch are all there.  I am also fond of Thucydides, Peleponnesian War (all four volumes are available).

The Loeb Library is a collection of Greek and Latin classical sources.  These small books have the Greek or Latin on the left side, and an English translation on the right. Some of the volumes have been replaced with newer translations.  Marital, for example, was recently replaced with a modern, vulgar translation, which more accurately reflects Marital’s original shocking language.  (Marital was something of the Lenny Bruce of his day).  For many of these books the only English translation available is the Loeb version.  I am not sure we need a fresh translation of  Theophrastus’ Enquiry into Plants, but other important historical texts have been updated.

Whether you download the whole set or just pick a few of the best, Loebolus is worth checking out.

Articles on Acts at Biblical

Rob Bradshaw posted two articles of interest to students of the book of Acts at Biblical Steve Walton (London School of Theology) wrote two articles in The Evangelical Quarterly on Acts, both are reproduced by permission of the current copyright holder. You may download the PDF to your own computer for offline reading or send a copy to your Kindle or iPad with the Kindle App.  to save these links to your computer, right-click and select “save as.”

Steve Walton, “The Acts – of God? What is the ‘Acts of the Apostles’ all about?” The Evangelical Quarterly 80.4 (October 2008): 291-306.  Walton argues that the central theme of the book of Acts is not Paul or Mission as is often suggested, but rather God.  In order to make this point, he uses a statistical analysis of the book and shows that God (or Lord) is used as the subject of verbs more often than any other noun.  He draws a number of implications from this observation with respect to using Acts for doctrine and mission.

Steve Walton, “Primitive Communism in Acts? Does Acts Present the Community of Goods (2:44-45; 4:32-35) as Mistaken?” The Evangelical Quarterly 80.2 (April 2008): 99-111.   Some scholars have suggested that Luke has a negative view of the  the earliest believers in Jerusalem who “held all things in common.”  Since the practice is not mentioned later in the book, is it thought that the practice was given up for a variety of reasons.  Walton disagrees with several of the more “negative” views of this common ownership and also draws some distinctions between the practice in Acts and  Qumran.  In the end he thinks that the question, “does Luke have a negative view of the practice” is wrong-headed, the practice was not a sharing of all property in the first place, and the practice does not disappear later in Acts.  Sharing with those in need is in fact a Christian practice everywhere (2 Cor 8:13-15).

If you do not know about, you ought to at least bookmark their new additions page. Rob Bradshaw provides a vast array of scholarship on both theology and biblical studies.

Using the iPad for Scholarship

JHS Article in Kindle

I have been using my iPad for a little over a year now and it has become an indispensable tool for reading and research. About a year ago I wrote “Top Bible Apps for the iPad” on Reading Acts, and it remains a good starting place for people looking to use their iPad for Biblical Studies. The Bible Apps I review then have all been upgraded over the last year, but the functionality is about the same.

In the last year I find myself using my iPad to read not only books but also journal articles from databases as well as proofing things I have written. Although my experience is on the iPad, these tips will work for an Android device as well. Since much of what I say here concerns the Kindle App on the iPad it is all applicable toa real Kindle device.

The first tool you need to get is the Kindle app from the iTunes store. This is a free download, Amazon gives away the reader to tempt you into buying books. This strategy certainly worked on me since Amazon usually has a “deal of the day.”  I have picked up a remarkable number of good books free (or cheap) for reading with the Kindle App. When you register your Kindle app, Amazon will assign you a Kindle email address. You should make a note of this address and authorize your own personal email under the “Manage your Devices” tab in the Kindle store.

The second tool you need is the Send to Kindle app from Amazon (Windows and Mac versions are available). Once you install this app, you can right-click on a file and send it to your Kindle email address. You can send a number of different formats, including PDF and DOC. Assuming that you have authorized your own email, the file will appear on your Kindle, or iPad Kindle App, as a book which can be read as any other Kindle book. If you send a DOC file you can highlight and annotate, but PDF’s cannot be highlighted or annotated at this time.

Reading Acts in Kindle

Another handy tool for reading on a Kindle is a Chrome extension, Send to Kindle. This little extension works in the Chrome browser and will send a web page to your Kindle for reading later. I use this for longer web-pages or to archive a biblioblog that I think I may need later. These HTML pages are converted to a PDF format and can be highlighted or annotated with the Kindle.

I use my iPad for most often for reading journal articles. Using the ATLA database through our library, I find an article of interest and send the PDF to my email. I can either copy it to my DropBox or send it to my Kindle as described above. Prior to buying an iPad, I either read the article online, or printed it for future reference. Anyone who has written a dissertation knows that you end up with a small forest of printed papers when researching, by reading on my iPad I save some time and money by not printing out articles. I sometimes send several articles on a topic to my Kindle app and head off to a coffee shop. Naturally this method will work with any online database that allows students to save files for offline reading.

There are other readers available, including Google Books, CloudReader, Bluefire Reader, Stanza and (of course) iBooks, but my preference at this point is the Kindle reader. All of these readers are really front-ends for online book stores and they all have nearly the same functionality. If you want to transfer PDF files to one of these other readers, I recommend using DropBox. Copy the PDF to your DropBox folder, then select it on your device, and choose a program from the “open with” menu. Alternatively, you can copy the files using iTunes.

I should mention that the Bluefire Reader allows you to read DRM-protected Adobe Digital documents. This is necessary for reading galley proofs from publishers from services like NetGalley. If you have an Adobe ID, you can authorize Bluefire to read your secure books.

Kostenberger in Logos, with Notes

I use the Logos Bible App daily. It is the best app for reading books, although the books must be purchased through the Logos or Vyrso store. There is no import function for Kindle books or other e-reader formats at this time. While this seems like a negative, the Logos Library is rich in material for biblical studies. If a book is available in Logos and Kindle, I will always choose Logos version. This is primarily because Logos books have real page numbers (not “locations”) and the footnotes appear at the bottom of the page you are currently reading. Logos has an excellent note-taking system with a wide variety of highlighting features. Notes I make on my iPad are automatically saved online, and they are immediately available on my desktop version of Logos.  I have several notes files for various topics (Gospel of John, for example), and as I read I add highlights and annotations.  I can cut  and paste these notes into my word processor when I am reading to write.

These tools will get you reading on your iPad, in the next installment, I will comment on a few note-taking programs for the iPad.