Epistles of Thomas

May 31, 2008

List of forthcoming commentaries

Filed under: Commentaries — Thomas @ 20:14
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I discovered this list of forthcoming commentaries today. It is a little dated (two years ago) and some of them have been released already but it begins with a helpful list of all current commentary series. On the whole it demonstrates what a wondrous ability Christians have at producing more commentaries on the same 66 books year after year for centuries! I discovered a couple I hadn’t heard of before including Asia Bible Commentary whose purpose is:

…to enable readers to understand the Scriptures in their own context and to interpret and apply them to the plurality of Asian cultures in which they live and work.

The series is designed for use by pastors in their expository ministry of preaching, teaching and counselling, by teachers and students in their theological studies, and by men and women who lead small groups in churches and homes.

Hopefully the commentaries don’t contain such sentences ;). Another series I was previously unfamiliar with is Paideia from Baker. Its first volume on Ephesians and Colossians was released in November. This is its focus:

This series approaches each text in its final, canonical form, proceeding by sense units rather than word-by-word or verse-by-verse. Each sense unit is explored in three sections: (1) introductory matters, (2) tracing the train of thought, (3) key hermeneutical and theological questions. The commentaries shed fresh light on the text while avoiding idiosyncratic readings, attend to theological meaning without presuming a specific theological stance in the reader, and show how the text uses narrative and rhetorical strategies from the ancient educational context to form and shape the reader. Professors, graduate and seminary students, and pastors will benefit from this readable commentary, as will theological libraries.

It’s nice to think that everyone will have a reason for buying it. I have to confess I am a little leery whenever a book or series claims to be all things to all people as both of these do. Of course, the Bible is all things to all people at all times so perhaps it is possible!

January 21, 2008

The trouble with new editions and electronic books

Filed under: Commentaries,Review,Translation — Thomas @ 23:27

I’m a big fan of electronic books and use the Logos software program on a regular basis. I appreciate the ease of use and am glad I chose to concentrate of Logos because no one beats them for shear quantity of volumes printed. One of the downsides to e-books that I have noticed is that they are slow to update books with new editions and when they do update to new editions often the old ones are no longer available. For example Logos sells NASB95 but not NASB (1977). They sell the latest, third edition of Bauer’s lexicon (BDAG) but you can longer buy the second edition because Chicago University Press decided that having them both for sale would confuse the marketplace. In both cases they are entitled to do whatever they want but in the world of physical books I can always order a used copy online from countless places, not so in the world of e-books.

Another problem stems from economic reality and licensing concerns. If I want to buy John Bright’s classic, A History of Israel, Logos offers the third edition (1981). However, in 2000 a fourth edition was released, something which may never be seen for Logos. Another example is D. A. Carson’s New Testament Commentary Survey for which Logos offers the fifth edition as part of a collection. Less than a year later, in 2007, a sixth edition was published but there is no indication that Logos will be offering that.

A third problem relates to translations of classic works. For example, Logos offers John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion. The Logos edition is the translation done by Henry Beveridge which is fine for casual reading but scholars need the edition translated by Ford Lewis Battles and edited by John T. McNeill. Unfortunately, this is published by Westminster John Knox Press which has decided to play in its own sandbox. I’m glad to see that Logos is producing the new translations of Josephus even if they are expensive beyond belief. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that one of my professors of long ago, Paul Spilsbury, is a translator for Judean Antiquities Books 8-10. Sorry Dr. Spilsbury, I still couldn’t convince myself to spend $380 on five volumes.

September 25, 2007

Yale Acquires Anchor Bible Series

Filed under: Commentaries — Thomas @ 19:46

Yale University Press has bought the Anchor Bible Commentary Series from Doubleday. It was announced that they will rename it the Anchor Yale Bible and will begin publishing the remaining volumes beginning next year. It also stats that all volumes will be available in electronic form. Hopefully this means that Logos will be able to provide them for those who use the Libronix Library system. Doubleday only made the Anchor Bible Dictionary available to electronic library users so this is good news.

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