31 October 2008

New Testament Books for Pastors and Teachers - II


by Ralph Martin
published: 2001-04-18
© 2001 Theologybooks.com, Wipf and Stock.
Greek grammars come in all shapes and sizes. There are the elementary textbooks, of which J. Gresham Machen is perhaps the best known in the United States, and H. P. V. Nunn, as revised by John Wenham, the most popular in Great Britain. The more advanced include the work of A. T. Robertson, reprinted by Broadman Press, and the indispensable Blass-Debrunner-Funk, A Greek Grammar of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. The four volumes of A Grammar of New Testament Greek, by J. H. Moulton, W. F. Howard, and Nigel Turner, are excellent as reference works and will illuminate many a preacher's texts. A grammar to read from cover to cover is Charles F. D. Moule's An Idiom-Book of New Testament Greek in its latest edition. This is not so daunting a task as may at first appear; but if the thought is enough to scare away those whose Greek has grown rusty, why not make a start with Nigel Turner's Grammatical Insights Into the New Testament, or the same author's marvelously suggestive Christian Words? I guarantee your interest will be amply rewarded as sermon suggestions leap from the page. Even simpler is Ronald A. Ward's Hidden Meaning in the New Testament: New Light from the Old Greek, also written with an eye on the preacher's need.
Lexical data are always an essential part of adequate sermon preparation as well as a good control on our exegetical flights of fancy. All we can desire is supplied by Bauer-GingrichDanker, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. Danker's name is a sign of the second edition (1979), replacing Arndt's in the 1957 edition. The later edition is the one to possess. In default of the large Bauer volume, I have found much profit in G. Abbott-Smith's A Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament, a book on my shelves with its spine broken from constant use. That usually says something about a book's practical worth! Liddell-Scott-Jones, A Greek-English Lexicon (9th ed., 1940), is the standard work for classical studies, but pastors will be able to make do with the abbreviated edition, usually obtained secondhand, though it is apparently still in print.
Before we leave the subject of resources to assist our Greek knowledge, let me mention a few other books of great value. First, as an aid to serious Gospel study we all need a synopsis of the Gospels, and the prime choice is Kurt Aland's Synopsis Quattuor Evangeliorum. (Despite its Latin title, the book is accessible to all who can use New Testament Greek. A Greek-English edition, entitled Synopsis of the Four Gospels, is published by the United Bible Societies.) There are various counterparts to this aid, which print the English text, notably B. H. Throckmorton, Gospel Parallels, and F. L. Cross's translation of the Huck-Lietzmann Synopsis, but these are really second best. An exception is the Huck-Greeven Synopsis, a first-class resource, published in 1981 and now available in the United States. Reuben J. Swanson's The Horizontal Line Synopsis of the Gospels offers a conspectus of the English texts in vertical columns, with agreements underlined. A start has been made toward producing an equivalent in Greek with textual variants, and so far Matthew has appeared.
Concordances in Greek are mainly for the academician, with the standard Moulton and Geden now superseded by H. Bachmann and H. Slaby (eds.), Computer-Konkordanz zum Novum Testamentum Graece and the less complete but very useful Statistik des neutestamentlichen Wortschatzes, by Robert Morgenthaler. More immediately serviceable is Clinton Morrison's An Analytical Concordance to the Revised Standard Version of the New Testament, which provides excellent and comprehensive coverage, enough to satisfy most needs. Of the older works there is the ancient Cruden's Concordance, which has done yeoman service, though it is incomplete in parts and is based on the King James Version. Robert Young's Analytical Concordance to the Bible, or James Strong's The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, or both, should therefore be sought out and kept at one's elbow.

29 October 2008

New Testament Books for Pastors and Teachers - I

Me këtë postim do të filloj një seri postimesh në të cilat mund të gjeni literaturën e domosdoshme të sugjeruar nga një ndër komentuesit më të njohur ungjillor të DhR. Ishte një dëshirë e imja që ta bëja vetë dicka të tillë pwr drejtuesit shqiptar, por duke patur një material të tillë të gatshëm, dhe nga një ekspert, sugjerimi im do të ishte i pavend.
Por më parë është e nevojshme të mbahen parasysh tri gjëra:
1) Literatura, ashtu si edhe vetë materiali, janë në anglisht. Unë edhe mund ta përktheja në shqip, por nëse librat që nevojiten janë në anglisht, ata që janë të interesuar sigurisht që do të kuptojnë edhe materialin!
2) Materiali është publikuar shumë kohë më parë (2001). Kjo do të thotë se për shumë nga librat këtu, janë bërë ribotime të mëvonshme. Prandaj, për ata që janë të interesuar për t'i blerë, më përpara bëjnë mirë të kërkojnë në internet për ribotimin e fundit.
3) Disa nga materialet e sugjeruara kërkojnë një njohje të greqishtes. Kjo nuk duhet të përbëjë shkurajim, por motivim për të kërkuar më shumë nga vetvetja.
Lexim të mbarë!
by Ralph Martin
published: 2001-04-18
© 2001 Theologybooks.com, Wipf and Stock.
Basic Exegetical Tools
Frederick W. Danker's Multipurpose Tools for Bible Study heads the list of bibliographical guides, as it does in Brevard Childs's Old Testament Books for Pastor and Teacher. The single complaint I have is an inevitable one. Even Danker's third edition of 1970 is quickly becoming dated, and several of his chapters need enriching and updating, excellent as they were when first published. The areas where strengthening is required are noted below.
Help is at hand in two publications of the Inter-Varsity Press. The first of these, A Bibliographical Guide to New Testament Research, edited by Richard T. France, has now appeared in a third edition (1979), published by the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, at the University of Sheffield, England. Earlier editions (1968 and 1974) were released under the auspices of the Tyndale Fellowship for Biblical Research in Cambridge, England. The latest edition contains the fullest bibliographical listing of exegetical helps currently in print. It is oriented to the British scene, but without too much difficulty one can match American editions to their British counterparts. This guidebook ranges over the widest areas possible, from library aids and standard periodical titles to the more exotic fields of investigation such as papyrology, Qumran and the inter-Testamental period, and early Christian and Gnostic literature. It even gives tips about learning a modern language such as German or French as a means of access to so much that is being written by leading theologians in our day. Inevitably there are blind spots, and American readers would have appreciated more on the Nag Hammadi texts and the Jewish noncanonical literature that Scholars Press is making available in edited translations. See George W. E. Nickelsburg, Jewish Literature between the Bible and the Mishnah, for details as to existing and forthcoming editions in this field.
The second publication is more replete with important data, conveniently brought together in a manageable booklet. Jesus and the Synoptic Gospels, edited by David E. Aune, is the first in a series of Theological Students' Fellowship-institute for Biblical Research study guides. Its excellent, encyclopedic coverage of titles that can be sought in the limited area of Jesus and the first three Gospels is only part of the book's usefulness. Methods of criticism and reviews of research are judiciously examined. Linguistic studies on the Gospels are scrutinized. Then the contemporary world of Judaism is treated before the various phases of Jesus' earthly life and ministry are referred to, each section covering what Aune believes to be the best guides available, both books and periodical essays. Students will find these resources invaluable, but alert pastors cannot fail to profit if they will take Aune's little book along on their next excursion to a seminary or public library.
In briefer compass there is Joseph A. Fitzmyer's An Introductory Bibliography for the Study of Scripture (rev. ed., 1981). In a few pages this handbook tells us all we need to know about current journals, lexicons, grammars, concordances, and Bible dictionaries, as well as summarizing in a few judicious sentences what to expect from New Testament theologies and commentary series. A most useful book to have on hand.
All would-be expositors of the sacred text will need an upto-date Greek New Testament, which should lie open on their study desk or table. The larger the Greek font used the better, for ease of reference. The "best" is Nestle-Aland, Novum Testamentum Graece, in its 26th edition (1979). There is a pocket-size edition, but I recommend the larger, wide-margin edition to students and newly ordained ministers. It will be the investment of a lifetime. I have used the British and Foreign Bible Society edition in a wide-margin text for two decades now, and I wish I had been advised to get a similar edition years before. Most seminary students seem to incline to The Greek New Testament, ed. by Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, and Allen Wikgren, in the United Bible Societies' third edition of 1975, which has an up-to-date text and is easier to read than Nestle. The critical apparatus gives fewer variant readings, but with fuller references. A companion volume, edited by Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, is most useful in giving the principles on which choices were made in producing the United Bible Societies' text.
On the difficult subject of textual criticism, all the minister will need is found in Bruce M. Metzger's The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration (second edition), though J. Neville Birdsall in The Cambridge History of the Bible, ed. by Peter R. Ackroyd and Christopher F. Evans, Vol. 1, Ch. 11, is an excellent supplement; and Gordon D. Fee's chapter in Biblical Criticism: Historical, Literary, and Textual, by R. K. Harrison et al., redeems a book of otherwise doubtful worth.
Second only to the indispensable Greek New Testament is the need to have on hand a copy of the Old Testament in Greek, the Septuagint, often referred to by the symbol LXX. Childs's recommendation is for the older edition of Henry B. Swete, which is available only as a used copy and is fairly rare. The standard text is the Wurttembergische Bibelanstalt edition, edited by Alfred Rahlfs and published in Stuttgart, which is reasonably priced and will meet most pastors' needs. See the Bibliography for details of publication.

23 October 2008

Made to Love

Ndonjehere nje kenge flet me mire se nje shkrim!