Book Reviews

Philippians (Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament), by Joseph Hellerman

This handbook on the Greek text of Philippians is part of B&H Academic’s EGGNT series, several volumes of which we have reviewed. Each volume is aimed at intermediate Greek readers and focuses on syntax, vocabulary, and grammar. But each volume is also slightly distinctive, given an author’s chosen emphases.

Hellerman begins with a brief commentary introduction, concluding that Paul wrote the letter from Rome. He writes one long paragraph on aspect and Aktionsart….

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A Companion to Augustine, edited by Mark Vessey

Augustine is arguably the most important Christian theologian outside of the biblical authors. Many different theological camps claim Augustine for their theological positions. The Confessions makes him a very personal historical figure. Because of the massive weight of Augustine’s historical character it is essential that we understand Augustine in his historical context as well as his social context. That is the purpose for which this companion has been written….

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Endangered Languages: An Introduction, by Sarah Thomason

“According to most experts’ estimates, at least half of the world’s seven thousand languages will vanish before the end of this century” (2). What an amazing statistic! Those of us interested in biblical languages have felt the sting of this statistic recently, as we heard news about the last of native Aramaic speakers dying out. What is it that leads to language “death,” and how can languages be revitalized? Or should they be? The purpose of this book is “to introduce the general topic of language endangerment…and to describe some methods designed to prevent endangerment from leading to the disappearance of a threatened language” (2)….

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Advances in the Study of Greek: New Insights for Reading the New Testament, by Constantine R. Campbell

I bought this book because I was interested in learning more about tense and aspect theory. It ended up being much more than just that. Advances in the Study of Greek: New Insights for Reading the New Testament by Constantine R. Campbell is a monumental book written to help pastors and other Greek New Testament exegetes apply advances in Koine (biblical) Greek scholarship to proper exegesis for the benefit of the church (albeit not exclusively so)….

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Jesus, Paul and the People of God: A Theological Dialogue with N. T. Wright, eds. Nicholas Perrin and Richard B. Hays

Jesus, Paul, and the People of God: A Theological Dialogue with N. T. Wright brings together the proceedings from the 2010 Wheaton Theology Conference, in which a group of scholars who also happen to be Wright’s friends were invited to deliver papers responding to some of the most important features of his work on Jesus and Paul. In distinction from other works responding to a biblical scholar, this book holds the unique features of 1) offering a theological response and 2) bringing the conversation to bear on the church, that is, the “people of God.” The book is divided into two parts, the first on historical Jesus research and the second on Pauline studies….

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Biblical Greek Language and Linguistics: Open Questions in Current Research, eds. Stanley Porter and D. A. Carson

This volume is important for the development of aspect theory in New Testament Greek and the application of modern linguistics to the New Testament corpus. These lectures were presented at the 1990 and 1991 annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in the Consultation on Biblical Greek Language and Linguistics. It was originally published in 1993 in the JSNT Supplement Series, but it has now been republished by Bloomsbury in the Biblical Studies segment of their Academic Collections series….

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Portrait of an Apostle: A Case for Paul’s Authorship of Colossians and Ephesians, by Gregory S. MaGee

If Colossians, Ephesians, or both are pseupigraphal writings, how would we know? There is one objective, historical test to which we might subject the documents. There are documents that are unanimously agreed to be Pauline pseudepigraphs, namely, Epistle to the Loadiceans (Ep. Lao.) and Third Corinthians (3 Cor.). An objective, historical test would be to compare the language and ideas of these two known pseudepigraphs….

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Linguistics and the New Testament: Critical Junctures, eds. Stanley Porter and D. A. Carson

T&T Clark is reissuing several studies from the JSNTSS series in their Library of New Testament Studies series. Many of these are valuable sets of essay, including the present volume, which contains papers that apply modern linguistic methods to the analysis of the New Testament. As in most sets of essays, some are more useful than others, but the volume gives a good sampling of what modern linguistics has to offer biblical scholars….

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Philosophy Before Socrates: An Introduction with Texts and Commentaries, 2nd ed., by Richard D. McKirahan

This work contains the primary texts containing information about the presocratic philosophers, with introductory notes and commentary on the texts. He organizes the material by topic to attempt to present each thinker in an organized fashion. The beauty of this book, as opposed to other “readers,” is that McKirahan presents “most, and in many cases all, of the fragments of the philosophers discussed, as well as other important evidence on their thought” (ix). There are cases where he cannot do this, for example, Hesiod’s Theogony, which is too long for full inclusion….

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