Friday, October 31, 2014

A Brief Book Notice on J.B. Lightfoot's The Acts of the Apostles

One of the more unique books that I have had the pleasure of receiving arrived on my doorstep this week. The Acts of the Apostles: A Newly Discovered Commentary (IVP Academic) by the legendary J.B. Lightfoot, has been compiled and edited by the capable hands of Ben Witherington and Todd Still.

The story of how Lightfoot's manuscripts were discovered by Witherington is worth the price of the book itself. I do not want to divulge many of the details, so please, go and pick up this book. If you are like me, and appreciate the giants on whose shoulders we have all had the privilege of standing, this book is a must.

Lightfoot's comments on the art of commentating are also a wonderful resource and timeless in his approach to hermeneutics.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Markus Barth's Lectures on Ephesians and Colossians

Markus Barth 1915-1994

After some laborious work, I have made available digitized versions of Markus Barth's lectures on Ephesians and Colossians, which were originally published in 1969 by Alba House Communications. As far as I can ascertain, these lectures are no longer available for sale, but if there is a copyright issue, I will gladly take the links down. Moreover, these lectures have appeared only on cassette and never in any digital format until now.

There is roughly over two hours of content here, and I have recorded them in WAVE format to ensure a higher quality sound.

M. Barth was probably most widely known for his work on these two so-called Captivity Epistles, culminating in commentaries in the Anchor (Yale) Bible Series.


UPDATE: After having the original files accessible through Drop Box, the files were rendered inaccessible due to the amount of traffic that said files were receiving.

I then took to the task of converting the WAVE formatted files converted to mp4 files and uploaded. With the help of my friend, Mark Goodacre, the files now have viable links for everyone to download once again.

Markus Barth Ephesians, Colossians Lecture 1

Markus Barth-Ephesians, Colossians Lecture 2

Markus Barth-Ephesians, Colossians Lecture 3

Markus Barth- Ephesians, Colossians Lecture 4

Markus Barth- Ephesians, Colossians Lecture 5

Markus Barth Ephesians, Colossians Lecture 6

Saturday, October 18, 2014

David deSilva's YouTube Channel

Many of you might already be aware of this, but David deSilva, Trustees Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Greek at Ashland Theological Seminary, has his own Youtube channel. Thus far, sixteen videos have appeared, including one, "Hearing the Whole of Paul's Good News," which will give those anticipating his Transformation: The Heart of Paul's Gospel, a foretaste of what that volume will be about.

Click here for David's channel.

Monday, October 13, 2014

C.F.D. Moule- Another Example of Humility

Humility is a great virtue in scholarship, or, for that matter, in any professional field. I am not talking about a false humility that paradoxically calls attention to itself in order to garner attention, i.e. a 'humble-brag.'

Recently, I posted some sterling words from G.B. Caird on this very subject. A contemporary of the great scholar, C.F.D. Moule, yet another giant of British N.T. scholarship in the 20th century, has some relevant words regarding a position of humility with his famous publication, An Idiom-Book of New Testament Greek.
C.F.D. Moule (1908-2007)

Moule comments in the original Preface (October, 1952) that he was invited by J.M. Creed to write a full grammar or syntax, but delays, distractions and the preference for studying idiom, produced this work, "an obviously incomplete idiom-book--an amateur's collection of specimens"(v.). Moule goes on to state: "My only hope  is that even with such limitations it may yet prove useful as a companion and supplement to the already existing commentaries" (v.).

Further Moule strikingly states: "If the present compilation makes any claim upon the attention of students, it will simply be as the work of a fellow-student who has seen something of what needs to be done but has not gone far towards the achievement" (v.).

And last, Moule expresses his gratitude to those who have plowed in this field before him:

"My indebtedness to those who have already written upon these matters is great, although not so great as it would have been if I had been faster and more diligent reader. In particular I am conscious of having done all too little reading of secular writings of the period, both literary and non-literary. But I here record my gratitude for so much of the works of the work of others as I have the capacity to receive" (vi).

Michael Gorman's Forthcoming Volume on Paul

My friend, Michael Gorman, the Raymond E. Brown Chair in Biblical Studies and Theology at St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore, Maryland, has produced another book on Paul.

Becoming the Gospel: Paul, Participation, and Mission is slated for a late spring release (May, 2015). This will be Gorman's fourth book on Paul with Eerdmans publishing. Simply put, Gorman is one of my favorite authors and one of the best scholars on Paul in biblical scholarship today. I never fail to learn when I read Mike's work, and that is the highest compliment I can pay any scholar.

The book is 336 pages and will retail for $28.00.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Happy Birthday Markus Barth!

Markus Barth, perhaps one of the most underrated of the great New Testament scholars of the 20th century, no doubt due in no small part by the shadow cast by his father, Karl Barth, would have turned 99 today.

Markus Barth with wife, Rose Marie, ca. 1947
Markus Barth was born on October 6, 1915 in Safenwil, Switzerland. In 1947, he received his PhD in NT from the University of Göttingen and in 1953, accepted his first post in the United States, as he was invited to become visiting professor of New Testament at the Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. From there, Barth moved to the Federated Theological Faculty at the University of Chicago in 1955. In 1963, Barth moved once again, this time to become the professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Eleven years later, 1973, Barth was called back to his native Switzerland, where he served as professor of NT at the University of Basel until his passing in 1994.

M.Barth is probably best known for his magisterial two-volume commentary on Ephesians in the Anchor series. However, Barth also produced two other major commentaries that were published posthumously, both rounded off by Helmut Blanke, those of Colossians (Anchor) and Philemon (ECC). In addition, Barth, perhaps more than any other NT scholar of his generation, took great pains to foster conversation between Christians and Jews. His seminal articles, "What can a Jew Believe about Jesus--and Still Remain a Jew?"(1965) and "Was Paul an Anti-Semite?" (1968), both appearing in the Journal of Eumenical Studies, were born out of lectures Barth delivered in Jewish synagogues. 

For more biographical information on M. Barth, click here and here

I will leave with this quote from M. Barth's Ephesians 1-3 on his role of interpreter:

To interpret part of the Bible is to have a conversation with its author--whether or not his name his known--and to participate in the dialogues which informed him and stirred up by him. An exegete listens and responds above all to the Bible itself. He realizes that this voice also reflects whispers and thunders heard in the culture of the ancient world and that it has produced many echoes during the almost two thousand-year history of the synagogue and church. In turn, the expositor is surrounded and influenced by noises and sounds produced in his own time. While he tries carefully to listen to the past, he also has to respond daringly in terms of the present world (Preface; ix).

P.S. Here is a post I wrote 4 years ago that feature M. Barth audio resources from 1970.