What’s next for the Appian Way Press?

If you’re wondering what I’ll publish next with Appian Way Press, read on to find out.

Appian Way Press

AppianWayPressThis is a very good question.

We’d hoped to publish the Second Timothy volume in Rick Brannan’s Lexical Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles, but Rick’s progress on that has been slow due to lots of life changes with a new son. It means Rick doesn’t have much extended time to spend researching and writing that volume, and its production has lagged.

So Rick has been looking for a project he could make progress on with random spots of time, usually not more than 90 minutes or so. He thinks he’s found something to fit that bill.

In researching and writing a new introduction and translation to the First Apocryphal Apocalypse of John for volume two of Burke and Landau’s New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures, Rick prepared an edition of Tischendorf’s Greek version of the document. The vocabulary is mostly also found in the New Testament. It is not…

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The Scholarly Omnivore: Knowledge in the 21st Century

Note: This is a re-post of a post written for my old blog back in December 2004 (yes, nearly 13 years ago). At that point, I was reading Diarmaid MacCulloch’s The Reformation: A History, which I would highly recommend. The below is me riffing on some stuff that I’d read (pp. 71ff in the hardback edition), presented in its original un-edited glory (except for adding the sweet woodcut).

I thought of this post because of conversations with colleagues on the topic of what makes a “good” biblical scholar. My answer to that question has grown since then, basically, to be a “good” scholar requires mastery of data in all media and format, but the below shows where I started with these ideas.

Remember: This was written nearly 13 years ago. I use the term CDRom. You’ve been warned.

The Scholarly Omnivore: Knowledge in the 21st Century

No, it’s not a proposed title for an SBL paper.

As mentioned earlier, I’m reading The Reformation: A History by Diarmaid MacCulloch. I’m still quite early in the book; the stage for the reformation is still being set. MacCulloch is in western Europe, around 1500. He has just started to talk about the printing press, so just after the stage of incunabula and at the beginnings of wider-spread availability of printed books. He’s reviewed the introduction of the Bible in local languages. Then he writes:

The effect of printing was more profound than simply making more books available more quickly. It affected western Europe’s assumptions about knowledge and originality of thought. Before the invention of printing, a major part of a scholar’s life was spent copying existing texts by hand, simply in order to have access to them. Now that printed copies of texts were increasingly available, there was less copying to do, and so there was more time to devote to thinking for oneself. That had implications for scholarly respect for what previous generations had said. Copying had been such a significant activity that in previous centuries of Christian culture, it had been given a privileged place against original thought. (MacCulloch, 71).

I’d never before considered that the printing press had this sort of effect — changing the scholar’s product from copying/preservation of previously written material to assimilating the old with the new and actually promoting original thought. (Side thought: Maybe Calvin was so infused with Augustine because he’d spent years copying his stuff before the wider availability of such works?)

In the next page or so, MacCulloch goes on to discuss how all of a sudden, reading became important because, well, folks had time to read and folks had material to read. Scholars had less need to copy material and started actually reading and thinking about things. Folks who only knew how to read but didn’t know how to write (an apparently significant portion of the expanding book-buying population according to MacCulloch) had something to hold their attention.

The resulting change in knowledge acquisition is mindboggling, at least to me. Knowledge acquisition, previous to Gutenberg, it seems, invovled hoarding copies of manuscripts for one’s own purposes. Now, all of a sudden, these important manuscripts were much easier to acquire. So people now start to really pay attention to what is written. They, in essence, learn how to read. They learn how to comprehend. Scholars no longer need to be obsessed with preservation of valuable resources, they can actually study them.

Can you imagine some of the converastions between the older scholars and the younger ones? Can you hear the older scholars imploring their students regarding the value of hand-copying Augustine or Aquinas, because that’s the only way you can really achieve intimate familiarity with their work? And can you imagine the younger student’s responses? How they think they can simply read the work and — without the pain and carpal-tunnel-inducing act of copying it — refer to it later, because they have a printed copy?

Talk about revolution. So here comes the obvious question: If MacCulloch is right about this shift, is it possible that we’re at a similar point today?

I’ve said in other circles that I think we’re still in an incunabula-like period when it comes to electronic resources. Publishers are still figuring out how to handle printed material in an electronic form, be it on CDRom or on the web or wherever. Publishers are getting better (we’ve come a long way in the past 15 years) but we’ve still got some issues to resolve. The same is true with scholars in their use of these resources. This act of actually reading and becoming familiar with a text, the author, and the argument is an important thing. The understanding and synthesis gained from a solid, thorough reading of a timely or important book is needed to move the general state of knowledge further along. It used to be easy. You had a book, you read it. You sucked it down, you wrote notes, you created bibliographies on topics, you read more, you went to a few conferences and debated with others about it, and you generally examined anything available in the library on the topic you could get your hands on. Then, maybe, you wrote something. Chances are it would be of value.

But here come these young upstarts, with their electronic editions of books, or their web sites, their search engines, or their (horrors!) blogs, pushing the envelope. “No need to really read something”, some might say. “You can always search to find what you’re looking for; that stuff you think you remember from somewhere.” Corpora are instantly searched, and results are reviewed; hopefully in some semblence of context.

Extremes of such attitudes (both of the younger and older parties) would be wrong, of course. The only thing that is clear to me is that the one who straddles both eras — the one who is able to understand how to acquire knowledge (not simply a mass of information, but knowledge) using both sorts of systems is the one with the most to gain in times like these.

I’m guessing that in the early 1500’s, at the time of the introduction of the printing press, the middle-aged scholar who’d spent most of his scholarly life poring over manuscripts, copying them diligently, and slowly building his knowledge was in the best place of all. He had already gone through the pain of learning his stuff and chances are he knew it quite well. If he’d been diligent, he had a solid base from which to build. The newer guys still had to build their base of knowledge (though they might do it more quickly); the older scholars could have very well been stuck in their older copyists’ ways, unable to cope with having to assimilate some new book without needing to physically write it themselves. The middle-aged scholar, however, could take advantage of the press and start to write his own stuff, with an immediate and relatively widespread audience. He had the basis, he had the knowledge, he just needed to grasp the opportunity in order to make his mark.

I think something similar holds today. The answer isn’t books. The answer isn’t the web. The answer isn’t databases. The answer isn’t CDRom. The answer is to be a scholarly omnivore: dive into it all and use it all in the pursuit of knowledge. The one-dimensional approach is doomed to failure because that one dimension, by itself, will not survive. The one who will prosper is the one with several tools in his toolbox that he is skilled in using. The one who spends time in printed books, devouring them and working hard to retain what has been read. The one who understands basic search syntax and can find stuff either with Google or with other CDRom-based digital libraries, but knows the value and weight to give such results because he’s actually somewhat familiar with the material. The one who spends time reading journals and email lists, understanding the information being passed on by very knowledgable folks. In short, the one who plows ahead, assimilating and applying what he’s reading and what he knows to solve the difficult problems in front of him in the field he’s chosen.

This person is in the best spot during such periods of change, no matter what sort of changes happen, because he can cope and still be productive. He won’t be stuck, flustered and distraught because he’ll be able to grok the next thing that comes along and stick the tool in his toolbox for later use.

Of course, all of this is futile if our eyes aren’t on the One who compels us. It may be satisfying at some level, but if the ultimate basis for action isn’t the glorification of our Lord and Savior, then re-evaluation is needed. At times like these, I’m reminded of an excerpt from T.S. Eliot’s Choruses from the Rock:

The endless cycle of idea and action,
Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;
Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;
Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word.
All our knowledge brings us nearer to death,
But nearness to death no nearer to God.
Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
The cycles of heaven in twenty centuries
Brings us farther from God and nearer to the Dust.

So, I’m not going to SBL in Boston

Hi folks.Sad-Puppy-001

Just a quick (longer than a tweet) note to let y’all know that I will not be attending the SBL National meeting in Boston this November.

We’ve had some situations arise in our household that have made it clear that it is best for me to stay home this year. Too bad, because I’ve never been to Boston and really wanted to see the town.

My paper on Stock Phrases in the Christian Apocrypha has been postponed; so it will not be given this year.

Fingers crossed for 2018 and Denver, though.

Want to Meet at SBL in Boston?

Boston-Bonner-MapUpdate (2017-09-11): Due to a family situation, I will not be attending SBL in Boston this November.


The past two years (2016, 2015) I’ve advertised my desire to meet with just about anyone (well, except Jim West) at the annual SBL national meeting.

This year is no different. I’d enjoy meeting with you and chatting about whatever, whether it is in passing, over coffee, over a meal, or after a session.

Why would you want to meet with me? I can think of four reasons.

Reason One: I’m buying. Let’s be clear, I’m asking you, you’re not asking me. So I’m happy to get the coffee, meal, snack, or whatever. What are you waiting for?

Reason Two: My Job at Faithlife/Logos. I manage a team at Faithlife that does really cool stuff developing and utilizing Bible data. We speak Python, Django, C#, XML, SQL, JSON, and a bunch of other stuff (Ancient Languages, Linguistics, Grammar, Syntax, managing data, and more). Are you at the intersection of code, data, and the Bible? Then let’s talk. Remember: The scholar best set up for the future is the one who can manage all sorts of data; if you want to talk more about that with me, I’m game.

What is the ultimate Bible data you want or need access to? I want to know about it. If you’ve got a plan for it, I want you to pitch me on it — at minimum your elevator pitch, but more if you want.

Reason Three: My Publications. In short, I’m familiar with a wide array of data, a wide variety of editing and publishing tasks, and have worked pretty much the whole “stack” as regards creating and working with Bible data. I’ve likely got experience at multiple levels with the thing you’re focusing on in Biblical studies. That, or I know someone who does.

I’ve translated and interlinearized the writings of the Apostolic Fathers. I’ve translated, introduced, and edited available Greek Apocryphal Gospels, including basic transcriptions and translations of fragmentary material. I’ve done major work on conceiving, preparing, and editing an edition of the Greek New Testament (SBLGNT). I’ve done similar work on a Bible translation (Lexham English Bible) and served as general editor of a translation of the Septuagint (Lexham English Septuagint). I’ve written a commentary (Lexical Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles: First Timothy), a discourse handbook (Second Thessalonians in the Lexham Discourse Handbook), and written the NT portion of a textual commentary geared toward the English reader (Lexham Textual Notes). I’ve written a regular column on Ancient Christian Writers for Bible Study Magazine for years. I’ve assembled data for several reverse interlinears published by Faithlife/Logos. I’ve created data tracking over 300,000 intertextual units across several datasets (Church Fathers, Second Temple materials, Judaica) as well as data reflecting intertextuality between the Old Testament (and Deuterocanon) and New Testament. I’ve extracted and transformed scads of text-critical data to create several “Manuscript Explorer” interactives. I’ve analyzed the context of over 1,000,000 Bible references in Systematic Theologies. Heck, I even grunted out an analysis of Hebrew Cantillation data.

Reason Four: I really dig this stuff. Chances are I’ll be interested in and maybe even have experience with the thing that you’re studying, dissertating, or examining.

Just respond (email is fine, rick at faithlife dot com) so we can get it on the calendar. I’m in Boston from Nov 17 through Nov 20, I believe. Let’s do it.

Lexham Press to publish my Apostolic Fathers and Greek Apocryphal Gospels

It’s a long headline, but I’m not sure how to make it shorter. And it’s true; Lexham Press will be publishing my translation of the Apostolic Fathers and my introduction and translation of several Greek editions of Apocryphal gospels, manuscript fragments, and agrapha. They’re targeted for Fall 2017, which means they should be (fingers crossed!) on the tables at SBL in Boston along with other forthcoming Lexham Press titles.

I’m thrilled about this. My books are being published in the Lexham Classics series, which means my stuff is on the same page as works by Martin Luther, Louis Berkhof, and G.K. Chesterton. And the covers are pretty sweet too.

LexhamPressApostolicFathers-001

LexhamPressGreekApocGospels-001

These have been available for Logos Bible Software for while (see here and here), and they’ve been well received. When folks have asked me about print editions, I’ve had to direct elsewhere. Now I’m happy to finally be able to point to these Lexham Classics editions.

I’ll pass along more info when I have it. There are a bunch of other great books in the Fall 2017 Lexham Press Academic Catalog, so do give it a look.

List of Systematic Theology resources used in my theLAB blog post

bookstack-001
David Stark (and others) have asked about the list of books that were analyzed in my theLAB blog post “Writing a Systematic Theology? You must discuss these references.” Well, here they are. The blog post was intended to have a link in a footnote to the Systematic Theologies feature documentation in Logos, where the list lives, but that apparently didn’t come through. So here you go. Watch out, it’s long (314 resources). Bonus: It is sorted by denominational group.


Resources

The below list is comprehensive of Systematic Theology resources evaluated for this dataset. Each unique installation of Logos Bible Software, however, will only display information from resources licensed locally to the logged-in user.

Group: Adventist

• Gulley, Norman R., Systematic Theology: Prolegomena

• Gulley, Norman R., Systematic Theology: God as Trinity

• Gulley, Norman R., Systematic Theology: Creation, Christ, Salvation

Group: Anabaptist/Mennonite

• Finger, Thomas N., A Contemporary Anabaptist Theology: Biblical, Historical, Constructive

• Kauffman, Daniel, Manual of Bible Doctrines

• Kauffman, Daniel, Bible Doctrine: A Treatise on the Great Doctrines of the Bible, Pertaining to God, Angels, Satan, the Church, and the Salvation, Duties and Destiny of Man

Group: Anglican

• Bird, Michael F., Evangelical Theology: A Biblical and Systematic Introduction

• Bray, Gerald L., God Is Love: A Biblical and Systematic Theology

• Bray, Gerald L., The Doctrine of God

• Cole, Graham A., He Who Gives Life: The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit

• Hall, Francis J., Theological Outlines, Vol. 1: The Doctrine of God

• Hall, Francis J., Theological Outlines, Vol. 2: The Doctrine of Man and of the God-Man

• Hall, Francis J., Theological Outlines, Vol. 3: The Doctrine of the Church and of Last Things

• Hall, Francis J., Dogmatic Theology, Vol. 1: Introduction

• Hall, Francis J., Dogmatic Theology, Vol. 2: Authority, Ecclesiastical and Biblical

• Hall, Francis J., Dogmatic Theology, Vol. 3: The Being and Attributes of God

• Hall, Francis J., Dogmatic Theology, Vol. 4: The Trinity

• Hall, Francis J., Dogmatic Theology, Vol. 5: Creation and Man

• Hall, Francis J., Dogmatic Theology, Vol. 6: The Incarnation

• Hall, Francis J., Dogmatic Theology, Vol. 7: The Passion and Exaltation of Christ

• Hall, Francis J., Dogmatic Theology, Vol. 8: The Church and the Sacramental System

• Hall, Francis J., Dogmatic Theology, Vol. 9: The Sacraments

• Hall, Francis J., Dogmatic Theology, Vol. 10: Eschatology and Indexes

• Packer, J. I., Concise Theology

• Jensen, Peter, The Revelation of God

• Litton, E. A., Introduction to Dogmatic Theology: On the Basis of the XXXIX. Articles of the Church of England

• Sherlock, Charles, The Doctrine of Humanity

• Sonderegger, Katherine, Systematic Theology: Volume 1, The Doctrine of God

• Ussher, James, A Body of Divinity: Or, the Sum and Substance of Christian Religion

• Zahl, Paul F. M., Grace in Practice: A Theology of Everyday Life

Group: Baptist

• Allison, Gregg R., Roman Catholic Theology and Practice: An Evangelical Assessment

• Boyce, James Petigru, Abstract of Systematic Theology

• Clark, David K.; Feinberg, John S., To Know and Love God: Method for Theology

• Culver, Robert, Systematic Theology: Biblical & Historical

• Dagg, J. L., Manual of Theology, First Part: A Treatise on Christian Doctrine

• Dagg, J. L., Manual of Theology, Second Part: A Treatise on Church Order

• Demarest, Bruce A., The Cross and Salvation: The Doctrine of Salvation

• Driscoll, Mark; Breshears, Gerry, Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe

• Enns, Paul P., The Moody Handbook of Theology

• Enns, Paul P., The Moody Handbook of Theology, Revised and Expanded

• Erickson, Millard J., Introducing Christian Doctrine

• Erickson, Millard J., Christian Theology, 3rd ed.

• Erickson, Millard J., Christian Theology

• Erickson, Millard J., Introducing Christian Doctrine

• Feinberg, John S., No One Like Him

• Forlines, F. Leroy, Biblical Systematics: A Study of the Christian System of Life and Thought

• Forlines, F. Leroy, The Quest for Truth: Theology for Postmodern World

• Fortner, Donald S., Basic Bible Doctrine

• Garrett, James Leo, Jr., Systematic Theology: Biblical, Historical, and Evangelical, Volume 1

• Garrett, James Leo, Jr., Systematic Theology: Biblical, Historical, and Evangelical, Volume 2

• Gill, John, A Complete Body of Doctrinal and Practical Divinity: or A System of Evangelical Truths, Deduced from the Sacred Scriptures, Vols. I & II

• Grudem, Wayne A., Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Bible Doctrine

• Grudem, Wayne A., Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know

• Holsteen, Nathan D.; Svigel, Michael J., Exploring Christian Theology, Volume I: Revelation, Scripture, and the Triune God

• Holsteen, Nathan D.; Svigel, Michael J., Exploring Christian Theology, Volume II: Creation, Fall, and Salvation

• Holsteen, Nathan D.; Svigel, Michael J., Exploring Christian Theology, Volume III: The Church, Spiritual Growth, and the End Times

• Lightner, Robert, Handbook of Evangelical Theology: A Historical, Biblical, and Contemporary Survey and Review

• McCune, Rolland, A Systematic Theology of Biblical Christianity, Volume 1: Prolegomena and the Doctrines of Scripture, God, and Angels

• McCune, Rolland, A Systematic Theology of Biblical Christianity, Volume 2: The Doctrines of Man, Sin, Christ, and the Holy Spirit

• McCune, Rolland, A Systematic Theology of Biblical Christianity, Volume 3: The Doctrines of Salvation, the Church, and Last Things

• Mullins, Edgar Y., The Christian Religion in Its Doctrinal Expression

• O’Donnell, J. D., Free Will Baptist Doctrines

• Simmons, Thomas Paul, A Systematic Study of Bible Doctrine: A Logical Arrangement and a Diligent Treatment of the Teachings of God’s Holy Word, Systematic, Calvinistic, Baptistic, Premillennial

• Strong, Augustus Hopkins, Systematic Theology

• Thiessen, Henry Clarence; Doerksen, Vernon D., Lectures in Systematic Theology

Group: Congregational

• Dwight, Timothy, Theology: Explained and Defended in a Series of Sermons, Volume 1

• Dwight, Timothy, Theology: Explained and Defended in a Series of Sermons, Volume 2

• Dwight, Timothy, Theology: Explained and Defended in a Series of Sermons, Volume 3

• Dwight, Timothy, Theology: Explained and Defended in a Series of Sermons, Volume 4

• Dwight, Timothy, Theology: Explained and Defended in a Series of Sermons, Volume 5

• Ridgley, Thomas, A Body of Divinity, Volume 1

• Ridgley, Thomas, A Body of Divinity, Volume 2

Group: Lutheran

• Aulén, Gustaf, The Faith of the Christian Church

• Braaten, Carl E.; Jenson, Robert W.; Forde, Gerhard O.; Schwarz, Hans; Hefner, Philip J.; Sponheim, Paul R., Christian Dogmatics, Volumes 1 & 2

• Chemnitz, Martin, Loci Theologici

• Gerhard, Johann, On the Church

• Gerhard, Johann, On the Ecclesiastical Ministry, Part One

• Gerhard, Johann, On the Ecclesiastical Ministry, Part Two

• Gerhard, Johann, On the Nature of God and on the Most Holy Mystery of the Trinity

• Gerhard, Johann, On the Nature of Theology and on Scripture

• Gerhard, Johann, On the Person and Office of Christ

• Kärkkäinen, Veli-Matti, Christology: A Global Introduction

• Kärkkäinen, Veli-Matti, The Doctrine of God: A Global Introduction

• Kärkkäinen, Veli-Matti, Pneumatology: The Holy Spirit in Ecumenical, International, and Contextual Perspective

• Kärkkäinen, Veli-Matti, Trinity and Revelation

• Koehler, Edward W. A., A Summary of Christian Doctrine

• Kolb, Robert, The Christian Faith: A Lutheran Exposition

• Melanchthon, Philipp, Loci Communes 1543

• Mueller, John Theodore, Christian Dogmatics

• Mueller, Steven P., Called to Believe, Teach, and Confess: An Introduction to Doctrinal Theology

• Pannenberg, Wolfhart, Systematic Theology

• Pieper, Francis, Christian Dogmatics

• Schmid, Heinrich, The Doctrinal Theology of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Verified from the Original Sources

• Valentine, Milton, Christian Theology, Volumes 1 & 2

• Voigt, Andrew George, Biblical Dogmatics

• Weidner, Franklin, An Introduction to Dogmatic Theology

Group: Medieval

• Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica (Latin)

• Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica (English)

• Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra Gentiles

• Bonaventure, Breviloquium

Group: Methodist/Wesleyan

• Beet, Joseph Agar, A Manual of Theology

• Clarke, Adam; Dunn, Samuel, Christian Theology

• Miley, John, John Miley’s Systematic Theology, Volume 1

• Miley, John, John Miley’s Systematic Theology, Volume 2

• Oden, Thomas C., The Living God: Systematic Theology, Volume One

• Oden, Thomas C., The Word of Life: Systematic Theology, Volume Two

• Oden, Thomas C., Life in the Spirit: Systematic Theology, Volume Three

• Pope, William Burt, A Compendium of Christian Theology

• Ralston, Thomas N., Elements of Divinity: Or, a Course of Lectures, Comprising a Clear and Concise View of the System of Theology as Taught in the Holy Scriptures; With Appropriate Questions Appended to Each Lecture

• Raymond, Miner, Systematic Theology, Volume I

• Raymond, Miner, Systematic Theology, Volume II

• Raymond, Miner, Systematic Theology, Volume III

• Summers, Thos. O.; Tigert, Jno. J., Systematic Theology: A Complete Body of Wesleyan Arminian Divinity Consisting of Lectures on the Twenty-Five Articles of Religion, Vols. I & II

• Terry, Milton S., Biblical Dogmatics: An Exposition of the Principal Doctrines of the Holy Scriptures

• Watson, Richard, Theological Institutes: Or, a View of the Evidences, Doctrines, Morals, and Institutions of Christianity

• Wiley, H. Orton, Christian Theology, Volumes I—III

• Wiley, H. Orton; Culbertson, Paul T., Introduction to Christian Theology

Group: Modern Catholic

• von Balthasar, Hans Urs, The Word Made Flesh: Explorations in Theology I

• von Balthasar, Hans Urs, Spouse of the Word: Explorations in Theology II

• von Balthasar, Hans Urs, Creator Spirit: Explorations in Theology III

• von Balthasar, Hans Urs, Spirit and Institution: Explorations in Theology IV

• von Balthasar, Hans Urs, The Glory of the Lord, a Theological Aesthetics I: Seeing the Form

• von Balthasar, Hans Urs, The Glory of the Lord, a Theological Aesthetics II: Clerical Styles

• von Balthasar, Hans Urs, The Glory of the Lord, a Theological Aesthetics III: Lay Styles

• von Balthasar, Hans Urs, The Glory of the Lord, a Theological Aesthetics IV: The Realm of Metaphysics in Antiquity

• von Balthasar, Hans Urs, The Glory of the Lord, a Theological Aesthetics V: The Realm of Metaphysics in the Modern Age

• von Balthasar, Hans Urs, The Glory of the Lord, a Theological Aesthetics VI: Theology: The Old Covenant

• von Balthasar, Hans Urs, The Glory of the Lord, a Theological Aesthetics VII: Theology: The New Covenant

• von Balthasar, Hans Urs, Theo-Drama, Volume 1: Prolegomena

• von Balthasar, Hans Urs, Theo-Drama, Volume 2: Dramatis Personae: Man in God

• von Balthasar, Hans Urs, Theo-Drama, Volume 3: Dramatis Personae: Persons in Christ

• von Balthasar, Hans Urs, Theo-Drama, Volume 4: The Action

• von Balthasar, Hans Urs, Theo-Drama, Volume 5: The Last Act

• von Balthasar, Hans Urs, Epilogue

• von Balthasar, Hans Urs, Theo-Logic, Volume 1: The Truth of the World

• von Balthasar, Hans Urs, Theo-Logic, Volume 2: Truth of God

• von Balthasar, Hans Urs, Theo-Logic, Volume 3: The Spirit of the Truth

• Berington, Joseph; Kirk, John, The Faith of Catholics: Confirmed by Scripture and Attested by the Fathers of the First Five Centuries of the Church, Vols. I—III

• Canisius, Peter, Summa Doctrinae Christianae, Volume 1

• Canisius, Peter, Summa Doctrinae Christianae, Volume 2

• Fiorenza, Francis Schüssler; Galvin, John P., Systematic Theology: Roman Catholic Perspectives

• Guarino, Thomas, Foundations of Systematic Theology

• Hunter, Sylvester Joseph, Outlines of Dogmatic Theology

• Ott, Ludwig, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma

• Pohle, Joseph; Preuss, Arthur, God: His Knowability, Essence, and Attributes, A Dogmatic Treatise

• Pohle, Joseph; Preuss, Arthur, God: The Author of Nature and the Supernatural

• Pohle, Joseph; Preuss, Arthur, Christology: A Dogmatic Treatise on the Incarnation

• Pohle, Joseph; Preuss, Arthur, The Divine Trinity: A Dogmatic Treatise

• Pohle, Joseph; Preuss, Arthur, Soteriology: A Dogmatic Treatise on the Redemption

• Pohle, Joseph; Preuss, Arthur, Mariology: A Dogmatic Treatise on the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God with an Appendix on the Worship of the Saints, Relics, and Images

• Pohle, Joseph; Preuss, Arthur, Grace, Actual and Habitual: A Dogmatic Treatise

• Pohle, Joseph; Preuss, Arthur, Eschatology, or the Catholic Doctrine of the Last Things: A Dogmatic Treatise

• Pohle, Joseph; Preuss, Arthur, The Sacraments: A Dogmatic Treatise, Volume 1

• Pohle, Joseph; Preuss, Arthur, The Sacraments: A Dogmatic Treatise, Volume 2

• Pohle, Joseph; Preuss, Arthur, The Sacraments: A Dogmatic Treatise, Volume 3

• Pohle, Joseph; Preuss, Arthur, The Sacraments: A Dogmatic Treatise, Volume 4

• Ratzinger, Joseph, Introduction to Christianity (Revised Edition)

• Wilhelm, Joseph; Scannell, Thomas B., A Manual of Catholic Theology: Based on Scheeben’s “Dogmatik”, Vol. I

• Wilhelm, Joseph; Scannell, Thomas B., A Manual of Catholic Theology: Based on Scheeben’s “Dogmatik”, Vol. II

Group: Modern Orthodox

• Yannaras, Christos, Elements of Faith: An Introduction to Orthodox Theology

Group: Nondenominational

• Chafer, Lewis Sperry, Systematic Theology

• Chafer, Lewis Sperry, Systematic Theology, Volume 7: Doctrinal Summarization

• Geisler, Norman L., Systematic Theology, Volume One: Introduction, Bible

• Geisler, Norman L., Systematic Theology, Volume Two: God, Creation

• Geisler, Norman L., Systematic Theology, Volume Three: Sin, Salvation

• Geisler, Norman L., Systematic Theology, Volume Four: Church, Last Things

• Henry, Carl F. H., God, Revelation and Authority

• Kendall, R. T., Understanding Theology, Volume One

• Kendall, R. T., Understanding Theology, Volume Two

• Kendall, R. T., Understanding Theology, Volume Three

• Lewis, Gordon R.; Demarest, Bruce A., Integrative Theology, Volume 1: Knowing Ultimate Reality: The Living God

• Lewis, Gordon R.; Demarest, Bruce A., Integrative Theology, Volume 2: Our Primary Need: Christ’s Atoning Provisions

• Lewis, Gordon R.; Demarest, Bruce A., Integrative Theology, Volume 3: Spirit-Given Life: God’s People, Present and Future

• MacArthur, John F., Jr.; Mayhue, Richard, Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Summary of Bible Truth

• Ryrie, Charles Caldwell, Ryrie’s Basic Theology

• Ryrie, Charles Caldwell, A Survey of Bible Doctrine

• Swindoll, Charles R.; Zuck, Roy B., Understanding Christian Theology

• Walvoord, John F., What We Believe

Group: Other

• Cottrell, Jack, The Faith Once for All: Bible Doctrine for Today

• Thiselton, Anthony C., Systematic Theology

Group: Patristic

• Augustine of Hippo, Saint Augustine: Christian Instruction; Admonition and Grace; The Christian Combat; Faith, Hope and Charity

• John Damascene, Saint John of Damascus: Writings

• Roberts, Alexander; Donaldson, James; Coxe, A. Cleveland; Tertullian; Minucius Felix; Commodianus; Origen, Ante-Nicene Fathers 4: Fathers of the Third Century: Tertullian, Part Fourth; Minucius Felix; Commodian; Origen, Parts First and Second

• Roberts, Alexander; Donaldson, James; Coxe, A. Cleveland; Tertullian; Minucius Felix; Commodianus; Origen, Ante-Nicene Fathers 4: Fathers of the Third Century: Tertullian, Part Fourth; Minucius Felix; Commodian; Origen, Parts First and Second (Catholic Edition)

• Schaff, Philip; Augustine of Hippo, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers 1.3: St. Augustin: On the Holy Trinity, Doctrinal Treatises, Moral Treatises

• Schaff, Philip; Augustine of Hippo, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers 1.3: St. Augustin: On the Holy Trinity, Doctrinal Treatises, Moral Treatises (Catholic Edition)

• Augustine of Hippo, Seventeen Short Treatises of S. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, Translated, with Notes and Indices

• Schaff, Philip; Augustine of Hippo, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers 1.2: St. Augustin’s City of God and Christian Doctrine

• Schaff, Philip; Augustine of Hippo, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers 1.2: St. Augustin’s City of God and Christian Doctrine (Catholic Edition)

• Schaff, Philip; Wace, Henry; Hilary of Poitiers; John Damascene, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers 2.9: St. Hilary of Poitiers, John of Damascus

• Schaff, Philip; Wace, Henry; Hilary of Poitiers; John Damascene, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers 2.9: St. Hilary of Poitiers, John of Damascus (Catholic Edition)

Group: Pentecostal/Charismatic

• Bruner, Frederick Dale, A Theology of the Holy Spirit: The Pentecostal Experience and the New Testament Witness

• Byrum, Russell R., Christian Theology

• Duffield, Guy, Foundations of Pentecostal Theology

• Gray, Albert F., Christian Theology

• Horton, Stanley M., Systematic Theology: Revised Edition

• Menzies, William W.; Horton, Stanley M., Bible Doctrines: A Pentecostal Perspective

Group: Presbyterian

• Alexander, Archibald, A Brief Compend of Bible Truth

• Boettner, Loraine, Studies in Theology

• Boice, James Montgomery, Foundations of the Christian Faith: A Comprehensive & Readable Theology

• Boston, Thomas, The Whole Works of Thomas Boston, Volume 1: An Illustration of the Doctrines of the Christian Religion, Part 1

• Boston, Thomas, The Whole Works of Thomas Boston, Volume 2: An Illustration of the Doctrines of the Christian Religion, Part 2

• Breckinridge, Robert J., The Knowledge of God, Objectively Considered: Being the First Part of Theology Considered as a Science of Positive Truth, Both Inductive and Deductive

• Breckinridge, Robert J., The Knowledge of God, Subjectively Considered: Being the Second Part of Theology Considered as a Science of Positive Truth, Both Inductive and Deductive

• Buswell, J. Oliver, Jr., A Systematic Theology of the Christian Religion, Volume 1

• Clowney, Edmund, The Church

• Dabney, Robert Lewis, Syllabus and Notes of the Course of Systematic and Polemic Theology

• Denney, James, Studies in Theology: Lectures Delivered in Chicago Theological Seminary

• Dick, John, Lectures on Theology

• Evans, William; Coder, S. Maxwell, The Great Doctrines of the Bible

• Ferguson, Sinclair B., The Holy Spirit

• Finney, Charles G., Lectures on Systematic Theology

• Fisher, Edward, The Marrow of Modern Divinity

• Frame, John M., Salvation Belongs to the Lord: An Introduction to Systematic Theology

• Frame, John M., Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Christian Belief

• Frame, John M., The Doctrine of God

• Frame, John M., The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God

• Frame, John M., The Doctrine of the Word of God

• Frame, John M., The Doctrine of the Christian Life

• Hodge, Archibald Alexander, Outlines of Theology

• Hodge, Archibald Alexander, Outlines of Theology: Rewritten and Enlarged

• Hodge, Charles, Systematic Theology (Charles Hodge)

• Horton, Michael S., The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way

• Horton, Michael S., Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrines for Christian Disciples

• Kelly, Douglas F., Systematic Theology, Volume 1: Grounded in Holy Scripture and Understood in the Light of the Church

• Letham, Robert, The Work of Christ

• Macleod, Donald, The Person of Christ

• Macpherson, John, Christian Dogmatics

• Osmer, Richard Robert, Practical Theology: An Introduction

• Reymond, Robert L., A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith

• Rushdoony, Rousas John, Systematic Theology in Two Volumes: Volume I

• Rushdoony, Rousas John, Systematic Theology in Two Volumes: Volume II

• Shedd, William G. T.; Gomes, Alan W., Dogmatic Theology

• Smith, Morton Howison, Systematic Theology by Morton H. Smith, Volumes I and II

• Sproul, R. C., Everyone’s a Theologian: An Introduction to Systematic Theology

• Sproul, R. C., Essential Truths of the Christian Faith

• Brown, John, A Compendious View of Natural and Revealed Religion

• VanDrunen, David, Living in God’s Two Kingdoms: A Biblical Vision for Christianity and Culture

Group: Reformed

• Barth, Karl; Bromiley, Geoffrey William; Torrance, Thomas F., Church Dogmatics, Volume 1: The Doctrine of the Word of God, Part 1

• Barth, Karl; Bromiley, Geoffrey William; Torrance, Thomas F., Church Dogmatics, Volume 1: The Doctrine of the Word of God, Part 2

• Barth, Karl; Bromiley, Geoffrey William; Torrance, Thomas F., Church Dogmatics, Volume 2: The Doctrine of God, Part 1

• Barth, Karl; Bromiley, Geoffrey William; Torrance, Thomas F., Church Dogmatics, Volume 2: The Doctrine of God, Part 2

• Barth, Karl; Bromiley, Geoffrey William; Torrance, Thomas F., Church Dogmatics, Volume 3: The Doctrine of Creation, Part 1

• Barth, Karl; Bromiley, Geoffrey William; Torrance, Thomas F., Church Dogmatics, Volume 3: The Doctrine of Creation, Part 2

• Barth, Karl; Bromiley, Geoffrey William; Torrance, Thomas F., Church Dogmatics, Volume 3: The Doctrine of Creation, Part 3

• Barth, Karl; Bromiley, Geoffrey William; Torrance, Thomas F., Church Dogmatics, Volume 3: The Doctrine of Creation, Part 4

• Barth, Karl; Bromiley, Geoffrey William; Torrance, Thomas F., Church Dogmatics, Volume 4: The Doctrine of Reconciliation, Part 1

• Barth, Karl; Bromiley, Geoffrey William; Torrance, Thomas F., Church Dogmatics, Volume 4: The Doctrine of Reconciliation, Part 2

• Barth, Karl; Bromiley, Geoffrey William; Torrance, Thomas F., Church Dogmatics, Volume 4: The Doctrine of Reconciliation, Part 3.1

• Barth, Karl; Bromiley, Geoffrey William; Torrance, Thomas F., Church Dogmatics, Volume 4: The Doctrine of Reconciliation, Part 3.2

• Barth, Karl; Bromiley, Geoffrey William; Torrance, Thomas F., Church Dogmatics, Volume 4: The Doctrine of Reconciliation, Part 4

• Barth, Karl; Bromiley, Geoffrey William; Torrance, Thomas F., Church Dogmatics, Volume 5: Index, with Aids for the Preacher

• Bavinck, Herman; Bolt, John; Vriend, John, Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 1: Prolegomena

• Bavinck, Herman; Bolt, John; Vriend, John, Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 2: God and Creation

• Bavinck, Herman; Bolt, John; Vriend, John, Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 3: Sin and Salvation in Christ

• Bavinck, Herman, Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 4: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation

• Beeke, Joel R.; Jones, Mark, A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life

• Berkhof, Louis, Summary of Christian Doctrine

• Berkhof, Louis, Manual of Christian Doctrine

• Berkhof, Louis, Systematic Theology

• Berkhof, Louis, Introductory Volume to Systematic Theology

• Berkouwer, G. C., Studies in Dogmatics: The Sacraments

• Berkouwer, G. C., Studies in Dogmatics: Faith and Justification

• Berkouwer, G. C., Studies in Dogmatics: The Return of Christ

• Berkouwer, G. C., Studies in Dogmatics: Divine Election

• Berkouwer, G. C., Studies in Dogmatics: Faith and Sanctification

• Berkouwer, G. C., Studies in Dogmatics: The Work of Christ

• Berkouwer, G. C., Studies in Dogmatics: General Revelation

• Berkouwer, G. C., Studies in Dogmatics: Holy Scripture

• Berkouwer, G. C., Studies in Dogmatics: Faith and Perseverance

• Berkouwer, G. C., Studies in Dogmatics: Man: The Image of God

• Berkouwer, G. C., Studies in Dogmatics: The Providence of God

• Berkouwer, G. C., Studies in Dogmatics: The Church

• Berkouwer, G. C., Studies in Dogmatics: Sin

• Berkouwer, G. C., Studies in Dogmatics: The Person of Christ

• Bloesch, Donald G., A Theology of Word & Spirit: Authority & Method in Theology

• Bloesch, Donald G., The Church: Sacraments, Worship, Ministry, Mission

• Bloesch, Donald G., God the Almighty: Power, Wisdom, Holiness, Love

• Bloesch, Donald G., Holy Scripture: Revelation, Inspiration & Interpretation

• Bloesch, Donald G., The Holy Spirit: Works & Gifts

• Bloesch, Donald G., Jesus Christ: Savior & Lord

• Bloesch, Donald G., The Last Things: Resurrection, Judgment, Glory

• à Brakel, Wilhelmus, The Christian’s Reasonable Service, Volume 1

• à Brakel, Wilhelmus, The Christian’s Reasonable Service, Volume 2

• à Brakel, Wilhelmus, The Christian’s Reasonable Service, Volume 3

• à Brakel, Wilhelmus, The Christian’s Reasonable Service, Volume 4

• Bullinger, Henry, The Decades of Henry Bullinger: The First and Second Decades

• Bullinger, Henry, The Decades of Henry Bullinger: The Third Decade

• Bullinger, Henry, The Decades of Henry Bullinger: The Fourth Decade

• Bullinger, Henry, The Decades of Henry Bullinger: The Fifth Decade

• Calvin, John, Institutio Christianae Religionis

• Calvin, John; Allen, John, Institutes of the Christian Religion

• Calvin, Jean, Institution de la Religion Chrétienne

• Calvin, John; Norton, Thomas, The Institution of Christian Religion

• Calvin, John; Beveridge, Henry, Institutes of the Christian Religion

• Calvin, John, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Volumes 1 & 2

• Calvin, John, Institutes of the Christian Religion

• Gerhart, Emanuel V., Institutes of the Christian Religion, Volume I

• Gerhart, Emanuel V., Institutes of the Christian Religion, Volume II

• Helm, Paul, The Providence of God

• Muller, Richard A., Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics: The Rise and Development of Reformed Orthodoxy; Volume 1: Prolegomena to Theology

• Muller, Richard A., Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics: The Rise and Development of Reformed Orthodoxy; Volume 2: Holy Scripture: The Cognitive Foundation of Theology

• Muller, Richard A., Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics: The Rise and Development of Reformed Orthodoxy; Volume 3: The Divine Essence and Attributes

• Muller, Richard A., Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics: The Rise and Development of Reformed Orthodoxy; Volume 4: The Triunity of God

• Osterwald, John Frederick, A Compendium of Christian Theology

• Pictet, Benedict, Christian Theology

• Schaff, Philip, Theological Propædeutic: A General Introduction to the Study of Theology

• Turretin, Francis, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vols. 1–3

• Ursinus, Zacharias; Williard, G. W., The Commentary of Dr. Zacharias Ursinus on the Heidelberg Catechism

• Van Til, Cornelius, An Introduction to Systematic Theology

• Vos, Geerhardus; Gaffin, Richard B., Jr., Reformed Dogmatics

• Witsius, Herman, The Economy of the Covenants between God and Man: Comprehending a Complete Body of Divinity, Vol. 1

• Witsius, Herman, The Economy of the Covenants between God and Man: Comprehending a Complete Body of Divinity, Vol. 2

• Watson, Thomas, The Select Works of the Rev. Thomas Watson, Comprising His Celebrated Body of Divinity, in a Series of Lectures on the Shorter Catechism, and Various Sermons and Treatise

Rick Brannan and Peter Venable, Systematic Theology Cross-References: Dataset Documentation (Bellingham, WA: Faithlife, 2015).

Kloppenborg and Ascough’s Greco-Roman Associations

(This is a re-post of a short blog review on a book I wrote on Sept. 3, 2013)

Thanks to the kind folks at De Gruyter for a review copy of this book.

What in the world is this book, and why would I even want to read it? That is a good question that you should probably learn the answer to. The best answer is from the first paragraph of the book’s foreword:

This volume and the two projected to follow it have their origins in a Greek reading seminar at the University of Toronto begun in the 1990s and after a short hiatus, recommenced in 2003. Many of the texts selected for translation were epigraphical and related to associations, guilds and clubs from Attica, Asia and Egypt. The focus on associations — cultic, professional, immigrant, domestic, and neighborhood — was a function of the conviction that in order to understand the associative practices of the early Christ groups in Asia, Macedonia, and Attica, it was crucial to understand the structures, activities, leadership, finances, and recruitment strategies of the many associations that had existed at least since the fourth century BCE and which continued to play an important part in social life well into the high Empire. (p. v)

That sums it up, really. In order to have a deeper understanding of the development of the early church, why not look into how other groups — associations — formed, had rules, met, funded themselves, policed themselves, and brought new members into the fold? What did the leaders do, and why?

Kloppenborg and Ascough provide ample source material in this volume. Transcriptions of inscriptions, translations of those inscriptions, along with notes and commentary on those inscriptions. And ample indices to recall/locate relevant information. As a edition with sources, this is stellar.

It is also easy to read, at least for a book of this nature. There are nearly 100 inscriptions provided in transcription and translation. That means it is easy to read or scan a transcription or two, in bite-sized chunks, before bed each night. At least, that’s how I read most of the book.

Some of the highlights?

Inscription 82, “Judaean sarcophagus inscription,” for its use of συμβιος (τη συμβιω αυτου Αννα // “for his wife Anna”). Made me smile. The inscription was a warning on the sarcophagus to not put any other bodies in, and if you did, then to pay “the synagogues 75,000 shiny denarii” (δωσι ταις συναγωγαις λαμπρας)

Inscription 12, “A List of thiasotai honored with crowns.” This is a list of personal names, each of which had been voted worthy to be crowned (εστεφανωσαν, from στεφανοω). Reasons for receiving a crown include “zeal on behalf of the membership” and “excellence and honesty shown to the association.” Immediately I wonder about any connection with the notion of receiving a crown as a reward, an image that occurs in Revelation.

Inscription 6, “Honorific decree by the orgeones of Amynos and Asklepios.” More mention of crowns. “… and to crown each of them with a golden crown with a value of 500 drachmae.”

Inscription 64, “Association of Donkey Drivers.” Well, for no reason other than the name, really.

Inscription 70, “An Association of Gladiators.” Again, for the name. But this inscription records a priest who made reliefs “of the gods at his own expense.” And here you see a major function of several of these inscriptions, which is recording who paid for something to ensure the gift is remembered.

Inscription 73, “Donation of a Synagogue.” This is interesting because it involves the gift of one Claudius Tiberius Polycharmos “who has conducted his whole life according to the principles of Judaism” who donated rooms for a synagogue “taking none of the holy revenues.” The inscription binds the authority of the “upper rooms” (which were not part of the donation) to remain in the family of the donor. The inscription expresses the relationship of the synagogue (not some fancy building, but four rooms and some porticoes in a larger structure still inhabited by a family) and the family that lives in the same structure. This inscription is from 2nd-3rd century (AD/CE) and from Macedonia. Of course, this brings to mind the house-churches mentioned in the NT and their benefactors. Could the relationship have been much different?

This is but a smattering of the material in this book. The notes and commentary are helpful as well. It provides real data on how groups of people who gathered for common cause managed their affairs. It will make you think.

If you’ve made it this far, and are still interested, I can point you to Baylor University Press’ Associations in the Greco-Roman World: A Sourcebook by Ascough, Philip A. Harland, and Kloppenborg. I have not read it, but from what I gather it provides more of this sort of information, though by translation and not with transcription or technical notes, on a wider set of inscriptions and what can be learned from them. This book would probably be a good place to start, with the De Gruyter volume as one you consult when you’re at the library. Let’s face it, at $182.00, few will buy it, but hopefully well-stocked libraries will have the book for you to consult. And you should consult it, there is a wealth of stuff in it along with excellent indices to point you where you need to go.

Also note that Philip A. Harland has a companion site for the Baylor Press book, which is worth poking around.