The reason for this relatively brief hiatus is that, as some of you know, on October 1 I successfully completed a transoceanic move from tropical Puerto Rico to autumnal Michigan. (Granted that only a minimal portion of the Atlantic was crossed, and the short way, at that—but I insist, an ocean was crossed all the same!) As might be imagined, my chief concerns over these past weeks have been packing and traveling, and then unpacking and getting settled, which have regrettably trumped other, preëminent concerns, such as composing blog posts for your reading pleasure.
Of course, unpacking my luggage (which on account of my traveling with books consisted of two 50lb. suitcases and a 60lb. carry-on bag) took but an afternoon. The focus of my labors for the past week and a half has been the transfer, unpacking and sorting of the first third of the 60 or so boxes which have long contained my exiled library. While this happy reunion is necessarily dampened by the realization that 20 boxes of my more important books are now themselves exiled in Puerto Rico, I have been thrilled to uncover a great many books that I have sorely missed over the years in my reading and research (Ellis, Ladd, Beasley-Murray, Vos, and Ridderbos, among others). Together with these I have also unearthed a number of old favorites, such as the Barth-Bultmann Letters (which together with The Groucho Letters, I have found, make for splendid reading at the commode) and Jaroslav Pelikan’s wholly excellent The Melody of Theology. My greatest joy, however, has been the reunion with my commentaries—dozens of them, emerging from these boxes as though raised from the dead: von Rad and Waltke on Genesis; Childs on Exodus; Brueggemann on I & II Samuel; Childs and Seitz (1-39) on Isaiah; Luz (1-7) and Gundry on St Matthew; Bock (BECNT), Danker, Green, and Pate on St Luke; Barrett, Brown, Carson, Keener, and Ridderbos on St John; Bruce (Greek Text and NICNT), Haenchen, and L. T. Johnson on Acts; Fitzmeyer, Käsemann, and Schreiner on Romans; the perfect Lightfoot on the Pauline Epistles; Dunn, Ebeling, Lührmann, and Luther on Galatians; M. Barth and Schnakenburg on Ephesians; O’Brien on Colossians and Philemon; M. Barth and Blanke on Philemon; Wanamaker on I & II Thessalonians; Bruce on Hebrews; Neyrey on II Peter and Jude; and Caird, Carballosa, Ladd, and Kistemaker on Revelation, among others. Several important volumes have yet to surface, but my point is this: clearly I stand in need of more commentaries on Hebrews.
As for commentary series, I found one of the two I ever had (nearly) in full on my shelves: The NIV Application Commentaries. Wilkins on St Matthew wasn’t yet available when I moved to Puerto Rico, and it is therefore the only New Testament volume I’m missing; as for the Old Testament ones, I have Walton on Genesis, Jobes on Esther, Provan on Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs, Longman on Daniel, and Duguid on Ezekiel. Of the volumes published since 2001, only Oswalt on Isaiah seems indispensable to me. In any case, this commentary series, together with Calvin’s Commentaries on the Whole Bible, proved unfailingly helpful to me in my erstwhile duties as a Christian preacher, for which reason I kept it in its entirety.
God willing, tomorrow I will return to Grand Rapids to raid once again my storage room, and I’m certain that more tales of bibliophilia shall be forthcoming as I unpack and sort the next installment of boxes. When not engaged in such labors, however, one of my favorite pastimes has been acquainting myself with the wonderful volumes formerly on my Amazon Wish List which were kindly bestowed on me by some of you on the occasion of my 30th birthday: Carson and Beale’s Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, Young’s Biblical Exegesis and the Formation of Christian Culture, and Thompson’s Reading the Bible with the Dead. For these, once again, I am profoundly grateful. (Incidentally, I thought that I would mention this: one of you lovely people evidently purchased Snodgrass’ Stories with Intent from my Wish List, but the book never arrived. Whoever is responsible for this kind deed might want to check their archives to see whether they were charged for the book, and perhaps file a complaint with Amazon to make sure that their expenditure was not in vain!)
Thus far the account of my adventures. Now that I am more or less settled, I hope to start posting again regularly, unless, of course, you have not execised your longanimity and have moved on to greener pastures, which would make the whole premise of this post, alas, tragically false.