I. Books Won
This is, I must admit, a wholly new category for me: as far as I can recall, I had never won books at any contest or drawing before that noble gentleman, Mr Shaun Tabatt, saw fit to award me with prizes on days 7 and 9 of his “Bible Geek Gone Wild’s 12 Days Before Christmas Giveaway.” Dear Mr Tabatt (who surely is a living saint) promptly shipped the promised loot, which was delivered to my door on New Year’s Eve by an unusually cheerful postman. The good cheer immediately spread to the inner sanctum of my humble abode as I unpacked the following titles:
- Allen Ross and John N. Oswalt, Genesis. Exodus (Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, volume 1). Carol Stream: Tyndale, 2008.
- Paul Barnett, The Birth of Christianity: The First Twenty Years (After Jesus, volume 1). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003.
- Bo Giertz, To Live with Christ. St Louis: Concordia, 2008.
Many thanks to Shaun (and to the publishers) for these books! Barnett’s excellent little book I read almost in a single sitting, and I shall pick it up again before long to give it a more meticulous read, which it well deserves. I have sampled several “hard” and otherwise well-known passages from Genesis and Exodus in the Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, and while there is much more to say about this volume, for now I am glad to report this: here is a commentary that, without ignoring the more salient issues of translation and exegesis, refreshingly focuses on providing a responsible exposition of the biblical text. If all volumes of the Cornerstone Biblical Commentary are like this one (and I, for one, am eager to see volume 11, which features commentaries on St Matthew and St Mark by David Turner and Darrell Bock), I can only predict that this new series will become a favorite of responsible preachers and teachers everywhere. As for Giertz’s admirable (and voluminous!) confessional devotional, while I myself have little use for it, I will shortly be passing it along to someone who I’m certain will put it to good use.
Of course, I must also mention that I did not, in fact, win Trevin Wax’s “Kingdom People Christmas Giveaway” (nor did Robert Jiménez, who, as we saw, was also allowed to win). As I have noted elsewhere, this is not a failure of the assurances given me by some of today’s leading Bible prophecy scholars, but as I have noted elsewhere, an obvious result of Nick Norelli’s defiant unbelief and greed. For shame!
II. New Books
On account of the troubled economic times and my recent transoceanic move, the past year did not see a significant increase in the holdings of my personal library (in fact, these were relatively diminished through my selling a number of volumes for which I had little use). This does not mean, however, that those additions that were made are themselves insignificant—quite the contrary! Allow me to start by listing the following five volumes, which I obtained yesterday in that blessed haven of remaindered books, my local Bargain Books:
- Kenneth L. Barker (ed.), TNIV Study Bible, Personal Size. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006.
- Colin Gunton, Act & Being: Towards a Theology of the Divine Attributes. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002.
- Jacob Neusner (ed.), Faith Renewed: The Judaic Affirmation Beyond the Holocaust. Macon: Mercer, 1994.
- Matthew C. Williams, Two Gospels from One: A Comprehensive Text-Critical Analysis of the Synoptic Gospels. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2006.
- John Howard Yoder, The Politics of Jesus (Second Edition). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994.
And due to it being their yearly 50% off sale, I was able to purchase all of the above for a mere $20 USD! Yoder replaces my strangely missing copy of the same book (see below), but the other books are new to me. Earlier acquisitions include Ben Witherington’s Letters And Homilies for Hellenized Christians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on Titus, 1-2 Timothy And 1-3 John (Downers Grove: IVP, 2006); Mother Cassiana’s Come, Follow Me: Orthodox Monasticism in Moldavia (Minneapolis: Light and Life, 1991); Elder Cleopa’s On the Christian Mysteries (The Truth of Our Faith, vol. 2; Thessalonica: Uncut Mountain, 2006); and Constantine Cavarnos’ distressing Orthodox Christian Terminology (Belmont: Institute for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, 1994). Also noteworthy are my purchases of a copy of the HCSB for only $5 (which copy, sadly, I had to leave behind in Puerto Rico), and of a copy of the TNIV soon after my arrival in Michigan (which, in contrast with my earlier “TNIV Quest,” I was able to accomplish simply by driving down to the local Borders).
I was also the object of the kindness of family, friends, and even strangers in 2008: I was given copies of Father John Behr’s The Way to Nicea (The Formation of Christian Theology, vol. 1; Crestwood: SVS, 2001) and the new St Tikhon’s Divine Liturgy book (South Canaan: STS, 2008); for my 30th birthday, I was given copies of D. A. Carson and G. K. Beale (eds.), Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2007); John L. Thompson, Reading the Bible with the Dead (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007); and Frances Young, Biblical Exegesis and the Formation of Christian Culture (Peabody: Hendrickson, 2002). The illustrious Mr Kevin P. Edgecomb magnanimously sent along copies of both the infamous Orthodox Study Bible and Charles Thomson’s delightful translation of the Septuagint. My dear friend Nick Norelli sent me review copies of A Reader’s Greek New Testament, Second Edition (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007); William D. and Robert H. Mounce’s Greek-English Interlinear New Testament, NASB/NIV (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008); and John Barton’s The Nature of Biblical Criticism (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2007). And last but not least, my friend and former co-worker Louis McBride gave me a copy of Chrys Caragounis’ superb(ly annoying) The Development of Greek and the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker: 2006). For all of these I express once again my gratitude.