Books: Won, New, Found, and Grievously Missing (Part II)

III. Books Found

2008 was the year in which I was at long last reunited with my library in exile. (Of course, my move has necessarily caused the exile of the choice books I had with me in Puerto Rico, but let’s not think about that right now.) After my first rescue expedition to Grand Rapids nearly three months ago, I posted a list of the biblical commentaries recovered from the first 15 boxes; having now completed the retrieval and unpacking of the rest of my books, I offer the following updated account:

Brueggemann (Int.), von Rad (OTL), and Waltke on Genesis; Childs (OTL) on Exodus; Hubbard (NICOT) on Ruth; Brueggemann (Int.) on I & II Samuel; Hess (BCOT) on the Song of Songs; Childs (OTL) on Isaiah; Brueggemann on Jeremiah; Allen (WBC, 2 vols.) on Ezekiel; McComiskey (ed., 3 vols.) on the Minor Prophets; E. Achtemeier (Int.) on Nahum-Malachi; Blomberg (NAC), Gundry, Keener, Luz (1-7), Mounce (NIBC), and Patte on St Matthew; Gundry and Witherington on St Mark; Danker, Bock (BECNT, 2 vols.), Green (NICNT), and Pate (MBC) on St Luke; Barrett, R. E. Brown (AB, 2 vols.), Bruce, Carson (PNTC), Keener (2 vols.), Köstenberger (BECNT), Ridderbos, and Witherington on St John; Bruce (Greek Text; NICNT), Fitzmeyer (AB), L. T. Johnson (Sacra Pagina), Marshall (TNTC), and Witherington on Acts; P. Achtemeier (Int.), K. Barth, Barrett (BNTC), Bruce (TNTC), Käsemann, Moo (NICNT), and Schreiner (BECNT) on Romans; Garland (BECNT), Kovacs (Church’s Bible), and Thiselton (NIGTC) on I Corinthians; Barrett (BNTC) on II Corinthians; Dunn, Matera (Sacra Pagina), Ebeling, Lührmann, Luther (AW 35 & 36), and Ridderbos (NICNT) on Galatians; Patzia (NIBC) on Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon; M. Barth (AB, 2 vols.) and Schnakenburg on Ephesians; Fee (IVPNTC) and Silva (BECNT) on Philippians; O’Brien (WBC), Thompson (Two Horizons), and Wright (TNTC) on Colossians and Philemon; M. Barth on Philemon; Wanamaker (NIGTC) on the Epistles to the Thessalonians; Bruce and de Silva on Hebrews; Carballosa and Moo (TNTC) on James; J. N. D. Kelly on the Epistles of Sts Peter and Jude; Jobes (BECNT) on I Peter; Neyrey (AB) on II Peter and Jude; Bruce, D. Moody Smith (Int.), and Stott (TNTC) on the Johannine Epistles; Beale (NIGTC), Caird (BNTC), Carballosa, Kistemaker (NTC), and Ladd on Revelation.

Besides these, I uncovered Carson’s expositions of St Matthew 5-10, I Corinthians 12-14, and Philippians; Arland J. Hultgren’s The Parables of Jesus: A Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000); and R. E. Brown’s masterful works The Birth of the Messiah (on the Infancy Narratives of Sts Matthew and Luke) and The Death of the Messiah (on the Passion narratives, 2 vols.). Also found were D. Guthrie et al. (eds.), The Eerdmans Bible Commentary, Third Edition (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987; previously published as The New Bible Commentary); Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., et al., Hard Sayings of the Bible (Downers Grove: IVP, 1996); the two-volume IVP Bible Background Commentary; and M. Eugene Boring et al. (eds.), Hellenistic Commentary to the New Testament (Nashville: Abingdon, 1995). And of course, as I noted earlier, I have all New Testament volumes (but one) of the excellent NIV Application Commentary, and a select few of the Old Testament ones.

I commented earlier that clearly I need more commentaries on Isaiah and Hebrews (which assessment still stands), but I was surprised to find no commentaries at all on the Pastoral Epistles! (It seems that I, too, have unwittingly fallen prey to what Thomas Oden has called “the systematic neglect of the Pastoral [….] Epistles.”1) It is most fortunate, then, that earlier this year I bought from Mike Aubrey the above-mentioned commentary on these New Testament books! While the book itself is back in Puerto Rico, I can rest assured that this significant gap has been satisfactorily filled. Regarding Isaiah, I have my sight set on John Oswalt’s undoubtedly wonderful commentary on that book for the NIVAC, and much more importantly, on Robert Louis Wilken’s recent commentary for The Church’s Bible (which features a translation of LXX Isaiah by none other than the infallible Moisés Silva!). As for Hebrews, I have long wanted a copy of Paul Ellingworth’s splendid NIGTC volume on that book, and frankly I can’t quite understand why I haven’t obtained one in the twelve years or so that I have been aware of it; also on the list is Harold W. Attridge’s superb volume on Hebrews for the Hermeneia commentaries.

IV. Missing Books

Here I must mention the bewildering and heartbreaking phenomenon of the missing books. As I have unpacked and sorted the contents of countless boxes, and as I have encountered references to them in footnotes and bibliographies, I have become aware of the fact that several volumes which I certainly owned seem to have tragically disappeared. The reasons for this are unclear to me, though it is not impossible that I might have mistakenly sold a box which I had intended to keep (thus effectively selling my inheritance for a mess of pottage). Whatever the true reason for their keenly felt absence, I thought it would be useful to list the missing volumes here, and to update the list whenever I become aware of any other such title.

  • Bahnsen, Gregory L. Van Til’s Apologetic: Readings and Analysis. Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1998.
  • Beasley-Murray, George Raymond. Revelation (New Century Commentary). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981.
  • Berkhof, Louis. Principles of Biblical Interpretation. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1950.
  • Calhoun, David. Princeton Seminary, vol. I: Faith and Learning, 1812-1868. Carlisle: Banner of Truth, 1996.
  • Calhoun, David. Princeton Seminary, vol II: The Majestic Testimony, 1869-1929. Carlisle: Banner of Truth, 1996.
  • Frame, John M. Cornelius Van Til: An Analysis of His Thought. Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1995.
  • Meier, J. P. A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus, vol. 1. Garden City: Doubleday, 1991.
  • Poythress, Vern S. The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses. Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1995.
  • Stonehouse, Ned B. J. Gresham Machen: A Biographical Memoir. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1954.
  • Strauss, Mark L. Distorting Scripture? The Challenge of Bible Translation & Gender Accuracy. Downers Grove: IVP, 1998.

And finally, I am saddened to list now some important books that gave up the ghost under the harsh conditions of extended storage, either crushed under the weight of the others, or else suffering irreparable damage due to water and mold.

  • Harrison, R. K. Introduction to the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1969.
  • Moore, George Foot. Judaism in the First Centuries of the Christian Era: The Age of the Tannaim (vols. I & II). Cambridge: Harvard, 1927.
  • Nobbs, A. Ancient History in a Modern University: Festschrift for E. A. Judge, vol. 1. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998.

May the replacement for all these be soon forthcoming!

This concludes our bibliographical rundown through the Year of Our Lord 2008, which I hope was every bit as enjoyable for you as it was for me!



1In the delightfully titled chapter 10 (“The Expurgated Scripture”) of his book After Modernity… What? Agenda for Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1989), page 140.


7 responses to “Books: Won, New, Found, and Grievously Missing (Part II)

  1. Ehh…you don’t really need a book by Poythress anyway. He’s written so much against Functional translation and against gender accuracy (both with Grudem) that he has lost any esteem I could have had for him.

    Even the fact that he wrote a volume edited by Moises Silva and studied under the great linguist Kenneth Pike cannot make up for his failure.

    Is Bruce on Acts Greek text, the 2nd or 3rd edition? Paperback or hardcover?

    I bed Nick stole your coy of Bahnsen.

    You should also pick up Lincoln on Ephesians as well as Towner on the Pastorals.


  2. No sir, I don't steal. I just begged P&R for a copy and they obliged me (trust me, it was a tough sale!).


  3. Mike> Well, this one I need, as it is on on of my pet subjects (the relationship of Law and Gospel) and it is exceptionally good. I've never particularly liked Poythress (for all the reasons you mention), but I sure seem to have a few of his works around! His volume for Foundations of Contemporary Interpretation I find unexciting, just like his God-centered Biblical Interpretation; but his Symphonic Theology and Understanding Dispensationalists I find interesting and useful because of his creative interpretation of (presuppositional) multiperspectivalism to theological method. I once owned the piece of dreck he wrote with that one unmentionable co-author, but I think I might have burned it.

    Thanks for the commentary suggestions! Of course, I'm on the lookout for a copy of Hoehner on Ephesians–actually, two, for I have not forgotten your plea. One of these days Baker will be good to the two of us and have remaindered copies on the shelf!

    Nick> Oh, I'm quite sure it was you, buster! ;-)


  4. Esteban: You must have missed it while you were in the process of moving to Michigan or without internet once there, but the goodly Mr. Aubrey found his copy of Hoehner’s commentary on Ephesians. You can even see it in two pictures in this post. No doubt this was a result of my words of encouragement therefore I will gladly receive the book you planned to purchase for young Aubrey.


  5. Nick> Why, thanks for the update! Yes, back then I was still in Michigan the first time around–you know, when I didn't even have my own laptop. Why, I'm amazed that I was able to survive!

    I'm delighted to learn that Mr Aubrey, a gentleman and a scholar, found his lost copy of this, his beloved commentary. Also I will be more than glad to pick up a copy for you should it become available–if you're willing to pay for the cost of the book as Mr Aubrey was, of course. ;-)


  6. Esteban Craig Koester`s Hebrews Commentary in the Anchor Bible series is probably the best thing around on the Letter to the Hebrews


  7. Andrew> Ah, many thanks for the recommendation, sir! I have seen references to Koester before, but I had for some reason neglected to include his commentary in my bibliography.


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