Review: The Press of the Text

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James W. Voelz is Graduate Professor of Exegetical Theology and Dr. Jack Dean Kingsbury Professor of New Testament Theology at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. Voelz received a PhD from Cambridge University and has done postdoctoral research at both Oxford and the University of Basel. He is an accomplished New Testament scholar and an expert in Hellenistic Greek. Voelz is author of several books and articles, including Fundamental Greek Grammar, What Does This Mean?: Principles of Biblical Interpretation in the Post-Modern World, and a two-volume commentary on the Gospel of Mark in the Concordia Commentary series (Mark 1:1-8:26 currently available).

The Press of the Text: Biblical Studies in Honor of James W. Voelz edited by Andrew H. Bartelt, Jeffery Kloha, and Paul R. Raabe is a magnificent festschrift that includes a list of essays and contributors that demands attention and displays adoration in all the right places. Bartelt, Kloha, and Raabe have done exceptional work from an editorial perspective. The essays and contributors are well selected as a tribute to Voelz and the depth and breadth of his academic interests. The festschrift begins and ends with brief honorary essays by Jack Dean Kingsbury on the life and legacy of James Voelz. The nineteen essays between cover a range of topics, including the Christian life, religious freedom, intertextuality, hermeneutics and exegesis, various aspects of New Testament Greek, and more.

While the depth and breadth of the essays is evident by a single glance of the contents page, a number of essays standout from the crowd as unique contributions. There are two worth mention here. First, J. K. Elliott has an excellent essay on the evaluation of textual variants in the Greek New Testament. The essay specifically focuses on the authors linguistic style and usage as a means for evaluating textual variants, and Elliott offers several examples and two brief excurses. Second, David S. Hasselbrook has a fascinating essay examining lexical flaws in the beloved BDAG. Hasselbrook demonstrates a clear and convincing need in Greek studies for continued refining of the New Testament lexicon. Other essays worth reading include, “The Development of the Greek Language and the Manuscripts of Paul’s Letters” by Jeffrey Kloha and “Effective Justification and Its Hermeneutical Implications” by Mark A. Seifrid.

The Press of the Text: Biblical Studies in Honor of James W. Voelz edited by Andrew H. Bartelt, Jeffery Kloha, and Paul R. Raabe is an excellent tribute to a deserving and dedicated scholar. Bartelt, Kloha, and Raabe have done a tremendous service in this volume, not only in the honor of the legacy of James Voelz, but in the depth of essays included. It comes highly recommended and should be on the shelf of anyone interested in New Testament studies or New Testament Greek.

Thankfully Wipf & Stock Publishers has graciously given readers of Sojourner Theology 40% OFF the retail price of The Press of the Text when they use the coupon code sojotheo between now and November 1, 2017. Now you have no excuse!  

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