Review: The Complete Hebrew-Greek Bible

41fMkqHERaL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_It’s not difficult to find a Hebrew Bible and Greek New Testament combined under one cover. Biblia Sacra has been a standard for nearly two decades and A Reader’s Hebrew and Greek by A. Philip Brown II, Bryan W. Smith, Richard J. Goodrich, and Albert L. Lukaszewski has been offered by Zondervan for roughly 8 years. That said, earlier this year when I found out that Hendrickson would be publishing The Complete Hebrew-Greek Bible, the anticipation began to develop almost immediately.

There are a number of reasons Hendrickson’s The Complete Hebrew-Greek Bible is a standout from the crowd.

First, and probably foremost, the quality of The Complete Hebrew-Greek Bible is superior even to some of the most premium original language Bibles. The printed text is sharp and well-defined with minimal bleed on the opaque off-white paper. This is especially unique at under $40 for the hardcover edition and $60 for the imitation leather edition. A Reader’s Hebrew and Greek is over twice that price and half as nice.

Second, the choice to use the Biblia Hebraica Leningradensia (BHL) edited by Aron Dotan and the 1881 edition of the Greek New Testament edited by B. F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort (WH) is both functional and unique in the marketplace. Where most options available tend to use the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS) and either the 27th or 28th edition of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament (NA), here BHL and WH offer pastors and students a reliable text that is both readable and versatile.

Third, while other options may prefer the textual basis of the BHS and NA, both BHL and WH offer textual analysis where differences are present. WH includes a  critical apparatus at the bottom of the page indicating when it differed from NA27 and the Byzantine text by Robinson and Pierpont. Unfortunately, BHL does not include a critical apparatus at the bottom of the page, but Dotan did include an appendix with manuscript variants.

Lastly, it is worth mentioning a few stylistic features in WH, such as periscopes labeled in English, verse references to synoptic parallels, and Old Testament quotations and allusions indicated by bolded Greek text with reference at the bottom of the page. These features expand the functionality of the Greek New Testament beyond simply text on page, and allow the pastor or student room both to read and study.

The only foreseeable shortcoming of Hendrickson’s The Complete Hebrew-Greek Bible is a lack of attention to consistency with regards to the functionality of BHL. Apart from Qere forms in the margins and the corresponding unpointed Kethiv forms in the main text, there is little effort to offer the reader anything other than a reading experience. There isn’t anything wrong with this approach. But, as readers turn to the New Testament, the “bells and whistles” found in WH’s critical apparatus and stylistic features are evident. It seems that the Hebrew Bible and Greek New Testament were edited separately before being bound together, and a consistency check was lacking. As mentioned above, Dotan does include a number of appendixes in BHL with helpful material. But, it would have been nice to have at the bottom of the page like WH.

Hendrickson’s The Complete Hebrew-Greek Bible is a phenomenal new resource at a very attractive price. The quality far exceeds the sticker-price! Both the Hebrew and Greek text are crisp and readable, and the binding is well-constructed. It opens flat with no issues and should last a very long time. Apart from the shortcoming mentioned above, I can think of no reason that pastors and students shouldn’t jump at the opportunity to own this volume. It’s easily the best option on the market for the price, and comes highly recommended!

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