Review: The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown (2nd ed.)

27777608The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament by Andreas J. Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum, and Charles L. Quarles has been a go-to resource in my study of the New Testament for over a year now. I can’t count the number of times this book has been off my shelf. It’s comprehensive, user-friendly, up-to-date, evenhandedly conservative, and so much more. Now, recently released in an updated and revised second edition, The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown has further established itself as one of the best New Testament introductions on the market.

The second edition of The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown retains everything the reader came to know and love about the first edition, including learning objectives for different levels of study, chapter review questions, recommended bibliographies, and more. What has changed is reflected in the addition of nearly 200 pages. The second edition has received significant updates to the bibliographies and footnotes, maps, charts, as well as the addition of interpretation sections to better facilitate understanding of the various literary genres in the New Testament. Also, there is now an epilogue to the book that is devoted to the storyline of Scripture—a welcome addition to an already complete introductory treatment of the New Testament.

One of the most appealing aspects of this volume is the intentionality with which the authors have sought to cultivate a balanced approach towards spiritual and intellectual growth. The authors not only immerse the reader into the intellectual dialog of New Testament studies, but they equally teach the reader how to interact with the New Testament and demonstrate how a properly understanding the New Testament (especially its placement and impact within the whole of the biblical narrative as shown in the epilogue of the second edition) refines the Christian life. There is no attempt among the authors to sidestep the difficult issues of New Testament studies, and there is likewise no desire to see the New Testament become a mere academic pursuit. This level of intentionality was certainly present in the first edition, but it is even more so representative in the second.

The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament by Andreas J. Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum, and Charles L. Quarles was an immediate standard when it was originally published in 2009. This second edition only builds upon the legacy of the first, and the outcome is deserving of much praise. I would make room (its big, so you will need to make a lot of room) for this volume whether you own the first edition or not. This is a New Testament introduction that deserves shelf space for any serious student of the New Testament. It comes highly recommended!!

 

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for and honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Review: The Voice of The Twelve

27777754The so-called Minor Prophets or the Book of the Twelve include some of the most important, and yet neglected writings in the Hebrew Bible. While these twelve prophets held a ministerial voice throughout one of the most formative periods in the history of Israel—a period that stretched more than three centuries—today their voice has been largely eclipsed by an assumed contemporary irrelevance. It is here that The Message of the Twelve: Hearing the Voice of the Minor Prophets by Gary E. Yates and Richard Alan Fuhr seeks to awaken misinformed ears to hear the lasting relevance of this neglected section of the Old Testament.

The Message of the Twelve is divided into two major sections. The opening chapters provide the reader with background material needed to properly understand the Minor Prophets. This includes the historical background, the role of the Twelve, the literary genre and rhetorical nature of the writings, and canonical unity of the Twelve such as various themes, motifs, and patterns discovered therein. The second section of the book focuses more narrowly on each of the twelve books within the Minor Prophets (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi). It is here that the reader will discover the bulk of the book. Each chapter examines the historical setting and structure of the individual book, followed by a detailed exposition of the message and an analysis of the theological themes—especially as it relates to the contemporary application in conjunction with the whole of Scripture.

This book is a goldmine of practical riches for the contemporary audience. It is clearly and unashamedly targeted towards pastors and students, and would make an excellent companion resource in the library of either. The thing that I appreciated most about this volume is the practical emphasis that Yates and Fuhr carried throughout. They targeted their audience and executed a well-distilled and practical volume because of it. The reader will find numerous maps, charts, and diagrams throughout to help visually connect the dots that Yates and Fuhr are establishing. The exposition section in each book likewise could provide the reader with “preachable” segments for a sermon series or a Sunday school setting. Thus, the reader is not only woken to the voice of the Minor Prophets, but they are likewise equipped to awaken others.

The Message of the Twelve: Hearing the Voice of the Minor Prophets by Gary E. Yates and Richard Alan Fuhr is a timely book that deserves to be read and utilized broadly. If you are studying, planning to study, teaching, or planning to teach on the Minor Prophets this is a book that should not be overlooked. It will both encourage and ignite a newfound passion for what we can only hope will have been a formerly neglected section of the Old Testament. It comes highly recommended!

 

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for and honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Review: Ephesians (EGGNT)

27777748Benjamin L. Merkle is Associate Professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Apart from writing numerous published articles, Merkle has authored several books and co-authored the recently released and highly acclaimed Going Deeper with New Testament Greek: A Intermediate Study of the Grammar, Syntax, and Exegesis of the New Testament (with Andreas J. Köstenberger and Robert L. Plummer). Still, most recently, Merkle has contributed the newest volume to the growing and increasingly useful Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament (EGGNT) series.

This volume on Ephesians, much like the existing EGGNT volumes, is structured to optimize the reader’s understanding of the Greek text and facilitate a deeper recognition of the various nuances therein. Merkle begins with a brief introduction to the epistle that helpfully establishes the primry building blocks of the letter. However, while those interested in a fuller treatment of introductory issues will need to look elsewhere, Merkle offers enough information to get the reader properly acquainted with the epistle. I was especially surprised and appreciative of Merkle’s conversation surrounding the original recipients of the letter. Those who are familiar with the letter to the Ephesians should know the debate about the recipients and the textual variant in 1:1. Merkle affirms “in Ephesus” as the original reading for the recipients and provides some valid textual reasons for doing such.

The organization of the volume is arranged around a phrase-by-phrase analysis of the Greek text. Merkle provides extensive conversation concerning grammar, syntax, word usage, textual variants, and almost anything else exegetically significant to the text. The content requires a working knowledge of Greek, but Merkle is clear and careful when communicating technical concepts. Another useful feature of this volume is the Greek sentence diagraming that is offered at the beginning of each major section of text. This is helpful for quickly visualizing how the text joints together to establish Paul’s point. Each major section likewise concludes with a “For Further Study” section that takes various themes unearthed in the section and provides the reader with a bibliography for additional investigation. Lastly, Merkle has provided recommended preaching outlines that allow the reader to work from the text established in the volume to the sermon preached in the pulpit.

There is much to be praised about this volume. First, and probably foremost, Merkle is very well acquainted with the letter to the Ephesians and his sensitivity to the broader academic conversation concerning textual issues and grammatical debate is noticeable. Second, I found Merkle to be extremely thoughtful in his explanation of difficult concepts. He is clearly aware of his primary audience and knows that a variegated knowledge of the Greek language is found therein. This is beneficial for the pastors or students who are less frequently working out of the Greek text but have some formal training or exposure. Third, the scope of this volume’s content is impressive given its small footprint. Merkle has crammed a lot of relevant and useful information into a small package. In fact, I am confident to say that if you pair this volume with any of the recommended commentaries, you will be well equipped to preach or teach through the letter of Ephesians with excellence.

Ephesians: Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament by Benjamin L. Merkle is an exciting addition to an already exhilarating series. Merkle’s contribution fits extremely well with the quality and caliber that the EGGNT series has already produced, and I think that any serious student of the Bible would be ill-equipped without it. If you have been looking for a resource that will guide you through the depths of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, then look no further, because this will continually be your first stop on that journey. It comes highly recommended!

 

I received a review copy of this books in exchange for and honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Review: Truth in a Culture of Doubt

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In a world saturated with skepticism and doubt, there remains few books that are more important and helpful than Truth in a Culture of Doubt by Andreas J. Köstenberger, Darrell L. Bock, and Josh D. Chatraw. This conservative trio seeks to critically examine the claims of one of today’s leading skeptics, Bart D. Ehrman, and provide a rational defense of biblical Christianity and the reliability of the Bible. The result has given Christian leaders one of the most noteworthy books for equipping the church to engage the culture in recent times.

The book is comprised of five chapters. Each chapter seeks to tackle Ehrman’s challenges to Christianity or the Bible one by one. Chapter one, “Is God Immoral because He allows suffering?” begins the conversation with a look at several of Ehrman’s claims arising out of his book God’s Problem. Köstenberger, Bock, and Chatraw address claims such as “the Bible’s explanation of suffering and evil are not satisfying” and “the God of the Bible is immoral, and therefore, he doesn’t exist.” The interaction of the authors is well suited for those wrestling with such claims and helpful and informative for those who don’t but are engaging with those who do. Chapter two, “Is the Bible full of irresolvable contradictions?” addresses an onslaught of common attacks on the unity of the Bible.

Chapter three, “Are the biblical manuscripts corrupt?” does an excellent job getting to the heart of Ehrman’s skepticism and examining how his skeptical presupposition flavor his reading of the evidence. Chapter four, “Were there many Christianities?” dismantles Ehrman’s repackaging of the Bauer Thesis. This is familiar ground for the authors, especially Köstenberger who authored The Orthodoxy of Heresy (Crossway, 2010) with Michael J. Kruger. Chapter five, “Are many New Testament documents forged?” the issue of authorship is addressed, and done so with a keen awareness of the underlying issues that bolster the skeptical claims of Ehrman and others. This final chapter is among the most beneficial for those familiar with the conversations that take place in the public sphere.

There are a number of helpful features of this book that make it especially useful for Christian leaders and those seeking to assist others to engage better with skeptical challenges to the Bible. For example, each chapter concludes with a handful of discussion questions to facilitate group reflection. Moreover, each chapter opens with a brief list of the claims addressed within the chapter, and the chapter proceeds to address each claim one by one. This organization is especially helpful for quick reference. Speaking of quick reference, the book concludes with a glossary of terms, a quick response section, and a general index. The quick response section provides short answers to each of the claims treated more fully in the chapter—an indispensable addition to an already useful book.

Truth in a Culture of Doubt by Andreas J. Köstenberger, Darrell L. Bock, and Josh D. Chatraw is a book that deserves a spot on the bookshelf of all serious students of the Bible. Those who engage with culture and have yet to engage with this book are likely ill-equipped for such task. Köstenberger, Bock, and Chatraw have provided a clear, concise, and calculated resource that will strengthen your faith and equip you to present truth in a culture of doubt. It comes highly recommended!!

 

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Review: Perspectives on the Ending of Mark

19093968Perspectives on the Ending of Mark: Four Views edited by David Alan Black is a tour de force into one of the most significant textual variants in the New Testament. Each of the chapters included in this volume originated from a conference entitled “The Last Twelve Verses of Mark: Original or Not,” held April 13-14, 2007, at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. For those familiar with the textual issues surrounding Mark 16:9-20, the enlisted contributors (Daniel Wallace, Maurice Robinson, J. Keith Elliott, and David Alan Black) inevitably stand within two major persuasions (as the title of the conference suggests) with varying degrees of distance between them.

Maurice Robinson and David Alan Black both argue that Mark 16:9-20 is the original ending of the Second Gospel. Still, of the two contributors, it is likely that the reader will find Robinson to have provided a much more persuasive presentation than Black. Robinson provides interaction with ancient sources concerning the Long Ending (LE), analyzes the vocabulary of the LE, displays an interesting set of parallels between various sections of the Second Gospel (1:32-39; 3:14-15; 6:7-13; 7:24-8:38) and the LE, and closes with fifteen points of conclusion concerning the originality of the LE. However, in my opinion, for many readers, while they may find the chapter by Robinson helpful, they will likely remain unconvinced by the external evidence witnessed in the earliest manuscripts.

Daniel Wallace and J. Keith Elliot both argue that Mark 16:9-20 is not the original ending of the Second Gospel. Similar to that witnessed above, I believe that the reader will find Wallace to have provided a much more persuasive presentation than Elliot. I would submit that the contribution by Wallace is worth admission alone. Wallace begins by delineating the inevitable existence of presuppositions when approaching this issue and provides a personal story of how his personal presuppositions had to be challenged before he was able to best analyze the data. The chapter by Wallace is also the most helpful chapter of the book by way of explanation of the textual issue. For Wallace, both the external and internal evidence suggest that the last twelve verses of Mark are indeed not original to the Second Gospel—a conclusion that Wallace skillfully guides the reader to recognize as the most likely scenario.

Perspectives on the Ending of Mark: Four Views concludes with a helpful summary by Darrell Bock. Indeed, Bock unashamedly sides with Wallace on the matter of the ending of Mark but does an excellent job evenhandedly outlining the implications of each of the preceding chapters. It must be stated here that the chapters by Black and Elliott are certainly worth reading, but are likely to find little outside adherence. In fact, in my opinion, this volume could have been more helpful had it actually eliminated Black and Elliott altogether and provided more interaction between Robinson and Wallace. The lack of direct interaction between the positions was a major downfall in my opinion, and had it been included, in my opinion, this volume would have been much better for the end user.

The lack of interaction that many readers have come to appreciate from the Perspective series is unfortunate—especially given the nature of the discussion and the inclusion of two peripheral views that could have been easily eliminated. Still, the contribution of Maurice Robinson and Daniel Wallace are well worth the cover price of this volume. If you are interested in textual criticism and/or looking to teach or preach from the Gospel of Mark, the issues detailed in this volume will need to be addressed, and I am confident that Perspectives on the Ending of Mark: Four Views edited by David Alan Black will provide you with much food for thought. It comes highly recommended!

 

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. 

Review: In Defense of the Bible

16072386It would be safe to say that the world is growing increasingly hostile towards a biblical worldview. The once prominent influence of Christianity has taken a cultural backseat to the rise of a post-Christian society, and the effects therein can be seen almost everywhere. For the sake of modernity, this cultural shift has largely encouraged an undue stance of skepticism towards the Bible. It is here that In Defense of the Bible: A Comprehensive Apologetic for the Authority of Scripture edited by Steven B. Cowan and Terry L. Wilder provides the reader with a much-needed reevaluation of the current challenges facing the sacred Scriptures.

Despite the onslaught of negative opinion concerning the Bible, the contributors of this volume remain firmly persuaded with the faith of the Church in the inspiration, inerrancy, and authority of Scripture. This conviction is stated rather unashamedly in the introduction. In Defense of the Bible is divided into three major sections: (1) Philosophical and Methodological Challenges, (2) Textual and Historical Challenges, and (3) Ethical, Scientific, and Theological Challenges. Each of these sections are strategically pointed at specific challenges that have arisen against the Bible. These challenges are largely variegated in nature, but Cowan and Wilder have done justice to the subtitle in their attempt to provide a comprehensive apologetic.

Depending on the particular interest of the reader, I found that the content of the chapters amid the three major sections mentioned above can vary as much as the challenges they address. For example, if your interests are more easily perked by the philosophical and methodological issues, the opening four chapters will be a goldmine of useful information. However, if these issues are not of immediate importance or interest, regardless of the content therein, the reader is likely to find the treatment to be satisfactory but not overly helpful. I was among the latter group in the opening chapters of the book, although the chapter on higher criticism by Charles L. Quarles was easily one of the most helpful chapters in the book.

The second section of the book is where I found the most benefit. It is here that the reader is exposed to some of the most substantial challenges to the Bible. The other challenges tackled in the book are important, but largely irrelevant if the text of the Bible is unsustainable. This is also where much of the modern challenge today is being directed, and directed quite strategically. Both the Old Testament and the New are thoroughly addressed, and the contributors to this section are all qualified voices amid the larger academic dialog. The chapter by Daniel B. Wallace is worth admission alone. The same could easily be said for the chapters by Walter C. Kaiser Jr., Paul D. Wegner, and Paul W. Barnett, but Wallace’s chapter will be noteworthy for anyone familiar with the frequent challenges administered by Bart D. Ehrman and others.

The challenges that are addressed in this volume show no sign of decelerating anytime soon. It is in the best interest of Christians everywhere to be familiar with these challenges, both ready and equipped to provide a defense for the hope that is within them. Thus, In Defense of the Bible: A Comprehensive Apologetic for the Authority of Scripture edited by Steven B. Cowan and Terry L. Wilder is a book that I could not recommend more enthusiastically! It will both strengthen your confidence and encourage your faith!

 

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Review: A Theology for the Church

18113502A Theology for the Church edited by Daniel L. Akin has been a unique contribution to the field of systematic theology since it was originally published in 2007. This revised edition preserves the original structure and organization of the previous edition. The book is divided into the eight major theology sections generally characterizing systematic theology—Revelation, God, Humanity, Christ, the Holy Spirit, Salvation, the Church, and the Last Things—with fourteen chapters therein. Furthermore, two additional chapters have been added—Theological Method: An Introduction to the Task of Theology by Bruce Ashford and Keith Whitfield (Ch. 1) and The Work of God: Creation and Providence by Chad Owen Brand (Ch. 5)—and revisions have also been made to the chapter on Special Revelation by David S. Dockery (Ch. 3) and Human Nature by John S. Hammett (Ch. 7).

One of the most unique aspects of A Theology for the Church that the reader will immediately recognize is the number of participants involved. This is unusual for this type of work, but very well executed. The contributors to this volume include prominent Southern Baptist figures, such as R. Albert Mohler Jr., Paige Patterson, Mark E. Dever, Russell D. Moore, Daniel L. Akin, Malcolm B. Yarnell III, Timothy George, and many more. Each contributor writes in particular areas of expertise and interest, making the combined effort well worth the investment. Apart from the various contributors that make up the volume, the reader will also benefit from the unique fourfold execution of each of the chapters: (1) What does the Bible say? (2) What has the Church believed? (3) How does it all fit together? and (4) How does it impact the Church today? This approach to systematic theology helpfully provides the reader with exposure to other theological disciplines, including historical theology, biblical theology and practical theology.

While A Theology for the Church is certainly well-situated for use across denominational lines, it is a systematic theology text firmly established within the Southern Baptist tradition. Therefore, some doctrinal disagreement will be inevitable for the non-Southern Baptist. Of course, this should be anticipated with almost any systematic theology text—especially if you are reading it with differing theological lenses. Still, I found the interaction throughout to be evenhanded and consistent. Although I found that some of the chapters were better presented than others. One major disappointment was the lack of a ‘for further reading’ section at the close of each chapter. This would have been a helpful addition to the volume, especially given the Southern Baptist focus therein. The addition of study questions at the conclusion of the chapters would have also been a good addition.

A Theology for the Church edited by Daniel L. Akin is a well-researched, historically helpful, and practically significant masterpiece of systematic theology. From the contribution roster to the intentional execution of each individual chapter, the reader is carefully guided through the rough trenches of systematic theology from beginning to end with ecclesiastical care. While a plethora of systematic theology options may be available on the market today, including a number of well-known Southern Baptist options, for the reasons outlined above (and more), I believe that A Theology for the Church has rightly demonstrated itself as one of the best. If you’re interested in a well-written and refreshingly practical engagement from a Southern Baptist perspective, then look no further. This volume comes highly recommended and will be used often.

 

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Review: Unchanging Witness

28869720We are now witnessing a moral transformation before our own eyes. It is a cultural shift that continues to sweep the land, and it is the issue of same-sex marriage and homosexuality that stands at the forefront of this fast-moving revolution, and its agenda is being bolstered on nearly every street corner. Are Christians to assume that they have got it wrong all this time? Has tradition really misunderstood what appears to be the clear and consistent message of Scripture on these issues? In today’s increasingly post-Christian world it is imperative that such challenges are met with gentleness and love, and the Christian must be well-equipped to meet such tasks. It is here that S. Donald Fortson III and Rollin G. Grams have provided a unique and timely volume that aims to fill a much needed void amid an ever-changing world.

Unchanging Witness: The Consistent Christian Teaching on Homosexuality in Scripture and Tradition (B&H Academic, 2016) begins with a history of the Gay Christian movement in America—from the New York Stonewall Inn riots of 1969 to the publication and proclamation of the Boswell Thesis in the early 1980’s. This is an appropriate place to start the conversation for the reader. Not only does it provide a well-documented outline of events for where we are today, but it also helpfully places the conversation amid its proper historical context. This context then becomes an essential part of the initial section as the reader is guided through nearly two millennia of church history, beginning with the Church Fathers and ending with the current landscape of many modern mainline denominations. Fortson and Grams systematically dismantle the revisionist claims that characterize the Gay Christian movement, but it is the abundance of primary source material that carries the bulk of their argumentative weight.

With the historical foundation firmly established, Fortson and Grams can now direct the appropriate attention to the Scriptures that rightly motivated the previous convictions of the Christian Church. This section is divided into three parts: (1) The Bible and Homosexuality, (2) Creation and Law: Old Testament Text and Homosexuality, and (3) Creation, the Law and the Gospel: New Testament Text and Homosexuality—with the latter two parts comprising nearly half of the content of the book. There is no Scriptural concern that is left unturned as Fortson and Grams carefully guide the reader through the biblical passages, what the text says about homosexuality, how the text was understood historically and culturally, and how the text has been understood and interpreted by Christians (p. 2). The interaction with the major interpreters of the Gay Christian movement is ample, and the reader will benefit greatly from the level of scholarship and documentation provided therein.

The attention to scholarly detail in this volume is incredible. On a stylistic note, Fortson and Grams have chosen to utilize the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible because of the similar ecumenical intent of the volume and translation. Fortson and Grams have also provided a whole host of primary source material in the initial section of the book, and to make interaction easier for the reader they have used italics to highlight the portions of text that are most important. In regards to the content, it would be difficult to differentiate between the quality of work therein. Every chapter is equally important to the thesis of the book and the interaction with the Gay Christian movement is witnessed throughout. Nevertheless, some points of particular enjoyment will be the parallels presented between the law code text of Leviticus and Paul’s exhortation in 1 Corinthians 5-7 and the revisionist readings of Romans 1:24-28. Moreover, the assessment of the Pauline argument of nature/creation and nurture/law in Romans was also extremely helpful for interacting with some of the contemporary arguments against the traditional understanding of the texts. One major downfall of the volume is the lack of a bibliography. While skimming the footnotes is more work, and I am reluctant to recommend such, it will certainly prove beneficial for the interested reader.

Unchanging Witness: The Consistent Christian Teaching on Homosexuality in Scripture and Tradition by S. Donald Fortson III and Rollin G. Grams is easily projected to be one of the most important books of 2016. The comprehensive treatment of the issues at hand are presented in a clear and persuasive manner that only the most uninformed of readers would be willing to ignore. Of course, while continuing to play interpretive leapfrog with the biblical text may work in prolonging the conversation among supporters, the nearly two millennia of unchanging witness within the Christian community is not easily dismissed—at least not without severe logical and historical implications. The testimony of both Scripture and the response of the people of God to such have been unanimously opposed to the current revolutionary trend that is sweeping the nation, and Fortson and Grams have displayed this fact with undeniable precision. The Christian would do well in reading this book with careful and attentive eyes of compassion for the ever-changing world around them. It comes highly recommended!

 

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Review: Grammar of the Greek New Testament

p.robea_.001bwA. T. Robertson’s magisterial volume on the grammar of the Greek New Testament has been utilized by teachers and students for over a century. Having been revised and expanded twice since it was initially released in 1914 (a second edition in 1915, and a third edition in 1919), A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in Light of Historical Research has firmly stood the test of time because of its comprehensive usefulness and approach to the New Testament language. The fact that Robertson’s work is today still widely recognized as one of the finest produced Greek grammars by nearly all of the experts in the field is an accomplishment of its own. Still, the real achievement here is discovered in the broad scope of the grammar itself.

First, at well over 1,400-pages, it may run the risk of being an understatement, but this volume is massive! The table of contents alone is over 40-pages, and the bibliography, while certainly outdated in many respects, is over 20-pages in length. Second, Roberson does more than provide the reader with a mere descriptive overview of the grammar of the Greek New Testament. Instead, Robertson endeavors to present the language of the New Testament in light of its development. This is a unique approach and requires a lot of groundwork to be laid, which Robertson accomplishes well in the nearly 150-page introduction and beyond. Therein, Robertson associates the language of the New Testament with the non-literary development of Koine Greek and various influences from the Semitic languages.

Robertson was a brilliant scholar, and the work that has gone into this volume is the unequivocal testimony to that very fact. If there is one thing that the reader will walk away with from this volume, apart from Robertson’s end goal of linguistic competence in the language of the New Testament, it is the wide-reaching knowledge and passion that Robertson displays for the New Testament and its language. As the grammar proper opens the reader is carefully escorted through mountains of explanation and examples, from word formation to declensions and the history of declensions, to syntax and figures of speech (a real high point of the volume). The volume closes with over 200-pages of index and appendix material, including additional notes and a thorough subject and Greek word index.

As an intermediate Greek student, I was able to follow along with Robertson well and found much of his observations and explanations insightful. With that said, this is an advanced grammar that is primarily going to benefit the specialists or advanced students. Of course, if you are (myself included) an intermediate student with aspirations of continuing education in the language, then Robertson is an appropriate resource to acquire. The high points in this volume are many, and I have already alluded to a few above, but for the sake of personal reflection, I really benefited from the second section of the book that dealt at length with the topic of accidence. Grasping Greek inflection is imperative to understanding the language in general, and Robertson has provided a thorough treatment of such. This section alone would be worth the investment of the book.

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Few grammars of the Greek New Testament have been as impactful to the present pursuit of the study of New Testament Greek as A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in Light of Historical Research by A. T. Robertson. While modern options are certainly available and may be more appealing to many readers, the significance of Robertson’s volume cannot be overlooked because of its publication date. With that said, this is definitely an advanced grammar of the Greek New Testament, but even intermediate Greek students (myself included as mentioned above) will have much to glean from Robertson—especially his ability to ground the grammar within its historical development. While this review might run the risk of being a mere overview of Robertson’s work because of its sheer size, the reader can be assured that this volume is a must-have reference work for any serious student of the Greek New Testament.

 

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for and honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.