Zwinglius Redivivus

Archive for the ‘Books’ Category is On Strike, Again

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Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht aren’t troubled though, they have a German company to deliver their volumes-

Bei Amazon wird wieder gestreikt.  Zeit also, auf unsere zuverlässige Verlagsauslieferung Brockhaus Commission hinzuweisen, die unsere Bücher (und natürlich auch viele andere) schnell und kompetent zum Kunden bringt. Und anders als bei Amazon hat man eine feste Ansprechpartnerin, die einem prima weiterhelfen kann. Vielen Dank dafür!

Amazon has just gotten too big for its britches.  What it is doing to authors and publishers is nothing more than extortion.  I’d rather pay a little more and support a company I can respect than get an Amazon discount and feel like a heel.

Written by Jim

October 30, 2014 at 19:10

Posted in Books, Publishers

The Authors of the Deuteronomistic History: Locating a Tradition in Ancient Israel

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9781451469967bFortress have sent along a copy of The Authors of the Deuteronomistic History: Locating a Tradition in Ancient Israel to be reviewed. I’ve read the conclusion (because I always read the conclusion first) and it seems quite an interesting thesis; i.e., that the priests of Anathoth (including Jeremiah) were responsible for what we call the Deuteronomistic History. I’m interested in seeing if the author can prove his case.

Peterson engages one of the most enduring controversies in current critical scholarship on the Hebrew Bible, the identities and provenances of the authors of the various “editions” of the Deuteronomistic History. Critically reviewing the presuppositions of scholars reaching back to Martin Noth, and using careful analysis of motif and characterization at each redactional level in each book of the Deuteronomistic History, Peterson asks where we might locate a figure with both motive and opportunity to draw up a proto-narrative including elements of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and the first part of 1 Kings.

Posing his questions in the form of a “Whodunit?” Peterson identifies a particular candidate in the time of David who had both knowledge and a theological and political agenda, qualified to write the first edition. He then extends the method to identify the particular circle who became the custodians of the Deuteronomistic narrative and supplies successive redactions, informed by the original formative vision, down to the time of Jeremiah. Careful argumentation yields surprising results at each stage.

The volume can be examined in some detail at the link above to the publisher’s page.    Indeed- one can view the

Table of Contents
Chapter 1

There one will get a good sense of the aim of the author which is, quite simply put, to attempt to demonstrate that the authors of DtrH are priests from Anathoth, including Jeremiah and Baruch.

He musters a trove of material and searches through it high and low and makes a case that is almost convincing. The heart of the argument is to be found in chapters 5-10 where our author discusses and investigates each book presently part of the DtrH, and then he concludes that

Theories that exclude, a priori, the possibility that large portions of the DtrH may derive from antiquity serve only to hamstring open debate (p. 297).


Jeremiah may not have written the entire DtrH, but he certainly could have completed and edited it as one of the final contributors from Anathoth (p. 301-302).

What are we to make of all of this?  Peterson has a lot of evidence.  He offers pretty good arguments.  But he – regrettably – fails to persuade.  The reason for this is simply that the conclusion isn’t necessary from the evidence.  There were priests in Anathoth and Jeremiah does sound in places like the Dtr.   But similarity does not require familiarity.  Nor does similarity require that we posit one author or school of authors for a particular series of texts.

To be sure, there may be rather a lot to Peterson’s theory.  It isn’t impossible.  It’s just unprovable.  And it seems to me a step back to the heyday of historical-critical scholarship, when overconfidence was the rule of the day.  There are things we don’t know and probably shall never know.  Who wrote most of the Hebrew Bible will remain a mystery – for all time perhaps.  But it is fun to probe the materials and provide a thought experiment as to who, what, when, where, why, and how.

Consequently, at the end of the day, this book may not be convincing, but it is enjoyable- because it provides readers with a new view of things.  And whether or not one agrees with its conclusions, readers will learn a good deal.  For that reason alone it is commendable.   You should read this book.

Written by Jim

October 30, 2014 at 08:23

News From Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht

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Vorstellung des ersten Bandes der Akten zur Dordrechter Synode

Akten der Dordrechter Synode – Präsentation des ersten Bandes der Akten in Emden

Im Rahmen der Tagung zur Prädestinationslehre (29.-30.10.2014) in der Johannes a Lasco Bibliothek findet im Anschluss an den öffentlichen Vortrag von Professor Dr. H. J. Selderhuis die Präsentation des ersten Bandes aus dem Editionsprojekt zur Dordrechter Synode statt.

Mittwoch, 29. Oktober 2014, 19.00

Öffentlicher Vortrag:
Zwischen Heidelberg und Dordrecht. Emdens Bedeutung für die Reformierte Kirche in den Niederlanden
Herman J. Selderhuis (Apeldoorn/Emden)

Präsentation des ersten Bandes der Akten und Dokumente zur Dordrechter Synode 1618/19:

„Acta of the Synod of Dordt”

Ort: Johannes a Lasco Bibliothek Emden, Kirchstr. 22, 26721 Emden


Written by Jim

October 29, 2014 at 10:07

Posted in Books, Church History

Recent Research on Revelation

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Perhaps no other biblical book has been the source of as much consternation to its readers as the Revelation of John of Patmos. Their distress has been accentuated by popular approaches, which often advance sensationalist visions of the future. But did John’s vision focus on the distant future, or was it directed to concerns of his own day? If it was directed to his own situation in Roman Asia Minor, what lasting significance, if any, does it have for people two thousand years after the composition of the work?

Recent Research on Revelation is an ambitious attempt to comprehend the great range of scholarly views on the Apocalypse. Avoiding popular and sensational readings of Revelation, this book outlines how scholars of various stripes grapple with John’s dramatic and often disturbing book. Beginning with a historical survey of scholarly opinion, the book examines the question of what form of literature Revelation is. It then offers an overview of various methods used to interpret the Apocalypse, ranging from traditional historical-critical analysis to feminist and postcolonial criticisms.

Could be interesting.

Written by Jim

October 29, 2014 at 07:25

Posted in Books

A Review of Resch for the PTS Center for Barth Studies

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9781409441175.JKT_ReschIt’s a lovely review by a really tremendously lovely person.  It begins

Dustin Resch’s book, well-meaning in intent and clearly and closely argued, is in reality an apologia for the doctrine of the virgin birth with Barth as chief witness. Resch has a goal, and that goal is to rehabilitate the long ignored—or worse—totally abandoned doctrine of Christ’s birth by and through a virgin. Accordingly, in this revised dissertation which Resch submitted to the faculty of McMaster University (Canada), he proceeds to achieve that goal. Yet Resch has a hard row to hoe. Overcoming the disinterest in the doctrine is a challenge, to say the least, and utilizing Barth to do so may help in some quarters—but probably only in those quarters where Barth is still revered and where the persons engaged already hold to the doctrine even without Barth’s help. Resch introduces his study and maintains that in it he will “set Barth’s contribution in its theological context” (p. 5). His primary sources will be Church Dogmatics (hereafter CD) I/2, §15.3 “The Miracle of Christmas” and other materials.

Enjoy.  And I’m sure you will.

Written by Jim

October 28, 2014 at 14:05

Posted in Barth, Book Review, Books

A Closer Look at the Apparatus of the Forthcoming BHS Reader’s Edition

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A friend asked if I might show more of the footnote apparatus of the previously described BHS Reader’s Edition.  And I’m happy to (and post it publicly since when one asks, it’s because many wonder).

These are the notes for Jonah 1.



It really is a marvel of a volume.

Written by Jim

October 27, 2014 at 13:44

Posted in Bible, Book Review, Books

Lightfoot’s Commentary on Acts

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2944IVP Academic have published what – after thumbing through – looks to be an authentic treasure trove of exegetical and historical wonders: The Acts of the Apostles: A Newly Discovered Commentary, by J.B. Lightfoot.

InterVarsity Press is proud to present The Lightfoot Legacy, a three-volume set of previously unpublished material from J. B. Lightfoot, one of the great biblical scholars of the modern era. In the spring of 2013, Ben Witherington III discovered hundreds of pages of biblical commentary by Lightfoot in the Durham Cathedral Library. While incomplete, these commentaries represent a goldmine for historians and biblical scholars, as well as for the many people who have found Lightfoot’s work both informative and edifying, deeply learned and pastorally sensitive.

Among those many pages were two sets of lecture notes on the Acts of the Apostles. Together they amount to a richly detailed, albeit unfinished, commentary on Acts 1-21. The project of writing a commentary on Acts had long been on Lightfoot’s mind, and in the 1880s he wrote an article about the book for the second British edition of William Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible. Thankfully, that is not all he left behind.

They have sent along a review copy, so, more anon.

Written by Jim

October 27, 2014 at 13:28


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