Rolfing Unshelved

Books, news, and events from TIU's Rolfing Library


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Key Bible and Theological Reference Tools: Greek NT Eclectic Texts

This post is part of a series entitled Key Bible and Theological Reference ToolsThis series seeks to provide one with an introduction to some key Biblical and theological reference tools. In this series one will find basic explanations, significant examples, and other information about these reference tools.


Basic Description of Greek NT Eclectic Texts

The main Greek New Testament texts used in New Testament studies are eclectic. That is, their ‘finalized’ forms are compositions of various readings from a variety of manuscripts as opposed to being equivalent to one complete New Testament manuscript. Because the texts of various manuscripts differ at points (these differences are known as ‘varients’), methods are used to conclude which reading is most likely the original one. (This process of determining the most likely reading is known as ‘text criticism’).

Significant Greek NT Eclectic Texts

Novum Testamentum Graece: Nestle-Aland (e.g., NA28) – Used in Trinity courses.

The Greek New Testament by United Bible Society (UBS).

The Greek New Testament According to the Majority Text.

The Textus Receptus Greek New Testament.

Helpful Resources

Greek NT Sample

Eberhard Neslte, Erwin Nestle, Barbara Aland, Kurt Aland, Johannes Karavidopoulos, Carlo M. Martini, and Bruce M. Metzger, eds., Novum Testamentum Graece: Nestle-Aland, 28th ed. (Stuttgart: German Bible Society, 2012), 298-299. * Click on photo for larger image.


* This post’s information can be found within Rolfing Library’s research guides. See the guide to Greek NT Eclectic Texts.


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July Book Displays

God-of-LibertyI was immediately drawn in as I began reading the introduction to Thomas Kidd’s God of Liberty. The Baylor University history professor has written an exceptional volume that’s received a number of very positive reviews. If the religious dimensions of  America’s birth as a nation are of interest to you, this is a well-researched and very balanced presentation of all the complexities involved and, I think, without the agenda typically seen in contemporary discussion. It is written at a level accessible to all readers and not encumbered with overly-academic language. There are 47 pages of notes that include a number of primary sources. If you’re researching or like to utilize a book’s index, unfortunately you’ll have to track down the printed edition since the page numbers are absent from this e-Book (at least they were for me).

Modern-Just-War-TheoryMichael Farrell’s Modern Just War Theory is a must-have if you’re interested in the ethics debate on violence and war. It is a robust research guide with several hundred pages devoted to a detailed annotated bibliography. Split into two parts, the first part contains a comprehensive introduction to the entire topic, complete with detailed definitions of terms and examples of the different ethical positions used in contemporary debate. The second part is your tool for research as you can browse hundreds of pages of annotated bibliography and find the resources you need. Whether you’re reading up on just war theory or doing your own academic research, this is a great and comprehensive starting point.

world of the NTThis last book I cannot recommend enough! Joel B. Green and Lee Martin McDonald are the editors of The World of the New Testament: Cultural, Social, and Historical Contexts, published in August 2013. It is widely recommended for New Testament studies and includes a host of experienced and emerging scholars in its 641 pages. This volume is rich in research but not exclusive to the academic community. I highly suggest that, at the least, you consult this book for your sermon preparation or New Testament courses. Since we so often place a high value on context in Biblical Studies, this is an opportune resource!

 


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June Book Displays

The summer is ripe with opportunities both relaxing and fun. I can think of few better things to do in the summer than sitting outside (usually at a Starbucks) on a  sunny day with a good cup of coffee and one of these great e-books on my Kindle. If only I had the day off to do it! Whether you’re taking summer courses, working, or exploring the great outdoors, check out an e-book from Rolfing to enjoy in your free moments.

porter_how we gotStanley Porter’s How We Got the New Testament: Text, Transmission, Translation is worth a read, especially during these summer months. It is based on a series of lectures from 2008 at Acadia Divinity School. At just 241 pages, it is a reasonably readable length for students and educated laypeople and the complicated material is written in understandable language. It is introductory in scope and offers a broad yet thorough understanding of the text, transmission, and interpretation of the New Testament. However, reading this volume will require familiarity with New Testament Greek and textual criticism.

Schreiner_King in his beautyThomas Schreiner’s The King in His Beauty: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments is a hefty 735-page volume — but don’t be intimidated! It’s a book-by-book biblical theology of both the Old and New Testament, so the page count is actually low considering the subject! Schreiner’s argument is that, although no one theme adequately captures the entire message of Scripture, “Kingdom of God” is fitting as the Bible’s central theological theme. You can learn more about this book by checking out a brief interview with Dr. Schreiner or reading Josh Hayes’ review.

detwiler_iGodsIf you’re up for an interesting read on tech-giants Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook, and want to consider your spiritual life in the omnipresent technological age, then dig in to Craig Detweiler’s iGods: How Technology Shapes our Spiritual and Social Lives. He tells the creation narrative of these companies using theological labels and discusses how these “iGods” can become major distractions. It received a mixed review in Christianity Today but has also received national praise for its address of emerging cultural issues wrapped up in technology.


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April e-Reading

The semester is drawing to a close and for many that means papers, projects, and final exams. Spare time is likely to be a luxury over these next several weeks, as is any brain power that hasn’t been exhausted over long hours of study. But if you do have some spare time and brain power left over, here are some fantastic titles on Easter and urban missions. Some of them I’ve reviewed below. These are titles that are not physically shelved here at Rolfing, but are readily available in electronic form. If you’re like me and you’re conditioned to think that legitimate sources are only printed on paper and placed on the shelf, allow these electronic gems to change your mind!

jesus and the demise of death

Jesus and the Demise of Death by Matthew Levering is not a light read. It is a thorough study on resurrection and eternal life, both of Christ’s journey post-cross as well as the believer’s. Surprisingly, the author manages to put all of this material together in just 129 pages (plus an extra 60 pages of extensive notes). I highly recommend this for seminarians, as it is not only an informative read but it would certainly be a useful source for papers.

the resurrection of the messiahThe Resurrection of the Messiah by Christopher Bryan is an invaluable resource on the resurrection. Bryan takes a unique approach, primarily dealing with what he calls “historical certainties” following the crucifixion events. What I like best about this volume is the “bonus material.” From pages 191 to 416, Bryan packs in extensive end notes, extra notes organized topically, and a navigable selection of sources organized by subject material. This would well serve Masters- and Doctoral-level students who are doing research in this field.

justice project

The Justice Project makes the claim that the world has never been in greater need of Christians who “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.” I like this book for two reasons: its subject material and its accessibility. Like a growing number of Christians, I am increasingly interested in the topic of justice. For those with that shared interest, this is an informative resource. It’s a compilation of short chapters authored by a variety of writers who are professionals in their fields, offering a good mix of scholastic thought and practical theology. This is a resource open to readers at all levels.

 

the ghettoThe Ghetto is an intriguing sociological work that challenges popular culture’s conceptions of the “ghetto.” It addresses the lack of a unified urban theory for cities and seeks to move the discussion to a global context. There is a historical element explaining from whence “ghetto” was originally derived and much discussion on contemporary urban research. This is suitable to college level readers whose interests involve social work and/or ministry in an urban context.


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Student, Meet Thesaurus Linguae Graecae

Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG) is an online database of Greek texts stretching from Homer and reaching through to the Septuagint, New Testament, and early church leaders. Using TLG, you can perform various types of searches that prove useful in word studies and exegesis. In fact, many TEDS students are required to use TLG in New Testament exegesis courses. Significant benefits of using TLG in word studies include access to more comprehensive data and the ability to perform diachronic word studies in addition to synchronic word studies, e.g., limited solely to the New Testament’s use of a certain word.

You can access TLG at three computers in Rolfing Library: the two computers across from the reference desk and the computer across from the scanning station, next to the microfilm reader.

Once in TLG, you can perform searches by author, date, source, word (and lemma), or a combinations of these. And within lemma searches, you can even specify the search according to morphology (exciting, I know!).

Results of a search look something like this, with author, source (with locations), date, and some context provided:

TLG Sample Search Results

Many students use the LOEB Classical Library in conjunction with their findings. With the locations provided by TLG (e.g., book and line), you can easily locate these passages in the appropriate LOEB work. The LOEB collection can be found in the reference section (Ref. PA3611 .A14 1931 — Ref. PA 6156 .V6 A26x 2000).

Rolfing’s website also contains helpful tutorials for using TLG. And if you need further personal assistance, just come visit us over at reference! We’d be glad to help!

Kirk Miller is a Reference Assistant at Rolfing Library. You can contact Kirk and our entire reference staff at libref@tiu.edu.