Coming Soon – “An Interpretive Lexicon of New Testament Greek”

Greek fans are sure to love this. Coming this October is An Interpretive Lexicon of New Testament Greek by G.K. Beale with William Ross and Daniel J. Brendsel.

“This revolutionary new aid for students of New Testament Greek functions both as a lexicon and as an interpretive handbook. It lists the vast majority of Greek prepositions, adverbs, particles, relative pronouns, conjunctions, and other connecting words that are notorious for being some of the most difficult words to translate. For each word included, page references are given for several major lexical resources where the user can quickly go to examine the nuances and parameters of the word for translation options, saving the translator considerable time.”

“This lexicon adds an interpretive element for each word by categorizing its semantic range into defined logical relationships. This interpretive feature of the book is tremendously helpful for the exegetical process, allowing for the translator to closely follow the logical flow of the text with greater efficiency. An Interpretive Lexicon of New Testament Greek is thus a remarkable resource for student, pastor, and scholar alike.”

New Testament Greek

An Interpretive Lexicon of New Testament Greek is from Zondervan. It will be a paperback with 96 pages and sell for $15.99.

Gregory K. Beale is chair of biblical studies and professor of New Testament at Wheaton College Graduate School.

William A. Ross is a doctoral student at Westminster Seminary.

Daniel J. Brendsel is the Director of the Mission Training Academy and Adult Education at Grace Church of DuPage in Warrenville, IL.

“Jesus: A Pilgrimage” by James Martin – A Review

When I first saw this book I said to myself, “Someone is going to come in looking for a green book on Jesus and I’ll know just what they are talking about.” My first inquiry wasn’t like that at all. I had a regular customer come in and said “I saw this book on Jesus by someone named Martin. Have you seen it?” I told him with enthusiasm, “Yes, I’m reading it now and I love it.”

The book is simply called Jesus: A Pilgrimage written by James Martin. Martin made me think, laugh, ponder, imagine,  pray and, yes, cry.

Rarely has a book satisfied me on so many levels. As Martin traces his personal pilgrimage through the holy land he offers stories of Jesus from the gospels that occurred on the spots where he visited. At each stop he offers observations about the land and how they brought to life things you can’t pick up from reading, say, a Bible atlas. For example he writes “Let me tell you something about the Judean desert: it’s hot. When I used to read stories about Jesus’s time in the desert, I imagined it like the deserts I had once seen in New Mexico . . . or the terrain in northern Kenya, where the hard red earth is still hospitable for green acacia bushes and thorn trees. The Judean desert is, by contrast, chalky white, completely dry, stubbled with small rocks that cover miles of undulating hills.” (290) When he later commented about this he said “someone pointed out that Jesus and his disciples probably traveled at night.” (293) Having never been to the holy land myself these comments added color and a vibrancy that I genuinely appreciated.

But Martin also fed the student in me as he tackled difficulties in some of the gospel passages offering insights from John Meier, John Dominic Crossan, Darrell Harrington, William Barclay, Raymond Brown, Amy-Jill Levine, Joseph Fitzmeyer, N.T. Wright and more. Not spending too much time on any of these he would often note what the scholarly options were and tell where he landed on most of the issues. He had little patience for those who opted for the “nice interpretation” of the feeding of the 5,000 where everyone just shared their food once they saw the boy give up his lunch.

Each chapter also contained a devotional aspect. I found these moving and while I may not have agreed with everything Martin does with a given text there was much here to cause me to pause and pray. More than once I was moved to tears. Martin describes a time when he was reading about the Rich Young Man (Mark 10:17-31). He notes that he had read the passage dozens of times (as have I). What Martin says he had missed for years I confess I have to. I’ll let Martin tell you the rest:

“But before Jesus opens his mouth, Mark writes, ‘Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said . . .’

“Jesus ‘loved him’? Where did that come from? I had heard this Gospel story dozens of times. How had I missed that line? . . . “Those three words–Jesus loved him–led to several hours of meditation. They altered the familiar story and thus altered how I saw Jesus. No longer was it the exacting Jesus demanding perfection; it was the loving Jesus offering freedom. Now I could hear him utter those words with infinite compassion for the man. Those three words changed the way I saw Jesus and his commands. I didn’t even think of them as commands any longer, but rather as loving invitations. For Jesus always acts out of love. I couldn’t believe how something so small–three little words–had provided such abundance in prayer.” (271)

I really enjoyed these devotional moments. The student in me sometimes wondered if some of the devotions were stretching the texts beyond their intended purpose but overall I really gleaned much from them.

Food for the mind, a feast for the soul, a guided tour through the holy land. Martin exceeds on every level. The theme that ties it all together: Jesus. I loved this book!

Jesus

Jesus: A Pilgrimage is from HarperOne. It is a hardcover with 510 pages and sells for $27.99.

The Rev. James Martin, S.J., is a Jesuit priest, author, and culture editor of America, the national Catholic magazine.

Father Martin graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business in 1982, where he received a bachelor’s degree in finance (B.S. Econ.). After working for six years in corporate finance with General Electric Co. in New York and Connecticut, he entered the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) in 1988. During his novitiate, Martin worked in a hospital for the seriously ill in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a hospice for the sick and dying with the Missionaries of Charity in Kingston, Jamaica; a homeless shelter in Boston, and at the Nativity Mission School, a middle school for poor boys, in New York City. In August 1990, he pronounced his simple vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. From 1990 to 1992, he studied philosophy at Loyola University in Chicago, and also worked in an outreach program with street-gang members in the inner city and at a local community center helping unemployed men and women find jobs. For his “regency,” he worked for two years with the Jesuit Refugee Service in Nairobi, Kenya, where he helped East African refugees start small businesses and cofounded a small shop for refugee handicrafts; and for one year with America magazine in New York City. In 1995, Martin began his theology studies at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he received his master’s degree in divinity (M.Div.) in 1998, and his master’s in theology (Th.M.) in 1999. While in Cambridge, he worked as a chaplain at a Boston prison. After completing his Jesuit studies, he was ordained a Catholic priest in June 1999. He received an honorary doctor of divinity degree (D.D.) from Wagner College in 2007. On November 1, 2009, he pronounced his final vows as a Jesuit.

Industry News – Baker Publishing Group Acquires Regal Books from Gospel Light

Baker Publishing Group announced today plans to acquire about 600 titles from Gospel Light. Here’s the press release:

Gospel Light has entered into a Letter of Intent to sell the publishing assets of Regal Books to Baker Publishing Group. According to Stan Jantz, interim CEO of Gospel Light, and Baker president Dwight Baker, the goal is to have the final purchase agreement signed in May and the transaction closed by June 30, 2014.

“Over the last several months, the board and leadership of Gospel Light made a strategic decision to concentrate on Gospel Light’s core mission,” said Jantz. “From the time Henrietta Mears founded Gospel Light in 1933, resourcing churches with curriculum and Vacation Bible School materials so they can reach children and families with the gospel has been at the core. In order to concentrate on that mission, the board decided to find a compatible new home for Regal’s authors.”

Dwight Baker is keenly aware of that compatibility. “As a family-owned publisher of three generation and 75 years, Baker Publishing Group has a long-standing fellowship with the Gospel Light/Regal Books community,” he said. “Our two respective publishing programs complement each other well. I have observed with admiration as Regal introduced such authors as George Barna, John Perkins, Norm Wright and Dutch Sheets to a wide readership. This is the legacy of Regal, and a standard that we are compelled to maintain.”

“Regal was founded by Bill Greig Jr. in 1965, and the first book published was How to Be a Christian Without Being Religious by Fritz Ridenour,” Jantz added. “That the book is still in print and still selling, with the author living 30 minutes from our home office in Ventura, is a fitting testimony to the staying power of Regal’s authors and mission. The Greig family is pleased that the legacy and ministry of authors like Fritz and hundreds more published by Regal over the years will continue to grow within the Baker Publishing Group.”

Book Give Away

Our offer this week is Jamie Smith’s new book Who’s Afraid of Relativism?.

Here’s the catalog description and table of contents:

“Following his successful Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism? leading Christian philosopher James K. A. Smith introduces the philosophical sources behind postliberal theology. Offering a provocative analysis of relativism, Smith provides an introduction to the key voices of pragmatism: Ludwig Wittgenstein, Richard Rorty, and Robert Brandom.

Many Christians view relativism as the antithesis of absolute truth and take it to be the antithesis of the gospel. Smith argues that this reaction is a symptom of a deeper theological problem: an inability to honor the contingency and dependence of our creaturehood. Appreciating our created finitude as the condition under which we know (and were made to know) should compel us to appreciate the contingency of our knowledge without sliding into arbitrariness. Saying “It depends” is not the equivalent of saying “It’s not true” or “I don’t know.” It is simply to recognize the conditions of our knowledge as finite, created, social beings. Pragmatism, says Smith, helps us recover a fundamental Christian appreciation of the contingency of creaturehood.

This addition to an acclaimed series engages key thinkers in modern philosophy with a view to ministry and addresses the challenge of relativism in a creative, original way.”

Contents
1. “It Depends”: Creation, Contingency, and the Specter of Relativism
2. Community as Context: Wittgenstein on “Meaning as Use”
3. Who’s Afraid of Contingency? Owning Up to Our Creaturehood with Rorty
4. Reasons to Believe: Making Faith Explicit after Brandom
5. The (Inferential) Nature of Doctrine: Postliberalism as Christian Pragmatism
Epilogue: How to be a Conservative Relativist
Index

Leave your name in the comments section by NLT Friday, April 18th 6:00 am EST. I’ll announce the winner that Friday. International entries are welcome. If I don’t hear back from the winner within seven days the book will go to another entry.

Who's Afraid