My (Very Late) 2022 Reading List

Yes, I know, it’s the first day of spring. Yes, I know the whole “2022 book list” thing expired about four months ago. But here I am anyway, posting my reading list from last year. It’s something I’ve made a habit of for several years now. (You can look at my last few years worth of joy-ride reading here.)

I do this for two reasons. First, I know that I certainly like to snoop on other people’s reading lists. I’m always trolling for new ideas and I always find goodies from other people. Second, I like to keep myself informed of my own reading pace. I use Goodreads to track my books and usually set a “reading challenge” goal for myself each new year, which lets me see my own pace. 

Of course, joy reading means you can’t be dogmatic about it. For whatever reason, I read fewer books in 2022 than the previous two years. And I’m already fifteen books deep in 2023. So be it. I don’t over-analyze my own reading habits. The rule is simple: Read all sorts of things, all the time.

Fake Awards

I usually make up some fake awards as a sort of summary of highlights and lowlights, so here are this year’s winners:

  • Best for My Brain: Given some of my own training and interests, I was bound to like this book, but Brock and Sutanto’s Neo-Calvinism was really just excellent stuff.
  • Best for My Heart: I really loved reading slowly through Holmes’ A Theology of the Christian Life. Highly recommended for the theologically inclined.
  • Book I Remember the Least: Jacob’s Breaking Bread with the Dead. Sorry. I know this opinion is Verboten, but I think most of Jacobs’s work is overrated. 
  • Surprisingly Useful: Bobby Jamieson is a friend of mine and he didn’t pay me to say this. Nor do I mean that I wasn’t expecting Bobby’s book to be useful. But I read his The Path to Being a Pastor to consider recommending to my students and actually found it very instructive and edifying for myself. Well done.
  • Most Over-Rated: Stavrakopoulou’s God: An Anatomy. I think this book was supposed to be some kind of creative breakthrough in biblical studies, but it turned out to be a fairly dull experiment in Amelia Bedelia pseudo-metaphorical interpretation.
  • Nerdiest: Duncan’s hilariously titled Index, A History of the was really as good as you would hope. Fully of historical nuggets and rampantly fun prose. 
  • Most Likely to Make You Break into Song: Llewellyn’s How Green Was My Valley is a beautiful but tragic memoir about the change of an era in a small, Welsh coal town. Read with tissues at hand.

The Full List (by category)

Bible & Theology

  1. Dean R. Ulrich, Now and Not Yet: Theology and Mission in Ezra-Nehemiah
  2. Francesca Stavrakopoulou, God: An Anatomy
  3. Russell D. Moore, The Storm-Tossed Family: How the Cross Reshapes the Home
  4. Cynthia Long Westfall, Paul and Gender: Reclaiming the Apostle’s Mission for Men and Women in Christ
  5. Graeme Goldsworthy, According to Plan
  6. Christopher R. J. Holmes, A Theology of the Christian Life: Imitating and Participating in God
  7. Peter J. Gurry and John D. Meade, Scribes and Scripture: The Amazing Story of How We Got the Bible
  8. Kevin DeYoung, Men and Women in the Church: A Short, Biblical, Practical Introduction
  9. Kevin DeYoung, What is the Mission of the Church? 
  10. Bobby Jamieson, The Path to Being a Pastor: A Guide for the Aspiring
  11. Aimee Byrd, Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood 
  12. Rachel Joy Welcher, Talking Back to Purity Culture: Rediscovering Faithful Christian Sexuality
  13. John G. Crawford, Baptism is not Enough: How Understanding God’s Covenant Explains Everything
  14. Michael J. Kruger, Bully Pulpit: Confronting the Problem of Spiritual Abuse in the Church
  15. Douglas F. Kelly, Creation and Change: Genesis 1:1-2:4 in the Light of Changing Scientific Paradigms
  16. Cory C. Brock and Nathaniel Gray Sutanto, Neo-Calvinism: An Introduction

Philology & Linguistics

  1. Peter Martin, The Dictionary Wars: The American Fight of the English Language
  2. Jonathon Green, Chasing the Sun: Dictionary Makers and the Dictionaries they Made
  3. Dennis Duncan, Index, A History of the: A Bookish Adventure from Medieval Manuscripts to the Digital Age
  4. Klaus-Uwe, Introduction to Cognitive Pragmatics


  1. Stephen J. Nichols, R. C. Sproul: A Life

History & Politics

  1. Simon Goldhill, What is a Jewish Classicist? Essays on the Personal Voice and Disciplinary Politics
  2. Crawford Gribben, Survival and Resistance in Evangelical America: Christian Reconstruction in the Pacific Northwest
  3. Rod Dreher, The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation
  4. Alan Jacobs, The Year of Our Lord 1943: Christian Humanism in an Age of Crisis
  5. Richard V. Reeves, Of Boys and Men: Why the Modern Male is Struggling, Why it Matters, and What to Do About it
  6. Matthew Rose, A World After Liberalism: Philosophers of the Radical Right
  7. Simon Jenkins,  A Short History of Europe: From Pericles to Putin

Miscellaneous Nonfiction

  1. David Foster Wallace, Consider the Lobster and Other Essays
  2. Jeremy Wade, How to Think Like a Fish and Other Lessons from a Lifetime in Angling
  3. Tristan Gooley, How to Read Water: Clues & Patterns from Puddles to the Sea
  4. Anthony Esolen, No Apologies: Why Civilization Depends on the Strength of Men
  5. Doug Wilson, Wordsmithy: Hot Tips for the Writing Life
  6. Alan Jacobs, Breaking Bread with the Dead: A Reader’s Guide to a More Tranquil Mind
  7. Malcolm Gladwell, Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know

Pop Psychology

  1. Bessel van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
  2. Gary L. Thomas, When to Walk Away: Finding Freedom from Toxic People
  3. Debbie Mirza, The Covert Passive Aggressive Narcissist
  4. Aundi Kolber, Try Softer: A Fresh Approach to Move Us Out of Anxiety, Stress, and Survival Mode


  1. John Grisham, The Whistler (The Whistler 1)
  2. John Grisham, The Judge’s List (The Whistler 2)
  3. John Grisham, The Boys from Biloxi
  4. John Grisham, The Guardian
  5. Gregg Hurwitz, The Survivor
  6. Gregg Hurwitz, Dark Horse (Orphan X 7)
  7. Gregg Hurwitz, The Tower
  8. Stephen King, Salem’s Lot
  9. Fredrik Backman, Anxious People
  10. Richard Llewellyn, How Green Was My Valley
  11. J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (HP 1)
  12. J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (HP 2)

A Septuagintal Smattering

It’s that time of year when academics begin to emerge slowly from the malaise that sets in between SBL and New Year’s Day. I count myself among that number, as it seems like the last two weeks have suddenly burst into new activity, much of which is follow-up from the conferences in late November. 

So in that spirit, I thought I’d post a kind of round-up for all things Septuagint — at least those things that have come to my attention. Here’s the rundown:

New Septuagint Publications

There have been a few new Septuagint publications that are worth being aware of. 

  • The Septuagint in its Ancient Context: Philological, Historical, and Theological Approaches

This is an entirely new series for monographs and edited volumes with Brepols, one of the oldest publishing houses in Europe. The aim of this series is as follows:

The scope of this series is to publish monographs and multi-author works dealing with the Septuagint and its philological, historical, and theological context. In particular, the volumes of the series promote a multifaceted approach of the Septuagint including analyses on vocabulary and style, research on textual history (the Septuagint and its later recensions), investigations on Jewish-Hellenistic society, comparative studies taking into consideration non-biblical sources (e.g. literature, papyri, epigraphic evidence), and research on the reception history (in particular the influence on later Jewish and Christian thought).

I learned about this from Eberhard Bons, and am glad to see that there are already two volumes in print:

      1. Leonardo Pessoa da Silva Pinto and Daniela Scialabba, eds., New Avenues in Biblical Exegesis in Light of the Septuagint (SEPT 1; Brepols, 2022)
      2. Stefanie Peintner, Gott im Bild: Eidôlon – Studien zur Herkunft und Verwendung des Begriffes für das Götterbild in der Septuaginta (SEPT 2; Brepols 2023)

This is a new publication in a longstanding series. Here is a translation of the (originally French) book description:

Traduire une traduction was written in parallel with the annotated translation of the short Greek text of the book of Job (forthcoming). The distinctive of this book is that it is a critical reflection on the notions typically used by scholars, both concerning the Greek text (literal translation, free translation, summary, paraphrase) and the presumed Hebrew text (repetitive, difficult, obscure, poetic). This critical reflection is preceded by a discussion of the problems with the Greek version and is followed by the procedure underlying the annotated translation of the short Greek text. In the field of research on the biblical corpus, the theory of translation is often sidestepped. The material and social conditions of research – and its demands – put the challenges of the act of translation in the background. The author has attempted to make the terms of this question explicit in the last section of the book.

The book is fairly short, just under 100 pages, but sounds promising, particularly in the enticing indication that there is an annotated translation of Greek Job also in production.

  • Miika Tucker, The Septuagint of Jeremiah: A Study in Translation Technique and Recensions (De Septuaginta Investigationes 15; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2023)

I’m very glad to see this book in print, as it is the result of Miika’s hard work in his doctoral research in Helsinki. The book description is:

Miika Tucker comprises a translation technical study of the Septuagint version of Jeremiah for the purpose of characterizing the translation. The conclusions draw from different types of changes that occur between chapters 1–28 (Jer a’) and 29–52 (Jer b’). Certain differences between the two reflect the revisional characteristics of the kaige tradition, which suggests that they were produced by a reviser who was invested in a revisionary tradition similar to kaige. Other differences constitute a change toward more natural Greek expression, which is the opposite of what one would expect from a revision since Greek idiom usually does not correspond to the formal characteristics of Hebrew. Such differences are to be understood to reflect a change toward more intuitive use of the Greek language by the first translator. Changes toward less formal equivalence of the Hebrew and the growth of the Hebrew text after the initial translation combined to form conducive conditions for revision.

This is an important book that will shape Greek Jeremiah research into the future. Miika is still at Helsinki, now as a post-doc, working as the editor of the forthcoming Jeremiah volumes in the Biblia Hebraica Quinta edition and The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Edition.

Trinity Western University Septuagint Summer School

Those within the orbit of Septuagint scholarship know of the John William Wevers Institute of Septuagint Studies that is based at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia. I have written about TWU over the years (see here), and one of the yearly events of note is their summer school on the Septuagint. I have participated in some of these myself and also posted these each year for a while now (see the posts here: 2021, 20202019201820172016, and 2015).

This year the summer school will be taught by Andrew Krause and focus on Josephus and the Septuagint. Here’s the flyer:

Wacky Twitter Takes on the Septuagint

I was on Twitter for a year there and then dropped off. But I still get tons of Twitter news from friends. The other day, I was alerted to this wackiness by Andrew Keenan.

I have no idea who runs this account. But I do know the Lexham Septuagint guys and I am highly skeptical that there is any formal connection there. I wanted to draw attention to this, not for its many typos, but rather because almost everything in this set of “slides” (or whatever they are) is either half-true or just completely wrong. Some of it is worse than wrong and edges into libelous (see especially Part III). It represents a sort of “best of” collection of weird myths about the Septuagint that are, unfortunately, still very much alive and well. In a sort of depressing way, it’s an encouragement for Septuagint scholars to keep at it.

The XVII Congress Volume of the IOSCS Published

Every three years the International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament (IOSOT) holds a congress somewhere around the world. And during that congress, a number of other, smaller societies hold their own little get-togethers as a kind of mini-congress. One of the societies that does so is the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies (IOSCS).

Now, if I’ve said it once here, I’ve said it a thousand times: If you are even remotely interested in Septuagint scholarship, you should join the IOSCS immediately. It’s cheap, we’re friendly, and you’ll get the Journal of Septuagint and Cognate Studies shipped to your door.

But I digress. In addition to meeting every three years at this congress, the IOSCS also collects the papers presented and publishes them as a volume in the SBL Septuagint and Cognate Studies series. So I was very pleased to see this (rather formidable) undertaking recently come to light. (more…)