I’m very pleased to make a formal announcement today of a new book that I have co-edited with Steve Runge. This volume is to be published with De Gruyter in their FoSub series and is currently scheduled for release in November.
Some of my regular readers may recognize the fact that this book is the long-awaited results of the Tyndale House Workshop in Greek Prepositions. Steve and I organized and hosted that event in Cambridge back in 2017 and had both a great turnout and excellent discussion.
Yes, there were significant delays in the process of turning a bunch of presentations into a published volume. It’s quite a lot of work, if you’re wondering. And it hasn’t exactly been an uneventful five years for either me or Steve … or for the rest of the world. Even so, it’s finished now and we are very pleased with the results, which we’re sure will be just as relevant as ever.
Here’s the description:
Traditional semantic description of Ancient Greek prepositions has struggled to synthesize the varied and seemingly arbitrary uses into something other than a disparate, sometimes overlapping list of senses. The Cognitive Linguistic approach of prototype theory holds that the meanings of a preposition are better explained as a semantic network of related senses that radially extend from a primary, spatial sense. These radial extensions arise from contextual factors that affect the metaphorical representation of the spatial scene that is profiled. Building upon the Cognitive Linguistic descriptions of Bortone (2009) and Luraghi (2009), linguists, biblical scholars, and Greek lexicographers apply these developments to offer more in-depth descriptions of select postclassical Greek prepositions and consider the exegetical and lexicographical implications of these findings. This volume will be of interest to those studying or researching the Greek of the New Testament seeking more linguistically-informed description of prepositional semantics, particularly with a focus on the exegetical implications of choice among seemingly similar prepositions in Greek and the challenges of potentially mismatched translation into English.
There are informal plans afoot to continue working in similar veins as this event on prepositions and the earlier Greek verb event at Tyndale House that was coordinated by Chris Fresch. Here’s to hoping that work in these areas will continue to be possible!
Hear ye! Hear ye! This very morn hath broken the sixteenth occasion of that bléssed day, declared in the ancient times of 2006 by the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies (IOSCS). Rejoice! (more…)
It’s that time of year when I post a list of my reading from the previous calendar year along with some commentary. I’ve been doing this for several years now and chronicling it on a reading page here. You can get some sense for how and why I read for pleasure on that page. The short version is I read for pleasure in every spare minute I can find simply because I like to.
This past year I read a total of sixty-six books for non-work purposes. That’s more than the year before, but still short of my goal. That’s okay because it’s not really about numbers. You will see in the list below that a lot of the books seem like they must be work related. That is because the stuff I read for pleasure often overlaps with stuff I read for work. But there is a separate list of books, articles, and so on that I read or otherwise used for my research and writing — those are not included here.
Like last year, I have put my books into categories, all of which could be debated. Some don’t really fit any category that I have. I don’t particularly want to comment on every book, but here is my annual list of ad hoc faux awards for this year’s reading:
Overall Favorite: Turner’s book Philology really blew my socks off. Aside from being a fantastic writer, Turner has digested a huge swath of history and wide array of topics into a compelling, engaging, and often humorous book. Long and absolutely worth it.
Best Biblical Studies — Staples’s The Idea of Israel in Second Temple Judaism really is a model of scholarship. The book is well conceived and well researched, with a compelling thesis that actually arises from detailed and extensive analysis of primary texts. How refreshing!
Unexpectedly Fascinating — I picked up Irwin’s For Lust of Knowing, which discusses the phenomenon of 19th/20th century Orientalism, not knowing how fascinating the topic would be. This was literally a beach read for me and somehow it worked.
Best Kids’ Book: We have a two-way tie here. First of all, I had never read Tolkien’s Roverandom until I read it aloud to my boys last year. All four of us spent most of the time laughing hysterically. You should read this. Second, I also read them Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth, which is just as magnificent as I remember it being from my childhood.
Best Fiction: Hands down the best fiction read from last year was Andy Weir’s Project Hail Mary. I love sci-fi and this one checked all the boxes, including a genuinely redemptive story arc. Highly recommended.
Most Disturbing: Although I do like books by Stephen King, the three (fiction works) I read by him this year weren’t disturbing in this sense. This award goes instead to Steinweis’s (sadly non-fiction) Studying the Jew, a history of Nazi ‘scholarship’ in Germany. Sobering.
Most Overrated — I know that making even the mildest comment about this book is enough to get you in serious trouble with the Very Important People on Twitter, but Barr’sThe Making of Biblical Womanhood was far and away the most overrated book of my reading year. To give only one of my thoughts, this book was unfortunately a tremendous missed opportunity. As you can see below, this one went into the ‘Politics’ category. I hear they’re making this into a Netflix documentary this year. Just kidding. Maybe.
Most Debatable — Probably the book that I read that is most debatable in terms of counting towards the year’s total is my own book, co-authored with Greg Lanier, The Septuagint. Oh well. Reading proofs is still reading.
Enough with the commentary. Here’s the list.
The Translation of the Seventy: History, Reception, and Contemporary Use of the Septuagint, Edmon L. Gallagher
The Beginnings of Jewishness: Boundaries, Varieties, Uncertainties, Shaye J.D. Cohen
The King James Only Controversy: Can You Trust the Modern Translations?, James R. White
The Fundamentals of Hebrew Accents: Divisions and Exegetical Roles Beyond Syntax, Sung Jin Park
The Idea of Israel in Second Temple Judaism: A New Theory of People, Exile, and Israelite Identity, Jason A. Staples
An Introduction to Second Temple Judaism: History and Religion of the Jews in the Time of Nehemiah, the Maccabees, Hillel, and Jesus, Lester L. Grabbe
The Septuagint: What It Is and Why It Matters, Gregory R. Lanier and William A. Ross
The Path of Faith: A Biblical Theology of Covenant and Law, Brandon D. Crowe
An Introduction to Syriac Studies, Sebastian P. Brock
Linguistics & Philology
Language, Mind and Body: A Conceptual History, John E. Joseph
A Short History of Linguistics, H. Robins
Philology: The Forgotten Origins of the Modern Humanities, James Turner
Postclassical Greek: Contemporary Approaches Into Philology and Linguistics, Dariya Rafiyenko
The Whistler, (The Whistler, #1) John Grisham
Sycamore Row (Jake Brigance #2), John Grisham
A Time for Mercy (Jake Brigance #3), John Grisham
The Institute, Stephen King
Billy Summers, Stephen King
Cell, Stephen King
The Book of Koli, (Rampart Trilogy #1) R. Carey
The Trials of Koli, (Rampart Trilogy #2) R. Carey
The Fall of Koli, (Rampart Trilogy #3), R. Carey
Farmer Giles of Ham, J. R. R. Tolkien
Smith of Wootton Major, J. R. R. Tolkien
Roverandom, J. R. R. Tolkien
The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Other Verses from the Red Book, J. R. R. Tolkien
Don’t Look Back, Gregg Andrew Hurwitz
You’re Next, Gregg Andrew Hurwitz
Prodigal Son, (Orphan X #6) Gregg Andrew Hurwitz
Acceptance, Jeff VanderMeer
Authority, Jeff VanderMeer
The Reincarnationist Papers, Eric Maikranz
Damascus Station, David McCloskey
Children of Time, (Children of Time, #1) Adrian Tchaikovsky
Exit Kingdom, (Reapers, #2) Alden Bell
All the Pretty Horses, (The Border Trilogy #1) Cormac McCarthy
Dawnshard, (The Stormlight Archive #3.5) Brandon Sanderson
The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster
Project Hail Mary, Andy Weir
A River Runs Through it and Other Stories, Norman Maclean
All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
Languages of Paradise, Maurice Olender
German Orientalism in the Age of Empire: Religion, Race, and Scholarship, Suzanne L. Marchand
Masada: From Jewish Revolt to Modern Myth, Jodi Magness
The Lost Book of Moses: The Quest for the World’s Oldest Bible–and the Man Who Wrote It, Chanan Tigay
For Lust of Knowing: The Orientalists and Their Enemies, Robert Irwin
A Little History of the World, H. Gombrich
The Book: A Cover-to-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time, Keith Houston
A Little History of Economics, Niall Kishtainy
Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes, Tamim Ansary
The French Revolution: From Enlightenment to Tyranny, Ian Davidson
Studying the Jew: Scholarly Antisemitism in Nazi Germany, Alan E. Steinweis
Wittgenstein’s Poker: The Story of a Ten-Minute Argument Between Two Great Philosophers, David Edmonds
The Narnian, Alan Jacobs
J. R. R. Tolkien: A Biography, Humphrey Carpenter
Becoming Elisabeth Elliot, Ellen Vaughn
People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present, Dara Horn
The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: A History of Settler-Colonial Conquest and Resistance, 1917-2017, Rashid Khalidi
The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11, Garrett M. Graff
The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth, Beth Allison Barr
The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution, Carl R. Trueman
The Complete Poems, Philip Larkin
Getting It Published, Third Edition: A Guide for Scholars and Anyone Else Serious about Serious Books, William P. Germano
Healing After Narcissistic Abuse, Wendy Payson
Something’s Not Right: Decoding the Hidden Tactics of Abuse–And Freeing Yourself from Its Power, Wade Mullen
Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error, Kathryn Schulz