Just Ordered

I’ve been debating about whether or not I should order Barth’s Church Dogmatics from CBD.  For one thing, I had requested a review set when I first heard about it, and there’s a chance I might actually get it (it’s not like I’ve never reviewed expensive sets of books before).  But to date I haven’t heard anything from Hendrickson and I’d hate to miss out on the 90% discount because I waited for something that wasn’t coming.  And if it does end up coming then I could always sell the set I purchased (or so my reasoning process goes).  So after much deliberation and counsel from both my pastor and my friend Esteban, I’ve decided to put myself $100 more into debt and order it.  My pastor simply told me to let the peace of the Lord rule my heart and then he texted me to see what the Lord had said.  I believe that the Lord spoke through Esteban because in a phone conversation I mentioned that I was thinking about getting the set and he spoke prophetically saying, “you have to.”  So Lord willing I’ll have it in a few weeks since it should be shipping come November 1.  I’d advise those interested to take advantage of the sale while it lasts.  CBD is always sure to have it at a great price but not necessarily this great (I got my 10 volume TDNT set for $100 and I’ve never seen it that cheap since — it now sells for $400).  Just a word to the wise.


10 thoughts on “Just Ordered

  1. I pre-ordered my copy of the set a few months ago when I first heard about it. But then about a month ago I canceled my order because I figured I could spend the $100 on books that I will enjoy more, not mention that I will actually read. I mean, I like Barth and his approach to theology, and apart from the first couple volumes I doubt it I would ever get around to reading the whole set. Though I am still questioning whether I made the right decision in not purchasing the set, as it will suck if I decide to get it and the price has gone up a few hundred.

  2. Diglot: I wouldn’t spend the $100 on anything else. The deal is just too good to pass up. But the good news is that I have about a week-and-a-half to cancel the order if anything should lead me to do so.

  3. The reason its so cheap (compared to $700) is that its the original translation done about 70 years ago and not the brand new translation published by TT Clark in the past couple years.

  4. Mike: And it’s not published by T&T Clark! They still sell their (paperbacks!) of the older 14 volumes for astronomical prices. The new 31 volume (paperback!) set is even more ridiculously priced.

    Jason: Same here although my parents ordered my set for me as a Christmas gift.

  5. I wasn’t aware that T&T Clark did a new English traslation of Church Dogmatics. I just looked them up, and the single volumes (due out next month apparently) cost $35 each!

  6. Diglot: Technically they don’t. The 31 volume study edition uses the existing English translation edited by Bromiley and Torrance but they’ve translated all the Greek, Hebrew, Latin, and French quotations/passages into English. But T&T Clark charges way too much money for most everything these days and $35 per paperback is no exception!

    Bryan: In the long term both. I don’t have any plans to do a 2 or 3 year reading plan or anything like that. There’s too much other important stuff to read besides Barth so I doubt I’ll ever focus all of my time and attention on him like some folks do. But I’d like to read through them all over time. Right now I’m most interested in I/1 and IV/1. I already have the former and have read large portions of it but I never completed it because I really think I need IV/1 as a compliment to it. But the set will be mostly for reference in the immediate future. God knows I read enough Barthians who are always referring to the CD, so it’ll be nice to track down all of the references and read them in context.

  7. Mike — it is the same translation as before (almost no changes). The difference is that the Latin and Greek passages, previously untranslated, are now printed in English.

    On the other hand, the new print edition has many, many problems:

    (1) The new print version lacks an index. (Continuum promises to print one soon — as an afterthought.)

    (2) The new print version omits the prefaces and introductions by the editors (Continuum makes one available online after an elaborate registration procedure — but if you want merely an online edition, you can directly access it through Alexander Street’s online edition (for a fee).

    (3) The new print version omits the prefaces and introductions by Barth himself.

    (4) Since the Princeton Center for Barth Studies still has most of the editing to do in the future on Church Dogmatics, the print edition will not reflect those changes

    (5) Buying a super-expensive series in paperback is just painful.

    (6) It takes up a huge amount of space on your bookshelf.

    I think the best solution is to either use the Alexander Street online edition or the Logos PC-based edition. However, if you are going to buy a print version, buy the cheaper one — it is probably more durable than the softcover edition; it includes the prefaces, introductions and indices, and only lacks the translations of Latin and Greek (and don’t you need practice with your Greek and Latin anyway?)

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