Category Archives: Books (Misc.)

Just Ordered

It’s been quite some time since I’ve notified my readers of my book purchases. I’ve acquired quite a few volumes in the past few months but I thought it necessary to note the following four volumes I ordered yesterday (not because they’re any more important than others I’ve purchased, but because of the incredible deal I got on them).

The Church in Antioch in the First Century CE: Communion and Conflict (The Library of New Testament Studies) by Michelle Slee (Retail $89.95)

Breaking Monotheism: Yehud and the Material Formation of Monotheistic Identity (The Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies) by Jeremiah W. Cataldo (Retail $35.95)

Power and the Spirit of God: Toward an Experience-Based Pneumatology by Bernard Cooke (Retail $71.00)

Wise King, Royal Fool: Semiotics, Satire and Proverbs 1-9 (The Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies) by Johnny Miles (Retail $202.00)

If I paid the full retail price for these volumes then I would have spent $398.90. Now let’s say that on average Amazon discounts books 35%. It still would have cost me about $259.28. After taking advantage of a $5 promotional discount I got these for a whopping $21.00!  Friends, you can’t beat that! You just can’t!

Now I will say that none of these volumes were on my radar before I searched Amazon for such great deals. But I’m quite happy to give them a shot considering the price. The last volume interests me most as the author argues that Proverbs 1-9 is a critique of Solomon’s socio-political policies and sexual indiscretions. I can’t wait to see this argument developed!

Oh, and I’d also note that I was able to get Chen Xun’s Theological Exegesis in Canonical Context: Brevard Springs Childs’s Methodology of Biblical Theology (Studies in Biblical Literature) a few days earlier for a paltry $11.31. This volume was on my wish list for around 7 years. It was $102.95 when I first placed it on the list. I jumped at the chance to snatch it up at this price!

Search Amazon friends. Search Amazon.

B”H

Advertisements

Answering Common Questions About My Library

Why do you have so many books?

There are a few ways to address this. First of all, I don’t. My library is rather small compared to some others so “so many” is relative. Secondly, I have as many as I do because I got them. It’s the same reason I have anything that I have. I got it so I have it. Make sense?

Have you read all of those books?

The typical response is some of all and all of some. This is nearly true as I generally tend to at least read the table of contents or glance at a bibliography but there are definitely some that I haven’t even cracked the cover on. There are some that I may never get around to.

You couldn’t possibly read all those books, could you?

With God all things are possible (Matt 19:26). Theoretically, I could read them all. It’s not an impossible task. There are dozens of short volumes in my library that could be read in a matter of hours. There are plenty of classics that I could get rapt up in and lose all sense of time so that no matter how long it took to read I’d do it in a single sitting. But all of these books aren’t meant to be read in their entirety. Some are reference works that will be referenced only as needed. Most importantly, however, is my attitude towards unread volumes, which is that they represent potential. It would be a sad thing if I had read all of the books I own.

How much money are all of those books worth?

I couldn’t even begin to tell you. Years ago I used to track what I spent on books. I did this for a few reasons. The first was budgetary. When I began to do that I was working at a job where I was an independent contractor. That meant that I received a 1099 and no taxes were taken out of my check. I was responsible for paying the IRS come tax time. I needed to know where all my money was going.

After that I wasn’t working but I was blogging all the time and receiving review copies of a lot of books so I didn’t have to pay for a good majority of what I was reading. I was also earning gift certificates to various bookseller websites through affiliate programs. I began to challenge myself to spend as little as possible out of pocket and while that was a fun exercise for a few years, I gave up on it as I became busy with other things.

Now I’ve been gainfully employed for a number of years and since all of my bills are taken care of I can buy all of the books I want when I want them without having to worry very much about what’s being spent. So I said all this to say that I don’t know the actual value of my library. To me it’s priceless, but I’d estimate its worth in the tens of thousands just based on retail prices.

Don’t you think you have enough books?

No. And I never will. There’s always more to learn.

Why do you have so many books on the same subjects?

I’ll answer this with a proverb: “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him” (Prov 18:17). Reasonable minds differ. I like to weigh arguments and come to my own conclusions.

Why not just use a public library?

I don’t like to give books back. The thought actually makes me ill.

Why do you need so many books?

To be honest, I don’t. But that really depends on what we mean by “need” doesn’t it? Do books fit in on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs? Maybe on the self-actualization tier but that can be argued. I won’t die without them. At least not physically. But I have an addictive personality and hobbies or habits easily become compulsions for me so in a sense I do have a need to keep growing my library. But the fact is that I’d be just fine with a single Bible. My library started with a single Bible. Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD (Deut 8:3).

Why do you have so many Bibles?

Aside from the fact that I want them, they all have a purpose. First of all, there are a variety of translations. So having different translations is necessary if I want to compare translations. But why have multiples copies of any one translation? Some are to study, some are to read, some are to mark up, some are to preach from, and some are to just enjoy because I like how they look on my desk or a shelf. Also, I can’t bring myself to throw Bibles away. Unless I’ve given them away I have every Bible I’ve ever gotten.

And that’ll do it for the most common questions I get asked about my library.

B”H

Just Ordered, In the Mail, and Other Miscellany

So first off, my big CBD order that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago is pretty much all here. I’m just waiting on Scott Hahn’s The Fourth Cup to arrive but that should be either today or tomorrow. I got 20 books and they were sent in various shipments. Hahn’s commentary on Romans in the CCSS series arrived damaged and the fine folks at CBD were good enough to replace it without requiring me to send them back the damaged copy.

In addition to those 20 books I also received the 4 used copies of various Hahn books that I ordered from different Amazon sellers. They’re all in good shape, thank God! And the free book that Hahn was giving away through the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology arrived as well.

My old friend Bryan L. made note of this year’s Fortress Press/Givingtons sale on Twitter and I took full advantage. Some might remember the trouble I went through last year with the sale when trying to acquire David Congdon’s big book on Bultmann. I went ahead and ordered a dozen books, namely:

The Gospel on the Margins: The Reception of Mark in the Second Century by Michael J. Kok

Deviant Calvinism: Broadening Reformed Theology by Oliver Crisp

Paul and the Stories of Israel: Grand Thematic Narratives in Galatians by A. Andrew Das

The Gospel of John and Christian Origins by John Ashton

Johannes Bugenhagen: Selected Writings, Volume I and Volume II

Irenaeus: Life, Scripture, Legacy edited by Paul Foster & Sarah Parvis

Persons in Relation: An Essay on the Trinity and Ontology by Najib George Awad

The Holy One in Our Midst: An Essay on the Flesh of Christ by James R. Gordon

Election of the Lesser Son: Paul’s Lament-Midrash in Romans 9-11 by David B. Wallace

The Holy Spirit and Ethics in Paul: Transformation and Empowering for Religious-Ethical Life, Second Revised Edition by Volker Rabens

What Is the Bible?: The Patristic Doctrine of Scripture edited by Matthew Baker & Mark Mourachian

The So-Called Jew in Paul’s Letter to the Romans edited by Rafael Rodríguez & and Matthew Thiessen

Chris Tilling raved about Rabens’ book so I’m sure it’s good since Chris would never lie. I’ve had my eye on Gordon’s book since it was published but it was always too pricey. I meant to get the 2 volume set by Bugenhagen last year after my brother from another mother Esteban Vázquez mentioned it but the whole fiasco caused me to be a bit gun-shy with ordering more than the two books I got. Hopefully I won’t have any issues with this order!

In other ordering news, I’ve had my eye on the ESV Scripture Journal New Testament set for a few weeks now. It was finally released yesterday and I proceeded to promptly order a copy from WTS Books. You can see a nice little promo video for the set on CBD’s website.

In addition to these items I got a copy of Gordon Fee’s Jesus the Lord According to Paul the Apostle: A Concise Introduction, which is a distillation of his larger Pauline Christology. Aside from my love for all things Fee, I ordered this volume in order to get free same day shipping on a book stand (pictured below) and some 005 Pigma Micron pens. I had originally gotten 01 Pigma Microns for marking up my Bible but I found them to be slightly thicker than I wanted. So I went a size down. I much prefer the 005.

And that just about does it.

B”H

Just Ordered (Yes, Again…)

So I had to add a few more Scott Hahn books to my library. I took advantage of some used copies with free shipping on Amazon. I got the following:

Understanding “Our Father”: Biblical Reflections on the Lord’s Prayer

A Father Who Keeps His Promises: God’s Covenant Love in Scripture

Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism

Reasons to Believe: How to Understand, Explain, and Defend the Catholic Faith

I was also able to take advantage of something that Hahn mentioned on Twitter, namely that Aleteia has partnered with the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology in offering Hahn’s latest book The First Society: The Sacrament of Matrimony and the Restoration of the Social Order for free (as a promotional paperback) to the first 20,000 people to take advantage. I jumped all over that! They just ask that you pay for shipping.

I also spent 45 minutes of my day going to 3 different stores in search of Pigma Micron pens to write in my new Bible. Michaels had some but not the ones I needed. Target and Walmart didn’t have any. So I ordered a 4 pack from Amazon containing black, red, blue, and green pens. These have archival ink that won’t smudge or bleed through and that’s extremely important to me since I plan to write quite a bit in my premium Bible, which arrived yesterday. I plan to post some photos soon and I might even write a review. We’ll see.

B”H

Just Ordered (and, Just Picked Up)

Indulge me a quick(ish) preface to this announcement of recent purchases. Today marks exactly one year since I stood before a room full of witnesses and made vows to my wife. I mention this firstly because it’s one of the more monumental moments in my life and secondly because it brings to mind something that we were told during out premarital counseling. The pastor who married us shared a story about how him and his wife have made it 40 years without impulse buying. They agreed that anything they wanted but hadn’t already planned for would be written down on a list in the kitchen and if they still wanted it after a day or two then they’d get it. He said that in all those years they never got anything off the list.

I’m not nearly as disciplined, but I have tried to implement that advice when and where possible. I share this anecdote because more than a week ago my buddy Michael Burgos started talking about getting a premium Bible. That sparked my interest and I began perusing evangelicalbible.com’s offerings. I found a couple that I liked but I determined that I wouldn’t get anything because I didn’t really need another Bible and I had no good reason to grab another at this moment in time. Well, after a week I still wanted one and I kept reading reviews, watching videos, and looking at pictures before finally deciding to pull the trigger.

I went with the Ocean Blue goatskin Crossway ESV Heirloom Legacy Bible. Now I’ve had an ESV Legacy before and I hated it. I ended up giving the thing away. It appears that this is an update and the major things that irked me are no more. I also went with this version because I had my heart set on blue (it really is quite striking!) and I’ve come to know and love single column texts over the years. As of late I read my Bible almost exclusively in my many Reader’s editions from Crossway. And though I haven’t handwritten anything in a Bible in quite a long time, this particular Bible has plenty of room in the margins and footer for note taking. I think I will pick the practice back up once I get it.

In addition to this premium Bible, my wife and I spent our first anniversary together out and about doing all manner of things. Our first stop was a Barnes & Noble for some Starbucks and book browsing. I ended up grabbing a copy of H. A. Guerber’s Classical Mythology for $7.98. I saw it the last time I was there and wanted to grab a copy but never did. I also opted to order a bunch of books from CBD’s Spring Sale before we went to see Death Wish, which was great, by the way! Here’s what I got from them:

The Structure of Sacred Doctrine in Calvin’s Theology

Translating the New Testament: Text, Translation, Theology

Rowan’s Rule: The Biography of the Archbishop of Canterbury

Evangelizing Catholics: A Mission Manual for the New Evangelization*

The Age of the Spirit: How the Ghost of an Ancient Controversy Is Shaping the Church

What Did the Ancient Israelites Eat? Diet in Biblical Times

ESV Gospel of John, Reader’s Edition

Friends of Calvin

The Fourth Cup: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper and the Cross*

Abraham Kuyper: A Pictorial Biography

An Outline of New Testament Spirituality

Romans: Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scriptures*

Treasures Old and New: Essays in the Theology of the Pentateuch

The Lamb’s Supper: The Mass As Heaven On Earth*

At the Heart of the Gospel: Suffering in the Earliest Christian Message

Consuming the Word: The New Testament and the Eucharist in the Early Church*

Qumran and Jerusalem: Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the History of Judaism

The Gospel and The Mind: Recovering and Shaping the Intellectual Life

The Challenges of Cultural Discipleship: Essays in the Line of Abraham Kuyper

God Speaks: What He Says, What He Means

I got too many to link them all. Most of them ranged in price from $0.99 to $2.99. The notable exceptions are the volumes by Scott Hahn*, but I’m trying to get my hands on everything he’s ever written so I’m willing to pay the price for those. I’d love to say that this should hold me over for a while, and while it probably should, it definitely won’t. Until next time…

B”H

Just Ordered & In the Mail

I apologize to those who have stayed faithful. I apologize for not keeping you, my reading audience, abreast of the books I’ve been getting. Just last week I received a copy of Leontius of Byzantium: Complete Works edited and translated by Brian Daley from my friends at OUP. This looks to be a glorious volume filled with more information than I’ll possibly be able to process. I can’t wait to really dig into it.

Quite a while back De Gruyter sent me The Origins of Yahwism; Essays on Judaism in the Pre-Hellenistic Period; Functions of Psalms and Prayers in the Late Second Temple Period; and Luke the Historian of Israel’s Legacy, Theologian of Israel’s ‘Christ’: A New Reading of the ‘Gospel Acts’ of Luke.

Mohr Siebeck sent Richard Bauckham’s The Christian World Around the New Testament: Collected Essays, which is the second volume of his collected essays in the WUNT I series. He really is quite prolific; it’s amazing!

IVP Academic sent me a copy of Christopher R. J. Holmes’ The Lord Is Good: Seeking the God of the Psalter.

I also received a copy of Retrieving Eternal Generation from my mother for Christmas. Yes, it’s been that long since I’ve written anything about my book acquisitions!

Somewhere along the line I picked up a copy of Morris Ashcraft’s Rudolf Bultmann (Makers of the Modern Theological Mind). I’m building up quite the respectable Bultmann shelf!

DOrWW0PUMAA_1Wj

My friend Michael Burgos sent copies of his recent volumes Credo and the second edition of his Against Oneness Pentecostalism: An Exegetical-Theological Critique, of which I wrote a blurb that appears in the front matter.

Another friend, Timothy Bertolet, purchased a copy of The Followers of Jesus as the ‘Servant’: Luke’s Model from Isaiah for the Disciples in Luke-Acts (The Library of New Testament Studies) only to discover that he already owned it. So he did what any godly man would do, sent it to me!

In addition to these fine volumes I’ve taken advantage of some excellent discounts at Crossway and the Westminster Bookstore (both 50% off!). From Crossway I ordered the volumes in the Foundations of Evangelical Theology series that I didn’t already own. So I got The Cross and Salvation: The Doctrine of Salvation by Bruce Demarest; Light in a Dark Place: The Doctrine of Scripture by John Feinberg; He Who Gives Life: The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit by Graham Cole; and Sojourners and Strangers: The Doctrine of the Church by Gregg Allison.

And finally I was able to lock down Francis Turretin’s 3 volume Institutes of Elenctic Theology for next to nothing! In addition to this I got John Frame’s A History of Western Philosophy and Theology as well as his Theology in Three Dimensions: A Guide to Triperspectivalism and Its Significance. Due to the overwhelming demand for Turretin WTS has to have P&R print more copies so my order won’t ship until March. Still and all, I was happy to have been able to get it at the discount price!

Oh, I also got a copy of the beautifully bound, and somewhat odd to my sensibilities, The Greek New Testament, Produced at Tyndale House, Cambridge. It’s so different from every other GNT I have but that’s what I love about it! I’ll have more to say about all this at another time.

And I think that’s about it. There may have been others but these things are difficult to keep track of! Bibliophiles know what I’m talking about.

B”H

Just Ordered

I took advantage of a couple of holiday sales and got a couple of volumes I’ve had my eye on for a while.

I picked up Larry Hurtado’s Ancient Jewish Monotheism and Early Christian Jesus-Devotion: The Context and Character of Christological Faith from Amazon with a coupon that gave me $5 off a book purchase and I applied some points I had accumulated on my Amazon Visa.

I also picked up a copy of A New English Translation of the Septuagint (finally!) and Aristotle in Aquinas’s Theology edited by Gilles Emery and Matthew Levering from Oxford University Press. They were running a 50% off site-wide sale with free shipping (up until 11:59PM last night).

I’m keeping my eye on a couple of other sales but I’m not quite ready to pull the trigger just yet.

B”H