New Books on My Desk (Cockerill, Longenecker, Burns, Witherington)

I will be doing some reviews this summer on the books I am about the mention, but I thought I would briefly introduce them as “new releases” for any that might not have heard about them yet, or had not known they were released.

Gareth Lee Cockerill, The Epistle to the Hebrews (NICNT; Eerdmans, 2012). This one is hot of the presses – I got it in the mail yesterday. I met Gareth at IBR last fall and he is a wonderful person. He is involved in the seminar I co-chair on the relationship between the OT and the NT. He is an expert in Hebrew’s use of the OT and, supposedly, has made some new proposals in this commentary in that area. I look forward to exploring that dimension of the commentary in particular.

Bruce Longenecker, Hearing the Silence (Cascade, 2012). This is a short work on Luke 4 from a narrative perspective, trying to imagine what was going on in 4:30 when, after an unruly crowd tried to mob him, he “passed through the midst of them and went on his way” (4:30). Luke can get away with not making explicit how Jesus managed this. But Longenecker points out that modern Jesus novels try to fill in this gap in all sorts of creative ways that make for good lessons in narrative perspective.

May I also say that I finally purchased Longenecker’s now classic Lost Letters of Pergamum and I am very excited to read it. I began going through it when I ordered in through ILL. I had to return it before I completed the story. So, I bought it and am eager to jump back in.

J. Patout Burns Jr. has translated and edited the Romans volume for Eerdmans’ “The Church’s Bible” series (general ed. R.L. Wilken). This is a hefty collection of commentaries (newly translated) by early Christian writers. Without even cracking the spine, I already anticipate that this volume will be massively useful in research.

Ben Witherington III, A Week in the Life of Corinth (IVP, 2012). This is a historical tale of a fictitious character from Corinth named Nicanor. It is a clever attempt to help students better understand the first century Greco-Roman world in which Paul lived and taught. I have already read a dozen or so pages and I can tell you that Witherington is a very good story-teller. In fact, his literary chops outmatch almost anyone else I know in Biblical Studies. This is hard to debate, if you know Ben. For me, both Longenecker’s Lost Letters and now Witherington’s A Week in the Life of Corinth would make for great supplementary textbooks for NT courses (Longenecker best for a course on the Gospel of Luke; Witherington best for a course on Paul, particularly 1 Corinthians).



4 thoughts on “New Books on My Desk (Cockerill, Longenecker, Burns, Witherington)

  1. Hey Nijay, I am currently reading The Lost Letters of Pergamum the second time with my pre-teen son. Both of us love it. My son finds it quite funny, in fact. It’s a great opportunity to discuss Luke’s Gospel with him, as well as the culture of the Greco-Roman world (and how they used to write letters). We loved the ending. We were deeply touched.

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