Friday, October 25, 2013

The Historical Word of GOD in glorious form!

I would be hard pressed to convince if I were told that this one book would change my studies and help enhance my love for the written Word of GOD. I would find it difficult to believe if told that this one compendium would be a must own and have its place right in my library as one of my go to books. As it turns out, I have been made a believer. After having read much about this edition well before its release, and after having owned the 26th edition, I was wondering  if the changes would warrant a purchase, considering its steep price. I chose to take the plunge and purchase the Novum Testamentum Graece edition with Dictionary. The Institute for New Testament Textual Research in Münster has done a masterful job in  this publication. I honestly cannot wait for this to be fully available in certain online Bible softwares! My review, unfortunately, will not cover the differences in the 28th and the 27th edition(as some  people  have requested that I do) for the simple reason that I never owned the 27th edition and don’t intend to purchase it just to read through it and review the newer edition in comparison to the older edition.

Manuscript Tradition:

The sheer richness of the Church’s tradition in regards to preserving the Word of GOD is highlighted wonderfully in this scholarly edition.  A tiny little treasure trove placed directly between the front hard cover and first page is a tiny little pamphlet like insert that covers the consistently cited Witnesses along with the Signs and Abbreviations. Here you will see the sheer enormity of cited manuscripts as well as getting a general feel for the Greek Witnesses, of which I found particular interest was in the Book of Revelation. Anyone familiar with my recent debate on the Reality of the Enduring Torment and Suffering of Hell will realize that I cited quite a bit from this ancient Commentary.

Inside this new edition, we are treated to a gorgeous list of abbreviations of Church Fathers whose Patristic citations are employed when necessary, and of course, when relevant. One can’t help but appreciate the magnitude of riches bestowed upon us:

Basil of Caesarea, the Great Augustine, the Venerable Bede, the Giant Athanasius, Clement, John Chrysostom, the Golden Mouthed, Gregory of Nyssa, the Legendary Irenaeus, Justin the Martyr, the at times unorthodox Origen..and many many more. We’re even treated to relevant abbreviations from Pelagius and Marcion(as cited in Tertullian, Epiphanius, and Adamantius), a real treat for the student or even scholar of pastristic studies!

The Greek Text, a glorious example:

Titus 2:13 προσδεχόμενοι τὴν μακαρίαν ἐλπίδα καὶ ἐπιφάνειαν τῆς δόξης τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ

Rendered best in the English

Titus 2:13 while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Patristic giants always interpreted this passage in an orthodox manner:

Chrysostom:  And Paul said: “from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all things, God blessed forever, Amen.”18 And again: “No fornicator or covetous one has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”19 And still again: “through the appearance of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” And John calls him by the same name of God when he says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God; and the Word was God.”20 

On the Incomprehensible Nature of God 5.2.21 

The Dictionary Edition:

The 28th edition that I am reviewing is the one that comes with an extensive Greek dictionary connected with the historical text of the New Testament. A whole book in and of itself, anyone serious in Biblical studies really should purchase this! Running at 220 full pages, we can spend a whole evening reading along and familiarizing ourselves with the words that GOD chose to use in bringing about his glorious message. Anyone with a cursory understanding of Greek would greatly benefit from this extensive dictionary, and anyone quite familiar with the language can expect to get a great brush up when covering words that they no doubt don't encounter very often. Highly recommended!

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