Monday, August 06, 2007

Why didn't anyone tell me about this book?

In April, I attended a conference at SEBTS on the last chapter of Mark's Gospel. I happened to run into Dave Woolard there, a teaching colleague from Winston-Salem Bible College (now Carolina Christian College). As Dave and I walked through the bookstore, he pointed out a book that he had found helpful and recommended it to me: Frederick W. Danker's Multipurpose Tools for Bible Study. I purchased it on his recommendation, and I can say that it has been extremely helpful and enjoyable to read. Yet, I wonder how it can be that I have completed three academic degrees in Bible and Theology and never heard of this book. While we were introduced to the Greek New Testament in three semesters of Seminary Greek classes, mostly we dealt only with the text itself, and briefly with the textual apparatus. However, in Danker's book, you will find an overview of the front matter (which, in the NA edition, is full of helpful information including a wonderful harmony of the gospels) and more information on using the apparatus. There is an overview of Greek and Hebrew texts, Concordances, Lexicons, and other resources. Danker does more than tell you what they are, he tells you how to use them effectively and provides examples. The downfalls of the books are twofold: One is that, by nature, it is quickly outdated with the ceaseless publication of new works. Second, the book will only fuel the fires of book addiction by pointing out numerous (and expensive) volumes that you will feel that you cannot live without after reading Danker. I highly recommend the book for pastors and serious students of the Word.

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