BA Books & Authors on the Web – February 5, 2016

Cover ArtUsing and Enjoying Biblical Greek, by Rodney Whitacre, was reviewed at Exegetical Tools.

“A valuable tool for anyone who has taken one year of Greek or one who is a little rusty and wants to return to one’s first love. The format is easy to follow and the examples are good at illustrating points discussed in the book. For someone who has kept their Greek and uses it on a daily basis, I find chapter six alone is worth the price of the book…If you are learning Greek or use Greek daily, this is a book worth having on your shelf and working through.”

Also at Exegetical Tools, a series on D. A. Carson’s classic Exegetical Fallacies.

RJS, at Jesus Creed, explored J. Richard Middleton’s critique of rapture theology in A New Heaven and a New Earth.

Cover ArtIntroducing Biblical Hermeneutics, by Craig Bartholomew, was reviewed at Sojourner Theology.

“An excellent introduction to the task of biblical interpretation….Bartholomew has produced a volume that is both comprehensive and readable, and his hermeneutical vision captures the essence of biblical revelation well….This is a monumental achievement in the field of biblical interpretation and the pastor, teacher or student would do well in referring to it often.”

Andrew Root’s Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker was reviewed at Resistance & Renewal.

At Scriptorium Daily, Fred Sanders discussed a section on Trinitarianism in Stanley Porter’s Linguistic Analysis of the Greek New Testament.


BA Books & Authors on the Web – July 17, 2015

Cover ArtBeginning Biblical Hebrew, by John Cook and Robert Holmstedt, was reviewed by Jesse Scheumann at Books at a Glance.

“I praise Cook and Holmstedt for producing a methodologically rigorous grammar that does many unique things to make Hebrew come alive for students. Surely, BBH will help the whole field take a step forward in more effectively teaching Hebrew to the next generation.”

Also at Books at a Glance, a helpful summary of G. K. Beale’s Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament.

Jennifer Guo reviewed Simon Gathercole’s Defending Substitution.

“An excellent introduction to some of the scholarly debate surrounding the atonement and provides a brief and accessible exegetical defense of substitutionary atonement through two Pauline texts. It’s a great book for laity with academic interest in soteriology as well as beginning Bible college or seminary students.”

This Strange and Sacred Scripture by Matthew Schlimm, and The Old Testament and Ethics, edited by Joel Green and Jacqueline Lapsely, were reviewed at Interpreting Scripture.

Lindsay Kennedy, at My Digital Seminary, reviewed J. Richard Middleton’s A New Heaven and a New Earth.

“The label ‘game changer’ should not be thrown around hastily, however I believe A New Heaven and a New Earth has the potential to be this very thing for many Christians today.”

Linguistic Analysis of the Greek New Testament, by Stanley Porter, was reviewed by Conrade Yap at Panorama of a Book Saint.


BA Books & Authors on the Web – July 10, 2015

Cover ArtAt Exegetical Tools, Warren Campbell reviewed Stanley Porter’s How We Got the New Testament.

“Porter’s work will not only benefit the student as a substantial introduction to the many issues involved with the production, establishment, and transmission of the Greek New Testament, but it will also function as an excellence recourse for further study.”

Lindsay Kennedy, at My Digital Seminary, reviewed Encountering the Book of Romans by Douglas Moo.

Bob on Books reviewed Paul Heintzman’s Leisure and Spirituality.

“Many of us still struggle with reconciling the ideas of leisure and spirituality. After reading Heintzman’s book, these are a bit less of an oxymoron for me.”

Jennifer Guo, at Grace for Sinners, reviewed Praying with Paul by D. A. Carson.

At Learning While Teaching, Jerry Hillyer reviewed Karl Allen Kuhn’s The Kingdom according to Luke and Acts.

“I cannot say enough about how important and well done this book is and how, if you are a preacher, you should buy it, read it slowly, and carefully consider how you will challenge your congregation to live up to the high call of God.”

Linguistic Analysis of the Greek New Testament by Stanley Porter was reviewed at Diglotting.

At The Gospel Coalition, John Starke discussed James K. A. Smith’s excursion on “catching sleep” in Imagining the Kingdom.

Norman Wirzba’s forthcoming From Nature to Creation was included in the Englewood Review of Books25 Books to Watch for in the 2nd Half of 2015.


BA Books & Authors on the Web – June 19, 2015

Cover ArtAt First Things, Peter Leithart discussed Simon Gathercole’s Defending Substitution.

“Gathercole finds a common theme running through alternatives to substitutionary conceptions of atonement: They emphasize the cosmic and oppressive power of Sin, but downplay the role of specific acts of sin—sins—in Paul’s theology.”

Justin Mihoc and Joshua Mann reviewed the second volume of Craig Keener’s commentary on Acts for RBL.

“[Acts: An Exegetical Commentary] has already become, and will certainly remain for a long time, a standard reference work in Acts studies. His encyclopedic opus is certainly to be praised and valued by scholars as the most extensive study of sociorhetorical exegesis of Acts.”

Johnny Walker, at Freedom in Orthodoxy, reviewed Matthew Levering’s Engaging the Doctrine of Revelation.

“Wonderful in its clarity and in its breadth of engagement with contemporary positions and proposals. His own account deserves a wide-hearing and will be something of a bench-mark I’m sure for Catholic account of the role of Church and Scripture in God’s self-witness to the world.”

Larry Hurtado reviewed Early Christianity in Contexts, edited by William Tabernee.

“For readers who might want to push out their own frontiers of knowledge of early Christianity, this book will be a gold mine.”

Also, Early Christianity in Contexts was reviewed by Peter Head at Evangelical Textual Criticism.

Herman Bavinck’s Essays on Religion, Science, and Society was reviewed by Dayton Hartman at For the Gospel.

The Bonhoeffer Center reviewed Andrew Root’s Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker.

Linguistic Analysis of the Greek New Testament, by Stanley Porter, was reviewed at The Washington Book Review.

Peter Williamson, author of Ephesians and Revelation in the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture, was interviewed at Catholic Bibles.

Finally, congrats to J. Richard Middleton, whose A New Heaven and a New Earth won the Word Award for the category of Biblical Studies.

BA Books & Authors on the Web – June 5, 2015

Cover ArtAt RBL, Sylvie Raquel and Pheme Perkins reviewed Stanley Porter’s How We Got the New Testament.

No one will come away from Porter’s treatment of “text, transmission, and translation” without appreciating the extraordinary efforts behind the Scripture we read in church on Sunday.

Erik Raymond, at The Gospel Coalition, reviewed Early Christian Martyr Stories by Bryan Litfin.

In the postBread From Heaven in the Desert” at Jesus Creed, RJS reflected on Walter Moberly’s discussion of manna in Old Testament Theology.

Exodus 16 is a powerful and multidimensional text with a long and powerful interpretative history and many lessons yet for us today. The point isn’t to apply “science” to the story, but to listen and understand.

Everyday Theology, edited by Kevin Vanhoozer, Charles Anderson, and Michael Sleasman, A New Heaven and a New Earth by J. Richard Middleton, and Linguistic Analysis of the Greek New Testament by Stanley Porter, appeared on the “What We’re Reading This Summer” list from the staff of The Gospel Coalition.

A hymn inspired by J. Todd Billings’ Union with Christ, I Stand Forgiven!

Beginning Biblical Hebrew, by John Cook and Robert Holmstedt, was featured at Books at a Glance.


Semantics and Lexicography – an Excerpt from Linguistic Analysis of the Greek New Testament

The following is an excerpt from Linguistic Analysis of the Greek New Testament, by Stanley Porter.


Ever since James Barr’s seminal The Semantics of Biblical Language, biblical scholars have been aware of what linguists already knew: words cannot be equated with concepts nor meanings determined by word histories.

Nevertheless, it has been very difficult for biblical scholars to rid themselves of some deeply rooted preconceptions, since theological presuppositions are strong motivators. Traditional lexicography often relied upon etymologizing as an aid to establishing the theological significance of a word, and then the entire theological framework was read into a single occasion of the word’s use. This led to numerous generalizations not only about language, but also about how the Hebrew or Greek mind worked.

Cover ArtRecent developments in lexicography have the potential to free biblical scholars from these unhelpful remnants of the biblical theology movement. These developments in lexicography have gone hand in hand with developments in the field of semantic theory, which studies how words mean and how they mean in relation to each other.

Modern biblical lexicography, especially that of the New Testament, has been greatly helped by the development of semantic-field theory (in biblical studies usually called semantic-domain theory). Semantic-field theory recognizes that the vocabulary of any language is not ordered alphabetically, unlike the standard lexicon. Instead, the vocabulary of a language is organized around semantic fields or domains. Semantic-field theory notes that words are used in terms of contextual relations, not in isolation, and that the words are used by speakers and writers to divide the world of experience, feelings, and events into the various realms that words can be used to delimit.

Major difficulties with semantic-field theory are those of establishing the fields, determining and differentiating meaning components, and then quantifying the relations of the words within the fields. A major step forward in lexicography of all sorts has been the semantic-domain lexicon by J. P. Louw and Eugene Nida. This lexicon attempts to classify the entire vocabulary of the New Testament—treating this as a dialect of ancient Greek—into semantic domains. Within these domains, the various lexical items are listed and glossed.

The lexicon has been criticized for failing to encompass a wider scope than simply the Greek of the New Testament, and for failing to include syntactical information. There is also the difficulty that it tends to include all of the words on the same level, rather than realizing that they have hyponymic relations (hierarchical relations, such as “flower” being higher in a hierarchy with “tulip” and “rose” beneath). The attempt to quantify meanings has been aided by the Spanish New Testament Greek lexicon project, which attempts to provide a schematized semantic framework for each word in the lexicon. A project is currently underway that attempts to construct a similar type of semantic-domain lexicon for the Hebrew Bible.

The implications of modern lexicography for the study of the Bible are several. They include a freeing of the language from the kinds of theological strictures that have tended to envelop it in the past, whereby every word was thought to be a theological cipher. There is also the recognition of how it is that words mean in a language, both in terms of being used to refer to entities in the world and, perhaps more importantly, in terms of how they mean in relation to each other.

©2015 by Stanley E. Porter. Published by Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.


For more information on Linguistic Analysis of the Greek New Testament, click here.

New Release: Linguistic Analysis of the Greek New Testament

Cover ArtIn this volume, a leading expert brings readers up to date on the latest advances in New Testament Greek linguistics. Stanley Porter brings together a number of different studies of the Greek of the New Testament under three headings: texts and tools for analysis, approaching analysis, and doing analysis. He deals with a variety of New Testament texts, including the Synoptic Gospels, John, and Paul.

This volume distills a senior scholar’s expansive writings on various subjects, making it an essential book for scholars of New Testament Greek and a valuable supplemental textbook for New Testament Greek exegesis courses.


“Porter has produced numerous excellent books on New Testament Greek and has shown himself to be a master of Greek grammar, syntax, idiom, and text. In this latest study he draws on his masterly learning and prodigious reading and research in this area to examine such subjects as discourse analysis, structural linguistics, sociolinguistics, verbal aspect, word order, and hyponymy. He also considers such examples as the literary analysis of John’s Gospel and a new approach to the Trinity. Porter is always judicious, informative, and creative. I warmly commend this book.” – Anthony C. Thiselton, University of Nottingham

“No one in recent decades has matched Stanley Porter in the breadth of his interests in linguistic analysis of the Greek New Testament….This fine volume is neither an introduction to the subject of linguistics and Greek nor a comprehensive survey of the current state of play. Rather, it provides a score of fresh essays illustrating the innovative and stimulating work of the most prolific scholar currently working in these fields.” – D. A. Carson, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“Stanley Porter has spent thirty years studying Greek grammar and linguistics. In his Linguistic Analysis of the Greek New Testament we benefit from his expertise. Porter is not only a fine scholar but also an excellent teacher and communicator. Indeed, Porter succeeds in taking the mystery out of linguistics! His book is brilliant in conception and rich with examples and exegetical insight. Students, pastors, and veteran interpreters will benefit from this book.” – Craig A. Evans, Acadia Divinity College

“Porter makes a compelling case for New Testament students to familiarize themselves with principles of modern linguistics. For those who already have such an introduction, the book makes an excellent intermediate-level textbook for a class or seminar, and it reminds scholars and commentators of the vast reservoir of largely untapped methods for honing exegesis. Particularly useful are the broad cross-section of methods canvassed and the thorough bibliography for each topic.” – Craig Blomberg, Denver Seminary


Stanley E. PorterStanley E. Porter (PhD, University of Sheffield) is president, dean, professor of New Testament, and Roy A. Hope Chair in Christian Worldview at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario. A prolific scholar, he has authored or edited dozens of books, including How We Got the New Testament and Fundamentals of New Testament Greek.

For more information on Linguistic Analysis of the Greek New Testament, click here.