The publishing event of the year in biblical studies is the complete Good News Bible (American Bible Society). It was prepared by a team of translators headed by Robert Bratcher. The New Testament portion, also known as Good News For Modern Man or Today’s English Version and available for a decade, has received wide commendation and has become, after the King James Version, the most widely distributed English translation. The GNB is a thought-for-thought rather than word-for-word translation, based on an application of contemporary linguistic theory. The result is a superb rendering of the original Hebrew and Greek into everyday English. Of all the recent attempts to translate the Bible into the language of the “man on the street,” this is probably the most successful. (For a detailed evaluation, see Ronald Youngblood’s review article in the October 8, 1976, issue, pages 16–19.)

The Word Made Fresh by Andrew Edington (three volumes, John Knox) makes no pretense of being a translation but is rather a paraphrase after the pattern of Clarence Jordan’s Cottonpatch Version. It can be useful for those who work with teen-agers. The generally radical criticism represented by the notes in The Oxford Study Edition of the New English Bible (Oxford) edited by Samuel Sandmel et al., despite a stated attempt to be “non-sectarian,” should make the work unacceptable to most religiously motivated Bible students.

In terms of scholarship and usefulness, the 1976 book that contributes most heavily to serious Bible study is the Supplementary Volume to The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (Abingdon). IDB has been the standard multi-volume Bible dictionary since its publication in 1961. Just over three years ago the publisher decided it was time to fill in the gaps in the original edition, while at the same time bringing the material up to date. The plan to include all this in an extra volume of the same size and format was commendable and ensures a renewed usefulness for the dictionary. Other publishers of reference sets would do well to imitate the idea.

ARCHAEOLOGY A major tool for archaeologists, whether field or armchair, has appeared as the first two (of four) volumes of The Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land (Prentice-Hall), edited by the late Michael Avi-Yonah. The English translation is updated from the Hebrew original and contains an authoritative text and a wealth of photos, line and sectional drawings, and chronological tables.

A second Israeli venture, Jerusalem Revealed (Israel Exploration Society [Box 7041, Jerusalem, Israel]) edited by Yigael Yadin, brings together, in English, articles from Qadmoniot that describe the extensive work in and around the city since 1968. For Bible students the articles on the Temple Mount (B. Mazar) and the Jewish Quarter (N. Avigad) are central.

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Archaeology of the Bible: Book by Book (Harper & Row) by Gaalyah Cornfeld is a useful compendium of biblical history and archaeological data by an Israeli author. Its illustrations, together with Cornfeld’s interpretative comments, will be of great value. The text contains numerous factual errors and tenuous hypotheses (though perhaps no more than normal in a book of this nature). Probably the consulting editor, biblical scholar David Noel Freedman, was not as deeply involved with the book as the dust jacket implies.

BIBLIOGRAPHIES Richard N. Soulen’s Handbook of Biblical Criticism (John Knox) is really a brief dictionary of technical terms together with book lists for the beginning theological student. Conservative works are generally omitted from the bibliographies, and the evangelical doctrine of Scripture is consistently treated in an unsympathetic manner. Basic Tools of Biblical Exegesis by S. B. Marrow (Biblical Institute [Piazza della Pilotta 35,00187 Rome, Italy]) is a comprehensive annotated bibliographical aid to the source documents (e.g., the Bible, Josephus) and languages of biblical and patristic research. Bible-Related Curriculum Materials: A Bibliography (Abingdon) edited by Thayer S. Wars haw et al. will be of interest to all involved in studying or teaching the Bible as or in literature. It contains materials for teachers and for their pupils, including audiovisual aids.

LANGUAGES Keen Bible students who sign up for college or seminary courses in biblical languages often find themselves in the hands of unrealistic professors who seem to think that all their students should become professional scholars. Thinking “I didn’t want to know that much!” many drop out of class. For such people there is now a Do It Yourself Hebrew and Greek (Multnomah) by Edward W. Goodrick, available with cassettes to help with pronunciation. The author not only introduces the students to the languages at a basic level but also teaches them to use the study tools available to people with an elementary knowledge of the biblical languages and—equally important—the limitations of that knowledge. We enthusiastically commend Goodrick’s guide.

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INTERPRETATION Biblical Reflections on Crises Facing the Church (Paulist) by Raymond E. Brown and Bible Study For the 21st Century (Consortium) by Lucas Grollenberg are attempts to wed modern biblical criticism—sometimes of a very “advanced” type—with a positive commitment to both the authority of the Scriptures and the Roman Catholic Church. Both books will be extremely enlightening for evangelical theological students, since the problems they face are very similar to those faced by contemporary evangelicals. History, Criticism and Faith (InterVarsity) edited by Colin Brown is an evangelical approach to the same area and is heartily recommended.

A bulky but useful paperback entitled Two Testaments: One Bible (InterVarsity) is an uncut version of David L. Baker’s doctoral thesis. A history of the ways that the testaments have been related is followed by evaluation. Baker feels that most solutions have leaned too much toward Old or New, and he tries to restore balance. Another approach to the same subject illustrates the problem: John F. Jansen in Biblical Images (Hawthorn) takes twelve themes (such as covenant and cross) as examples of how a biblical theology spans the two testaments.

The latest trend—some would say “fad”—in biblical interpretation is structuralism or structural analysis, an approach derived in one of its many forms from earlier work in anthropology and general linguistics. In the past few years a spate of books that attempt to apply the insights of structuralism to the biblical text have appeared. The two most recent additions are Jean Calloud, Structural Analysis of Narrative (Scholars or Fortress) and Daniel Patte, What Is Structural Exegesis? (Fortress). The first will be of interest primarily to scholars; the latter provides a good introduction for the student.

The Liberating Word (Westminster) edited by Letty M. Russell is intended as a study guide for “persons … willing to work on nonsexist interpretation of the Bible NOW.” Intended to stimulate discussion, it doubtless will do so. One hopes it will occasion true dialogue rather than further polarization.

COLLECTIONS OF ESSAYS A large number of very worthwhile volumes of essays on biblical topics appeared this past year. Interpreting the Word of God (Moody) edited by Samuel J. Schultz and Morris A. Inch contains essays by members of the faculty of Wheaton College in honor of their retiring colleague Steven Barabas. They struggle with the relation between biblical authority and hermeneutics, perhaps the most pressing problem for contemporary evangelicals. No one deserves a Festschrift more than William Barclay, who for all his doctrinal deviations has opened up the teaching of the Bible to more people than perhaps any other living writer. Now he has one, Biblical Studies (Westminster) edited by Johnston R. McKay and James F. Miller. In addition to the usual technical essays, this collection also carries non-technical contributions in the style of the honored scholar.

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Biblical Studies in Contemporary Thought edited by Miriam Ward (Burlington, Vermont: Trinity College Biblical Institute) is dedicated to the memory of G. Ernest Wright. The articles on “Ministry in the New Testament” (J. D. Quinn) and “Charismatic Gifts in Paul” (M. L. Mowry) will be of broadest interest. Even more of a tribute to Wright is the massive volume Magnalia Dei: The Mighty Acts of God (Doubleday) edited by Frank Cross, Werner Lemke, and Patrick Miller, Jr. It is a superb anthology of articles. The list of contributors reads like a “Who’s Who” of Old Testament scholars in Israel and North America, and essays span the whole range of history, archaeology, and theology. Grace Upon Grace (Eerdmans) honors Lester J. Kuyper, a man whose contributions included much more than technical scholarship. A measure of Kuyper’s stature is to be seen in the list of well-known figures brought together by editor James I. Cook for this fine volume. No Famine in the Land (Scholars) is the title (alluding to Amos 8:11) of essays on various biblical and theological topics written in honor of Roman Catholic scholar John L. McKenzie; the broadly ecumenical list of contributors is an indication of the high honor in which McKenzie is held in the world of American biblical scholarship. Veteran Baptist theologian Ray Summers is the recipient of a collection of twelve New Testament Studies edited by H. L. Drumwright and Curtis Vaughan (Baylor University Press); the volume contains studies of Mark, Luke, John, Paul, First John, and other biblical-theological topics by well-known evangelical scholars.

Paul D. Steeves is assistant professor of history and director of Russian studies at Stetson University in Deland, Florida. He has the Ph.D. from the University of Kansas and specializes in modern Russian history.

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