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Dr. B. E. Kelly "Brian Kelly" (Kent)
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A Reader's Greek New Testament
A Reader's Greek New Testament
by Richard J. Goodrich
Edition: Imitation Leather
Price: £20.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good value for money, 21 July 2014
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I was initially deterred from buying this book because of the criticisms expressed above about the font and 'bleedthrough', but eventually decided I would try it out, given its low price compared to the UBS version. Having received my copy and perused it, I think it is very good value. The pages are thin but 'bleedthrough' isn't really a problem. The thin pages mean the book doesn't weigh too much, and the workmanship is good quality. If you have mastered the morphology of Greek verbs and nouns, you will find this a very helpful resource. I would suggest three pointers for getting the most out of the experience. 1. Keep up a regular regime of daily reading; language competence grows with regular, reinforcing practice; 2. Watch out for genitive absolutes: these are very common in classical and Hellenistic Greek, esp. the NT; 3. Similarly, make sure you recognise your aorist participles (which are usually rendered in English with clauses: 'After they ..', 'When they ....' etc). As Gordon Fee says in the foreword: Tolle lege!


Psalms as Torah: Reading Biblical Song Ethically (Studies In Theological Interpretation)
Psalms as Torah: Reading Biblical Song Ethically (Studies In Theological Interpretation)
by Gordon J. Wenham
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.54

5.0 out of 5 stars Breaking new ground in biblical ethics, 22 Jun 2014
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This is a companion volume to the author's 'The Psalter Reclaimed', which was intended for a wider, more general audience. This work is more intentionally academic in focus, but not narrowly so: it should be readily accessible to a wide range of biblically informed readers, including those who have begun to find their way around the Psalter. There is inevitably some overlap between the two books, but whereas the first book gives a good deal of attention to historical issues concerning the interpretation of the Psalms and their historical and contemporary use (or neglect) in Christian worship, the focus of this book lies instead on the constructive task of framing the kind of biblical ethics that arises from reading, singing and praying the Psalms. In this way, the book parallels the author's earlier monograph 'Story as Torah, which showed how biblical narrative texts can inform Christian moral teaching. Among Wenham's conclusions and proposals are: that the Psalter is a collection first and foremost to be memorised and sung; that speech-act theory casts valuable light on the 'behabitive' and 'commissive' nature of worship-language; that the ethical emphases of the Pentateuch and Psalter are similar, and therefore both works function as ethical 'teachers' to the body of believers; and the New Testament is steeped in the ethical outlook of the Psalter. There are also very helpful comments on the so-called imprecatory psalms, drawing on the insightful work of Erich Zenger. Wenham's plea, that the Psalms should once against be restored to popular Christian worship and devotion, a position they enjoyed historically and in the New testament Church, is bolstered by this illuminating and very accessible study.


Lucian's A True Story: An Intermediate Greek Reader: Greek Text with Running Vocabulary and Commentary
Lucian's A True Story: An Intermediate Greek Reader: Greek Text with Running Vocabulary and Commentary
by Stephen Nimis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.74

5.0 out of 5 stars The irony begins in the title ..., 29 April 2014
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Once again, a debt of gratitude to Evan Hayes and Stephen Nimis for the fine work they have done in preparing this reader, a seminal work of humour, parody and fantasy with resonances down to the present day. Not only science fiction and space travel, but even 'Star Wars' is presaged, along with adventures inside an immense whale and encounters with characters who would not be out of place in the Narnia or Tolkien novels. The editors have produced a work that is easy on the eye and very generously glossed in the "footnotes" that typically take up most of the page, giving invaluable assistance with vocabulary and verbal forms. There is plenty of space to annotate if the reader so wishes, as well as a number of grammar pages scattered throughout the work, giving some more developed explanations of participles, mood, aspect and so on. Many helpful comments are also given which elucidate Lucian's allusions and parodistic references to Homer and earlier writers. It's a fine read, with unremitting irony from beginning to end.

These gentlemen have provided an excellent service to students of ancient Greek in making available the works of Lucian. May I now suggest to them a new project which I believe would be well appreciated: an annotated version of the text of Longus' 'Daphnis and Chloe'?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 2, 2014 4:01 AM BST


College Caesar: Latin Text with Facing Vocabulary and Commentary
College Caesar: Latin Text with Facing Vocabulary and Commentary
by Geoffrey Steadman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.09

5.0 out of 5 stars Veni, Vidi, Legi, 24 Jan 2014
U.S. Classics teacher Geoffrey Steadman has provided an excellent service to the guild with his growing series of annotated texts in both Latin and Greek geared to the needs of senior high school and college entrant students. These are POD (print on demand) books, which means the cost of these more specialist works is remarkably fair. In the case of this work, the text is printed very clearly on the left hand page with a comprehensive listing of the vocabulary in that unit, with a detailed explanation of the grammar of particular sentences on the right hand side. Interspersed throughout the book are many helpful grammatical discussions on 'gerundive-gerund flips', case usages and other points. The work is prefaced with a shrewd discussion on reading Caesar and rounded off with a grammatical summary and vocabulary list. Beyond the immediate target audience of this book, other students with a solid intermediate knowledge of Latin (O level or GCSE or more)
will find this a very helpful introduction to one of the great (and not too difficult) prose writers of the 'golden age' of Latin. Tolle lege!


The Psalter Reclaimed
The Psalter Reclaimed
by Gordon Wenham
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.80

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reclaiming the Psalms for theology and worship, 30 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Psalter Reclaimed (Paperback)
This book gathers together lectures given over thirteen years in a variety of places. There is some overlap and repetition, but the overall impact is a progressively unfolding study of the Psalms from a historic Christian perspective that keeps abreast of some of the most recent scholarship on the Psalms, as well as making good use of speech-act theory. Wenham's concern throughout is to appropriate the Psalms of the Hebrew Bible as Christian Scripture that testifies to the one God of the Mosaic covenant and looks forward to the promised messianic king in the line of David.
The book begins with the immediate questions, what it means for the church to sing and pray the Psalms, with an historical review of how they were used and understood in the practice of Christian spirituality, and why they have come to be neglected. J. L. Austin's speech-act theory is used in a very constructive way that appeals as well to the historic practice of the church.
Chapters on reading the Psalms canonically and messianically remind us that this is an edited, integrated collection with a structure and intertextuality that should be recognised in the act of interpretation. Wenham goes beyond the older, atomising work of the form critics and Weiser (who tied his interpretation to his reconstruction of the cultus), with many helpful insights from Brevard Childs and Gerald Wilson, considering how the five-book Psalter was understood in the post-exilic period, not least as the bearer of messianic hopes.
The ethics of the Psalms and their relationship to the Decalogue are considered in an introductory way in chapter 5, a subject which Wenham investigates at greater theological elsewhere, while on the perennially vexing question of the imprecatory psalms, he breaks new ground for English-language readers by mediating the scholarship of Hossfeld and Zenger.
Finally, the question of Israel and the nations is addressed in a chapter which, for this reviewer, brought out some unexpected nuggets of exegetical insight, showing how the eschatological vision of the New Testament is foreshadowed in the Old.
In all, this is an excellent introduction to the subject for seminary students (too many of whom, Wenham notes, can pass though their studies without seriously encountering the Psalms) and for others seeking a deeper grasp of the Psalms in their canonical place. Reading this has encouraged me to follow up the theological issues in the companion volume, "Psalms As Torah".


Latin Alive: The Survival of Latin in English and the Romance Languages
Latin Alive: The Survival of Latin in English and the Romance Languages
by Joseph B. Solodow
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Not just or even principally for Latinists!, 16 Nov 2013
This book is a veritable treasure trove for anyone who cares about the language(s) we use and seeks to understand the past that has made us. There are a number of excellent studies about on the history and subsequent course of the Latin language, in tandem with the Roman Empire and the Roman Catholic Church (Palmer's 1954 book and Nicholas Ostler's more recent work 'Ad Infinitum' are very helpful here), but this is the best and most detailed work for the so-called general reader that I know of to deal with the question of how Latin has come to shape the English language and how it gave birth to the main Romance languages studied in the Anglosphere: French, Spanish and Italian.
The work is marked by a clear historical progression in its treatment of the material: 1. the growth and spread of the Latin language (literary and Vulgar or popular Latin, the mother of the Romance languages); 2. the Romance vocabulary (how and why words came to shift in meaning and form in post-Empire western Europe); 3. common features in the grammar and sounds of the Romance languages and how these arose (many illuminating observations from the world of linguistics); 4. how the languages diverged, as witnessed in the earliest texts of French, Italian and Spanish.
It is not necessary to be a Latin specialist (increasingly a rara avis today) to appreciate this book, since many of the distinctive features of Latin and its grammar are explained in user-friendly language in part one. I enjoyed reading this book through in consecutive order (with its many diversions into etymologies, where I learnt something new on every page) but the book will also serve as a useful reference work, through its handy indices. Most students today will be studying Latin's grandchildren - and in particular French and Spanish - rather than the grandmother herself. This engagingly written book will show students how these languages came to be. It has its fingers on the pulses of both ages - and the old lady isn't dead!


Lucian's The Ass: An Intermediate Greek Reader: Greek Text with Running Vocabulary and Commentary
Lucian's The Ass: An Intermediate Greek Reader: Greek Text with Running Vocabulary and Commentary
by Stephen A Nimis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.52

5.0 out of 5 stars A fruitful approach to teaching Greek literature, 6 May 2013
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This is a POD (Print On Demand) publication, a still relatively new approach to publishing which makes books of a more specialist nature available to a limited readership at a moderate rate. This is a very welcome development in Classics, particularly where students of Greek are not likely to have had the same background as in Latin, and where more assistance will be needed in tackling original texts. The format of this book, with its clear, good sized printing, generous glossing and helpful grammatical notes, is very helpful, and the text is rounded off with passages from Metamorphoses for comparison with the more famous Latin version, a detailed list of irregular verbs, and a fairly full glossary. The authors/editors are to be warmly commended on this great aid to students (and teachers). Maybe they could do something of a similar nature with Xenophon or Herodotus?


Greek Stories: A GCSE Reader
Greek Stories: A GCSE Reader
by John Taylor
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.43

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a progressive course, 10 April 2013
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This is a good collection and J. Scott has given us a good summary of this book's contents and merits. I would only add two comments. The first passages are brief (10-11 lines) and in simple Greek and largely drawn from Aesop, while the later passages are c. 25 lines made repeated use of the genitive absolute and the participles (aorist, perfect, present and future) that distinguishes Greek from Latin. This, with the repeated vocabulary and constructions, gives a well-thought out path of progression for the disciplined student. Second, many of the stories are identical with stories in the companion volume 'Latin Stories. A GCSE Reader', which will be a bonus (or a quick crib!) for the student who is probably doing or knows Latin already. In all, a good collection that takes the student (in No. 99) after a long march through mythology and history finally to the coast: "thalatta! thalatta!"


Contemporary Latin American Literature: Original Selections from the Literary Giants for Intermediate and Advanced Students (NTC's Spanish Readers)
Contemporary Latin American Literature: Original Selections from the Literary Giants for Intermediate and Advanced Students (NTC's Spanish Readers)
by Gladys M. Varona-Lacey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.39

4.0 out of 5 stars useful for students, 3 Mar 2013
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A good addition to the McGraw-Hill range of textbooks that appear to be devised for the American college market, complete with brief introductions and bios of the writers, glossaries at the foot of each page (though these are rather variable, and the 'intermediate' student will still need a good dictionary at hand) and some questions in Spanish at the end, no doubt intended for class use. Some classic short stories are here, and the range of writers is impressive. Quite an emphasis on 'magical realism', too. The diligent student will find this a helpful introduction to the 20th century terrain.


Classic Spanish Stories and Plays: The Great Works of Spanish Literature for Intermediate Students (NTC's Spanish Readers)
Classic Spanish Stories and Plays: The Great Works of Spanish Literature for Intermediate Students (NTC's Spanish Readers)
by Marcel C. Andrade
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful Introduction to Spanish Classics, 29 Jan 2013
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McGraw-Hill seems to specialise in producing books on literature for the American college market (they did a fine work on 'Beginning Latin Poetry Reader' which I enjoyed greatly), and this work on classic Spanish literature up 1630 is a very useful addition to their range. None of the texts is particularly long: they are all abbreviated, simplified and modernised, as well as adapted into prose, and they come with copious glosses and footnotes. This is an excellent way to get a first taste of 'La Celestina', 'Lazarillo de Tormes', 'Don Quijote' and 'Fuenteovejuna' in Spanish, along with a couple of other classics, and along the way, learning lots of interesting things about La Reconquista and El Siglo de Oro.


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