Library Additions

Nick posted about a tough decision on what books to spend his Amazon gift certificates. I’ve also found myself in a similar dilemma, so I am asking for your input, particularly if you’ve read any of the titles below.

I have several LifeWay gift cards and have had them for a while. My problem with LifeWay is two-fold. First, I can use the cards online, but I can’t apply my minister’s discount (20%)—that can only be done in the store. Plus, I have to pay shipping. Second, the nearest seminary LifeWay is about 45 minutes away. Regular LifeWay stores rarely carry academic titles I’m looking for. Occasionally I’ll happen upon a title here or there, but if I want what I’m usually after, I have to order it. That’s not that big a deal, but that involves special trips to the store to pick up the books.

So, I guess I’m going to have to place an order so I can use the cards, apply my minister’s discount, and avoid shipping charges.

I am trying to focus my book purchases on topics that will be of benefit during my doctoral work. While that will involve a lot of specialized works (monographs, dissertations, etc), I want to pick up some useful references for the journey.

Of the books atop my wish list right now are below—what would you choose (I’ll probably only choose two, three at the most)?

Here’s the pool:

Ancient Texts for the Study of the Hebrew Bible: A Guide to the Background Literature by Kenton L. Sparks

Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament: Introducing the Conceptual World of the Hebrew Bible by John H. Walton

Ancient Israelite Literature in Its Cultural Context by John H. Walton

Ancient Near Eastern Themes in Biblical Theology by Jeffrey J. Niehaus

The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature by John J. Collins

The Open Heaven: A Study of Apocalyptic in Judaism and Early Christianity by Christopher Rowland

Ancient Texts for New Testament Studies: A Guide to the Background Literature by Craig Evans

Backgrounds of Early Christianity by Everett Ferguson

Looking forward to your thoughts!

Αυτω η δοξα,



7 thoughts on “Library Additions

  1. Rowland is very good and Evans’ book is a good reference work to have. I’d imagine that Sparks’ is just as useful as Evans but I don’t have it. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the first Walton book and I plan to get a copy in the near future with a WTS gift certificate.

  2. Nick: I know of Evans, but I looked into Rowland’s book on a suggestion. And, as I’ve stated before, I think I would consider Walton one of my favorite scholars. His Genesis commentary was just delightful to read–that’s saying something about a commentary!

    Andrew: Looks like I’ll be adding that one to the order!

  3. Jason: I might have been the one who recommended it. I think I mentioned him to you a while back when you asked. Have you placed your order yet or are you still mulling it over?

  4. Nick: You may have been. No, I haven’t placed my order yet. I remembered today that I have a couple of books to order for the fall semester, so I may hold out for that. I also have a small amount from Amazon, so I may put that towards one of these books.

  5. Definately get Ferguson; and I hear it is prolly just better to get Walton’s Genesis commentary in the NIVAC since his intro covers most of what is in the books you listed by him.

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