Daily Gleanings (16 August 2019)

Michael Hyatt and Megan Miller discuss how to “avoid investing in the wrong people.” Much of the discussion revolves around the basic premise of how humans are limited creatures, so it’s advisable to consider carefully where you put your time and energy.

The discussion may be especially valuable for students who are involved in people-centered vocations outside the academy (e.g., full-time church work) or faculty who sometimes struggle with whether and how much extra to invest in which students.

Roger Pearse discusses some hunting he’s done for John the Deacon’s Life of St. Nicholas. Pearse comments,

When using Google, it really helps if you have the BHL (Bibliotheca Hagiographica Latina) number for the text that you are interested in.

For the details of Pearse’s search, see his original post.

Daily Gleanings: Manuscript Matters (15 August 2019)

Leigh Ann Thompson and Andrew Patton discuss four types of ektheses, or visual markers of textual divisions, in New Testament manuscripts and provide a helpful example illustration of each.

Peter Montoro discusses textual stability in Patristic literature and this literature’s function in textual criticism of the Greek New Testament. Montoro particularly focuses on Chrysostom’s homilies on Rom 8 as a helpful illustration. A repeated refrain is that

it seems sometimes to be forgotten that the task of “proper evaluation” [of the witness that Patristic citations give to the text of the Greek New Testament] is incomplete without a careful investigation of the manuscript transmission of the work in which a given patristic citation is located.

It needs to be more clearly recognized, in practice as well as in theory, that the usability of patristic citations is directly dependent upon their stability within the manuscript tradition of the work from which they derive. (italics original)

Yes, and yes. For the balance of Montoro’s discussion, see his original guest post.

Daily Gleanings: Focus (14 August 2019)

Evernote discusses four strategies for supporting your ability to focus on what’s most important. The post also provides some suggestions about how to handle days when longer stretches of uninterrupted time for focused work are harder to come by.

In a couple different places recently, I’ve come across favorable reviews of Focusmate (Becoming Better, Lead to Win).

As I understand it, Focusmate provides a virtual accountability system. Users are paired together in 50 minute sessions. They start by sharing what they’ll work on in the session and then otherwise simply work with their webcams on.

I haven’t tried this tool specifically, but for several months now, I have found great value in getting together with a very small group of others for accountability on projects that take focused work—be it writing, doing detailed analysis, preparing translation or whatever. Especially if you don’t readily have a group of folks who want to pool together to do something like this (e.g., if you’re an online student in a remote locale), Focusmate may be a useful tool for you to try to see if it helps when you come down to the hard work of whatever project you’re needing to complete.

Daily Gleanings: Ros Barber (13 August 2019)

Freedom interviews Ros Barber about her advice for focused progress as both an academic and a creative writer. In the interview, two features stand out as perhaps particularly helpful for emerging scholars in biblical studies.

First, Barber is pretty open about her own less-than-immediate path to a permanent academic post. She says,

I had to get a PhD to get tenure. I did my PhD from 2006-2011 and finally got a permanent academic post in 2014.

Barber’s “dogged determination” between 2011 and 2014 substantially resonates with my own experience and what Craig Keener has recently mentioned as well.

Assessments about difficult academic job markets notwithstanding, “never giv[ing] up” has a lot to be said for it, especially if you’re doing (or have done) a PhD in biblical studies because you feel called to the kind of academic vocation it trains you for. And if you’re coming at that vocation from the perspective of a faith community, then both in the PhD and thereafter, it’s worth remembering that laborare est orare. And he who hears prayer, is quite capable of moving and making space in markets. So whether the journey between completing a PhD and finding an academic post is longer or shorter, that journey is basically an exercise in the faithfulness of continually doing the next right small thing that’s in your hand to do.

Second, in keeping with the consistent theme for Freedom’s profiles in this series, Barber offers some helpful perspectives on what she does to help herself write productively. She comments reflects honestly about “losing a lot of time to email, apps, and the internet more generally.” And “even when [she] wasn’t actively procrastinating, [she] would feel distracted and twitchy and find it difficult to get focused.”

Barber has now found it best to “have a complete Facebook and Twitter ban from 9am to 6pm,” and she “feel[s] a lot more focused as a result.” In systematizing her discipline, Barber has found Freedom particularly valuable so that she doesn’t simply have to rely on willpower to she feels tempted to procrastinate or distract herself.

There’s a good deal else in the interview that makes it worth the read. Some of this addresses how Barber schedules her writing and techniques she uses to overcome fear that what she writes won’t be any good. For these and the balance of the interview, see Freedom’s original post.

Daily Gleanings: Free Books (12 August 2019)

This month, Logos is giving away Peter Gentry and Stephen Wellum’s God’s Kingdom through God’s Covenants: A Concise Biblical Theology (Crossway, 2015). The related titles on deep discount are:

  • James Hamilton Jr., God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment: A Biblical Theology (Crossway, 2010).
  • Gerald Bray, God Is Love: A Biblical and Systematic Theology (Crossway, 2012).

For more information and to order, see Logos’s website.

This month, Verbum is giving away the Berit Olam series volume on 2 Samuel by Craig Morrison (Liturgical, 2013). The related titles on deep discount are the volumes on Genesis, Psalms, and 1 Samuel.

For more information and to order, see Verbum’s website.

The Expositor’s Greek Testament

The Expositor’s Greek Testament appeared in several editions after its initial release in 1897. Volumes from several printings released before 1923 are openly available online. While the Expositor’s Greek Testament is increasingly dated, it also preserves some keen exegetical insights that more recent commentators have continued to find helpful.

An Example: Baptism for the Dead

For example, G. G. Findlay wrote the section on 1 Corinthians (vol. 2, pp. 727–953), a letter where I’ve been spending a good deal of time lately. Findlay is often cited as one of the seminal proponents of the “dying mother” interpretation of “those who are being baptized in behalf of the dead” in 1 Cor 15:29. Findlay suggests,

P[aul] is referring … to a much commoner, indeed a normal experience, that the death of Christians leads to the conversion of survivors, who in the first instance “for the sake of the dead” (their beloved dead), and in the hope of reunion turn to Christ—e.g., when a dying mother wins her son by the appeal “Meet me in heaven!” … Paul designates such converts “baptised for the dead.” (931)

More recently, Maria Raedner, Anthony Thiselton, and others have continued to find this line of interpretation most persuasive.1

As all interpretations of 1 Cor 15:29 do, this reading has its virtues as well as its challenges. Pausing to point these out here would take me too far afield.

The important point here is rather the continued afterlife that Findlay’s comments from the Expositor’s Greek Testament have had in subsequent scholarship. Doubtless, there are other good similar examples that could be cited too.

So the Expositor’s Greek Testament certainly isn’t at the cutting edge of New Testament interpretation. But its contributors do make some helpful observations. And at the very least, the work remains important in the history of English-language New Testament scholarship.

Multiple Editions

With this in mind, it’s helpful to have a basic grasp of its publication history. As usual, you would typically want to refer to the most recent version of the Expositor’s Greek Testament.

This way, you get the version of the work that includes the most corrections, updates, and other improvements by comparison to previous versions.2 But this isn’t always easy given the publication information available for the Expositor’s Greek Testament—and often other older books too.


The first edition of the Expositor’s Greek Testament seems to have been released in 1897 by Doran. Courtesy of the University of Toronto, all five volumes of this edition are openly available online (vol. 1, vol. 2, vol. 3, vol. 4, vol. 5). It is this first edition that Logos reproduces in its release of the Expositor’s Greek Testament.

Hodder and Stoughton

A second edition then began appearing in 1901 under the auspices of Hodder and Stoughton. But it seems not all volumes in this edition note that they are from the “second edition.”

Published in 1901, at least some printings of vol. 2 explicitly identify themselves as a “second edition.” Other printings, however, do not, as is perhaps also the case for vol. 3, published in 1903.

Then, in 1910, Hodder and Stoughton released at least a partial 6th ed. Of this, vol. 1 and perhaps vol. 4 and vol. 5 are openly available online.

Dodd, Meade, & Co.

A further printing appeared by Dodd, Mead, & Co. in 1902–1910. Of this printing, at least three volumes are openly available online (vol. 1, vol. 4, vol. 5).

The front matter for vol. 1 of this printing also suggests that Dodd, Mead, & Co. held (or subsequently obtained?) the copyright to the Expositor’s Greek Testament dating back to the time of the first edition’s initial release by Doran in 1897.

Hendrickson and Eerdmans

In the early 2000s, Hendrickson reissued the Expositor’s Greek Testament. In these volumes, Hendrickson explicitly acknowledges that the pages of its edition are “reprinted from the edition originally published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.” The Hendrickson edition gives no further information about the provenance of its material, however.

Eerdmans published at least three (and perhaps more) runs of the Expositor’s Greek Testament respectively in 1967, 1974, and 1980. Presumably each of these runs traces its origins back to the same earlier edition(s) from 1897–1910. But in none of these three runs is there an explicit acknowledgement of which prior edition(s) provides the source for Eerdmans’s printing.


In the end, some of the publication history of the Expositor’s Greek Testament remains quite opaque. A fuller understanding of this history would likely yield clearer guidance about how best to consult this text.

For the moment, the most recent editions that are readily accessible online appear to be:

Of course, the Hendrickson and Eerdmans copies are still more recent, but these are simply reproductions of one of the earlier editions. And it’s important to note too that if a possible difference between different editions is significant for a given research project, you may need to extend your search beyond what is already openly available online. But in the interim until the publication history of the Expositor’s Greek Testament becomes clearer, these online copies provide some excellent starting places for accessing this work.

What’s one exegetical option you’ve seen in the Expositor’s Greek Testament and find worth considering? What differences have you found among its different printings and editions?

Do you have information about other editions and printings of the Expositor’s Greek Testament not mentioned here?

Header image provided by Internet Archive

  1. See Maria Raeder, “Vikariatstaufe in 1 Cor 15:29,” ZNW 46.3–4 (1955): 258–60; Anthony C. Thiselton, The First Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text, NIGTC (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000), 1242–49. 
  2. There are, however, exceptions to this rule. For an example, see “Migne’s ‘Patrologia Latina’: Mystery Solved” and “A Further Update on Migne’s ‘Patrologia Latina.'” 

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