Daily Gleanings: Indistractability (4 October 2019)

Freedom interviews Nir Eyal about his new book, Indistractable. The book provides “a research-backed, four-step framework for how to become indistractable in an age where distraction is always within arm’s reach.”

The interview outlines this framework and suggests that a significant part of the solution should be some kind of time blocking practice.

Daily Gleanings: Assyrian (3 October 2019)

The University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute has made their 21-volume Assyrian Dictionary openly available online. Per the Institute,

The Chicago Assyrian Dictionary was conceived to provide more than lexical information alone, more than a one-to-one equivalent between Akkadian and English words. By presenting each word in a meaningful context, usually with a full and idiomatic translation, it recreates the cultural milieu and thus in many ways assumes the function of an encyclopedia. Its source material ranges in time from the third millennium B.C. to the first century A.D., and in geographic area from the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the Zagros Mountains in the east.

Completed in 2010, the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary has become an invaluable source for the study of the civilizations of the ancient Near East, their political and cultural history, their achievements in the sciences of medicine, astronomy, mathematics, linguistics, and the timeless beauty of their poetry.

HT: Randall Bailey

Daily Gleanings: Email (2 October 2019)

Rocketbook concisely outlines some key strategies for minimizing the footprint of email in your day.

Freedom outlines much the same advice while providing some helpful step-by-step guidance to using their platform to help you stay out of your inbox when you’re not wanting to be there.

Daily Gleanings: Greek Articles (1 October 2019)

Newly available from SIL is The Article in Post-classical Greek, edited by Daniel King. According to the publisher,

The collection presented here offers interpretations of the functions and grammar of the Greek article (ὁ, ἡ, τό) from a variety of perspectives, including generative grammar and discourse analysis, along with studies that make use of text-critical and diachronic data. Together, these supply readers of Greek with a thorough understanding of the functions of the article and constitute a starting point for further research efforts.

HT: Mike Aubrey

Daily Gleanings: Freedom for iOS (30 September 2019)

Per their regular newsletter, Freedom is again able to “block apps, including Instagram and Facebook” on iOS. For the background, see “Daily Gleanings (8 May 2019).”

I’ve yet to see any updates about what has changed from Apple’s side to allow Freedom to again block iOS apps. But the re-opening of this feature is certainly to be welcomed for iOS users who want to use freedom to help cut distractions from their mobile device(s).

For more information or to try Freedom, see their website.

Free Access to the International Critical Commentary

The International Critical Commentary has more than 100 years under its belt. Many of the original volumes are openly available online.1

The International Critical Commentary continues to be kept alive with the publication of new editions to take account of more recent scholarship.

Of course, these more recent volumes are now the touchstones for the series. But the original volumes remain a treasure trove of critical exegetical insight from previous generations that shouldn’t be ignored.


In its first iteration, the International Critical Commentary took its point of departure from several excellent German commentaries of the period—by figures like De Wette, Meyer, Keil, and Delitzsch.2

The International Critical Commentary wanted to do for English-speaking audiences what these prior series had done for German-speaking ones. In particular, the commentary’s goal was to “be abreast of modern biblical scholarship, and in a measure lead its van” [i.e., vanguard].

Structure and Scope

The commentary’s of each biblical book begins with an introduction that discusses the state of scholarship on that book. When helpful, this discussion includes treatment of the book’s history of interpretation.

The commentary aimed to serve “students and clergyman” of varying levels of expertise. So it routinely includes technical details but separates them from more general material. But instead of practical or homiletical notes, the series’s volumes chiefly focus on matters of history, archaeology, and biblical theology.

Open Access

Most or all of the original International Critical Commentary volumes are now in the public domain, scanned, and openly available online.

If you’d like to start accessing the scholarship they contain, just enter your name and email below. I’ll then email you a one-page summary with the exact links to where you can get each volume I’ve come across so you don’t have to spend time hunting for them.

Happy reading and researching!

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Featured image provided by Internet Archive.

  1. For bringing to my attention the availability of several volumes from this series, I’m grateful to Randall Bailey. 
  2. For the background material on the International Critical Commentary, I am drawing particularly on the Editors’ Preface that appeared during the series’ supervision by C. A. Briggs, S. R. Driver, and Alfred Plummer.