Brian W. Davidson

sharing things I enjoy

I work at the James P. Boyce Centennial Library, and the staff there are putting together a suggested summer reading list for students. Here are the books related to biblical studies I suggested, in no particular order:

  • The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Biography, by John J. Collins — This is a fantastically written, carefully reasoned, concise introduction to the Dead Sea Scrolls and the impact they have made upon the world of biblical studies and beyond.
  • The New Oxford Annotated Apocrypha, ed. Michael D. Coogan — A handy, affordable edition of the apocrypha with notes at the bottom of the pages. This is a perfect summer read to help fill out one’s understanding of the NT world.
  • I Dare You Not to Bore Me with the Bible, by Michael S. Heiser (digital book via Logos) — The book consists of a series of blog-post-sized articles that explain the meaning and significance of many of the “weird” passages in the Bible — fun little book.
  • Several Short Sentences about Writing, by Verlyn Klinkenborg — This book will change the way you think about academic writing. Highly recommended!
  • The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English (7th ed., Penguin Classics), by Geza Vermes — A classic translation of all the non-biblical Dead Sea Scrolls. Reading it from cover to cover would provide much insight into the conceptual world in which the NT authors wrote.
  • The Jewish Teachers of Jesus, James, and Jude: What Earliest Christianity Learned from the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, by David deSilva — DeSilva writes as an evangelical with expertise in Second Temple literature, especially the way in which these writings relate to the New Testament.
  • Invitation to the Septuagint, by Karen Jobes and Moisés Silva — This is a great first step into the world of the Greek Old Testament. Jobes and Silva’s introduction to the Septuagint and septuagint studies is genuinely inviting.
  • The Handy Guide to New Testament Greek: Grammar, Syntax, and Diagramming, by Douglas S. Huffman — A helpful resource for quickly looking up paradigms, and it could also serve as a quick review of grammar and syntax for those just finishing up their first year of Greek. I used it with my 9th grade NT Greek class this year, and the students loved it. The book is organized exceptionally well (better than Zondervan’s similar guide).

4 responses to “Recommended Summer Reading”

  1. Nice list! I like the Huffman book, too, and it’s good to hear how well it worked on the ground. The Diagramming section sets it apart from other similar small guides (like Mounce’s). Only complaint is how orange it all is! 🙂

  2. There is a lot of orange, indeed. The glued binding is far less than top shelf, as well. Still worth every penny.

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