Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Grace Journal
Volume: GJ 10:3 (Fall 1969)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Vol. V. By Gerhard Kittel (trans. by Geoffrey Bromiley). Eerdmans Publishers, Grand Rapids, 1967. 1031 pp. $22.50.

Since the Bible is the Word of God and the New Testament was written under the control of the Holy Spirit in the Greek language, evangelical Christians welcome every aid to the better understanding of the Greek original. The present volume, number five in a projected series of eight, represents by far the richest collection of selected lexicographical materials extant today. As the translator has pointed out, these volumes are not intended to rival the great lexicons or replace the standard sets on exposition. Rather they are intended to mediate between the two giving more information on select words—those of special theological significance—than the lexicon but emphasizing more the linguistic background than the ordinary commentary. I believe they have achieved this goal in admirable fashion.

The project was begun by Kittel who completed the first four volumes. At his death Prof. Gerhard Freidrich took over. The postwar period made possible wider international contacts and the passage of time necessitated some alterations in the earlier volumes. The English-speaking world owes a great debt to Prof. Geoffrey Bromiley for his careful and thoroughly readable translation.

This volume contains 79 articles on a select vocabulary by 38 different authors starting with the Greek letters Xi and continuing through omicron to the beginning of pi. It includes such crucial terms as “wrath” (of God), “name” (of deity, especially Jesus), “heaven,” “parable,” “paraclete” (Comforter or Counsellor), “virgin” (parthenos), “passover” (pascha), “suffering,” etc. Grouping cognates or correlatives together in separate articles results in a total of only 79 in over a thousand pages. But some of the articles are extensive; “father” 77 pages, “heaven” 46 pages, “child of God” 61 pages, etc. while many others are one page only.

In general, the procedure is to examine the word in its classical environment, then consider its usage in the Septuagint and finally study the various occurrences in the New Testament. Passages from other Judaistic sources and the Church Fathers are also frequently included, not just listed but with helpful discussion.

Since theological statements and judgments are made by the different authors there is a variety of theological emphasis. Although I think it would be fair to say that, by and large, all or nearly all are colored by some aspect of one of the newer more subjective schools of theology. For example, Zimmerli (p...

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