The Old Perspective on Paul

Most modern NT study of Paul tends to be myopic. The “history of exegesis” tends to go back to the 1970s and occasionally a little farther. This isn’t my assessment, it’s Tom Wright’s. I agree with him. I tried recently to do a bit to remedy this by at least introducing folks to one significant 16th-century commentator on Romans. The essay is “Olevianus and the Old Perspective on Paul: A Preliminary Report.” You can see that essay in the most recent number (issue) of the Confessional Presbyterian Journal.  There’s another essay surveying all of Olevianus’ Pauline commentaries to appear in 2009 in a collection published by Brill. More info to come when I have it.

You can keep up with developments at the CPJ at their feed here.

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  1. Hey Doc RSC,

    Look forward to the Brill monograph greatly! However, the price of Brill books is just too much for lots of us to afford, especially over here in Australia when one adds exchange rates and shipping?! It means then that potentially the message won’t get out there …

    Brill prices are a great frustration (like end notes). Is there any way we can picket them to drop their prices, or abandon them for cheaper publishers? Maybe a referendum amongst the guild with proposition 8: “Is it lawful to charge such exorbitant prices for theological books”?



  2. I sympathize, but the reason Brill charges what it does is because it published stuff for which there is a not a great market. If they were publishing “Christian” romance novels or “How to Have a Happy Life in 12 Steps” in paperback they would probably have a larger market share and could afford to sell books less expensively. Because they publish mostly high quality, hard bound, academic works of which they may only sell a few hundred volumes to libraries, they have to charge commensurate rates. If it’s any consolation authors (I don’t know about editors) receive nothing for their labor except the knowledge that the book/essay made it into print. Brill books are very expensive here too. I’ve only bought a few. I rely on our library to get them. It’s becoming very difficult to get collections of academic essays published. Many American “Christian” publishers no longer publish them. One leading religious publisher told me that they are giving up on or at least scaling back their publication of serious books in favor of novels and the like. We live in an age when ostensibly serious authors need blurbs from the likes of Rob Bell and Brian McLaren to get people to buy/pay attention their books.

  3. Yes, of course, thanks for the explanation. Point taken entirely! Perhaps utilizing the web is the future in getting the message out. However, as you rightly note, there’s no money in it for authors. Blessings, Marty.

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