NA28 Greek New Testament text in Accordance


The NA28 Greek New Testament is now available for purchase in Accordance Bible Software. The text itself is free here. The Accordance version includes the apparatus, marginalia, and other nice enhancements. Here’s a screencast that shows how you can use the NA28 in Accordance:

More about the Nestle-Aland edition is here. Its Accordance product page is here, with an Accordance blog post about it here.

Not as Literal as You Think? A Review of One Bible, Many Versions

One Bible Many Versions

“Are literal versions really literal?” So asks Dave Brunn in One Bible, Many Versions: Are All Translations Created Equal? Brunn is a missionary and educator with extensive Bible translation experience. Noting that the Bible is “virtually silent” on “the issue of translation theory,” he seeks in his book to answer questions like:

  • “How literal should a Bible translation be?”
  • “What makes a translation of the Scriptures faithful and accurate?”
  • “What is the significance of the original form and the original meaning?”

He examines versions as diverse as the Message, the New Living Translation, the New International Version, the English Standard Version, and quite a few others. He lists examples on both the word level and the sentence level to show that “every ‘literal’ version frequently sets aside its own standards of literalness and word-for-word translation,” when slavish literalism would compromise meaning in the target language. For example, the New American Standard Bible–hailed as one of the most literal English translations–takes Genesis 4:1 (Hebrew: [Adam] knew [Eve]) and translates knew as had relations with. This accurately captures the meaning of Gen. 4:1, but it is not word-for-word.

So, too, with the ESV: Mark 9:3’s “no cloth refiner on earth” becomes “no one on earth” (among many, many examples Brunn gives).

At issue here is the relationship between form and meaning. He writes:

The form includes the letters, words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, and so on. The meaning consists of the concepts or thoughts associated with each of the forms. Both elements are essential in all communication. …[I]t could be hard to argue that one is more important than the other.

To translate, Brunn points out, is to necessarily change the form. The only way to keep the form of Hebrew or Greek is to leave the text in Hebrew or Greek. There is no such thing as “consistent formal equivalence” between “any two languages on earth.” Brunn (rightly, in my view) suggests that it is okay (even necessary) “to set aside form in order to preserve meaning,” but that one should not sacrifice meaning for the sake of preserving form. Besides, he points out, no translation (not even the most “literal” one) sacrifices meaning every time for the sake of formal, word-for-word equivalence.

Brunn drives his point home especially well by making reference to other languages. Perhaps folks argue about literalness in English translations because of English’s linguistic/familial relationship to Greek. But what about non-Indo-European languages, Brunn asks? “As long as the debate about Bible translation stays within the realm of English translation, the tendency will be to oversimplify some of the issues,” he writes. “I believe that many well-meaning Christians have unwittingly made English the ultimate standard.” His examples of translation challenges going from English to Lamogai (the language into which he worked with others to translate the New Testament) reinforce his idea that word-for-word equivalence is simply not possible across languages. (Lamogai, for example, uses gender-neutral terms to refer to siblings, whereas Greek and English do not.)

The translations that people fight over have more in common than we may first realize. Brunn calls for unity among Christians when it comes to what translations we use. “If we set any two English Bible versions side by side,” he says, “We could easily find hundreds of instances where each version has the potential of strengthening and enhancing the other.” (Indeed, there are even times when less “literal” versions like the NIV or NLT seem to stay closer to the original languages at the word level than versions like the ESV or NASB.)

Knowledge of Hebrew and Greek is not needed to profitably use One Bible, Many Versions, though Brunn does have footnotes for “readers who are already knowledgeable in translation issues.” His numerous charts clearly show the difference between form and meaning in multiple translations.

Brunn gives good guidelines for Bible readers and translators alike, as they seek to discern what translations to use and how to think about translation theoretically. Especially in the second half, the book felt a little repetitive–I didn’t think Brunn needed as many examples to make his point that literal translations don’t consistently adhere to their own standards. Though perhaps those who need more convincing will appreciate the extensive charts.

What I was most impressed by was Brunn’s obvious high regard for Scripture, together with a pastoral sense of how to navigate the so-called Bible translation debates. In addition to these, the care with which he analyzed translations and compared them to each other made it easy to follow (and agree with) him. Whether you’re interested in Bible translation or exploring the differences between various versions, One Bible, Many Versions is an engaging and informative guide.

Brunn has a Website here; the book’s site is here.

Thanks to IVP for the review copy. You can find the book on Amazon here, and its IVP product page here.

Congratulations to…

David, the winner of a new copy of The Honest Toddler: A Child’s Guide to Parenting.

You can read more about the book here. I highly recommend it, whether you’re a parent or not.

To choose a winner, I assigned a number to every entry (both a comment on this blog and a share of any kind qualified), then used a random number generator to select the winner.

Congratulations, David, and enjoy the new book! I wish you the best in your toddler adventures.

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway. You can subscribe to this blog using the “Follow” button on the right sidebar, or follow me on Twitter.

Honest Toddler: Free Book Giveaway (last day)

HT book cover

Today you can still leave a comment here for a chance to win a copy of the new Honest Toddler book.

To enter, simply comment on this blog post with the best (brief) parenting tip you can come up with. Or just say hi. For a second entry, share the link to this post on FB, Twitter, via mind meld, etc., and let me know in the comments section that you did.

I’ll announce the winner tonight. In the meantime, my review of this wonderful, creative, hilarious, and therapeutic book is here.

The Honest Toddler: A Book Review

Being a parent is very simple. There is no reason for you to constantly go to other adults who do not know your toddler for advice or conspiring. What happens at home stays at home. …When it comes to being a good parent, the most important resources are the words that come out of your child’s amazing mouth. If your child is too young to speak, guess accurately on the first try.

–Honest Toddler

Honest Toddler, under the supervision of mom Bunmi Laditan, has now added a full-length book to a popular and cathartic Twitter feed, Facebook page, and blog/Website. I’ve posted quite a bit about HT at Words on the Word already.

Real-life Honest Toddler is a girl, but HT is “asexual,” which makes the whole thing more universal.

And now, s/he has written a parenting guide. The chapter titles alone produce enough laughs to make the book worth the price:

  • Chapter 1: “Why Did You Do That?”: The Ins and Outs of Toddler Behavior and How to Leave It Alone
  • Chapter 5: Sleep: Weaning Yourself Off It
  • Chapter 18: Potty Training Simplified/Eliminated

Bunmi has tapped into the psyches of Every Parent because HT, in all the quirky specifics of his/her behavior, is Every Toddler. (“Give a toddler a rag and a spray bottle, and your house will be sparkling before you know it. First it will be soaking, and your mobile phone may have water damage, but after a thorough wipe-down, the results will please you.”)

This Child’s Guide to Parenting is thorough–HT includes everything from media recommendations (music, books, TV) to hygiene (“leave well enough alone”), from restaurant behavior to grandmas and grandpas (“you should learn as much as possible from your child’s grandparents”). Interspersed between chapters are letters from parents to HT and homework assignments (sample: “Visit the toy store and get all the things. Next, go to a field. Run until nightfall”).

The Honest Toddler is hilarious, brilliantly written, and often pointed in its humor (see: HT’s disdain for Pinterest). I was impressed by how much this little toddler had to say. Although, now that I think about it, my toddlers have always had a lot to say.

The open parent who reads this book will be perhaps re-conditioned: temper tantrums are just “loud responses,” toddler ignoring is simply “selective acknowledgement,” and whining is “a legitimate form of speech.”

Honest Toddler, for all his/her impossible demands (duh), has some great advice. Facebook, for example: “Toddlers are tired of hearing Facebook notifications during story time. We’re sick of having to sit in parked cars, fully strapped in, while you make sure you get the last word on a virtual dispute with an acquaintance. This website is a distraction. Log off. Permanently.” 

Communication: “Did you know that there are more than four hundred different meanings for ‘no’ in Toddler English?” (with a sample chart). Packing for vacation: “There’s no such thing as minimalism when it comes to packing for a trip with small children.”

Readers of HT’s blog, FB, and Twitter feed will recognize some material here (the “toddler-approved recipes” and physics breakdown of car napping), but not much. This is 256 pages of sheer, highly original, creative genius.

There are occasional moments of dark-ish humor (“There’s nothing special about a child [i.e., infant] who can’t go anywhere without a blanket over her legs”), but, then again, this was written by a toddler.

And, HT, if you’re reading: make sure your mom lets you watch Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. You’ll like it way better than Caillou.

If you’re a parent of a toddler or know one, The Honest Toddler is essential reading, if only to relax and laugh enough to keep one’s head in the game of toddler parenting. (If you’re interested in the possibility of a free copy, I’m giving one away here.)

I have to stop now; my own two-year-old just woke up to join us in watching the late-night basketball game and blogging, and now is requesting–you guessed it–Daniel Tiger and some water.

Many thanks to Scribner (imprint of Simon & Schuster) for the review copy, given to me for the purposes of an honest review. Find the book’s product page here. It’s on Amazon here.

And thanks especially to Bunmi/HT for making me a better parent. Or at least a parent who is able to laugh a little bit more and cry a little bit less as I raise my little ones.

Honest Toddler: Free Book Giveaway

HT book cover

Honest Toddler, under the supervision of mom Bunmi Laditan, has now added a full-length book to a popular and cathartic Twitter feed, Facebook page, and blog/Website. HT’s mom blogs here.

Thanks to Scribner (imprint of Simon & Schuster), Words on the Word has a copy of Honest Toddler: A Child’s Guide to Parenting to give away.

To enter, simply comment on this blog post with the best (brief) parenting tip you can come up with. Or just say hi. For a second entry, share the link to this post on FB, Twitter, via mind meld, etc., and let me know in the comments section that you did.

I’ll announce the winner right here some time next Monday.

And tomorrow I’ll post my review of the book on the book’s official release date. UPDATE: Review is here.

Books for Sale (Word Biblical Commentary, 9 vols., others)

wbcI’m looking to sell 9 volumes of the Word Biblical Commentary set. I’ve listed them (with full condition details) here. If you want to contact me directly about a possible purchase (i.e., not through ebay), feel free to use this form, and we’ll talk. (UPDATE: Books are now sold.)


A few more books for sale:

IVP Bible Background

IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament
Like New
ISBN: 978-0830814053
Used just a few times. No markings. In great shape.
$22 (SOLD)


Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (BDAG)
for BibleWorks Software
Compatible with BibleWorks 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. I’ve been in touch with BibleWorks to confirm that on completion of sale, one user license transfers to the buyer with no fee, so that you can use BDAG in your BibleWorks. (Must have purchased and own BibleWorks to be able to use this.)
Significant discount from buying new (where it’s $150).
$99 (SOLD)

Ezra Nehemiah BHQ

Ezra and Nehemiah: Biblia Hebraica Quinta (BHQ)
Like New
Taken out of shrink wrap and used just once or twice.
Excellent condition.

$40 (SOLD)

Greek Grammar Wallace

Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics
Very Good/Like New
Just some edge and cover wear. Light blue cover as pictured, but same contents as dark blue cover.

Free shipping on all orders. If you’re interested in buying–or just have questions–you can reach me using this form, and we’ll go from there. (I use PayPal; shipping is free only domestically.)

The Handy Guide to New Testament Greek, reviewed

Handy Guide to GNT

Recently my Greek reading has improved due to spending regular time refreshing my memory on verb paradigms, rules of syntax, and so on. The tool I’ve been using is Douglas S. Huffman’s Handy Guide to New Testament Greek (Kregel, 2012). Huffman’s Handy Guide consists of three parts:

  1. Grammar (“Greek Grammar Reminder: With Enough English to Be Manageable”)
  2. Syntax (“Greek Syntax Summaries: With a Few Helps to Be Memorable”)
  3. Diagramming (“Phrase Diagramming: With Enough Results to Be Motivating”)

“A Select Bibliography” concludes the guide and points beginning, intermediate, and advanced Greek readers to grammar texts, reading resources, diagramming helps, and more.

Handy Guide to New Testament Greek joins a number of similar little books already on the market for reviewing and retaining Koine Greek. There is Biblical Greek: A Compact Guide, a helpful and portable distillation of Mounce’s popular grammar. One might also consider Dale Russell Bowne’s Paradigms and Principal Parts for the Greek New Testament, Paul Fullmer and Robert H. Smith’s Greek at a Glance, and even the back of Kubo’s Reader’s Lexicon for its solid summary of Greek grammar with paradigm charts.

How does Huffman’s offering differ? Unlike Paradigms and Principal Parts or Greek at a Glance, the Handy Guide consists of more than simply verb paradigms or noun declension charts. It includes those, but with accompanying explanation along the way. In this regard it is similar to Mounce’s Compact Guide.

Different from Mounce, however, is the lack of any vocabulary-related helps in Huffman. It’s hard to imagine someone wanting a “handy guide” to “New Testament Greek” who doesn’t also want some treatment of vocabulary, which Mounce’s guide accomplishes nicely with its included brief lexicon. Huffman does include information about how words are formed, in his chart on comparative and superlative adjectives, for example:

Huffman Guide sample

But vocabulary is otherwise absent from the guide.

Part 1, “Greek Grammar Reminder,” covers everything from accents and breathing marks to nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and verb declensions. (Verb paradigm charts take up the majority of part 1.)

Huffman’s “Verb Usage Guide” (from part 2) contains a refreshing amount of detail on Greek verbs for such a short guide. For example, he lists 20 categories of participles followed by a “Participle Usage Identification Guide” to help readers of Greek texts determine what kind of participle is at hand. Part 2 also explains noun case usage. His explanations of nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, and vocative cases are short, clear, and include plenty of examples with Scripture references.

Where Huffman is really unique (and what makes this guide desirable especially for a second-year Greek student or pastor) is in his part 3 on diagramming. He briefly treats “technical diagramming” (the kind some of us had to do for English in 5th grade–showing syntactical relationships at the word level) and arcing, then moves into a rich, 22-page description of “phrase diagramming,” which looks like this:

Huffman, p. 103 (1 Peter 1:3-4)
Huffman, p. 103 (1 Peter 1:3-4)

The goal of this kind of diagramming is “to grasp the writer’s general flow of thought and argument, which he has expressed in particular words and sentences” (85). Huffman’s eight steps to phrase diagramming explain the process so that even a beginner can understand it well. His “Special & Problem Issues” section is the icing on the cake of part 3.

The guide is truly “handy”; it fits nicely together with a Greek New Testament, so one can keep it close at hand. The color-coding in the paradigms is done well, so that verb endings stand out for an easy refresher course.

An unfortunate and fairly noticeable drawback to this guide, in my view, is in the layout and color scheme. The orange theme, as attractive as it looks on the cover (pictured above), gets to be an eyesore after looking at more than a page or two. It’s too bright to read comfortably, and there are charts with at least four different shades of orange.

When there is Greek in black font (in grammatical category explanations), it looks great. But the Greek in the charts in orange has a fuzzy or slightly blurry, pixelated appearance. There are also quite a few charts that are in landscape orientation (rather than the default portrait orientation), so that the reader has to flip the book sideways. That alone would not be a huge deal, but the orange was distracting to me.

Hopefully there will be demand for future printings, and hopefully future printings will make the layout and fonts more useable. And despite the omission of vocabulary, this guide has great content. Resources on sentence and phrase diagramming for Greek are few and far between, but Huffman’s guide covers that territory well, and having that coupled with quick-reference charts will help just about anyone seeking to retain and improve their biblical Greek.

Kregel sent me a copy of the book for review. Its product page is here, and it’s on Amazon here. The Table of Contents are here (pdf); read an excerpt here (pdf).

Five Kids’ Magazines We Enjoy

Here are five children’s magazines we particularly enjoy reading to our two-year-old and five-year-old:

High Five

5. High Five

“My First Hidden Pictures” and “That’s Silly!” are two favorite features of the magazine. It says it’s for ages 2 to 6, but it’s hard to imagine any two-year-old tracking with it. Better for slightly older kids.

Ranger Rick Jr

4. Ranger Rick, Jr.

It comes from the National Wildlife Federation. Given our five-year-old’s penchant for all things animal kingdom, this one is a hit. Today we learned from the April 2013 issue that giant tortoises can live to be 150 years old. Whoa.


3. Ladybug

From the Cricket Magazine Group, Ladybug is the next age level up from Babybug (see below). Max and Kate are a fun ongoing storyline each month. Our five-year-old transitioned to this a year or more ago when he was getting too old for Babybug.

click magazine

2. Click

The awesomeness of this magazine caught us all unaware–I’d never heard of it before a grandparent-sponsored subscription began arriving in the mail. The March 2013 issue theme is “The deep blue sea.” Our five-year-old did the “make a fish” project on his own right away, with some scissors and glue. The magazine’s “Ocean Zones” section this month introduced us to the sunlight zone, the twilight zone, and the midnight zone, each of which support interesting and diverse kinds of life.

I just found out that Click is part of the same family as Ladybug and as…


1. Babybug

Babybug is really sweet. It is “for babies who love to be read to and for the adults who love to read to them.” (It’s good for toddlers, too.) Kim and Carrots is a favorite each month, and always seems to be appropriately themed for the time of year. Simple yet engaging illustrations go with memorable and fun-to-read poetry. No part of the magazine is more than three pages, so not a long attention span is required. It’s not uncommon for us to ask our two-year-old to pick some books to read, and for him to come to us with three Babybugs.

(It’s also not uncommon for me to walk in to the living room from the back of the house and see my five-year-old curled up on the couch with a New Yorker.)

How about any of you who regularly read to children? What magazines do you recommend?