Monday, November 16, 2015

Book Hunt at SBL-AAR 2015

Between sessions and catching up with people, one highlight of SBL-AAR is walking through the book exhibit, finding some jewels among a treasure trove of books, monographs, reference works, and commentaries. Many of my favorite publishers and university presses will be there in Atlanta, and they each offer a range of discounts, some as much as 40-50% off the sticker price. 
    I already having a working shopping list of purchases I have mind, divided between four groups: 1) must-buy (or the "Shut up and take my money (already)" books, 2) I-want-to-browse-it-first-before-I-give-you-the-dough books, 3) I-want-you-but-you're-too-expensive-for-me-to-buy-without-risking-the-wrath-of-my-wife books, and 4) pleasant-but-unexpected-purchases or let's-take-this-puppy-home book because it's too good a deal to pass up. Of course, I don't know what the 4th category of books will be until I roam the book exhibits and accidently stumble upon something I value. The 3rd category is a secret so I can give myself some wriggle room for a sneaky clandestine purchase from you-know-who. But I can comment on the 1st and 2nd categories in this and a subsequent post. So here are my tentative picks for category 1: 
    The must-buy books are Paul and the Gift by John Barclay, but to be honest, I already bought my copy because I could not wait. 
Published by Eerdmans
Richard Longenecker's long-awaited technical NIGTC on Romans was supposed to debut at Atlanta though all the online sellers seem to indicate that it will be a month or two later. Hopefully, Eerdmans will at least have a display copy at their table to peruse: 
Published by Eerdmans (may be available
in December? vs. Februrary)
Then there are E.P. Sanders' Paul: The Apostle's Life, Letters, and Thought, which also might be debuting late and N.T. Wright's The Paul Debate: Critical Questions for Understanding the Apostle
Published by Fortress Press
Published by Baylor University Press
This last must-buy is not a book on Paul but nevertheless, a long, long awaited commentary on the Gospel of John from a premier Johannine scholar whose past work tells me that Marianne Meye Thompson's NTL Commentary on John will be the go-to-volume for the fourth gospel for a long time: 
Published by Westminster John Knox Press
Next post, the books I'm on the fence about and won't buy until I get a glance at them first. 


  1. what, nothing from the First Bible?

  2. You mean the Greek New Testament? Hebrew Bible? Or am I missing a double entendre here? I'm trying to limit my post to books about Paul (with the Thompson commentary exception) and so technically, Paul's own letters can't make the list! LOL!... it has to be books ABOUT Paul