Thursday, May 24, 2012

Multipurpose Tools for Bible Study

The date on the inside reads "1970," so my recent purchase of this used copy at my local Good Will store was partly out of nostalgia, and partly out of respect to its author, Dr. Frederick W. Danker.  Earlier in February I posted a brief article on Danker in honor of his recent passing, so this find seemed rather fortuitous. Dr. Danker's legacy still remains, if even in the most unlikely places.  The title is a bit deceptive as far as the average lay reader is concerned.  Chapter headings concern the Nestle Text, the Hebrew Old Testament, the History of the Septuagint, and a wealth of information on grammars, lexicons, Bible dictionaries, various versions of the English Bible, Judaica, Archeology and the Dead Sea Scrolls.  A revised and expanded version of the book is available through  It appears that this last revision was done in 2003, complete with a CD-ROM (the last revision being 10 years before in 1993), something Dr. Danker could not have imagined when he first wrote this classic in 1960, 43 years before. The 1970 edition was published by Concordia Publishing House, but the latest edition was now done by Fortress Press.  Given Dr. Danker's departure from the LCMS, the change in publishers is not surprising. Even though my copy is now decades out of date, much of the information is still relevant and worthy of study.   I'm curious how current seminary professors in the Missouri Synod rate this updated classic. 

A side note:  Dr. James W. Voelz offers a short but fitting tribute to this scholar in the latest issue of Concordia Journal (Spring 2012), entitled "Frederick W. Danker: The Passing of a Giant."

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