Essential Library

I’m curious what titles you all believe are essential to have in your home library. To be specific, what books do you think a biblical scholar (of any type) should not be without? Of course the first thing would be the Bible. But what else? Be as specific as you like to your own discipline (Christology, Old Testament, etc) or just speak for everyone across the board. I’d really like to know.



8 thoughts on “Essential Library

  1. I think everyone studying Hebrew Bible should own the following OT theologies:

    Eichrodt’s two volumes
    von Rad’s two volumes
    Childs’ OT Theology in a Canonical Context and Intro to the OT as Scripture
    Brueggemann’s massive Theology of the OT

    I’d also say some of the work by Norman Gottwald is a must have.

  2. I think everyone should have the standard critical editions of the OT and NT = BHS5; Rahlfs-Hanhart LXX; NA27/UBS4.

    For text critical issues I think that Bruce Metzger’s A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, 2nd ed. as well as Philip Comfort’s New Testament Text and Translation Commentary are essential for the NT student and Emanuel Tov’s Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, 2nd rev. ed. for the OT student.

    For the student of Christology they should have everything ever written on the subject by Larry Hurtado and Richard Bauckham but if they had to choose just one work from each then it would be Hurtado’s Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity and Bauckham’s Jesus and the God of Israel: God Crucified and Other Studies on the New Testament’s Christology of Divine Identity. James Dunn’s Christology in the Making: A New Testament Inquiry into the Origins of the Doctrine of the Incarnation, 2nd ed. is also necessary reading. Also worth while, but certainly not as good as Bauckham and Hurtado is Gordon Fee’s Pauline Christology: An Exegetical-Theological Study.

    I’ll leave it at that before this gets so long that I need to post it on my blog.

  3. I consider these 4 tools to be absolutely indispensable:

    1) Greek NT
    2) Hebrew OT
    3) Greek OT
    4) Hebrew NT

    Then you’ll need concordances of both testaments of course.

    Re. Hebrew NT, I have two: Delitzsch and Modern Hebrew. I use them in reading the Gospels.

    Soweit meine Gedanken!

    1. I haven’t thought of getting a Hebrew NT. That’s good advice. I took a semester of Modern Hebrew a few years back. I’ll have to reference some of that again and work on my biblical Hebrew a bit more (I’ve neglected it too much), but I like that idea. Thanks, Dr. Black!

  4. I think every library should have a few works of Bauckham. For Johannine studies I found his anthology of essays in The Testimony of the Beloved Disciple amazing. His works on Christology (noted above by Nick) as well as Jesus and the Eyewitnesses are recommended.

    James Dunn’s Jesus and the Spirit volumes are pretty good.

  5. Matt: Let me check and see how many Hebrew NTs I have. If there’s enough I’ll send you a copy of one. It’s Hebrew-English on facing pages though, so if that’s a problem let me know.

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