July 2008


Hey blogging world.  I’m working on Romans 8 for a chapter right now, and I wanted to see what resources y’all liked particularly well.  The three main areas I’m looking at are participation language (8.1-13), adoption (8.14-30), and being conformed to Christ (8.17-30).  So, pretty much anything you think is good on the chapter would be helpful.  Off the top of my head, Byrne’s work on ‘Sons of God’, Fee’s section on Romans 8 in GEP, and Osten-Sacken are main ones other than commentaries.  Other ideas?

I’m almost done writing up my own thoughts on these issues, and then after I’ve got my thoughts sorted out, I’ll go interact with secondary stuff.

Phil over at hyperekperissou asked a couple of questions about the state of patrology online.  You’ll find some good discussion in the comments on the post.  I found some PDF scans of PG that I didn’t know about (see here for Irenaeus).  He then was kind enough to summarise the big picture status of things in this post: Patrology Online – Wrapup

See here for some discussion of electronic versions of PG.

p.s. You’ll see that I have most of the major sights on my sidebar under Patrology Resources as well as some in my post on Patristic Biblical Citations.

Here’s a latin vocabulary list I pulled together. The first part is from Collins Ecclesiastical Latin. The rest is just a general list I got off the internet somewhere.  I haven’t used it much, so I can’t vouch for it, but someone may find it helpful.

Files to Download*:
Latin-English (txt)
Latin-English (xls)
*Wordpress won’t let me upload .txt and .xls files, so I’ve added a .doc extension to each. When you go to save them, just take off the .doc ending and put back in the .txt or .xls extension.

NB: For Latin help online, Words is fantastic.  It parses and defines just about any Latin word you can think of.  You can also download it to your computer from here.

There seems to be a regular number of searches landing on my blog for ‘CK Barrett,’ and Andy Rowell was kind enough to fill in some details about him and also to point us to a bibliography of his works through the years.  You’ll find the info it in the comments on my post about Barrett’s 90th birthday last year.

As one who is hoping to encourage biblical scholars to engage more with patristic interpreters, I thought it would be helpful to explain the best routes to find where patristic writers cite the Bible.  This topic was briefly brought up at Evangelical Textual Criticism.  The best resource I’ve found to discuss the issue is “A Note on the Critical Use of Instrumenta for the Retrieval of Patristic Biblical Exegesis,” Steven R. Harmon, Journal of Early Christian Studies 11:1, 95–107 © 2003 The Johns Hopkins University Press

Harmon offers this as this priority for ‘the most efficient use of [the] tools.  First, one should consult the volumes of Biblia Patristica. Second, one should supplement Biblia Patristica with keyword searches of the electronic databases [e.g., TLG]. Third, one should compare the combined results from Biblia Patristica and electronic databases with the entries in the scripture indices for PG, PL, PLS, and CPG, since it is possible that these could yield a reference not located by the other tools; in the test case, that did in fact happen with the PLS index.’ (105)

(1) Biblia Patristica. Seven volumes have been published to date, along with a supplementary volume for biblical references in Philo of Alexandria, who served as an exegetical model for many patristic authors.  The entries do not distinguish between quotations and allusions, and criteria for the latter are rather loose. (Began in 1975, latest volume in 2000.)

  • Volume 1: beginnings of extracanonical Christian literature up to Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian.
  • Volume 2 Third century, apart from Origen.
  • Volume 3 Origen
  • Volume 4 Fourth century, includes Eusebius of Caesarea, Cyril of Jerusalem, and Epiphanius of Salamis.
  • Volume 5 covers Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa, and Amphilochius of Iconium.
  • Volume 6 Latin writers, Hilary of Poitiers, Ambrose of Milan, and the Ambrosiaster.
  • Volume 7 Didymus the Blind.

[UPDATE: The published and unpublished portions of Biblia Patristica are now online at BIBLindex! See my post here.]

(2) Electronic Databases. There are four major electronic databases that provide keyword-searchable access early Christian literature: the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG), the Patrologia Latina Database (PLD), the Cetedoc Library of Christian Latin Texts (CLCLT), and the Archive of Celtic Latin Literature (ACLL).

  • TLG contains nearly all extant Greek texts from Homer to 600 c.e. and much of the Byzantine literature from 600 to 1453. Periodic updates are issued; a significant addition to release E in 2000 is the corpus of Cyril of Alexandria, among other authors.
  • PLD contains the complete, uncorrected text of PL.
  • CLCLT contains the more reliable editions of the Corpus Christianorum Latinorum.  At present PLD is more extensive, but CLCLT is updated periodically and already contains a number of texts not found in PL.
  • ACLL complements the CLCLT database by including Latin texts produced in Gaelic speaking areas of Europe from 400–1200 c.e.’ (100-101).

See Brepols.net for electronic language stuff, particularly for Latin.  Also, see the Corpus Christianorum, whose Series Graeca (CCSG) is replacing Migne’s PG with better critical texts.

3) Scripture Indices. For the researcher working any time prior to 1975 to locate references biblical citations in early Christian literature through the eighth century, the best set of tools would have been the index volumes of the Migne Patrologiae Cursus Completus.

  • Patrologia Latina (PL) is in indexed in volumes 218-221, though only by book and chapter (not verses, except for the Patrologia Latina Supplementum (PLS)).
  • For Patrologia Graeca (PG): Ferdinand Cavallera, Patrologiae Cursus Completus, Series Graeca: Indices (Paris: Garnier, 1912).  However, these indices primarily only focus on homilies and commentaries rather than theological treatises, making them less than complete.
  • NT citations in Apostolic Fathers: The New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1905) by the Committee of the Oxford Society of Historical Theology.
  • Clavis Patrum Graecorum (CPG) published by Brepols as part of the Corpus Christianorum series contains an Index Biblicus in volume 5: Maurice Geerard and F. Glorie, CPG, vol. 5, Indices, Initia, Concordantiae (Turnhout: Brepols, 1987).
  • The current edition of Clavis Patrum Latinorum (CPL) does not contain a scripture index: Eligius Dekkers and Emil Gaar, ed., Clavis Patrum Latinorum, 3d ed. (Turnhout: Brepols, 1995).
  • Herman Josef Sieben published an index to patristic homilies on the New Testament in 1991 in the series Instrumenta Patristica: Herman Josef Sieben, Kirchenväterhomilien zum Neuen Testament: Ein Repertorium der Textausgaben und Untersuchungen, mit einem Anhang der Kirchenväterkommentare, Instrumenta Patristica 22 (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff International, 1991).

I came across an article written from a secularist point of view but that is quite sensitive to the imporatance of the discussion here at the Independent: Church in the lurch. It also has a bit about the conservative conference (Gafcon) which has taken steps to break away.  Though we’re attending a Methodist church and the decisions won’t directly affect us, with 85% or so of our congregation being women, the issue has taken a new reality for me.

As in P46, P52, etc.  It is in the GraecaII font, symbol number 184 (in the Latin-1 section).

[This only applies to US students...]

A GREAT piece of advice I got from a friend just before moving to England was to convert any IRA’s (401k’s/403b’s) you have into RothIRA’s while you are a student, and the money WILL NEVER BE TAXED! How is that possible, you ask?  It must be a scam.  Nope.  Here’s how it works…

  1. A regular IRA is funded pre-tax (that is, you exclude the amount paid in from taxable income), but you are taxed when you withdraw it.  A RothIRA is funded post-tax, but you are never taxed when you withdraw it.
  2. If you are a full-time student you are likely to have very little taxable income. This is especially true if you are studying internationally and your income is excluded from US taxes (after the first year).
  3. The US tax system allows you to exclude a portion of income from taxes.  Last year this amount was $3,400/person in the family plus $10,700/$5,350 (married/single).   So, for a married with 2 kids (4 ppl) the exclusion was $24,300, and for a single person it was $8,750. 
  4. The amount converted from an IRA to a RothIRA counts as taxable income in the year of the conversion, but since it is now a RothIRA, you won’t ever pay income tax on it when you take it out. 
  5. So if the amount you convert in any year is less than the income exclusion, that money WILL NEVER BE TAXED! 
  6. Most companies will allow ‘partial conversions’ so you can keep the conversion below the taxable exclusion if you have too much in total to convert. 

An example: You are married (no kids) and you or your spouse has $20,000 in an IRA or 401k/403b from an old job. 

  1. If you already have the money in an IRA, your good.  If not, convert the 401k/403b to an IRA.  It should only take signing a few forms.
  2. Determine your taxable exclusion.  Married no kids should be about $17,500 ($10,700 for being married + $6,800 for being two people [$3,400x2] for 2007).  This will be slightly higher each year.
  3. Subtract out any income you might have that will reduce this.  E.g., Taxable interest, foreign earned income*, etc.  [*--NB: Only applies to your first year overseas.  You have to pay taxes in the US on foreign earned income until you meet the residency rules, which takes about 9-12 months of living somewhere outside the US.]  We’ll say you have $1,000 of income.  So that leaves you with $16.500 of exclusion.
  4. Convert $16,500 of your IRA to a Roth in year 1.  Convert the remaining $3.500 in year 2.

If you have a large IRA amount that will take more than a couple of years to convert tax free, convert stocks when the market is down because it will allow you to convert more, sooner.

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