Three Views Of One Cross
Key Words for Lent, by George W. Barrett (Seabury, 1963, 133 pp., $2.75) and Words and Wonders of the Cross, by Gordon H. Girod (Baker, 1962, 154 pp., $2.50), are reviewed by Paul S. Rees, Vice-President-at-large, World Vision, Pasadena, California.

What these two works have in common is the Crucifixion theme and a basically similar author’s format. Both are divided into two sections. Where Episcopal rector Barrett devotes the first part of his study to an examination of such salient Christian words as repentance, obedience, commitment, grace, suffering, and freedom, Reformed Church pastor Girod reexamines the Saviour’s seven sayings on the cross. Where Barrett calls Part II “Good Friday” and addresses himself to such topics as “Offended by Virtue,” “Tested by Sacrifice,” and “Healed by His Wounds,” Girod (without titular characterization) discusses the “miracles” of Good Friday: darkness at noon, quaking earth, rent veil, opened graves, the raised bodies of the saints.

Beyond this, however, the similarities between the two authors and their works are not remarkable. If one permits himself to overgeneralize (and who doesn’t?), he will want to say that theologically, Barrett is all putty and Girod all rock. This observation is as fair and as unfair to both men as sweeping generalizations usually are.

Author Girod is a rigid predestinarian who finds in Holy Scripture indubitable support for the view that the number of the “elect” was determined prehistorically and solely by God’s decree and that, accordingly, the death of Christ, far from having significance for all men, has meaning only for the elect, for whom, and for whom alone, it did provide an atonement (“the atonement is not universal; it is not for all men,” p. 57). In harmony with this theological construction it is held that faith (and with it a repentant mind) is not in fact a condition of salvation but a consequence; that is to say, men trust Christ and repent of their sins only after they have been born again by the sovereign act of the Spirit of God (“for if man be truly ‘dead in trespasses and sins,’ he remains such, until the Holy Spirit executes a work of grace in his heart. The Holy Spirit can be nothing less than sovereign, if any man is to be saved. Only after the Holy Spirit has rendered the ‘heart of stone’ into a ‘heart of flesh’ can man respond to the overtures of divine mercy,” p. 81).

It is not the business of the reviewer to defend or refute this particular theological structuring of the sovereignty of God. After all, it is a reading of the case that has been found helpful to knowledgeable Christian thinkers. It is perhaps not beyond the reviewer’s role to express some dismay over the author’s implication, in several places, that any other reading of what the Scriptures teach in respect of God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility cannot be “evangelical.”

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It is a mark of merit that the Girod book is a grappling sort of undertaking. It digs beneath the surface. It takes Holy Scripture, in its narrative and didactic forms, with tremendous seriousness, as is meet and proper. Reflective readers will probably feel that here and there the author has attempted to be so meticulous in exposition that he succeeds only in being overly precise. For example, the quoted words of our Lord, “I lay down my life for the sheep,” are followed by the caution, “Not for the goats, you understand, but for the sheep!” Were they, then, always sheep, and if so, how “evangelical” is such a conclusion?

A long overdue emphasis in a Lenten book appears in Girod’s vigorous references to the wrath of God, the solemnity of divine judgment on sin, and the terrible reality of hell.

George Barrett’s treatment of “key words” embraces several quotations from Paul Tillich, including a featured excerpt from his The Shaking of the Foundations which appears opposite the title Page. “There is a mysterious fact about the great words of our religious tradition: they cannot be replaced.… They must be found again by each generation, and by each of us for himself.”

In themselves these words are innocent. Those, however, who feel that Tillich’s handcrafting of the great Christian words is more a devaluation than a revaluation will find little in this gambit to inspire their confidence.

While it manifestly is not the author’s purpose to give an exposition of the doctrine of the Atonement, the atonement theme is prominent in a chapter called “Tested by Sacrifice.” Here the author takes a disappointingly low and humanistic view of “priesthood” and “sacrifice” under the Old Covenant. In this connection the statement is made, quite categorically, that “what the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews sees is that all such sacrifices are in the end meaningless. They are pathetic efforts that have no reality” (pp. 109, 110).

Dr. Barrett undoubtedly believes that there is a difference between the significance of what happened, for example, on the Day of Atonement in the Jewish year and what happens when a pagan tribe annually offers a bull to appease the deadly anger of the “crocodile” god, but this difference is largely glossed over by the manner in which it is handled.

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The book’s best contribution will be found in its ethical and psychological insights, which are marked by soundness and a frequently searching shrewdness. This is enhanced by diction that is graceful and lucid.


Key Roles
From First Adam to Last, by C. K. Barrett (Scribner’s, 1962, 124 pp., $2.95), is reviewed by Walter W. Wessel, Associate Professor of Biblical Literature, Bethel College, St. Paul, Minnesota.

These studies are based on the Hewett Lectures for 1961 and were delivered at three prominent American theological seminaries. They are further evidence of the intense interest today in biblical theology.

The author, who is professor of divinity at the University of Durham, contends that Pauline studies are still important despite the great interest today among biblical scholars in the new quest for the historical Jesus. Paul remains the “one fixed point” from which one may move both forward and backwards in his study of Christian origins and developments. He is the “pole star for him who would navigate the waters of early Christianity.”

The one basic presupposition of the book is that “Paul sees history … crystallizing on outstanding figures—men who are notable in themselves as individual persons, but even more notable as representative figures.” These representative figures who play key roles in the unfolding of the divine purpose are Adam, Abraham, Moses, Christ, and Christ as “The Man to Come.”

The great value of the book lies in the careful exegesis of the Pauline passages which the author brings to bear on his thesis. Professor Barrett is no novice in the art of biblical exegesis and exposition (cf. his commentaries on John and Romans). His treatment of such crucial Pauline texts as Romans 4:1–25 and 5:12–21; 1 Corinthians 10:1–11 and 15:21–56; Galatians 3:19–29; Philippians 2:5–11, and Colossians 1:15–20, is among the best one can find anywhere.

Reading for Perspective


The Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary, Merrill C. Tenney, General Editor (Zonderran, $9.95). A single-volume dictionary by scholars of conservative religious outlook. More than 5,000 entries with maps and pictures.

Expository Preaclzing Witholrt Notes, by Charles W. Koller (Baker, $2.50). A remedy for that ironical moment in the pulpit when the impassioned preacher must pause 1 to see what comes next.

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Barriers to Clzristian Belief, by A. Leonard Griffith (I Tarper & Row, $3.50). Compelling answers from a world-renowned pulpit for doubters and skeptics who face honest and pseudo barriers on the road to faith.

Professor Barrett also has some interesting things to say (in connection with his discussion of “The New Creation and the Individual”) on baptism. Even though baptism as a rite is not repeated, it must not be considered a once-for-all act. In substance it must be continually renewed. For baptism “admits not to a settled and final state of salvation, but to the dialectic of death and resurrection; not to the age to come, but to the interpenetration of this age and the age to come, which becomes actual for man who dies and rises daily.”

Parts of the book are hard going, but it is nevertheless to be hoped that it will have a reading wider than that by theological professors only. It contains much solid biblical-theological material that could enrich the preaching ministry.


Done By 65
The Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary, Merrill C. Tenney, General Editor (Zondervan, 1963, 968 pp., with over 700 photos and 40 pp. of maps, $9.95), is reviewed by William Childs Robinson, Professor of Ecclesiastical History, Church Polity, and Apologetics, Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Georgia.

This work is notable in the large number of fresh photographs it makes available. The work is done by 65 scholars of conservative views, several from Wheaton College. Long articles with good pictures are found on such themes as Israel, archaeology, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Jerusalem. The Red Sea is interpreted as the Reed or Marsh Sea. Bus-well gives good brief treatments of the Incarnation and the Propitiation. The article on the Atonement carries the “emptying” indicated in Philippians 2 too far. Current scholarship is relating this phrase to Isaiah 53:12. The high tone of the work and the excellent illustrations will make this a prized volume.


The American Revolution
Mitre and Sceptre, by Carl Bridenbaugh (Oxford, 1962, 354 pp., $7.50), is reviewed by Earle E. Cairns, Chairman, Department of History and Political Science, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois.

Past interpreters of the American Revolution have emphasized its constitutional and economic causes. The scholarly president of the American Historical Association stresses religion as an equally important cause because of the attempt by Anglican missionaries to obtain an Anglican bishop in the Thirteen Colonies against the united opposition of other Protestants. This book thus updates and integrates the theses of the previous books by Alice Baldwin and A. L. Cross on the role of the New England clergy and Anglican missionaries in the coming of the Revolution.

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The author combines little-used or newly discovered English and colonial newspapers and manuscripts with excellent biographical sketches, of both dissenting and Anglican leaders, to form a new synthesis. He demonstrates that between 1689 and 1775 the attempt to obtain an Anglican episcopate in the colonies was opposed as a threat to religious and civil liberty and to local control of higher education. Mitre (the Anglican archbishop) was as much to blame as the sceptre (King George III) for the loss of the colonies.

This ecclesiastical struggle promoted intercolonial cooperation and even temporary union of Dissenters in the colonies and close cooperation with those in England. It also stimulated the rise of early American nationalism. It resulted, too, in the Dissenters’ formation of a political pressure group which became expert in propaganda in pulpit, press, and pamphlet.

Bridenbaugh demonstrates that the historian cannot afford to neglect religion in his study of American history. His timely study of past relations between church and state is relevant to the current debate over such things as federal aid to education. One wonders whether future historians might write a similar story of Protestant opposition to the demands of the Roman Catholic Church for financial aid from government.


A Story Of Invasion
Urgent Harvest: Partnership with the Church in Asia, by Leslie Lyall (China Inland Mission, 1962, 220 pp., 8s. 6d.), is reviewed by James Taylor, Minister, Ayr Baptist Church, Scotland.

This book is the record of impressions the author received while touring all the fields of the Overseas Missionary Fellowship of the China Inland Mission in 1960. One-third of the world’s population lives in the Far East, and Mr. Lyall conveys a sense of the magnitude of the task facing Christian missions working there.

He tells of a painting in a Tokyo park depicting a solitary child: four venerable figures are beckoning to the child—Buddha, Confucius, Lao-tze, and Christ—but the child looks perplexed and undecided. Today the ancient religions, animism, Communism, and Christ are all fighting for the souls of men. Many millions are in the darkness of immorality and indifference. Christian converts seem to mature slowly, and many fall away. Church discipline has to be exercised firmly and frequently. The missionaries experience constant frustration and disappointment.

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This book is a valuable record of a fierce battle on the part of faithful, determined missionaries and national Christians to extend the kingdom of our Lord in territory stoutly defended by Satan. We are also given a valuable insight into the strategy, planning, and vision of a modern missionary society.


Suspense Story
I Was an NKVD Agent, by Anatoli Granovsky (Devin-Adair, 1962, 343 pp., $4.75), is reviewed by A. W. Brustat, Pastor, Trinity Lutheran Church, Scarsdale, New York.

This is another in the growing list of important documentaries which ought to convince free men of the urgency of bending every effort to remain free.

Granovsky relates his harrowing experiences in Soviet prisons after his father, a faithful Party member, had been liquidated in one of the many Soviet purges. Induced by the natural urge for self-preservation, he reluctantly became an agent of the NKVD. In this narration of his multiplied activities—ranging from the first NKVD assignment to spy on his friends (including Stalin’s son) through deliberately planned killings and sex orgies to his eventual hair-raising escape to freedom—is the intriguing, suspenseful story of a courageous man.


Communion Is The Crux
One Bread, One Body, by Nathan Wright, Jr. (Seabury, 1962, 148 pp., $3.75), is reviewed by William B. Williamson, Rector, Church of the Atonement, Philadelphia, assisted by Eugene F. Lefebvre, Rector, St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

It is hard to imagine the need for another book on liturgies, especially another potentially tedious overview of the Holy Communion as the hope of Church unity; yet One Bread, One Body has made a place for itself in the area of liturgical renewal and offers some guidelines for helpful ecumenical interest at an important level.

The Rev. Nathan Wright, Jr., Rector of St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church, Roxbury, Massachusetts, has written an excellent book for laymen which will serve as a refresher for clergy in the field of liturgies. The chapters of the book are set against the background of the Liturgy of the Holy Communion as found in the Book of Common Prayer of the Protestant Episcopal Church, a fact that in no way causes the book to have interest for Episcopalians only. Mr. Wright has drawn upon various and numerous church scholars (Catholic and Protestant) to support his thesis: the universal acceptance of the Holy Communion as the Church’s chief service of worship, originally commanded by Jesus Christ and followed by the early Church and generations of Christians.

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One chapter which is of interest to this reviewer is “Our Part in Christ’s Sacrifice” (12), a concept where Catholic and Protestant thought many times clash. In this chapter the author quotes from many sources; included is the following comment by the noted Scottish theologian Donald Baillie: “Today we can fairly appraise the situation thus: while many Roman Catholics and others of the Catholic tradition may not appreciate fully their role as members of a sacrificing community and while many Protestants may not recognize the presence of the sacrificial principles in their religious thought, many Catholic and Protestant theologians basically agree upon the concept of religious sacrifices” (p. 87). In addition to Presbyterian Baillie, the author mentions the works of the Roman Catholics Dom Odo Casel and Abbot Herwegen; the Anglicans Dom Gregory Dix, A. G. Hebert, and Massey Shepherd; the Lutherans Archbishop Yngve Brilioth and Ernest Koenker; and the Eastern Orthodox scholar Nicholas Arseniev.

Wright holds solidly that the Holy Communion is the great social action of the Church’s worship, a concept which is often forgotten by many in the Reformed traditions.

Here is a book worthy of consideration by all clergy, by all those engaged in Christian education, and indeed, by all Christians who are prayerfully studying those areas where the divided Church might once again demonstrate and thus secure the unity of Christ’s Holy Church. The book helps in this effort by its profuse use of quotations from the Church fathers, the Reformers, and contemporary liturgical scholars; it gives to both clergy and laity statements made by men of their own traditions on the Church’s unique service—the Holy Communion.


Fresh Approach
Apostle Extraordinary, by Reginald E. O. White (Eerdmans, 1962, 209 pp., $3.50), is reviewed by Ian R. Fisher, Scottish Travelling Secretary of the Inter-Varsity Fellowship.

Described as “a modern portrait of St. Paul,” this is not strictly a biography of the Apostle; the author avoids covering ground adequately dealt with elsewhere. His method is to study various aspects of Paul’s life and experience and to apply the lessons to our time. He does this well, and provides the reader with a fresh approach to Paul. One pleasing feature of the book is the profusion and aptness of the biblical quotations. Particularly relevant and challenging is the section on “Paul, Servant of the Kingdom,” where the author illustrates the similarity of Paul’s situation to our own. This and the concluding piece on “Paul and the Secrets of Power” are searching ones for all engaged in Christian work.

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Some will disagree with the author’s interpretation of parts of the Epistles (e.g., that of Romans 7 on p. 40), and others will regret his unwillingness to take a firmer line on the Pauline authorship of the Pastoral Epistles (pp. 157 f.). However, these facts do not detract from the general excellence of a book which continually challenges the reader to follow more closely in the footsteps of the Apostle.


Best Of Suzuki
The Essentials of Zen Buddhism, by Daisetz T. Suzuki (Dutton, 1962, 544 pp., $7.50), is reviewed by Leslie R. Keylock, Research Assistant in Religion, State University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.

Although Zen has many of the characteristics of an intellectual fad in America, it is in a more popular form one of the largest of Mahayana Buddhist sects, with millions of adherents in Japan alone. The venerable apostle of Zen to the West is 92-year-old Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, professor emeritus of Buddhist philosophy at Japan’s Otani University in Kyoto, whose writings have been appearing at frequent intervals for the past 35 years. Suzuki, who is fluent in Sanskrit, classical Chinese, Pali, Japanese, and English, returned to Japan in 1958 after many years of teaching and lecturing in the United States.

The present work is a compilation of Suzuki’s more important writings between 1949 and 1959, selected and edited by Zen-convert Bernard Phillips. Phillips prefaces the book with an extremely tedious introduction which, to indulge in understatement, suffers acutely when compared to Suzuki’s very readable English style.

The book is intended as an introduction to Zen. Opening chapters attempt to explain the inexplicable, subjective philosophy of this mystical and anti-rationalistic faith. The section on Zen’s history from its ostensible origins in India to its transmigration to China is highly enlightening. Unfortunately there is no comparable chapter on the history of Zen’s development in Japan, where this faith is now most prevalent. (Occasional glimpses of such a history are given, e.g., on pp. 34, 272–75, 400, 462, 477 f., and 481.) The reader wishes that such a chapter could have been included. He also wishes that some of the endless repetition for which Suzuki is so well known could have been eliminated. Nowhere is this prolixity more patent and ironic than in the protracted treatment of “satori,” the existential experience of Sudden Enlightenment which Zen regards as its essential characteristic. Suzuki explains that the many years of meditation which a disciple spends on a series of extremely cryptic “kōans” (Zen’s question-and-answer patterns) under a Zen master in a Meditation Hall are meant to lead to a satori which will initiate him into a life of freedom from the dreaded dualism of intellection and logic. A study of those aspects of Zen which have contributed to the culture of Japan concludes the anthology: the art of tea-drinking, swordsmanship, and Zen painting.

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For those interested in a study of that form of Eastern mysticism which has so strongly influenced American “beatnik” creativity, this anthology of Suzuki’s writings is undoubtedly the best volume available.


Diagnosis Without Cure
Guilt: Its Meaning and Significance, by John G. McKenzie (Allen & Unwin, 1962, 192 pp., 21s.), is reviewed by Ian Lodge Patch, psychiatrist, London, England.

Few words evoke such interest from so many quarters, or provoke so many antagonistic points of view, as guilt. Yet much of the disagreement arises from contestants’ failure to recognize that their basic premises are different. Dr. McKenzie sets out first to describe the origins of guilt in the terms of depth-psychology, and then to consider the relationship of guilt to law, ethics, and religion. Much discussion goes on as to whether there are objective standards of behavior underlying the guilt and provoking a sense of “ought.” For Dr. McKenzie this sense of “ought” not only exists but is ultimate, and is itself the evidence of an objective standard. For this reason he finds Freud and Fromm unsatisfactory—they take no account of “ought,” which provides the evidence for sin and the need for the Cross. Psychiatry, of course, has no remedy for real guilt in this sense.

In his chapter on the legal concept of guilt he deals competently with many vexed questions—psychopathy, diminished responsibility, and uncontrollable impulse—but with disappointingly little in the way of conclusions. This inconclusiveness seems to be the main defect of the book. Dr. McKenzie is at home with the ethical, philosophical, or theological discussion of a concept, but his ideas seem remote from the patient laboring under an intense feeling of guilt. Thus there is no discussion of the pathological guilt which dissipates with the treatment of a depressive illness. The reader is left instead with the impression that guilt itself is the root of all evils. As a discussion of a theory, however, the work is stimulating.

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Book Briefs

The Forty Days, by Geoffrey R. King (Eerdmans, 1962, 105 pp., $2). Readable, worthy discussion of the Forty Days, usually neglected—and usually numbered from Easter. First American edition.

Seven Words of Men Around the Cross, by Paul L. Moore (Abingdon, 1962, 94 pp., $2). Devotional reflections on six words uttered below, and one alongside, the Cross. Sharp insights combine with wobbly theology.

He Speaks from the Cross, by John Sutherland Bonnell and others (Revell, 1963, 126 pp., $3). Fine, polished essays of uneven value on the words spoken from the Cross.

Christ’s Eternal Invitation, by Robert Talmadge Haynes, Jr. (John Knox, 1963, 62 pp., $2). Devotions in free verse, about people who lived on the edge of Good Friday.

The Compassion of God and the Passion of Christ, by Eric Abbott (Geoffrey Bles, 1963, 96 pp., 7s. 6d.). The Dean of Westminster offers brief scriptural meditations, based on Hebrews 13:20, 21, for the weeks of Lent.

A Book of Lent, by Victor E. Beck and Paul M. Lindberg (Fortress, 1963, 197 pp., $3.25). All about and for Lent: its symbols, customs, and worship, with meditations for the season.

In the Eyes of Others: Common Misconceptions of Catholicism, edited by Robert W. Gleason, S.J. (Macmillan, 1962, 168 pp., $3.95). Eight Jesuits attempt to see themselves as others see them on such matters as Bible study, birth control, private judgment, and the church and politics.

What He Said, compiled by Peter Ruf (Carlton Press, 1962, 116 pp., $4). A concordance of the words of Christ. Overpriced.

Mennonite Exodus, by Frank H. Epp (Friesen & Sons [Altona, Manitoba], 1962, 571 pp., $6). A detailed story of the conflict Between the Communists and the Mennonites in Russia since the Bolshevik Revolution.

Understanding the Lord’s Prayer, by Henri van den Bussche (Sheed & Ward, 1963, 144 pp., $3). A Roman Catholic interprets the Lord’s Prayer within its eschatological framework. Provocative.

The Church at Worship, by Gaines S. Dobbins (Broadman, 1962, 147 pp., $3.25). A professor speaks profitably about the purpose and achievement of worship and its place in the Christian life.

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1010 Sermon Illustrations from the Bible, by Charles L. Wallis (Harper & Row, 1963, 242 pp., $3.95). Spotty and of uneven value.

The Holy Bible (American Bible Society, 1962, 1435 pp., $2.05). English Reference Bible, with concordance, eight maps, four pages of alternate readings, and a seven-page list of words whose meanings have changed.

The Children’s Hymnbook, compiled and edited by Wilma Vander Baan and Albertha Bratt (Eerdmans, 1962, 196 pp., $2.95). Good selection of songs, serviceable; with fine artwork.

Lost and Found, by Russell L. Mast (Herald Press, 1963, 102 pp., $2.50). Seven brief well-wrought essays on the “four” lost parables of Luke 15—with application to the lostness of our modern generation.

Symbols, by Ratha Doyle McGee (The Upper Room, 1962, 116 pp., $1). Religious symbols, depicted with their meaning and Scripture reference. Revised.

The Dead Sea Scrolls, by Charles F. Pfeiffer (Baker, 1962, 119 pp., $2.50). Revised and enlarged edition of the author’s previously published popular presentation of the same title.

Matthew-Acts, Volume 6 of Nelson’s Bible Commentary, by Frederick C. Grant (Thomas Nelson, 1962, 518 pp., $5). An excellent commentary if used with a dash of discretion. Based on RSV.

The Epistle to the Hebrews, by Clarence S. Roddy (Baker, 1962, 141 pp., $2.75). Brief, practical commentary on selected texts dealing with main motifs of the epistle. Particularly helpful for study groups and for ministers desiring to preach a series of sermons on this epistle.

But God!, by V. Raymond Edman (Zondervan, 1962, 152 pp., $2.50) Short, warm devotional pieces which counter the human situation with the BUT of God’s Word. Embellished with excellent photography.


The Prince and the Prophet, by Chester Hoversten (Augsburg, 1963,123 pp., $1.75). Practical Lenten sermons of substance. Better than most.

They Were There … When They Crucified My Lord, by Lester Heins (Augsburg, 1963, 79 pp., $1.75). Brief Lenten meditations in the form of letters addressed to biblical persons.

With Heart and Mind, by Kenneth L. Pike (Eerdmans, 1962, 140 pp., $1.75). An evangelical muses on scholarship and the Christian faith.

Opened Treasures, by Frances Ridley Havergal (Loizeaux Brothers, 1962, 256 pp., $3.25). A brief, moving devotion for each day of the year, bearing the mark of the extraordinary personality and spiritual character of its author.

Lists of Words Occurring Frequently in the Coptic New Testament, compiled by Bruce M. Metzger, (Eerdmans, 1962, 24 pp., $.75). By an acknowledged specialist in the field; the author, assuming that his readers know some Greek, alphabetized the words in accordance with the principles of Georg Steindorff.

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