Evangelical literature is moving through a remarkable day: the unending appearance of new Bible translations or paraphrases and of various compilations of these; the issuance of costly and competent reference works for permanent use; readiness by some theological professors in our time of deep doctrinal crisis to spend their efforts on lucrative potboilers; the notable success, and notable demise, of publishing ventures geared only to high-turnover religious fluff.
Now complete in English translation from the German is the monumental Kittel-Friedrich Theologisches Wörterbuch zum Neuen Testament (reviewed in CHRISTIANITY TODAY, September 27, 1974, page 24). Anglo-Saxon scholarship owes a high debt to Geoffrey W. Bromiley, the gifted translator of this nine-volume work (he earlier translated Barth’s massive Church Dogmatics), and to the Eerdmans Publishing Company. With impressive facility Bromiley translated essays of divergent styles, range, and vocabulary into uniformly idiomatic English. As a companion project, Eerdmans has already begun issuing John Willis’s translation of Botterweck and Ringgren’s Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament.
Once known simply as Kittel, and incorporating the research and reflection of numerous prestigious scholars, the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (TDNT) was many times near disaster. In 1928, when Gerhard Kittel projected two volumes to be produced in three years by fifteen contributors, he never envisioned nine volumes involving more than a hundred contributors and forty-five years.
World War II interrupted the community of participating scholars, and when Kittel died in 1948 the project might have ended. But as he lay dying Kittel entrusted to a younger scholar, Gerhard ...1
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