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Difflugia, the testate amoeba
02-07-2018, 01:15 AM
Post: #1
Difflugia, the testate amoeba
Over the last few days, I've been harping on reading critical commentaries as a necessary part of honest Bible study. Since the blog rules allow non-sales links, I've linked to scans of the existing volumes of the International Critical Commentaries series that are in the public domain in the United States. I preferentially linked to Google Books, but I linked to if the Google Books version isn't available.

A few have late enough copyright dates that they're not public domain in the US. Two are public domain in Canada, but not the US. I didn't link them, but they've been uploaded to by the University of Toronto and a search will find them. One volume of a 1937, two-volume Ezekiel is available from the "Digital Library of India" at Again, a search will find it.

If you have a few hundred dollars that you don't need, you can buy electronic copies of the ones that are still in copyright at for use with the Logos Bible software. If you want the entire set, it'll set you back about two grand. Search for "International Critical Commentary".

This first set is the Old Testament. I'll try to do the New Testament in the next couple of days.

(no Ruth)
1-2 Samuel
1-2 Kings (published 1951; public domain in Canada at
Ezra Nehemiah
Job (vol. 1) (vol. 2)
Psalms (vol. 1) (vol. 2)
(no Song of Songs)
Isaiah 1-27 (the second volume was never published)
Jeremiah (published in 1986)
Lamentations (published in 2010)
Ezekiel (published in 1937; volume 1 available from India at
Daniel (published in 1927; public domain in Canada at
Hosea Amos
Joel Obadiah Micah Nahum Habakkuk Zephaniah
Jonah Haggai Zechariah Malachi

If you want to start reading and aren't sure where to start, I recommend Esther. The commentary is short (relative to the other commentaries, anyway; only 300 pages Big Grin) and if you're looking for "nuggets" or "jewels" in the biblical text, they abound in Esther. Here's a teaser from page 89:

Quote:These similarities of names are certainly striking and can hardly be accidental. If the leading characters of the Book of Esther be identified with the chief gods of Babylon and of Elam, then the conflict of Mordecai and Esther against Haman, Vashti, and Zeresh must be regarded as a euhemeristic version of an ancient Babylonian myth describing a conflict of Marduk and Ishtar against Humman, Vashti, and Kirisha (or Siris), and Purim must be identified with the Babylonian feast with which this myth was connected. There is general agreement concerning the main points of analogy just described, but in regard to the further interpretation of the myth and the identification of the Babylonian feast opinions difier.

Happy trailblazing!
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02-07-2018, 07:35 PM
Post: #2
RE: Difflugia, the testate amoeba
Here's the New Testament, with the same convention as before.

John (vol. 1) (vol. 2)
Acts (vol. 1) (vol. 2)
1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
Ephesians Colossians
Philippians Philemon
1-2 Thessalonians
1-2 Timothy Titus (public domain in Canada; available at IA)
Hebrews (public domain in Canada; available at IA)
1-2 Peter Jude
1-3 John
Revelation (vol. 1) (vol. 2)

One of my favorite quotes from this set comes from the introduction to the first volume of the commentary on Revelation (page xxii):

Quote:But unhappily the prophet did not live to revise his work, or even to put the materials of 20:4-22 into their legitimate order. This task fell, to the misfortune of all students of the Apocalypse, into the hands of a very unintelligent disciple. This disciple was a better Greek scholar than his master, for he corrects his Greek occasionally, and was probably a Greek-speaking Jewish Christian of Asia Minor. He had not his master's knowledge of Hebrew, if he had any knowledge of it, and he was profoundly ignorant of his master's thought. If he had left his master's work as he found it, its teaching would not have been the unintelligible mystery it has been to subsequent ages; but unhappily he intervened repeatedly, rearranging the text in some cases, adding to it in others, and every such intervention has made the task of interpretation impossible for all students who accepted such rearrangements and additions as genuine features of the text. Since, however, his handiwork and character are fully dealt with later, we need not waste more time here over his misdemeanours.
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02-09-2018, 11:55 PM
Post: #3
RE: Difflugia, the testate amoeba
Electronic Bible Study

Since we've been discussing gospel study, I thought I'd pass along a few tips that might help somebody.

One of the things that's really helpful when studying the gospels is the ability to have four Bibles open at once. Some Bible study software can do this, but the best software that I've found is simply for reading ebooks.

Calibre is free software in both senses. It's free of cost and free to modify and distribute, if one is so inclined.

Its main use is as an ebook management system, but it includes reader software that works with all common and many uncommon available ebook formats. In this context, the big benefit is that multiple copies of the reader may be open at the same time, even with the same book. That means that you can have four copies of the same Bible open, one opened to each of the gospels. Or one Bible opened to 1 Samuel and one opened to 1 Chronicles. Or one to Galatians and one to Acts.

I'll mention that if you want to use ebooks that you've bought from someplace like Barnes & Noble for your NOOK or from Amazon for your Kindle, that can be done, but it's beyond the scope of this forum. Go here, where there is a whole forum dedicated to using Calibre.

You can, however, download several Bibles that can be used without any special effort. These are all free of charge and don't require any information from you (like email addresses or creating accounts) to download.

The Holman Christian Standard Bible can be downloaded from the publisher here as an epub (the main non-Kindle ebook format).

The New English Translation can be downloaded here in epub and Kindle format (either of which will work with Calibre).

The Lexham English Bible was developed for use with Logos software, but the publishers made it free to download here in epub as well as several format for Bible software.

The Society of Biblical Literature Greek New Testament may be downloaded in PDF as straight Greek text or as a reverse interlinear (the English text with the corresponding Greek below) here.

The New World Translation of the Jehovah's Witnesses can be downloaded here in epub and PDF.

Another valuable ebook that's available from the publishers of the NET is a synopsis of the gospels as a PDF. If you've never used one, a gospel synopsis lines up the similar texts from the gospels so that they can be examined and read side-by-side. It can be downloaded from this page.
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