Ancient Texts For New Testament Studies: A Guide To The Background Literature

Written by Craig A. Evans Reviewed By Alistair I. Wilson

A new book on ancient texts by Craig A. Evans will be greeted with delight by anyone who has read Evans’ numerous previous publications, and rightly so. Yet a word of caution is in order. Despite the fresh title, this is a revised and expanded version of Evans’ book, Noncanonical Writings and New Testament Interpretation, published by the same publisher in 1992. The reason for the change of title (rather than a second edition of the same title) is, no doubt, to bring it into conformity with a similarly titled new publication dealing with texts relevant to the Old Testament. Those who already possess the earlier book should be aware that the basic framework of chapters and appendices, along with a substantial amount of text, are identical in both books. There have, however, been significant changes. The chapter on the Dead Sea Scrolls was some twenty pages long in 1992; in the new book, just short of eighty pages are devoted to the topic, including, of course, updated bibliography reflecting the astonishing amount of published material which has been produced during the last fifteen years. Most chapters receive more modest expansion and bibliographies are updated throughout. This is not really a book to read through, but in its original form it was a welcome reference guide for those trying to find their bearings in an ocean of unfamiliar ancient literature; doubtless it will continue to provide serious students with invaluable help in this new incarnation also.

Alistair I. Wilson

Alistair I. Wilson
Highland Theological College UHI
Dingwall, Scotland, UK