Ben Witherington: "The Indelible Image" vs "NT Theology & Ethics"

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Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Sep 9 2016 10:42 AM

I recently stumbled upon Ben Witherington's two volume set on "The Indelible Image", published in 2009-2010, and am considering a purchase.  But while reading an excerpt from volume one of the set, I encountered a statement by Ben that after finishing volume 2, he planned to create a shorter single volume work geared towards the laity.

I searched to see if I could find anything on this single volume work and came up empty, but in the process I ran across what appears to be a rebranded version of the original two volume set.  The new set was published just this year and is titled "New Testament Theology and Ethics".

I'm wondering if anyone knows if:

  • A single volume resource for the laity was ever produced.
  • The "New Testament Theology and Ethics" set published this year, is in fact just a rebranded title for "The Indelible Image" set published in 2009-2010.

Frosting on the cake would be feedback from anyone who has read any portion(s) of any of these books.

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Joseph Turner | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 9 2016 10:59 AM

I found this:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/bibleandculture/2016/04/05/new-testament-theology-and-ethics-vol-one/

Disclaimer:  I hate using messaging, texting, and email for real communication.  If anything that I type to you seems like anything other than humble and respectful, then I have not done a good job typing my thoughts.

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Joseph Turner | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 9 2016 11:03 AM

The table of contents does look the same on Amazon for both though.  Strange.

Disclaimer:  I hate using messaging, texting, and email for real communication.  If anything that I type to you seems like anything other than humble and respectful, then I have not done a good job typing my thoughts.

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Joseph Turner | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 9 2016 11:05 AM

It also has the exact number of pages for volume 2 of each, so they seem to be the same.  The publisher's page also seems to assume that they are the same:

http://www.ivpress.com/cgi-ivpress/book.pl/code=5134

Disclaimer:  I hate using messaging, texting, and email for real communication.  If anything that I type to you seems like anything other than humble and respectful, then I have not done a good job typing my thoughts.

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Robert Harner | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 9 2016 11:33 AM

Inside the book it says:

"Previously published as The Indelible Image: The Theological and Ethical Thought World of the New Testament Volume 1 (c) 2009 by Ben Witherington III"

This seems to be happening more lately, republishing a book with a new title. One has to engage in due diligence to keep from buying a duplicate in a new fish wrapping. I can think of a word for that, but . . .

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Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 9 2016 4:34 PM

Joseph and Robert,

Thanks for your thoughts.  I went out to Google Books and compared the two different sets and they do appear to be essentially the same in regard to content and structure.  The main difference seems to be in how the content is presented to the reader via such things as changes in chapter titles, changes in heading titles, additional headings, etc..  As a result, the TOC looks different, but the page numbers listed in the TOC for the main chapters appears to be the same in both sets.

I also checked both sets out at the InterVarsity Press web site, and in the reviews for the rebranded set, they use reviews that were written for the original set.  And on the Patheos web site, regarding the new set it says "This is the simplified more lay friendly version also suitable for college students as well."

Bottom line is I think the new set is essentially the same as old--just given a new title and enhanced with what the publishers believes are better chapter titles and section headings.  I'm also guessing there won't be a single volume lay version coming out--that the revised two volume set is as close as we'll come to that.

I'd still be interested in feedback on either version/set if anyone has read enough from either set to have an opinion.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 9 2016 5:05 PM

Robert Harner:
This seems to be happening more lately, republishing a book with a new title.

When I was in my late teens reading lots of Agatha Christie et. al. was when I ran into this problem most frequently.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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