Ceslas Spicq

James Ernest JErnest at Hendrickson.com
Mon Oct 26 12:57:43 EST 1998

Jonathan et al.,
I too once ran across the Contact Juggling book at Amazon when
looking up Spicq.  I then went hunting for the author's web page
and sent him an e-mail.  Turns out "James Ernest" is a pen-name
for him.  Very creative fellow--not only wrote the book about
contact juggling (which is when you don't throw the balls up
in the air but let them roll up and down your arms, back, etc.
--I myself cdn't do either style of juggling if my life depended on it)
but also designs games.  I have one called "Kill Dr. Lucky"--
lots of fun if you have time for that sort of thing--kind of like
Clue, but more complex and interesting, and instead of trying
to find out who murdered the host, you try to track the old
codger down and do him in yourself.

But about Spicq:  I shouldn't try too hard to sell it on
this list, since although I get no royalties from it I
am now in the employ of its publisher.  But briefly:

The set covers many words that aren't in
Kittel; other words that clearly do have theological 
significance are not covered; and some words that are covered
aren't really theologically significant (though they are 
interesting culturally).  In other words, the word list is not
completely comprehensive.  But for the words that are covered
(which I think includes most of what you are likely to go
looking for) Spicq presents material both from literary
sources (koine as well as classical writers) and esp. from the
nonliterary papyri that you might not find so easily elsewhere.

Ben Witherington's brief review (Ashland Theol. Journal 29:141)
is positive; he says if he could buy either Spicq or Colin
Brown but not both he would go for Spicq.  Jerome Murphy-
O'Connor published a review in Revue Biblique that I may
have framed someday because of his stature and the kindness
of his words regarding the quality of the translation.  (Most
reviews don't say much about the quality of translators' work
unless it is notably poor, which is as it should be.) There's a 
whole dossier of reviews around the office somewhere, and
there were even more and longer reviews back when the 
original French edition appeared.  Anyone interested in digging
further into scholarly assessments of Spicq's work will
probably be able to find them in a theological library.  He's
probably generally regarded as having been a better philologist
than exegete, perhaps partly because of the pastoral and more
specifically the conservative Roman Catholic commitments
that color his work; but then again for many readers of such
a work those commitments enhance rather than detract from
its value; and even for those who differ from some of his critical
and exegetical conclusions, the value of the philological 
work remains.


James D. Ernest
Senior editor, academic books, Hendrickson Publishers
Ph.D. cand., Boston College
S-MAIL: c/o Hendrickson Publishers, 140 Summit Street,
  P. O. Box 3473, Peabody, MA 01961-3473 USA
FAX: 978/573-8243         PHONE: 978/573-2243
E-MAIL: jernest at hendrickson.com / ernest at bc.edu

> ----------
> From: 	Jonathan Robie[SMTP:jonathan at texcel.no]
> Sent: 	Saturday, October 24, 1998 11:14 AM
> To: 	Biblical Greek
> Cc: 	Biblical Greek
> Subject: 	Re: Ceslas Spicq
> It's also a much easier and interesting read than TDNT, and more up to
> date. Say, I just noticed who the translator is - this was translated
> by
> James Ernest, who hangs out here on B-Greek! Perhaps he can comment
> further
> on Spicq.
> I also notice, courtesy of Amazon.com, that a certain James Ernest
> wrote a
> book entitled "Contact Juggling". I wonder if it is the same person?
> Jonathan
> jonathan at texcel.no
> Texcel Research
> http://www.texcel.no
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