These three volumes by William Henry Simcox represent the culmination of an impressive scholarly career. Dealing with issues as broad as Greek grammar and early Christian history, the William Henry Simcox Collection (3 Vols.) gives access to some of the most important nineteenth century scholarship on church history and Greek grammar & style.
William H. Simcox’s endeavors were held in high regard in his day by the scholarly giants of his generation, such as A. T. Robertson and Caspar René Gregory. Theologian Louis Berkof described his book, Writers of the New Testament, as “a lucid discussion of the style of the N. T. writers”. One can only wonder what his scholarly output would have been had he not passed away at the early age of forty-seven, having already completed four important books and numerous articles. His efforts continue to be referenced by such scholars as F. F. Bruce, Donald Guthrie, Robert L. Thomas, and Daniel Wallace.
Concise history of the Greek language following the time of Alexander the Great.
Survey and analysis of the New Testament authors and their Greek style.
An accessible introduction to the first two hundred years of church history.
Praise for the Print Edition
All that Mr. Simcox wrote was original and ingenious. . . .
[The Writers of the New Testament] is a companion volume to that on The Language of the New Testament. . . . There is just enough of it to make one wish that the author had lived long enough to treat this whole important subject exhaustively. Even as it is, however, this little book will be found most helpful. It contains, in fact, a great deal in a very small compass; and certainly the young student could not do much better than to take this book in one hand and his Greek Testament in the other, and turn up all the references.
While not a complete grammar, The Language of the New Testament has much to commend to it. Simcox’s goal in this volume was to examine where the Greek of the New Testament falls in its relationship to both classical and post-classical Greek usage and then also to classify those differences based on their origin, whether it be the common Greek of the masses, the result of linguistic interference with Hebrew and Aramaic, or even a result of the influence of the Septuagint. The book is laid out with a brief introduction to the Greek people and their language following Alexander the Great and then proceeds to survey the inflection of various parts-of-speech, discussions of syntactic and semantic issues, and concluding with a look at conjunctions, particles and other miscellaneous features of New Testament Greek.
Overall, the book is incredibly helpful, not only for interpreting the New Testament text, but also for gaining a grasp of how the Greek of the New Testament compares with that which preceded and followed it. The ability to put into historical context the state of the Greek language in the first century cannot be undervalued. And for that reason, The Language of the New Testament has retained its importance even to this day.
The Writers of the New Testament: Their Style and Characteristics
This volume was originally intended to be published together with The Language of the New Testament all in a single volume, but both books together grew beyond the limits of the Theological Educator series of which they were a part. The Writers of the New Testament picks up where the previous book left off. The Language of the New Testament examined the Greek of the New Testament in an attempt to describe what the various writers had in common over and against other Greek writers such as the classical authors or Philo and Josephus. The goal of this companion volume attempts to do the same for the individual authors themselves. What makes Paul’s writing different from that of Luke, Matthew, or Peter? The Writers of the New Testament seeks to study the idiolects of the individual authors: their choices of idioms, grammar, and vocabulary. The central focus is how Greek language is used by Jewish authors, with what Simcox terms “Hebraic modes of thought.” Whether this terminology should be preferable is debatable. Nonetheless, it cannot be denied that the New Testament authors were primarily bilingual authors, whose first language and culture was not Greek. And read in light of that fact, this volume provides an extremely helpful analysis of New Testament authors and their style of writing.
The book concludes with two appendices. The first compares the vocabulary differences and similarities across authors and the second presents representative examples of non-Biblical Hellenic and Hellenistic Greek text of a variety of genres: Old Testament paraphrase, original narratives, and theological and philosophical exposition. These are followed by a mini-commentary of grammatical and lexicon notes on various words and phrases with reference to the historical development of the Greek language and parallels in the New Testament. For example, Simcox compares Epictetus to Paul, Luke to Polybius, and so forth. These comparisons provide the student and scholar both with helpful examples of differences between Biblical authors and their contemporaries, and also with detailed notes on specific passages of scripture.
The Beginnings of the Christian Church: Lectures Delivered in the Chapter-room of Winchester Cathedral
The fact that this book originated as a set of lectures presented at Winchester Cathedral gives the content an incredibly accessible and informal style. For this reason, it is perfect for the student of scripture and the early church interested in developing their knowledge of churches first few centuries, but have no interest in being overwhelmed by technical details. The individual lectures include:
The Church at Jerusalem
The Jewish and Gentile Churches
The Church and the Empire
The Close of the Apostolic Age
The Sub-Apostolic Church
The Successors of the Apostles
The Church of the Apologists
The Church of the Martyrs
Title: William Henry Simcox Collection (4 Vols.)
Author: William Henry Simcox
About William Henry Simcox
William Henry Simcox, born in 1842, was a Biblical and Classical scholar of the highest caliber. Fellow of Queen’s College, Oxford and Rector of Harlaxton, Simcox was active in the study of the book of Revelation, early Christian history, textual criticism, and Greek grammar. He contributed to the translation of John Chrysostom’s Homilies on the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans for Philip Schaff’s Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Vol. XI. Outside of the realms of Biblical studies, he wrote the first major biography of William Shakespeare’s patron Barnabe Barnes. His family was also close friends with novelist George Eliot. At the time of his premature death in 1889, at the age of forty-seven, he was involved in a variety of projects including the collation of Greek manuscripts of Revelation, the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges and Cambridge Greek Testament volumes on Revelation, and an extensive study of the style of the New Testament authors. His brother and fellow scholar, George Simcox, edited and saw to publication his two Revelation commentaries, as well as The Writers of the New Testament.