Archives For reviews, books

Just found this note on NT Perspectives blog interview with Ken Berding:

Three Views on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008). Ed. Ken Berding, [Stan Gundry?,] and Jonathan Lunde.

One of the hottest areas of discussion in the New Testament right now is the way in which New Testament authors use the Old Testament. My co-editor and I have discerned three distinct evangelical approaches to the question of how the New Testament authors employ the Old Testament. We are blessed to have three leading biblical scholars contributing chapters (and responses to each other) on this topic. Walter Kaiser, Jr. represents the “Single Meaning, Unified Referents” approach; Darrell Bock represents the “Single Meaning, Multiple Contexts and Referents” approach; and Peter Enns represents the “Fuller Meaning, Single Goal” approach. This book will come out in the Fall of 2008.

(The main point of the interview relates to Berding’s new audio release from Zondervan: Sing and Learn New Testament Greek: The Easiest Way to Learn Greek Grammar. Zondervan’s page has an audio sample, etc. Sounds interesting [no pun intended], though it will not help those of us who are “musically challenged”! 🙂 either to learn or teach—though it will be helpful to many students.)

Here’s a new service that I’ve wished for many times: The library at SBTS has put online a database that provides the table of contents of recently received journals. It can be accessed by journal, but the best way to track this info will be, I think, to use the RSS feed and get new items as they are posted. The individual items are scanned images of the TC page. More details at the site linked above.

This will be an enormous help in “keeping up” with new material as it becomes available.

HT: Justin Taylor at Between Two Worlds

Here’s a good interview with Dave Turner regarding his new BECNT commentary on Matthew (Baker, 2008).

Ordinary Pastors

April 19, 2008

This week I read Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Reflections of Tom Carson, by D. A. Carson (Crossway, 2008). This small book (it’s only 160 pgs.) deserves a thoughtful reading by anyone in pastoral ministry or preparing for it. I first read some of Tom Carson’s story several years ago when his son (DAC) wrote a round table article for (I think) Southern Journal of Theology. The issue’s authors were asked to describe the person in the history of the church that had the greatest impact on them (or a question essentially to that effect; I don’t have it at hand to verify these details). Most selected well known figures (Calvin, Edwards, etc.), but Carson took a different tact: “Let me tell you about an unknown pastor named Tom.” He then related the story of a cross-cultural minister who labored all his life in a foreign culture and language, often opposed by the local religious authorities (and his children sometimes beaten up on the way home from school at the instigation of those authorities), and with little visible results to show for his years of ministry. It was not until the last sentence that the reader understood who this unknown Tom was: “Tom Carson was my Dad.” I confess that sentence generated a sob as I read it. I’ve told the story to many of my classes since then, and have never been able to recite the last sentence without choking a bit. Even now my eyes are a bit misty again.

I had respected Dr. Carson for many years as, IMHO, the dean of evangelical NT scholars, but this article was my first glimpse into his family and his profound respect for and appreciation of his father’s faithful ministry. It tugs at my heart perhaps because Tom Carson reminds me so much of my own father—an even lesser known pastor who, while a seminary student, planted a rural church and then pastored it for 53 years, all that time as a bi-vocational “tentmaker.” (He’s still living, now in his 80s, and coping with Parkinson’s; we moved 30 miles from the seminary a few years ago to live next to them.) I suspect that Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor was not easy to write, yet it is a fitting tribute to his father—and an equally fitting tribute to the grace and faithfulness of their Father.

The book is essentially an annotated edition of excerpts from the diaries of Tom Carson, with enough comments and explanation to make sense of those entries. This is not of the same genre as the published diaries of Brainard, Muller, etc. It does not attempt to glamorize Pastor Carson or cast him as a celebrated, larger-than-life hero figure. By describing him as an “ordinary” pastor, it means just that—a pastor who was not well known, who did not pastor a mega-church, who was largely unknown, who never “succeeded” in growing a church much beyond half a hundred, who often doubted his own commitment and ability, who was often discouraged, but who was nevertheless faithful in serving his Lord until the day he died. The story of that faithfulness is enough to provoke some serious self-examination by anyone in ministry. It is also tremendously encouraging to glimpse the ministry of someone like this and realize that it’s OK to be ordinary.

I suspect that some will read this book (or at least hear about it) and think it unhelpful to portray someone who did not accomplish “bigger” things in ministry. Some might even be inclined to scoff or criticize. It certainly isn’t the model for ministry that’s sometimes presented as the only way to honor God—after all, if your church isn’t growing (in numbers!) then surely you must not be doing things right. If you do the right things and follow the right model, you should expect your church to grow. [I don’t know the right “emoticon” to use to portray the tone I intend for the last few lines!]

More could be said about this book, but you’d be better off to just go buy it and read it yourself. If in doubt, look at the comments of the reviewers on the back cover and inside the front cover. They say quite a bit in what few words were allotted them.

There’s more info on the publisher’s page, including the contents, and preface & ch. 1 (in pdf format).

I’ve just posted a 33-page review of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, perhaps better known from the title of vol. 1 and the movie as The Golden Compass. I assume that most of you have heard something about it, but if not, this is an atheist’s version of Narnia. It’s one regarding which you really do need to be aware. It is a significant book (the movie is OK: better than the movie version of Lewis’ LWW, but not as good as Tolkein’s LOR) that will likely be long read, remembered and studied. It’s an attempt to create a believable metanarrative apart from God. My review is intended not to be a knee jerk reaction that ‘disses’ author, book, or film. I have high respect for Pullman’s abilities as a writer, though his worldview is not convincing. The review is primarily in terms of an analysis of that worldview.

Since I’ve read a fair bit of info on the web that does not reflect any firsthand knowledge of either the book or the movie, let me note that I wrote the first draft of this paper after reading the entire trilogy and seeing the movie, but before I read much else about either. I read a few brief articles last Nov and Dec when the film first hit my radar. I now have a stack of printouts thicker than a ream of paper (some of it printed double-sided) that contains reviews of the book or movie and interviews with Pullman. I’ve also since read Tony Watkins’ book on Pullman (Dark Matters), and also read Milton’s Paradise Lost, Material from those sources I’ve inserted as appropriate to substantiate or develop points that I had already made.

If I’ve misrepresented anything in the book or movie, or missed something related to what I’ve discussed, please let me know. There is far, far more that could be said, so I’ve ben rather selective. (The biggest “omission” is that I’ve not discussed it in terms of Milton’s Paradise Lost—despite that book being very influential on Pullman. I just didn’t have time and the paper was already too long! 🙂 (The paper was presented as a “Faculty Forum” at my seminary today.)

If you want to pursue your own analysis further, I commend Watkin’s book to you; it was published before the movie. There is a select bibliography at the end of the review as well as many other sources in the footnotes.

I ran across a reference on Matt Montonini’s NT Perspectives blog today to an article in the 3d number of the 2007 JSNT that led me to several interesting articles. The one Matt referenced is: John Nolland, “The Purpose and Value of Commentaries,” JSNT 29.3 (2007) 305–11. There is a second article on the subject in the same issue: Andrew Lincoln, “From Writing to Reception: Reflections on Commenting on the Fourth Gospel” (353–72). There are some comments worth citing from each.


Commenting inevitably involves, whether conscious or not, the bringing together of the horizons that belong to the text and the horizons that belong to the interpreter. If the horizons of the interpreter are dominant, then the text is unlikely to have been heard in more than a superficial manner: it will have been stretched on a procrustean bed. If the horizons of the text are given exclusive dominance, then the danger is of a product that is technical and sterile, and distances the reader from the text. A good commentary will be sensitive to the tension involved here, and seek to work with it creatively (306).

(I’d suggest that the hermeneutical priority must be on the horizon of the text; the reader’s horizon, while it should not be ignored in terms of significance, cannot be normative for meaning. RD)

I do not in the end value commentaries that demonstrate how cleverly a scholar can construe a text which has thus far been read along quite different lines. The scholar who is clever in this way is highly likely to be wrong. … But the kind of cleverness that ‘proves’ all previous understandings wrong is almost certainly wrong. … There are tendencies in scholarship in the humanities for novelty to be pursued for its own sake;… for novelty to be valued for it own sake, and confused with creativity. We can always improve old answers, but we should be much more cautious about totally disregarding or overturning existing answers (309).

Or again,

For me an overriding priority is for a commentator so to write as to aid his or her readers in engaging with the text rather than offering the readers an alternative to engagement with the text (310).

And from Lincoln:

Some colleagues … have the enviable energies and prolific productivity that enable them not only to write commentaries, but also, and often at the same time, to author all sorts of other monographs. Some of us lesser mortals have often been heard to insist that we will never write another commentary. The reasons for this will often include a sense of having been constrained in one’s scholarly pursuits for too long a period. The discipline of commentary writing and the deadlines of publishers combine to ensure that interesting ideas for articles or monographs that may have arisen from the text one is studying or from some other aspect of one’s work usually have to be stored away in a file for later use in the hope that one day one might have the leisure to return to them. Urges to contribute to hot debates of the moment may have to be allowed to pass because one has got no further than the first verses of the third chapter in one’s commentary on a text of some twenty chapters. Instead, the commentator dutifully returns to a pericope that may hold no special interest at this particular time and works through its issues simply because they are there (353–54).

I’m beginning to sense all of these thoughts, and I’m only writing a grammatical handbook on Mark, not a full-fledged commentary!

I’ve just read reviews of two new “Reader’s editions” of the Greek NT. One is a 2d edition of the Zondervan Reader, and now a similar edition is forthcoming from UBS. Amazon says that the UBS edition is not yet published (Hendrickson, Dec 5, 2007 still listed), though it must be available somewhere (perhaps in Europe?) since one of the reviews linked below has photos of both editions. Perhaps these were on display at ETS/SBL this fall, but I was unable to attend this year. 🙁

A “reader’s edition” is typically a Greek NT with added vocabulary helps for less frequently used words. It is a helpful tool for such things as carrying to church, devotional reading, etc. It’s not a substitute for the full UBS4/NA27 editions for serious study (or, for my students! for class purposes—sorry!). Based on these reviews, the UBS edition below seems the better of the two—except for the price!

[A similar tool is a polyglot text with Greek and English on facing pages. There are two such editions: UBS has an NA27 with NRSV facing, and the NET Bible folks have done one better with an NA27 faced with an NET that has a subset of their good notes (the grammatical and text critical ones). The NET edition is my choice there due to the notes—and NET is a decent English translation.]

The Reviews (there’s no point in my repeating this info! They are both worth reading.):

Amazon gives the following info on the two editions:

The UBS Greek New Testament: A Reader’s Edition (732) (Hardcover)
by Barbara Aland (Editor)
List Price: $69.95
Price: $44.07
You Save: $25.88 (37%)
Hardcover: 732 pages
Publisher: Hendrickson Publishers (December 5, 2007)
ISBN: 1598562851

A Reader’s Greek New Testament: Burgundy, Italian Duo-tone (Leather Bound)
by Richard J. Goodrich (Author), Albert L. Lukaszewski (Editor)
List Price: $34.99
Price: $23.09
You Save: $11.90 (34%)
Leather Bound: 571 pages
Publisher: Zondervan; 2 edition (November 2007)
ISBN: 0310273781

Organizing your library

December 12, 2007

Most who read this blog have a fair number of books. Some of us have libraries that number in the thousands of volumes. Others beginning their theological training realize they are just embarking on the lifelong task of collecting the tools they need for ministry. By that I don’t mean the latest “how to” books that will soon be out of date, but the substantive biblical-theological works that enable a pastor to study and proclaim the Word faithfully for many, many years.

What you will discover, if you haven’t already, is that sooner or later you need some way to organize your books. By the time you have 1,000 it’s becoming essential, but you don’t have to wait that long (and probably shouldn’t) to begin some sort of system that will still serve you well when you do have a thousand volumes—and when your collection grows to several thousand or more.

For many years I’ve used and recommended some adaptation of the Dewey system as the best that I’d found for that purpose. I’ve collected several different adaptations and over now 35+ years have gradually developed my own version which I use for both my library (about 4,000 vols) and for my files. Several years ago I finally put it into written form and posted it on my web site for others to use or adapt as they saw fit.

These days there are other sorts of options for the organization and recording of libraries. My system is still in the archaic form of card files–partly because I don’t have the time or resources to convert it to an electronic form and partly because I hesitate to commit it to a form that’s too technologically dependent in terms of hardware and software. Though conversions are always possible, they always take far more time than I’m willing to spend. So my system will likely remain card-based.

Last night I ran into a very helpful discussion of doing this in a modern-tech form (and that’s what prompted this post). You might find this detailed discussion quite helpful: “The Library Problem” by Zack Grossbart on his blog, Hackito Ergo Sum (yes, he’s a software engineer! 🙂 ). Though I don’t think that using the LC system is the most efficient for a personal biblical-theological library, Zack does walk you through many useful considerations as to how you might go about it in terms of software, hardware, and some of the mechanics. And his advice is very adaptable to Dewey or to my own variation of it. (I’d strongly recommend that you not go with particle board shelving as he did, however! For lightweight paperbacks, maybe—if you never plan to move, particle board shelving doesn’t survive that very well.)

Online books for Greek study

November 30, 2007

I just discovered Carnegie Mellon University’s free online Universal Digital Library with 1.5 million vols in scanned format, about 360,000 in English (others are in Chinese, Arabic, etc.). Many of these are older works, but it’s surprising what turned up in just a few quick searches. There are some significant works listed (esp. the MHT grammar, or ATR, etc.) There are some drawbacks: it is slow–but then it was just “Slashdotted” and that typically puts a heavy load on any links listed. It’s not particularly Mac-friendly; my guess is that Windows may work better, but I haven’t had time to try yet. Some vols. are “15% free” items–you can apparently only read 15% of the work on line. Others require a browser plugin that is only for Windows (despite the FAQ which says it’s available for all–it comes as an .exe file…!). Not all books are in the same format, some tiff, some html, some “djvu.” But the promise might make it worth while experimenting. If you discover any tips or particular NT/Greek “goodies,” share them with us here.

Here’s a sample (copied from the search results and tidied up just a bit):

  • A Brief Introduction To New Testament Greek, with Vocabularies, by Green
  • A Critical And Exegetical Commentary On The Revelation, by Charles
  • A Grammar Of New Testament Greek, by Moulton, Howard, Turner
  • A Grammar Of The Greek New Testament by Robertson, A. T
  • A Grammar Of The New Testament Greek by Buttmann and Thayer
  • A Grammar Of The Old Testament In Greek, Thackeray
  • A Greek And English Lexicon Of The New Testament by Robinson
  • A Greek-English Lexicon Of The New Testament, Grimm, Wilke, Thayer
  • A History Of Classical Greek Literature by Mahaffy and Sayce
  • A Manual Of Greek Historical Inscriptions by E L Hicks
  • A Pocket Lexicon To The Greek New Testament by Alexander Souter
  • A School Grammar Of Attic Greek by Goodell, Thomas Dwight
  • A Short Grammar Of Classical Greek by Adof Kaegi
  • An Elementary Greek Grammar by Goodwin, William Watson
  • An Intermediate Greek English Lexicon by William S Holdsworth
  • An Introduction To Greek And Latin Palaeography by Thompson
  • An Introduction To Greek Epigraphy Part I by E S Robert
  • An Introduction To The Study Of New Testament Greek, by Moulton
  • Essentials Of New Testament Greek by Huddelston
  • Greek Particles In The New Testament, by Margaret E Thrall
  • Hebrews In The Greek New Testament, by Wuest
  • Lessons In New Testament Greek: a Secondary Course, by Green, S. Walter
  • Syntax Of The Moods And Tenses In New Testament Greek, by Burton
  • Teach Yourself New Testament Greek by D F Hudson
  • The Expositor’s Greek Testament by Nicoll, W. Robertson, et al
  • The Grammar Of The Greek Testament by Samuel, G. Green
  • The Greek Testament by Morris Jastrow Jr
  • The Greek Testament Englished by William Burton Crickmer
  • The Greek Testament by Henry Alford
  • The Interlinear Literal Translation Of The Greek NT, by Berry, George Ricker
  • The Minister And His Greek New Testament by Robertson, A. T.
  • The New Testament In Modern Speech, by Weymouth
  • The New Testament In The Original Greek by Brooke Foss Westcott
  • The New Testament Rendered From The Original Greek by James A. Kleist
  • The Old Testament In Greek According To The Septuagint, by Swete
  • The Riverside New Testament A Translation by William G. Ballantine

Andy Naselli has just posted 3 good reviews of some important NT titles. This is the sort of review I encourage my PhD students to write up after they’ve completed one of the books on their required reading list for comps. Such notes make good review tools before the “comp plunge”! 🙂

“Yarbrough’s The Salvation Historical Fallacy?:

Yarbrough, Robert Wayne. The Salvation Historical Fallacy? Reassessing the History of New Testament Theology. Edited by Robert Morgan. History of Biblical Interpretation Series 2. Leiden: Deo, 2004. xiv + 402 pp.”

Neill and Wright’s The Interpretation of the New Testament 1861-1986:

Neill, Stephen and Tom Wright. The Interpretation of the New Testament 1861–1986. 2d ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. 464 pp. $39.95 paper.

Harrisville and Sundberg’s The Bible in Modern Culture:

Harrisville, Roy A. and Walter Sundberg. The Bible in Modern Culture: Baruch Spinoza to Brevard Childs. 2d ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002. xiii + 349 pp. $35.00.

Andy also includes summaries of other published reviews of these books–and indexes lots of stuff to Wikipedia (which I’m not overly fond of, at least as a serious research source; it can give you some general ideas–but you always have to verify the info there against reliable reference material).

I’d recommend Yarbough for reliability and Neill/Wright for readability. (I’ve not read Harrisville/Sundberg.) Another work in this genre is the two vol. (so far) set by William Baird, History of NT Research. Vol 1 is subtitled From Deism to Tubingen and vol 2, From Jonathan Edwards to Rudolf Bultmann (Fortress, 1992, 2003). Vol. 3 is tentatively titled From Biblical Theology to Pluralism–but I’ve not heard anything regarding its anticipated publication date. I’d recommend this set for comprehensiveness.

Overall these are the sort of books that help put NT studies in perspective. Even if one disagrees with their conclusions, they paint the broad picture of the field within which we work. And that’s essential to making sense of the issues in the smaller corners where we each may work from time to time. If you’ve never read any of them, start with Neill/Wright (it’s the shortest and most readable), bearing in mind Andy’s caveats in his review.

I just read N.T. Wright’s review of J. D. Crossan’s The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant. I recently heard D. A. Carson refer to it in a recorded lecture and just tracked it down. It is hysterically funny–but deadly serious. The full bibliog entry for the published review is as follows:

Wright, N. T. “Taking the Text with Her Pleasure: A Post-Post-Modernist Response to J. Dominic Crossan, The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant (T & T Clark, Harper San Francisco, 1991), (With apologies to A.A. Milne, St Paul and James Joyce).” Theology 96 (1993): 303–10.

After first obtaining a copy through ILL, I discovered that it is posted online. (I also discovered the “unofficial NT Wright site” that has a very large collection of the prolific bishop’s writings.)

Though I still haven’t unraveled all the allusions in this review, it’s a good read, both for fun and also to learn a few things about Crossan’s approach to Jesus. And that despite the fact that it’s now 14 years old.

I just finished a careful reading of a brand new book that ought to be of interest to everyone interested in Greek grammar, and particularly the verbal system in koine Greek. (Your number, no doubt, is legion! 🙂 ) This is not a full, formal review; just some initial reactions to the book. (If Con has any corrections to the way I’ve represented his work, I’ll post an update here later.)

Campbell, Constantine R. Verbal Aspect, the Indicative Mood, and Narrative: Soundings in the Greek of the New Testament. Studies in Biblical Greek, vol. 13. New York: Peter Lang, 2007. 285 pgs. Hardcover (available now): ISBN, 1433100231, $119.95 (!); paperback, coming in December, ISBN: 1433100037, $34.95.

This is the proverbial “light revision” of the author’s dissertation (PhD, Macquarie Univ, 2006) done under the supervision of Trevor Evans (and examined by DA Carson, Moises Silva, and Anssi Voitila–I don’t know AV, but the rest of the examing committee is a formidable one! 🙂 ) Campbell now teaches at Moore Theological College in Australia.

I first saw this book in late July when Andy Naselli let me borrow his copy overnight at a conference where we were both speaking (I had about 3 hours of actual reading time with it then). I received my own copy several weeks ago and have have been reading/thinking my way through it as time permitted since then. My overall assessment is very positive. Con develops an area that has needed attention for some time: the discourse function of aspect in narrative. Porter’s work has suggested some lines of approach, and my own book spent a bit of time on it as well, but those were only sidelines rather than the main purpose of those books (vols. 1 and 10 in the same SBG series).

The test corpus is primarily the Gospel of Luke, but, to avoid some of the limitations in studies (like my own in Mark) of a single corpus, he also adds several other corpora: John, Life of Aseop, Story of Callirhoe, narrative sections of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, a section of Thucydides, and a speech in Lysias. That covers primarily koine texts, but with the last two representing Attic works. This is a good methodological step (though one which has added an enormous amount of extra work–well worth it, but lots of work nonetheless!).

The approach within this corpus is different from other related studies to date. He uses a statistical method to demonstrate the clear patterns of the various tenses of the indicative mood in various strands of narrative. For example, 96.3% of the present indicatives in Luke are found in direct discourse, and when other forms of discourse are added (indirect and authorial) the figure rises to 97.8%. The imperfect is similar at 91.6% in narrative. By contrast the aorist indicative has 77.7% of its uses in Luke in narrative proper or embedded narrative. And so on.

I found the first four chapters, in particular, to be compatible with the aspect system within which I have been working for the past dozen years. Con demonstrates that there are clear aspectual patterns and that these are not based on temporal reference of the verb. Beginning in chapter five, however, there are some differences. The fifth chapter deals with the future tense and proposes two major points: the future grammaticalizes perfective aspect and that the future tense (unlike present, aorist and imperfect) encodes temporal reference (in this case, future time). I have not yet been persuaded of the first of these (that the future is perfective), mostly on methodological grounds; I do not think there is sufficient justification for the methodological grounds which Con says result in his conclusion. (You can read it for yourself and see what you think!) As to his second thesis in this chapter (that the future tense encoding future time), I accept this as a possible corrective to my approach (following Porter, that the future is not, strictly speaking, a consistently future time tense). I need to think about it some more before I make a decision on this one.

The sixth chapter is perhaps Con’s most unique contribution. Here he argues that the perfect tense grammaticalizes imperfective aspect rather than perfect/stative aspect, as McKay and Porter argue (I have followed Porter’s terminology here), or the traditional def. or Fanning’s or Wallace’s tweaks to it. This is the longest chapter in the book and the most demanding. I’ve not “bought” the aspect classification yet,* but it is quite interesting that the way Con works out the function of the perfect, as the heightened imperfective form, comes very close to the way I’ve been working with the perfect in narrative for some time. Perhaps he has a better explanation as to why this is, but at the functional level it is ironically close (even in translation) to a stative aspect approach.

*My hesitancy on classing the perfect as imperfective is particularly because I’m not convinced that just because the perfect appears statistically in discourse along with the present that this must mean that the perfect must share the same aspect. If there were a third category, why can’t it function in the same narrative strand as one of the other aspects? Unless it were an aspect that overlapped with both the perfective and imperfective forms in some way, it would *have* to be in either narrative or discourse!

The result here is that verbs are described both in terms of aspect (perfective/imperfective) and in terms of “spatial quality”: proximate and remote (for present and imperfect; I like the terminology here), but with an additional grouping: heightened proximity for the perfect and heightened remoteness for the pluperfect. This means that the perfect functions in one of two ways: intensively or prominently. In Con’s words, “It is proposed here that heightened proximity is a semantic value that involves one of two pragmatic implicatures: the first is the intensive use of the perfect…; the second is the prominent use of the perfect” (201). The distinction drawn here between semantics and pragmatics is crucial and Con gets it right. He defines the aspect value as semantics, but recognizes that this aspect functions (= pragmatics) in particular ways, due in part to the Aktionsart value of the verb employed.

The same approach is taken for the pluperfect: imperfective aspect, but related to the imperfect as the present is to the perfect–it heightens the remoteness of the imperfect. As Con puts it, “the pluperfect supplements the supplement [i.e., the imperfect], or gives the background to the background” (231).

I like the explanatory power as to how this works out in narrative. It sounds very much like what I’ve been teaching my students for some time. I’m just not sure about how we define the aspect of the plu/perfect tenses. Maybe Con is right and we ought to class them as imperfective. But maybe stative is adequate as well (if so, the definition could use some clarification, as Con rightly points out). The key, I think, will be working through the sort of verbs that are used in this way and thinking about how their Aktionsart affects this. Con gives a number of examples along this line–enough to provide a good starter for someone else’s dissertation! (Perhaps several.) And it might also begin to show the exegetical vlaue of the category of Aktionsart–which I’ve told my students more than once hasn’t been worked out very helpfully yet.

I’ve some other thoughts on specific issues (e.g., how periphrastics work in this framework–which Con mentions several times–Rob Green, are you getting this dissertation hint? 🙂 ), but this is long enough already.

The bottom line (for those of you who stuck with a technical summary this long!): buy this book. If you have a corporate/library budget, get it now. If you’re paying with your own money, order the paperback and wait (impatiently) until it’s available in December (at least if the info is correct as to its availability).

Update: I tweaked one phrase to clarify one of Con’s points (at his suggestion).

Also see Andy Naselli’s earlier note regarding this book.