Two Logos Translations

PolanusFor many the name of Logos calls to mind strictly linguistic resources for studying the Bible, but its repertoire of theological helps is broader than that. In particular, there will be two translations available in the near future that are cause for excitement among Reformed theology enthusiasts and historical theology enthusiasts in general.

One is a translation of Amandus Polanus’ (1561-1610) Syntagma Theologiae Christianae (see here). The early Reformed orthodox author’s system of Christian doctrine is an excellent pathway into the intellectual and spiritual riches of this period of Protestant thought. Though all scholastic theology strives to be orderly, Polanus’ work is very useful for its concise definitions and explanations of the divine attributes, for example. As it happens, in recent research in Christology I benefited from his sketch of the doctrine of the person of Christ and found it to be a nice complement to a work like Turretin’s, which is already available in English.

Polanus appears as a dialogue partner in Barth’s Church Dogmatics but, with a number of other Protestant scholastic writers, is sadly misunderstood at certain points. Translations like this will help to reinstate theologians like Polanus as thinkers that must be taken seriously today and will help us to practice theology in an ad fontes posture.

Another translation is a new version of John Owen’s Theologoumena Pantodapa, which outlines the history of theology through different segments of redemptive history (see here). John Owen Latin WorksIn other words, this is not a book that traces doctrinal development, say, from Irenaeus to the Reformation but rather a work that outlines God’s revelation of himself throughout the progression of the biblical narrative. How did Adam and Eve know God? Abraham? Moses? What characterizes the “evangelical theology” of new covenant believers? These are the concerns of this work, and it is a forerunner to the sort of “biblical theology” conducted by Geerhardus Vos, who preferred to describe this undertaking as presenting a “history of special revelation.”

Many of Owen’s writings are available in 16 volumes from Banner of Truth (plus seven volumes for Owen’s commentary on Hebrews). However, only recently did Soli Deo Gloria release a translation of Theologoumena Pantodapa entitled Biblical Theology. Unfortunately, this translation from the Latin has not secured the trust of careful readers of Owen, and it is hoped that the Logos offering will be a stronger translation, making this work accessible in a more reliable manner for those interested in Owen, Puritanism, and the nature of the theological task.

Look for more on these translations in due course.


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