Saturday, April 01, 2006

John Owen

Those who would like to explore John Owen's wonderful writings on the glories of Christ can do no better than to pick up The Glory of Christ: A Puritan's View of the Beauty of the Saviour, published by Christian Focus, with a foreword by Sinclair Ferguson.

The typography is excellent. Headings have been added to guide the reader through Owen's sometimes convoluted arrangement. They have also translated the Latin quotes and provided definitions and summaries. It's very nicely done, and I hope it will gain a wider readership.

I have recently partnered with Kelly Kapic--associate professor at Covenant College, co-editor of The Devoted Life: An Invitation to the Puritan Classics, and author of a forthcoming academic book on Owen's Communion with God--to edit a new unabridged edition of Owen's three classic writings on sin: The Mortification of Sin, Temptation of Believers, and Indwelling Sin. It is due out from Crossway in the fall of 2006.

Here are some of the things we have done to produce this new edition:

  • written an introduction to Owen's life and theology
  • provided overviews of the thesis and arguments for all three books
  • footnoted difficult vocabulary words or phrases and collected them into a glossary
  • Americanized the British spelling (e.g., behaviour to behavior)
  • updated archaic pronouns (e.g., thou to you)
  • updated archaic verbs (e.g., hath to have)
  • updated archaic verb endings (e.g., requireth to requires)
  • updated some archaic word forms (e.g., concernments to concerns, surprisals to surprises)
  • modernized some of the punctuation
  • placed Scripture references in parentheses
  • added Scripture references in brackets when Owen quotes or alludes to a passage but does not provide a reference
  • transliterated all Hebrew and Greek words, moving the original font to a footnote and providing a translation if Owen didn’t provide one
  • translated all Latin phrases that Owen leaves untranslated
  • provided sources for quotations and allusions where possible
  • removed Owen’s intricate numbering system which functioned as an extensive outline
  • added headings, italics, and extensive outlines to aid the reader in following the flow of Owen’s thought
The volume will be called Overcoming Sin and Temptation. I'll link to it when it becomes available on the Crossway site.

For more on Owen, see