Adventures in Book-hunting


One of the newest additions to my library is a splendid copy of George Milligan’s New Testament Documents, Macmillan, 1913, first edition. Furthermore, it bears the signature of Bruce Metzger, Emeritus Professor at Princeton Theological Seminary. Furthermore, it also bears the signature of J. E. Frame, Professor at Union Theological Seminary and author of one of the definitive commentaries on 1-2 Thessalonians of a previous generation. Frame’s commentary, 1912, was published as part of the prestigious International Critical Commentary Series by T. and T. Clark of Edinburgh.

I had seen Milligan (by the way, he is half of the famed Moulton-Milligan duo of lexicographers and linguists of the early 20th century) referenced in some of my reading on papyrology and textual criticism and did a quick online search. Desiring a copy anyhow, I was doubly pleased to learn that this volume was from Metzger’s library (he is still living, now in his upper 90’s and will be immortalized for his contribution to New Testament textual criticism and his research into the history of the New Testament as a document. Among the things I recently finished is his autobiography, Reminiscences of an Octogenarian, Hendrickson, 1997. What a fantastic man! Get that autobiography and read it!).

At any rate, upon opening the package I was intrigued by the signature above Metzger’s. Frame, Frame, I’ve seen that name before. As it happens one bookcase of NT commentaries is close by my desk in the study at home and I saw Frame’s volume on Thessalonians. It couldn’t be?!? The next Monday evening I checked out Metzger’s memoir from the Lipscomb library and wouldn’t you know it, but he referenced his friendship with the aging Frame, and how the elderly man gave his several books!:

“In Princeton it was my good fortune to be able to consult occasionally with two other senior professors of New Testament. One of these was James E. Frame, [the other is W. H. P. Hatch]who in 1938 had moved to Princeton after retiring from teaching at Union Theological Seminary in New York. A graduate of the famed Boston Latin School and of Harvard, where he took a master’s degree in Assyrian, he became instructor in New Testament at Union and eventually Baldwin Professor of Sacred Literature. Since his Princeton home was located one block from the seminary campus, in the course of time I became acquainted ith him and would visit him occasioanlly….Among the books that from time to time Dr. Frame presented to me was a copy of his A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistles of St. Paul to the Thessalonians in the International Critical Commentary series…”

How about that! A fine book (truth be told, Milligan’s research has been superseded since 1913) on a fascinating topic which is doubly significant as a double-association copy.

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5 thoughts on “Adventures in Book-hunting

  1. I also date you around thirteen decades old which is not as impressive if you consider that you were born a 65 year old man, albeit without facial hair (Chad must have gotten your life’s allotment).

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