Bible Freedom Science NetworkCopyright © 2004, 2012 Charles Henry Johnsen, III

Bibliography of The Bible Freedom Science Network

A Personal List of Books from Charles Johnsen

Defining Bibliography

Of the many books that formed the person who monitors the Bible Freedom Science Network website, these are the most important. Link to the author's name or the book's title for my comments. I am no book critic and the comments are not reviews, only my reasons for listing them here. Or not. When I have a web address for a publisher or author I provide a link to it.

English is my primary language and therefore this bibliography is also primarily English. The exceptions are my own exceptions for German (sometimes), Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Sumerian. But, you will notice, even texts in other languages are usually editions printed for English speakers.

The format of this bibliography is a little odd. There isn't any. So I have provided an alphabetical list that links into the rest of this page. And your browser can search for title, author, or subject; so the arrangement is unimportant. I ordered things by importance to my thinking, with large groupings of texts, philosophy, science, poetry, important authors, etc.

This is a continuous process. After all, I still read. Only today (96NOV14) I received four new titles that I am sure will end up here, all of them from authors who are already old friends. But it will take a while before they appear. And then occasionally I will recall another book and it will be added. Perhaps you have a suggestion? If so, use the email link at the bottom of the page to let me know.

Bibliographic Categories

Because your browser has a search function an alphabetical list is not necessary. Instead, I have grouped books in categories. But then, see an alphabetical index next below.

An Alphabetical List

This is a simple list of titles, authors, and subjects that link into the rest of the bibliography.

The Book
Editions of the text of the Bible
In the Original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek
The Greek New Testament
American Bible Society Translator's Edition
ed. Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Bruce M. Metzger, Allen Wikgren, 1966, American Bible Society, New York.
I love this edition and was fortunate enough to have Dr. Aland autograph my copy. It is the best ever English translator's edition. It has a workshop plastic cover and a very readable format. It has only the most important textual variants which makes it easier to use for everybody except the purists. Any modern, critical edition is fine if the textual evidence is available in the apparatus.
Biblia Hebraica
Hebrew Original Testament
ed. Rud. Kittel, Württembergische Bibelanstalt, Stuttgart, 1962.
It would be better if I had a newer edition of the Hebrew and Aramaic text, one that referred to the Dead Sea Scrolls. But this is mine and I've had it for over 45 years. That's about 1% of the time since the first parts of these texts were written down. On the human scale that is distant, on a geological scale that is sudden, on a personal scale that is forever.
The Bible
any version
The Word: Living, Frozen, Quoted, and Translated
A once living literature frozen by syncretism with the official Greco-Roman religion in the first three centuries of the common era. Both Christians and Jews closed their canons at this time. Four hundred years later the Qur’an was assembled.
Within its historic context and while remaining human literature, this is the Living Word, the medium of continuity for the Person who had lunch with Abraham and whose tomb was empty. We may wish for something more designed and less evolved, but there it is. The Logos is the Word, both are as they are, real and alive.
I will freely quote from Scripture without attribution or citation and expect that all readers will know the reference and the context. I will cite the Qur’an and extra canonical literature as if they were just another human book, which they are.
Versions that lie about the foreign, uncanny, earthy, violent, human, composite, and ancient nature of these documents are not allowed here.
The Jewish Bible
1985, The Jewish Publication Society, Philadelphia and Jerusalem.
This is the English translation of the Original Testament. The Jews have been translating the Book into the dominant languages of the day for about two thousand, five hundred years. For a little while in their history that language is English. TANAKH stands for Torah, Neviim, and Kethuvim which are the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings. My favorite translation is the word vexed,as in The lord was vexed with the king.
For now this is the only English version in my bibliography because I want more people to notice it and read it.
References, Lexicons, Concordances.
A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary
of the Hebrew Language for Readers of English
Klein, Ernest, 1987, Macmillan Publishing Company, New York.
Did you ever just read a lexicon or dictionary? You will this one. Modern, Talmud, and biblical Hebrew associated with English, Arabic, Aramaic, etc.
Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible
Abingdon Press, Nashville, 1962
A great general reference. Some entries will give you an Ah-ha and some will give you an Oh-no! My only reservation is that you find a later edition than mine.
The Presentation of Self in Everyday Society
Goffman, Erving, 1959, Doubleday Anchor Books, New York.
Interaction Ritual, Essays on Face-to-Face Behavior
Goffman, Erving, 1967, Doubleday Anchor Books, New York.
These two books were the first to tell me that the human person is an artifact, not an incorporeal entity. They are old, unknown, and difficult. But Goffman, for all of his obscure writing, observed us clearly. Personhood is a function of social interaction. We are a composite of the rolls we play, not unitary spirit beings trapped in bodies.
That does not mean we are without biology. Our personalities are artifacts but there are raw materials. Like language, the genes provide the machinery and the tactics to acquire a self, and the society provides specific nouns and roles to try. Only the over educated believe we are either nature or nurture but not both.
Myths of Enki, The Crafty God
Kramer, Samuel Noah, and Maier, John, 1989, Oxford University Press, New York.
This book is about Sumer and Eridu and Enki and all of the beginnings of history. I enjoyed it so much I memorized a few lines of poetry in the original Sumerian. It was a turning point in my life. To give you a hint why, here is a note from the inside front cover of my copy: What was JHWH doing between Noah and Abraham? Answer: Being Enki. That sounds damnable, and as it stands it is damnable. But this book had a great deal to do with my coming to understand the huge gulf between all pagan myth and our God, a gulf that I would not have noticed had I not first noticed the similarities. So when it came time to speak to Abraham and the prophets, the lord used human language, art, and culture to speak to us. And over time His revelation to us grew as it engulfed and enriched other cultures from the Canaanites to the Greeks to the Germanic tribes. I know you love your Christmas tree.
But for all of the growth in His Word, there remains to this day a consistent Personality that injected into all of these human cults and cultures a covenant of love. JHWH-Elohim breathed the breath of life into the first man and Enki gave the Me, the technologies of civilization like writing and war, to the first city. One personal and the other civil, these are the same story radically changed to into a new relationship between God and man. The change, of course, is the call to Abraham. Not to a king or a city or a hero, but to a man, a pretty sinful man at that, with a barren wife. In this covenant with an individual I see the beginnings of freedom and from freedom, science. What remains of Enki and the myths of Shumer is what passed for science and history in those days. The story of Adam changes creating man from making slaves into an act of love. Genesis Two is the alternative to Enki creating man, not plagiarism. Instead of the Me given to cities full of men ruled by a king, a single individual was formed and breathed into, which I take as the gift of language. The story of Adam also reverses the rituals the Akkadians used to make god images come to life. Knowing these old tales helps us understand the radical change that the lord brings to this world.
Throughout history reasonable and faithful attempts have been made to incorporate pagan wisdom into our religion. It goes on all of the time. Augustine believed Plato was close to the truth of the Christian religion. Nonsense. The Bishop of Rome imported wholesale the structure and vocabulary of the Emperor Cult but, even if you do not like the papacy, that does not make them emperor worshipers. Israel took over a city and a temple from terrible pagans, the Canaanites, but that does not make Israel pagan. Of all the mythologies of the world, it is only the Mesopotamian (with a bit of Phoenician and Egyptian) that was used by the lord as vocabulary and plot outlines. And frankly, given only two alternatives, I would prefer earthy and quirky Enki to Plato's withdrawn and unengaged Perfection.
I know that some people I love and respect will find that last sentence outrageous. But this preference comes from a life time of hearing the Voice of the lord in direct, personal contact with His people. This is not about going native, not anymore, in a pagan land. This is about rejecting the bloodless and lifeless beatific vision. I believe in a God who walked in the garden, who said, Adam, where are you? accepted one brother's sacrifice and not the other's, was angry with a tower, flooded the whole land, saved one family, had lunch and a bargain with Abraham, and on and on. No sign whatsoever of the Platonic God without a name or personality or thought. Is Enki real? No. Is Enki admirable? Absolutely not. Sure, he created (so the myths go) mankind and saved one of us from the flood. So he gave us writing. But the stories about this god are dirty, pornographically detailed, and morally disgusting. Despite that I have two reasons for the preference of Enki over Plato's fever dreams. First, our God, JHWH, chose a Mesopotamian person and Mesopotamian culture out of which He fashioned a new thing, Israel and His history and Book. Second, our God has an actual personality. We may not approve of Enki's personality, but at least he had one. The Greek Oneness is a vacuum of personhood, the antithesis of our God.
The Earliest Semitic Pantheon
Roberts, J.J.M., 1972, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
I have not read this book and include it here only because it is cited as the source of the pronunciation of the name Ea as ‘Ay(y)a in Myths of Enki, The Crafty God, next above.
The Book of J
Rosenberg, David and Bloom, Harold, 1990, Grove Weidenfeld, New York.
This book is about JHWH when he was wild, before the priests at the temple of Jerusalem caged him. Even though I often disagreed with the choices and insights of Rosenberg and Bloom, I loved this book. How can anyone, given a choice between the wild and lively god in J and a distant and unchanging Supreme Being, pick the cold one? That's the question that forces me to go public with my views.
Books by Daniel C. Dennett
Dennett, Daniel C., 1978, Bradford Books, Montgomery, VT.
Consciousness Explained
Dennett, Daniel C., 1991, Little Brown and Company, Boston.

This book was the stone in my pond that still ripples outward with change and sparkle. Philosopher Dennett gives us the tools to explain all internal human experience with purely biological, chemical, and physical causes. He uses little stories to illustrate questions like Geshu used parables–effectively. I now understand, without the total detail we will someday have and require, that a person is a part played by an actor, even when the character being played is writing the script during the play. There is emotional but not conceptual distance between a character we call self and a character we identify with in entertainment. Dennett's ideas seem to frighten or irritate most people but I find them funny and comfortable and correct.

I wonder what Dennett's reaction would be to my using the ideas from this book and the next one, with a dose of Dawkins as well, to restate the case for the existence of God?

Content and Consciousness
Dennett, Daniel C., 1969, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, London.
Darwin's Dangerous Idea, Evolution and the Meanings of Life
Dennett, Daniel C., 1995, Simon & Schuster, New York.
And important book for my thinking because it discusses the ways that natural processes like selection produce the physical and mental world. It takes Darwin's idea of descent with variation past biology and into physics and cosmology.
Elbow Room
Dennett, Daniel C., 1984, MIT Press/A Bradford Book, Cambridge, MA.
Life is a Basketball Court? Elbow room is room enough for the activity at hand, and elbow room is all free will needs between cause and effect determinism and mysticism. Here is reductionism and materialism that allows ordinary people their free will and common expressions of responsibility and motive. Dennett's solutions are not mine. See Cosmic Billiards and other essays for my take on this issue.
The Intentional Stance
Dennett, Daniel C., 1987, MIT Press/A Bradford Book, Cambridge, MA.
The Mind's I
Dennett, Daniel C., with Hofstadter, Douglas R., 1981, Basic Books, New York.
Books by Pagelses
This may be the first time this husband and wife appear in the same bibliography. I'll bet they did not know they were talking about the same bit of reality. Actually, I won't bet that at all. I'm sure they know.
The above paragraph was written about fifteen years ago, before Heinz died. I leave it as it was, and add this note ('06NOV12) to illustrate the time scale of my delay in publication. Also, Elaine has written more since then which I have not read yet. Of course I am not sure, but it sounds like much of it has been about the Gnostics, a subject that interests me like bad smells interest my dog, Adam Red Clay.
The Origin of Satan
Pagels, Elaine, 1995, Random House, New York.
The Dreams of Reason, the Computer and the Rise of the Sciences of Complexity>
Pagels, Heinz R., 1988, Simon & Schuster, New York.
Gems in Matrix
The Body of Faith
Who's Body?
Wyschogrod, Michael, 1983, Seabury Press, Minneapolis.
Traditional Judaism calls Him Hashem (Ha Shem at Bible Freedom Science) which means The Name in Hebrew. It avoids actually printing or saying JHWH. Traditional Judaism is also torn between the lively person in the Book they cherish and the extreme distance of the Thou. MW comes very close to saying that JHWH is a corporate personality, another name for the nation assembled. But the pull of the Platonists is too strong and he sadly retreats to Buber, Heidegger, and the rest of that lot.
The Art of Biblical Poetry
Alter, Robert, 1985, Basic Books, ISBN 0-465-00431-8.
A fine book that sees the craft of poetics as an important tool for understanding the Original Testament. It is far more than a simple repetition. My biggest revelation from Alter was a better view of the Book of Job.
Biblical Archaeology Review
Biblical Archaeology Society BAS
This magazine is my favorite, even before Science News Letter or The Freeman. It was three magazines for while. Bible Review and Archaeology Odyssey were the other two. There are excellent articles with top flight pictures of digs and ruins and remains. Sure, the professionals at the universities cannot be bothered with such popular accounts. But I love them. Also, this magazine and its publisher, Hershel Shanks, love to take on the establishment and win. He got the the Dead Sea Scrolls made public after fifty years of secrecy and he is in the middle of the James Ossuary controversy. The letters are a pure joy because there is always one cancellation and one insulting academic argument. I do have two problems with BAR. First, it does not come often enough. Second, I do not like, in fact I hate, the Italian paintings of biblical scenes and events used to illustrate the articles. Of course we do not have a photograph of David and Bathsheba in bed together. But the Renaissance art they use interferes with imagination and has only the tiniest relationship to the facts on the ground of the ancient world.
Toward a Grammar of Biblical Poetics
Tales of the Prophets.
Herbert Chanan Brichto, 1992, Oxford University Press, New York.
This book is a delightful application of literary criticism to our literature. No sermon writer should be without it. The new stuff that he finds in the few stories he analyzes is true to the character of our literature and the literature of our Character. The method is clearly explained and the examples fill it out so that anyone can do this same sort of work for other stories, especially in the Original Testament. I believe that it would be very helpful in the New Testament as well. If you are interested in literary criticism of our literature, get this book and then work through its short. superb bibliography. You will find Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle there, as you find it here.
Old Testament Theology
Gerhard Von Rad, translated from the German by D.M.G. Stalker. Harper and Row, New York and Evanston, 1965, two volumes.
Many of the seeds of the theology of Bible Freedom Science Network are found in Von Rad, (the d is pronounced t). I cite one of them here, in the glossary. He is a Christian, a fairly conservative Christian at that, one of the giants of Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century German Old Testament scholarship. Much of how I understand Israel and her theology and history takes off from the runway he paved. Also, look at the date of the translation. While I was supposed to have enough German to read Von Rad in the original, sadly, I did not. So it was good luck for me that the translation came just as I was entering Concordia Seminary. At that time, it was the latest thing in German OT theology. But the full implications of what he started in me did not really take off until I had read, much later, Dawkins, Gould, Calvin, Dennett, and Kramer. And, since it was long ago and so buried in my consciousness, it was not until I picked up volume two recently to study about prophecy that I remembered his contribution to my thought. I tip my had to him.
The Jewish Background to the Lord's Prayer
Brad Young, Gospel Research Foundation, 1984.
The author was my priest's teacher. He believes the Prayer was taught in Hebrew. An excellent book, full of info on the Pray, but I remain unconvinced of his basic thesis.
Lord Jesus Christ; Devotion to Jesus in the Earliest Christianity
Larry Hurtado, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan/Cambridge, U.K., 2003.
Geshua was named the lord with the Greek word KYPIOC that was used by the Septuaginta for the Hebrew YHWH within weeks of the Resurrection. A beautiful thing!
Practical Theology
Preaching for the Church
Richard R. Caemmerer, Concordia Publishing House, Saint Louis, 1959, 1964.
I never had him in class but heard him preach many times at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. He was rather longer than I cared for. I also remember him at the little conference held in Chicago to start a new synod after the Sem was destroyed by democratically selected doctrine. He led us in singing the hymn The Church's One Foundation. It was a very powerful moment in my life. More important for you, dear reader, is his method of sermon preparation called Goal, Malady, Means.
Books by Stephen Jay Gould
Gould wrote many essays, many books that are collections of those essays, and several books, like these three, on single topics. All of his output is excellent. One day I will put his complete catalog, with my comments, on this page.
He is first a teacher, but also a wonderful example of the importance of going to the primary sources in literary research. For a rant on this, click here.
He is a very important writer in my life and one of the five or six that is able to bring me to reread again (yes, that is redundant. Again.) a whole book.
Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle
Stephen Jay Gould, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1987.
A brief history of time, not cosmological, but humanal. I mean that Gould understands and clarifies how we look at time. The ideas and insights in this book sit deep in the background of my coming to see the importance of framing knowledge and isolating paradigms.
The Mismeasure of Man
Stephen Jay Gould, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 1981.
Here Gould sets the record straight on intelligence testing and racial bias. I agree with him, of course, but here and there his analysis misses the point. I mean that political agendas can only impede our societies and therefore any sort of measure of human beings must be off limits to governments. Yes, that includes the census, except the raw count of residents for congressional apportionment.
Wonderful Life
The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History.
Stephen Jay Gould, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 1989.
Contingency, this book is all about contingency and is one more of those pillars underneath my Doctrine of Frames.
Books and Authors to Forget
Every Title by:
The Savage (Plato)
René Descartes
Jean Jacques Rousseau
Sigmund Freud
Karl Marx
Martin Buber
Jean-Paul Sartre
Martin Heidegger
Paul Tillich was a Nice Man. I did hear him say something in a lecture worth remembering. And he has a nice grave beside a really fine restaurant, the Red Geranium, in New Harmony, Indiana. But his philosophy was pure Plato and that disqualifies him from my list.
Economics and Ethics
Human Action: A Treatise on Economics
Ethical Acts in a Contingent World, One
Mises, Ludwig Von Ludwig Mises Institute, Auburn, Alabama.
I need to add The Wealth of Nations and a few others to this list but first, Human Action. This is the link between the natural world and the society of people and language. This book is more important as any other, save one, on this list.
The Sensory OrderHayek, Friedrich, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1987
Memory Patterns in the Brain
Hayek is known first as an economist, but, like Mises, ranged widely in human behavior and functioning.
Ethics and Economics
Theological Ethics
Ethical Acts in a Contingent World, Two
Thielicke, Helmut, 1966, Fortress Press, Philadelphia.
This is a two volume set, translated from the German. Tough going, especially for non Lutherans, but the highest human achievement on ethics I know about after Francis of Assisi, Luther, Moshe, Paul, and Geshu. Read Thielicke, fresh from surviving Hitler.
The Catholic Moment
The Catholic Moment
Neuhaus, Richard John, 1987, Harper Collins.
We used to call him Richard Cardinal Neuhaus at the Sem (Concordia, St. Louis), in tribute to his orthodoxy and his piety. He graduated about ten years before I did.
See more in the glossary.
Luther's Works
Luther, Martin, 55 volumes, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis.
No, I have not read all 55 volumes and I probably never will in my life time. Shame, that. I pray there is a good library in the Resurrection.
Dr. Martin Luther is a driven genius second only to the first driven genius, Saul of Tarsus. On his reforms and doctrine hang all of the success of Western Civilization.
Books about People and Their Brains
The Selfish Gene
Dawkins, Richard, 1989, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
The source of the meme meme.
The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature
Steven Pinker, 2002, Viking, New York.
The most anti Platonic book I know of outside of the Bible. Thank you, Steven!
The Throwing Madonna: Essays on the Brain
William H. Calvin, 1991, Bantam Books, New York.
A great influence on my thinking, Calvin sees pathways through the contingencies and side effects of evolution to the functioning of spare parts as a language machine, i.e., a human mind.
Lingua ex Machina: Reconciling Darwin and Chomsky
with the Human Brain
William H. Calvin, Derek Bickerton, 2001, A Bradford Book, The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England.
This book outlines the way language was gifted to us. Some will see it as a purely physical, biological process. Like me. And some will see it as the evidence of the biblical God's creative powers. Like me. Either way, language did not come to us by 2001 aliens, by deterministic materialism, or by spiritual emanations. It was given to us by a Creator who creates by selection, choice, will, isolation, mixing, and opportunity.

I am indebted to this book for hints to my ideas about frames and mediation. Please see pages 9, 10, and 11. There you will also see what must have been the seeds of my tapestry analogy in the fleece, yarn, and cloth picture he paints.
Science, Philosophy and History of
The Nature of Scientific Discovery
A Symposium Commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Birth of Nicolaus Copernicus.
ed. Gingerich, Owen, 1975, Smithsonian Institution Press. ISBN O-87474-148-3
This is a great book for discovering the role of the Christian religion and the Reformation in the history of science. Myths born of hatred for Christianity are exposed as false. Yes, there were some, including Popes, who opposed Galileo and Kopernik. But the reasons were Aristotelian, not biblical. A single biblical quote, from the Book of Joshua, is alone among many citations from the Greek philosophers. It is especially fun to read about the connection between Dr. Martin Luther and Kopernik.