At Long Last! Ceslas Spicq’s “The Epistle to the Hebrews” Will Be Translated

These are exciting times for Bible students, especially those who have studied the Epistle to the Hebrews. Logos is creating the first English translation of Ceslas Spicq’s two-volume commentary on Hebrews.

Originally published in French as L’ Épître aux Hébreux, Spicq’s commentary contains a wealth of citations and interaction with both primary sources as well as key commentators on Hebrews. But unless you read French (and own one of the rare copies), this commentary can’t help you. Now, however, you can pre-order your own copy—in English!

Who is Ceslas Spicq?

You’ve never heard of Ceslas Spicq (1901–1992)? That’s understandable, as most of his writings have not been translated into English. Spicq was a theology professor at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. He was also connected with the acclaimed École Biblique in Jerusalem. He authored a number of important commentaries, monographs, and a three-volume lexicon, Lexique théologique du Nouveau Testament, which was subsequently translated into English as the Theological Lexicon of the New Testament.

Why is this project important?

Spicq’s work is heavily referenced in almost every major commentary on Hebrews published after his!

The following chart highlights seven major commentaries and the number of times Spicq is referenced:

P. E. Hughes 152
F. F. Bruce (NICNT) 57
Harold Attridge (Hermeneia) 307
Craig Koester (AYBC) 269
Paul Ellingworth (NIGTC) 402
George Guthire (NIVAC) 32
Peter O’Brien (PNTC) 102
Total 1321

As you can see, scholarly interaction with Spicq is quite high. This chart doesn’t take into consideration the hundreds of times L’ Épître aux Hébreux has been mentioned in journal articles, monographs, and essays since Spicq’s commentary was published.

One of the more controversial sections features Spicq’s understanding of the relationship between Philo and the Hebrews author. In a section entitled “Le Philonisme de L’Épitre aux Hébreux (The Philonism of the Epistle to the Hebrews)”, Spicq spends 52 pages analyzing the vocabulary of Hebrews and the writings of Philo, paronomasia and metaphors they share, and an exegesis of select texts. While most modern scholars have put this thesis to rest; Ellingworth rightly notes, “it is not necessary . . . to reject as worthless or insignificant the linguistic and other evidence accumulated by Spicq” (Hebrews, 47).

Among Spicq’s greatest contributions are his detailed studies on the language and literary characteristics of Hebrews. This includes 27 pages of lexical and literary analysis. Spicq analyzes not only individual words, but also phrases unique to Hebrews.

Take it from the experts!

Still unsure about Ceslas Spicq? Here’s what leading scholars say about how important Ceslas Spicq’s commentary on Hebrews is:

“[Spicq’s] work on the Epistle to the Hebrews is a monument of dedicated piety and erudition.”—Philip E. Hughes, author of A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews.

“Spicq’s commentary represented a major advance in the study of Hebrews. Exegetically thorough and theologically reflective, Spicq’s work influenced scholarly work on Hebrews in many languages for several decades. It remains an important resource for those who wish to mine the treasures of Hebrews.”—David Peterson, senior research fellow and lecturer in New Testament, Moore College

“I am delighted that someone is taking time to translate this classic work, which nearly all scholars who work in Hebrews references. Thank you for taking the time to provide an English translation for subsequent students to use in their study of the book.”—Herbert Bateman, professor of New Testament, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Who will translate?

Once we have enough orders, we will confirm and announce who will be working on the translation.

Pre-order your copy now!

We are placing Spicq on Pre-Pub for only $39.95! That’s an almost unbelievable price, considering that the two-volume French edition is virtually impossible to find. I was fortunate to get a copy of the first volume, and it cost twice as much as both volumes on Pre-Pub.

Once we have enough to cover the cost for translation and production, the work begins. Order your copy today!

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2 Responses to “At Long Last! Ceslas Spicq’s “The Epistle to the Hebrews” Will Be Translated”

  1. Charlie Law March 9, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    Can you tell us anything more about who might be the translator? I don’t need a name, but I’d like to see something about the backgrounds of the candidates or maybe the criteria you’re using to choose someone. Thanks!

    • Cliff Kvidahl March 9, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

      Charlie,

      Thanks for the comment. Rest assured, we will pick the person who we feel is more than qualified to do a work like this. You can get your Pre-Pub in knowing that we will choose the best person. And when we announce the translator, because you pre-ordered a copy you will be one of the first to know who it will be.

      Cliff