“When I’m stumped . . . I go to Henry Alford.”

A couple of months ago, Dan Phillips emailed me about Henry Alford’s The Greek Testament and asked if we would consider making it available in Libronix. I was familiar with Alford’s work, but had never used it. I did some digging and concluded that it would be a perfect fit for Libronix. So I sent it along to our electronic text development department for a cost estimate, and now it’s up on Pre-Pub for a fraction of the cost of the hard-to-find print volumes.

If you don’t know much about Alford’s Greek Testament, you can learn a good deal by the subtitle: "With a Critically Revised Text; a Digest of Various Readings; Marginal References to Verbal and Idiomatic Usage; Prolegomena; and a Critical and Exegetical Commentary." Alford’s detailed analysis, which spans nearly 3,500 pages in print, covers the entire New Testament.

In his original email, Dan mentioned to me that John Piper often uses Alford’s Greek Testament and speaks very highly of it. He couldn’t remember where he heard Piper talk about it though. So he asked his blog readers for help, and we were able to track down the quote. It comes from the Q&A time at the end of Piper’s biographical lecture on Owen. Piper is answering a question about commentaries that he finds helpful. Here’s what he says:

When I’m stumped with a . . . grammatical or syntactical or logical flow in Paul, I go to Henry Alford. Henry Alford . . . comes closer more consistently than any other human commentator to asking my kinds of questions. (John Piper, “John Owen: The Chief Design of My Life—Mortification and Universal Holiness,” 1:30:11–1:30:31)

My ears perk up when I hear a scholar like Piper talk about the tools that he finds most helpful. I’m excited to see Alford’s work digitized and look forward to consulting it in my own study.

In just the few days that it has been up, Alford’s Greek Testament has already crossed the 50% mark. Go check it out and see if you think it would be a good addition to your Libronix library.

To learn more about Henry Alford, see Dan Phillips’ very informative post "Great News for Greekers: Alford Gets Logosized."


  1. It is a great resource indeed. Now, where’s the Qumran Bible????
    I think every man-jack of ya should abandon everything else you’re working on and get the Qumran Bible out to us pre-orderers.

  2. Ted Hans says

    A very good product I only wish we had on pre-pub the English version for folks like me who are not Greek scholars.(I know the English version has been offered on community pricing). Well I have placed an order for both!
    Phil what about Bengel’s New Testament Commentary (Gnomon of The New Testament) by John A. Bengel?
    Since we are into name dropping C.H. Spurgeon (A piper fan anyway) writes “Bengel condenses more matter into a line than can be extracted from pages of other writers” Marvin Vincent said, “… Bengel so often throws open by a single turn the secret chambers of the word.” Philip Schaff added “… a marvel of condensation and spiritual insight; must always remain a classic.”
    Please Phil could you look into this surely you are not going to ignore a comment from one of Reform’s greatest preachers will you? :-)

  3. Robert Widdowson says

    A while ago, Ted Hans asked about John Albert Bengel’s five volume set, ‘Gnomon of the New Testament.’ Would Logos be offering it?
    I’m a backwoods boy who’d never heard of Bengel until I read of him in Simon Kistemaker’s study of Jude for Baker’s New Testament Commentary series (Kistemaker cited Bengel twice as much as Henry Alford). This made me curious and I recalled reading a comment about Bengel in a recent blog (Ted Hans’ bit).
    So, are you guys thinking of producing Bengel’s work?

  4. Yes. It’s in the works and should be up on Pre-Pub in the near future.

  5. Phil,
    I have two questions.
    1) Is Ted Hans saying that there is a English version of Alford’s Greek Testament on community pricing?
    2) I don’t read Greek. Can I benefit from purchasing this PrePub?

  6. 1. The New Testament for English Readers (4 Vols.) is Alford’s work made easier for those who don’t know Greek.
    2. Yes, you should be able to benefit from both versions, even if you don’t know Greek.