Joel Beeke: How to Read Thomas Goodwin

Discussion in 'Puritan Literature' started by VirginiaHuguenot, Dec 15, 2008.

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  1. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    More at:

    How to Read Thomas Goodwin « Gospel-Centered Musings (December 15, 2008)
  2. Prufrock

    Prufrock Arbitrary Moderation

    Absolutely! There's nothing like a little Goodwin to warm the heart on a cold night.
  3. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    I was surprised to read in one in the reviews in the 2008 Confessional Presbyterian that scholars of Goodwin say to read him in the original editions, something made clear today by the easy access to EEBO (Early English Books Online).
    Scholars, particularly those with interests in the seventeenth-century England, are all agreed that “EEBO” (Early English Books Online) has transformed the nature of scholarship. Thus, Quentin Skinner, whom Trueman evidently owes a good deal of intellectual debt (15), writes: “the existence of EEBO has completely transformed my teaching as well as my own scholarly life – both entirely for the better.” Early English Books Online contains digital facsimile pages of almost every book printed in Britain, as well as British North America, from 1473–1700. Researchers are therefore able to access thousands of works from libraries all over the world from their computer via the internet. Moreover, because of the Text Creation Partnership, many of these works are fully searchable, making research altogether different than ten years ago. This allows for a wider and more rigorous interaction with the primary sources. And therein is the difference between The Claims of Truth and John Owen.

    Clearly, Trueman makes good use of EEBO, especially in chapters three and four where he is able to draw upon a number of seventeenth-century works besides Owen’s. Of course, many of these works were reprinted in the nineteenth century; in the case of Owen, by Johnstone and Hunter (1850–55), the edition that Trueman cites. However, nineteenth-century editors were notoriously bad to the point that many scholars are now using the original printings because of the numerous interpolations and omissions made to the nineteenth-century reprints. For example, evidence suggests that the Nichols Standard Divines Series editors were careless in a number of places as they transcribed Thomas Goodwin’s (1600–1680) works, even to the point of adding paragraphs not original to Goodwin. A return to the original 1691–1704 collected Works as well as the various works printed during Goodwin’s lifetime has been necessary in order to reduce historical anachronism and the need to cite the actual words of Goodwin. With EEBO so readily accessible, perhaps future studies on Owen will use the original prints, if indeed the reprints are unreliable? And, like Bunyan (OUP) and Edwards (Yale), perhaps the need exists for a critical edition of Owen’s works that deals with the (possible) redactions of the Goold edition?

    "Carl R. Trueman, John Owen: Reformed Catholic," reviewed by Mark Jones, The Confessional Presbyterian 4, (2008) 217-218
  4. Quickened

    Quickened Puritan Board Senior

    I like how you worded this! I shall have to look into this man
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