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New Resource: Theological Commons (PTS)

March 13, 2012

Princeton Theological Seminary has one of the finest (and largest) theological libraries in the western hemisphere. What would you give to have instantaneous access to it on the Internet? One hundred dollars, you say?  One thousand dollars? One million dollars? How about … nothing at all?

PTS (in cahoots with the Internet Archive) has recently launched the Theological Commons, a new site that makes more than 50,000 public domain works in theology, biblical studies, philosophy, church history, and more available for free.  There are classic texts from major figures, including Reformed scholastics and nineteenth century works, as well as lots of obscure stuff.

Part of the digitized collection is T.F. Torrance’s own collection of nearly 100 antiquarian books, from some original Bèze in Latin to the seventeenth century Reformed scholastic Johannes Wollebius. Torrance also had several documents from the Scottish Parliament (including the Scots Confession and Westminster documents) and what looks like quite a bit from Scottish church leader Thomas Boston.

In other words, this is what you’ll be doing for the next hour.

There is a slick Web-based viewer, as well as quick and easy PDF download links. Beware of saving off too much to your hard drive, though — the high-quality scans make for large files.  And for Kindle readers, look for a link to instantly send the file to your device (though some won’t work due to the limits of the OCR scans).

Some of these are just cool old books to look at. Others are rare and difficult to find texts that have never been available online before, despite being in the public domain.

The Theological Commons is part of Princeton’s larger Digital Collections project, which also includes seminary journals and the Abraham Kuyper Bibliography.

Some Christology texts I’ve located so far:

Brunner, Emil. The Mediator (1947)
Dorner, Isaak August. History of the Development of the Doctrine of the Person of Christ (1889-92) – 5 vols.
Fleming, Peter. Christology: A Discourse Concerning Christ (1705)
Forsyth, P.T. The Person and Place of Jesus Christ (1909)
Irving, Edward. The Collected Writings of Edward Irving (1866) – 5 vols.
Loofs, Friedrich. What Is the Truth About Jesus Christ? Problems of Christology (1913)
Mackintosh, H.R. The Doctrine of the Person of Jesus Christ (1912)
Owen, John. The Glorious Mystery of the Person of Christ and The Doctrine of Justification By Faith

And a few other gems:

Barth, Karl and Johannes Hamel. How to Serve God in a Marxist Land (1959)
Brunner, Emil. Dogmatics volumes I and II (of III) (1950-52)
Cranmer, Thomas. A Defense of the True and Catholic Doctrine of the Sacrament (1825)
Dorner, Isaak August. A System of Christian Doctrine (1883-88) – 4 vols.
Harnack, Adolf von. What Is Christianity? (1903)
Hodge, Charles. Systematic Theology (1872) – 3 vols.
Knox, John. The Works of John Knox
Schleiermacher, Friedrich. Christmas Eve Dialogue, On Religion, and Sämmtliche Werke
Wollebius, Johannes. The Abridgement of Christian Divinitie (1660)

If you find something cool in your searches, post it here! (HTML code works in the comments, if you want to create a hyperlink.)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 14, 2012 1:41 am

    Oh, no! Now I’ll never sleep. 😎

  2. March 14, 2012 8:27 am

    What a great resource! Thanks for the tip.

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