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What Is Best Strategy for Buying Commentaries?


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#1 Enoch

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 11:50 AM

I have bought Accordance sets of commentaries, but now I am wondering if that is the best approach.  One wants to have at least one set that covers the entire Bible, one or two that as best possible agree with one's criteria.  

 

Sets vary.  There are likely to be a number of quasi-duds in any set.  Thus I wonder if it would not be better to pick and choose the best commentaries of each set for purchase.  What one deems best will partly be determined by one's theological position and axioms.  There are indeed RCC sets and Jewish sets for compatible students.  I think it would be a valuable effort requiring

cooperation of a number of evangelicals (those who hold the fundamentals of the faith) to make a list of the most valuable (Accordance-sold) commentaries to them, which may include volumes of sets which are not predominately evangelical.  The criteria I suggest would be

 

1) Critical, grammatical analysis of the text with minimal fanciful reconstructions of history (not to exclude factual history) -- some commentaries would be wanted for meeting this standard without the rest listed:

 

2) Author appears to be born-again with the spiritual gift of teaching

3) Author endorses that all scripture is theopneustos (God's creation; He is the true author)

4) Author accepts the integrity of books and their claimed human authors & claimed dates

5) Author accepts the analogy of the faith, not claiming that one book contradicts another (Jesus  says this, but Paul changed it to something else, etc.)

6) Prophecy is not tossed off as after the fact pretense

7) The Bible is true on all subjects it addresses (even where there is overlap with human physical science or ancient history)

 

 


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#2 PhilT

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 04:50 AM

Enoch,

 

Best set appears to be NICOT/NICNT from what you have said they are all consistently good, they are being revised as well on an on going basis.  But do you need this level for what you are using them for. 

NICNT Edited by Gordon Fee Conservative Evangelical. 

NICOT Edited by Robert Hubbard Conservative Evangelical
Pillar is similar Pillar is edited by Carson so will be conservative Refomd Evangelical

Bible Speaks Today usuful for preaching

 

I just bought the NIV app set OT, from using individual volumes worked out this set is great for preaching

 

Anchor has some really good volumes (Some Catholic, some not.  Have used Raymond Brown's Volumes on John, Fitzmyer on Luke and some OT ones)

 

Baker Exegetical has some really good volumes, Luke, 1 Peter, Revelation, (these are the ones I have used) Edited by M Silva (I think Conservative Evangelical)

 

Word is a different beast altogether, some are stellar some not so.

 

Tyndale set is good and concise, the OT ones are really helpful and the whole set is included in many packages.

 

Google Best comentaries, that would be the place to start.  Also Google Parableman commentaries, he has an on gong list.

 

Hope this helps a bit

 

Leaving you in God's Care and Grace

 

Phil

Do you need or want discussions on the Greek/Hebrew.


Edited by PhilT, 05 May 2014 - 04:51 AM.


#3 Enoch

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 03:20 PM

 

Do you need or want discussions on the Greek/Hebrew.

Thanks a lot, Phil.

 

Do I want Greek & Hebrew?  Absolutely, every jot and tittle.    I want to know the exact meaning of the text.  Am I wrong for thinking that I don't need a lot of someone telling me preaching applications?  For example, I love the old commentaries written methinks by British scholars, trained in Greek from their youth, with the Greek printed at the top of the page, like What's It All About Alfy Alford's Greek Testament.  This is the way I think:  Once I know precisely what the text means and correlate it with similar teachings, the application is pretty clear -- not that it isn't beneficial to see what others have got out of it.  I think of it like looking into a mirror, first like turned at an angle to see the Lord & what He is saying (2 Cor 3:18); then turned straight at me to see myself (James 1:22); which is similar to the process in Isaiah 6.

 

Thanks for a really good post and for the philter.


Edited by Enoch, 05 May 2014 - 03:33 PM.


#4 PhilT

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 04:24 PM

Enoch,

Try the New International Greek Commentary, all the volumes are consistently good, the ones I have used anyway. They comment on the Greek. The UBS New Testament Greek translation handbooks (only started using them in accordance.) Read the preface before you dish out the money, to see where they are coming from. The Baylor Hadbooks on the Greek New Testament, not availble in Accordance yet but people have put them forward as a recommendation. I have only dipped into some of these, from the names of the authors seem usable. Rod Decker has just produced Mark in this series, Con Campbell has done Col, I think. The series is not a classic commentary, but comments more on the Greek. There is also a new series, can't remember the name, go to Amazon, and look up "Greg Forbes 1 Peter" have not used this yet but its on my wish list to check out.

Hebrew UBS Handbooks, not availble in Acordance yet. There is another series I seem to remember, up and coming on the Hebrew bible.

This should start you off.

Leaving you in God's Care and Grace


Phil

#5 jeremyduncan

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 10:39 PM

Check out http://bestcommentaries.com or "New Testament Commentary Survey" by Carson.

 

I would suggest NICOT/NT as the closest set to what you're looking for but I doubt you'll find a full set that will conform to all of the requirements you've listed. 


Edited by jeremyduncan, 05 May 2014 - 10:39 PM.


#6 Timothy Jenney

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 09:09 AM

Enoch,

 

While I understand your sentiments, I have found some great insights from those whose theology is very different from mine. I certainly agree that the first, or primary, set of commentaries ought to be close to one's own theological position. Once those are purchased, I recommend branching out a bit to include diverse points of view. The result makes for a good dialog between the interpreter [us] and his [or her] resources, a bit like sitting around a table and discussing a passage with others in real time.


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#7 Serpentium

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 02:56 PM

Maybe the guidelines issue should be moved somewhere else, and linked only here?




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