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Yale Anchor vs WBC


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#1 Gordon

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 12:13 PM

I know that this is difficult to answer but How would you compare and contrast the objective scholarship of the Anchor series vs the WBC series?  Is there a theological bias in the WBC commentaries vs the Anchor series?  Which one is more objective from the point of view of serious Bible scholarship?  Which set is more up to date from the point of view of the most recent Bible scholarship?

 


‏ כִּ֤י לֶ֣קַח ט֭וֹב נָתַ֣תִּי לָכֶ֑ם תּֽ֝וֹרָתִ֗י אַֽל־תַּעֲזֹֽבוּ׃


#2 Abram K-J

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 01:00 PM

Well... everything has theological bias of some kind, occasional protestations to the contrary notwithstanding. It would depend on what you mean by "serious Bible scholarship," though I don't think there's such a thing as academic objectivity at all.

 

That aside (and sorry if it's an annoying answer), I think you'll find the quality in both Anchor and WBC varies from volume to volume. I just went through Psalm 23 in each, and Dahood's Anchor volume is far thinner (and less up-to-date, I think) than the WBC volume on Psalms 1-50. However, Anchor on John is hard to top, and both series tend in general to access so-called critical approaches of biblical scholarship. I wouldn't say one stands out over the other in the sense I think you are asking.


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#3 Gordon

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 01:17 PM

Abram,

Thanks for your reply.

I would disagree that "everything" has a theological bias.  That's a pretty broad statement which I don't think would stand up in academic circles.  "Serious Bible scholarship" means the scholarship of people like Jacob Milgrom, Moshe Greenberg, Nahum Sarna, Marc Brettler,Michael Coogan, Baruch Schwartz,John Collins,Adele Berlin,Yair Zakovitch, Sara Japhet, etc  The type of scholarship one finds in the New Oxford Annotated Bible. 


‏ כִּ֤י לֶ֣קַח ט֭וֹב נָתַ֣תִּי לָכֶ֑ם תּֽ֝וֹרָתִ֗י אַֽל־תַּעֲזֹֽבוּ׃


#4 Abram K-J

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 01:22 PM

I just think bias (theological or otherwise) is inescapable--that's all I meant. I realize that statement doesn't stand up in academic circles (I've tried!), but I simply take that to be a remnant of a well-meaning but hypermodernist quest for "objectivity" that postmodernism has yet to displace. But I'm happy to agree to disagree. :)

 

Back to your OP: I think Anchor might be just a touch closer for the kind of scholarship you're asking about, though some of the volumes are getting older/dated now.


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#5 Gordon

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 01:32 PM

Abram, 

I would agree with you that scholars have biases, but I don't think one can say that "everything has a theological bias".  I guess we disagree on that.   :mellow:


‏ כִּ֤י לֶ֣קַח ט֭וֹב נָתַ֣תִּי לָכֶ֑ם תּֽ֝וֹרָתִ֗י אַֽל־תַּעֲזֹֽבוּ׃


#6 Joe Weaks

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 02:15 PM

Gordon,

Right, everything has biases. It's imperfect to say that every bit of secondary literature has 'theological' bias, per se. 

 

The difficulty with the question is that there's not uniformity within a commentary set. When there is a bit stronger dichotomy between theological doctrine over against literary critical methods, the WBC for sure leans towards traditionalism, etc. But, many of its volumes are still held in highest regard for their area in the most higher-critical arenas.

 

That said, without a doubt, to your original question, the AYBD is considered more critical with less influence of biblical doctrine. (It's a bit of a apples-to-oranges, tho, since one's a commentary and the other a bible dictionary.)


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#7 Gordon

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 02:25 PM

Joe,

Thanks for your response;  Actually, I was referrring to the Yale Anchor OT Bible Commentary series and not the AYBD.  But I guess tjhat they are both have the same approach to the Biblical text.  

In any event, I think that you are correct that "there is no uniformity within a commentary set" since the set is the product of many authors.


‏ כִּ֤י לֶ֣קַח ט֭וֹב נָתַ֣תִּי לָכֶ֑ם תּֽ֝וֹרָתִ֗י אַֽל־תַּעֲזֹֽבוּ׃


#8 Dan Francis

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 03:13 PM

Well there will be bias and variation of points of view in any series... Generally WBC comes at the Bible from a moderate Evangelical perspective (some volumes are more liberal and others more conservative, but generally all have solid scholarship). Anchor comes at the Bible usually from a more strictly academic point of view. I have nothing against that but I will say it bothers me how uneven the series is. Some volumes are worth their weight in gold... others seem less detailed than a good study Bible. Sometimes I just scratch my head too... I know people I deeply respect who laud the Psalms as the best thing ever in Anchor, but whenever I use these volumes I come way from them with little value achieved for my reading them (the fault may well be with me). I think one would say Anchor is less uniform than many series. I consider it worth having but you are probably best to grab the volumes you want front he series. These are of course simply my impressions but I thought I would throw my two cents in....

 

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#9 Joe Weaks

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 03:38 PM

Actually, I was referrring to the Yale Anchor OT Bible Commentary series and not the AYBD. 

I'm an idiot.

Though, yes, the same applies mostly for the Anchor Commentary series. Dan's insights are good, too.


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#10 Fr. Rich

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 04:09 PM

As others have said, it depends on the volume. In WBC, David J. A. Clines on Job is very thorough and for me at least really helpful. In the Anchor Yale commentaries Fitzmeyer on Luke is excellent and so are Ray Brown's volumes on John. Of course both of these sets cycle in newer commentaries from time to time. Fitzmeyer and Brown are classics but eventually, Anchor will have newer volumes on these books. The WBC is publishing newer (and very late) volumes on Acts. I have both sets and I use them both. If I could only buy one, I would start with the Anchor Yale volumes.


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#11 Matthew Burgess

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 06:49 PM

"Serious Bible scholarship" means the scholarship of people like Jacob Milgrom, Moshe Greenberg, Nahum Sarna, Marc Brettler,Michael Coogan, Baruch Schwartz,John Collins,Adele Berlin,Yair Zakovitch, Sara Japhet, etc  The type of scholarship one finds in the New Oxford Annotated Bible. 

 

In my opinion, if you're interested in a set grounded primarily in historical-critical scholarship, the AYBC is a slightly better option than the WBC.  (Hermeneia would also be a better option, if it includes the biblical books that you're intererested in, and you have some background in the languages.)  However, as several people have mentioned, all sets are uneven in their quality and trajectory; for example, the WBC includes David Aune's three-volume commentary on the book of Revelation, which has been described as "the last great historical-critical commentary," while J. Massyngberde Ford's corresponding volume in the AYBC is not as highly regarded.    

 

Also, I notice that several of the scholars you mentioned are Jewish; to my knowledge, all of the contributors to the WBC are Christian (although I haven't investigated this very thoroughly). 


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#12 Ryan Stumpf

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 11:20 PM

Abram, 

I would agree with you that scholars have biases, but I don't think one can say that "everything has a theological bias".  I guess we disagree on that.   :mellow:

 

How can anyone not - it just means the way you roll. And if you aren't rolling, you're dead. 


Edited by Ryan Stumpf, 17 July 2014 - 11:26 PM.


#13 Serpentium

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Posted 16 September 2014 - 04:52 AM

with you guys it is so hard to decide if I buy or not AYB, now that is on a CRAZY sale!!!
The price is so low...can't resist...
$1499 -> $999 http://www.accordancebible.com/store/details/?pid=Anchor-OT-NT 
http://www.accordanc...chor-Accordance

Edited by Serpentium, 16 September 2014 - 05:04 AM.

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