As an owner of an "Anglican Portfolio" bundle in another software I will say it contained a lot of items I would not have choose but does contain a huge amount of works I do think of as desirable... Now some of the works like the Hermeneia I am not sure I would classify as anglican but important and useful yes. When I look at "Anglican Starter" it feels over priced and while aim at perhaps a laymen the For Everyone series as a commentary base seems odd.... I enjoy both but unless one has a fairly evangelical bent or a deep appreciation for such I am not sure if makes for the best choice (not that a better one comes to mind and you do have Eerdmans Bible Commentary to balance things out a bit). I think a big thing is Anglican like Lutheran is such a broad grouping it is hard to please everyone. I know I heard one person complaining that the Lutheran packages were rubish, containing no or next to no Concordia resources and all fortress titles were worthless.. Now thankfully we in the AWC do not have such strident groups that tend to systematically hate each other... But we definitely have our wings with strong feelings but thankfully we remain united so far.
Examples from Starter commentaries for laughs and giggles I suppose...
In the Dark of the Canyon
A composition. David’s.
1 My shepherd being Yahweh, I do not lack;
2 he enables me to lie down in grassy pastures.
He leads me to waters that are totally still;
3 he restores my life.
He guides me in faithful tracks
for the sake of his name.
4 Even when I walk in a deathly dark canyon,
I am not afraid of disaster,
because you are with me;
your club and your cane—they comfort me.
5 You spread a table in front of me
in full view of the people watching for me.
You have bathed my head in oil;
my cup fills me up.
6 Yes, goodness and commitment pursue me
all the days of my life.
I will return to Yahweh’s house
for long days.
In the foothills of the mountains near where we live is a retreat center where we have a faculty gathering each fall. Two years ago a new director at the center gave us some advice we had not been given before. If we met a bear on the grounds, we were advised not to try running away; bears can run faster than we can. I’ve forgotten what we were supposed to do instead, but in any case I decided I wasn’t going for a walk, especially as the director also told us that we would probably not get attacked by a rattlesnake if we stuck to the path and that there had been no cougar sightings lately. From a location like that of the retreat center many canyons lead up into the mountains, and I can imagine shepherds once leading sheep up the canyons. Shepherds would know about bears, cougars, and rattlesnakes and would know the best way to deal with them. In relation to some creatures, a club would be an important part of their security.
The canyons are deep and often have streams running through them, at least in winter and spring, and they are thus densely wooded—they have the water supply lacking in the countryside outside the canyons. They are thus dark and a bit sinister, and their deep darkness contrasts sharply with the bright sunshine above them. Maybe the swiftly running water would be a bit scary for the sheep, but the shepherd would know where it flows into quieter pools. He would also know where the presence of moisture makes some grass grow and where the presence of shade stops it withering in the blistering heat. He would know where there are some trees or other bushes whose fruit he can knock down with his cane. So the flock is secure and also provided for. Their shepherd is faithful in his care for it. So it is for a human being who has Yahweh as shepherd. To be Yahweh means to be the God who is faithful, active in seeing that his people are provided for and protected. So Yahweh acts in this way “for the sake of his name” in order to be the person his name proclaims him to be.
In the second half of the psalm, literal reality pokes through. The psalm is encouraging us to declare our trust that we can face being threatened by the human equivalent of bears, rattlesnakes, and cougars (compare the bulls, steers, lions, and dogs of Psalm 22), because God protects us with his club like a shepherd protecting his sheep. Like a shepherd providing his sheep with pasture, Yahweh provides us with what we need—indeed, provides us abundantly. The psalm imagines the enemies outside our camp able to see us within it, clean-shaven and smart and enjoying our meal, but they are unable to get access to us, like animals on the edge of a clearing unable to get to the sheepfold. Whereas sheep can be chased by wild animals, and human beings by their enemies, on the battlefield we are chased only by two of God’s agents, goodness and commitment. On the battlefield we are cut off from the place of worship where we meet with God and from the place of fellowship where we meet with God’s people, but we know this will not be the end of the story.
John Goldingay, Psalms for Everyone, Part 1: Psalms 1–72, Old Testament for Everyone (Louisville, KY;London: Westminster John Knox Press;Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 2013), 74–76.
Psalm 23 is one of the most loved and well-known passages in the Bible. Apparently a simple text to understand, it nevertheless presents many problems in respect to interpretation, due particularly to its wealth of imagery or metaphoric language. One of the questions is how many and which metaphors are used in this psalm. Most exegetes prefer to perceive only the shepherd metaphor in vv. 1–4 and the host metaphor in vv. 5–6. Other exegetes identify a third one, that of the guide in v. 4. Another question is whether the speaker in Psalm 23 is an individual or a collective subject.
In spite of the above-mentioned uncertainties, there is no doubt about the main thrust of Psalm 23. It is a psalm of trust or confidence which has as its central theme that, in the midst of all problems encountered in life, one can be assured of lasting security, intimate communion, abundance, and happiness in the presence of the LORD. In order to communicate this message the poet employs, among other things, the metaphors of the shepherd and of the host. Psalm 23 does not, however, sketch an idyllic, carefree picture of green pastures in the European sense of the word, but speaks of “evil,” darkness (v. 4), and “enemies” (v. 5).
The strophic division of Psalm 23 can be summarized as follows:
Vv. 1–4a (shepherd metaphor: “The LORD/me”)
V. 4b (shepherd metaphor: “You/me”; hinging verse)
V. 5 (host metaphor: “You/me”)
V. 6 (host metaphor: “The LORD/me”).
The reasons for this division are as follows: the name of the LORD (Heb. Yahweh) occurs only twice in the psalm, namely, in the first verse and in the last (v. 6). In this way a framework is created which places the emphasis on the LORD. Characteristic of the first strophe (vv. 1–4a) are the shepherd metaphor, the verbs in the third person singular with the “shepherd” as subject and “me” as object (“He makes me lie down …; he leads me …; he restores …,” and “He leads me”).
23:4b (“your rod and staff—they comfort me”) functions as a hinge between the foregoing strophe and the next strophe in that it continues the shepherd metaphor of the previous section; but it is also similar to the next section in that it is direct speech to the “shepherd” in the second person. V. 5 forms the third strophe in that it employs a new metaphor, that is, that of the host, although it continues the direct form of speech. V. 6 continues the host metaphor, but it introduces a new strophe as it reverts to the third person (“the LORD” instead of “you”).
The first words of the first strophe, “The LORD is my shepherd,” are in essence a summary of the contents of the psalm. The second part of v. 1 spells out the implication of the shepherd metaphor: “I shall not want.” The rest of the strophe, elaborating on the shepherd metaphor, concretizes what the “sheep” “shall not want,” namely, food (“green pastures”), vitality (“he restores my soul”), guidance (“He leads me …”), and security and safety (“I fear no evil”).
The hinging verse (23:4b) is the climax of the psalm. The tone of the psalm turns to a prayer. The LORD is addressed directly and a confession of faith follows: “you are with me.” The presence of the LORD amid dangers and enemies is the central theme of the psalm. The “rod and staff,” an expression which extends the shepherd metaphor, are concrete manifestations of the LORD’s protecting presence.
23:5, the host metaphor, conveys the same ideas as that of the shepherd metaphor, namely, hospitality and provision (“You prepare a table before me”), protection (“in the presence of my enemies”), and abundance (“my head with oil”; “… my cup overflows”). As in the first strophe, the reality and presence of “evil” (cf. v. 4a), dangers (“the darkest valley”; cf. v. 4a), and “enemies” are not ignored, but the LORD’s presence and provision are there and are stronger than those of the enemies.
The line of thought of the previous strophe is continued in the last one (23:6). “Goodness and mercy” are personified and act as the LORD’s agents to give permanent protection (“all the days of my life”) to the petitioner as a concrete sign of the LORD’s love. The petitioner is no longer pursued by enemies, but by “goodness and mercy.” The expression “I shall dwell in the house of the LORD,” that is, in the temple, should not be understood in such a way that the poet of Psalm 23 was a priest or a Levite, but it is a continuation of the host metaphor and describes the lasting relationship that exists between the petitioner and the LORD and the protection that the petitioner receives from the LORD.
Most modern readers would apply Psalm 23 to their own personal relationship with the LORD. I agree, however, with those commentators who are of the opinion that in a subtle, metaphorical way the psalm recalls the LORD’s provision for and guidance of his people, especially during the exodus from Egypt and their travels and sojourn in the wilderness. Traditionally David has been closely associated with Psalm 23 (cf. also the superscript). However, the reference to the temple in v. 6 makes it impossible for David to have been the author since the temple was built by his son Solomon after his time.
The psalm intends to bring home one central idea, namely, that in the midst of dangers and threats one can rely on the protective presence, abundant love, guidance, and care of the LORD. The psalm is therefore not concerned with a problem-free or an idyllic existence. On the contrary, it concerns the expression of trust by a believer(s) in the active presence of the LORD in the midst of life’s problems and tensions.
Willem S. Prinsloo, “The Psalms,” in Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible, ed. James D. G. Dunn and John W. Rogerson (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2003), 381–382.
23. Every word reaches its fullest depth of meaning in the Christian’s peace and trust in the Good Shepherd. It has often been used as a funeral Psalm, but it applies as much to this life as to the next.
4. shadow of death is a rendering due to what is probably a misreading of a single word, ‘gloom,’ by dividing it into two. It can be applied either to death or to the troubles of this life. Aug. (with the old rendering) says that this life is the shadow of death.
5. The metaphor changes to that of a bounteous host. There is a rich table (at which he can defy all his enemies, because to eat at the host’s table means to be under his protection). There is oil for festal anointing (‘Ye have an unction from the Holy One’). And the guest dwells for an endless sojourn in the house of God (spiritual nearness to Him both now and hereafter); see on 5:4.
A. H. McNeile, “The Psalms,” in A New Commentary on Holy Scripture: Including the Apocrypha, ed. Charles Gore, Henry Leighton Goudge, and Alfred Guillaume, vol. 1 (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1942), 351.
PS:OTFE occasionally really compresses sections of Bible down so while it is covering it all or at least in that is up to Psalms volume 1 it can cover a whole lot of territory per section.
Edited by Daniel Francis, 02 December 2016 - 03:28 PM.