T&T Clark Bible Guides

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Michael Kinch | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, May 3 2015 6:25 PM

https://www.logos.com/product/3657/sheffield-tt-clark-bible-guides-collection

These guides are on sale.  What can you tell me about them? Are they a good investment?

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 4 2015 2:34 AM

Michael Kinch:

https://www.logos.com/product/3657/sheffield-tt-clark-bible-guides-collection

These guides are on sale.  What can you tell me about them? Are they a good investment?

Thanks for pointing, I had overlooked that and just bought the set.

It seems these guides were produced to summarize "the best of UK scholarship" around the turn of the millenium. I previously owned I.Howard Marshall on Acts and Davies on Daniel. Since the individual volumes go for about $20 on average, the sale seems to be a decent saving.

The books are short, contain a commented bibliography and then focus on relevant questions of "introduction" (author, time of writing, adressees...) and especially content. So they are no commentaries in the classical sense, even though some may be following the biblical book in its progress (note: Logos has them indexed by page only), but give the interesting topics, including history of interpretation in a concise manner.

See the ToC of the Acts volume:

 

 

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 4 2015 3:21 AM

I got these with Reformed Portfolio (although I previously owned the 1 Corinthians volume).

Mick's summary is about right. They're written by scholars (some evangelical, most not). They'd be particularly useful as an introductory read for students about to study a Bible book, but would also have some benefit for pastors about to preach through a particular book. In terms of content, it's not dissimilar to the introductory material you'd get at the beginning of a good commentary - although a little less technical.

I wouldn't pay full price, but at around $2.50 per volume, I think they're a good buy.

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Cynthia Tucker | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 4 2015 9:19 PM

I just purchased these on 4/28 at full price. I assume they'll give me back the difference if I ask, correct?

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Unix | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, May 5 2015 2:45 AM

They are short and I doubt the bibliographies surpass OK commentaries, but the typical introduction in commentaries usually is short for many books of the Bible:

NB.Mick:
The books are short, contain a commented bibliography


Some volumes used to cost $10 - at least 1 which I had (2 Pt Jude) but sold and which I bought as printed matter instead.

As they are less technical, how much less? I.e. is there any original languages in them? And I have to suppose there's no cognate languages because at this price level that would be way too much to expect. But if they are scarce in transliterated Hebrew they may not be much to have really. Other than that the set looks somewhat fair - some OK scholars such as R. N. Whybray:

Mark Barnes:
In terms of content, it's not dissimilar to the introductory material you'd get at the beginning of a good commentary - although a little less technical.

I wouldn't pay full price, but at around $2.50 per volume, I think they're a good buy.


The question is really whether one needs these - whether they would be at a convenient mid-level or not, I mean I would like to have something more manageable to penetrate easier before tackling the biggest commentaries. If starting to use them now or soon they might be of value, later on they'll get more dated.

I saw a pre-pub not that long ago for one additional volume to the series, can't remember which one it was and couldn't find a quick search, it must have shipped but is it included in the set which is now a sale? I don't know what to search for on Amazon - what is the series called?

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, May 5 2015 2:56 AM

Cynthia Tucker:

I just purchased these on 4/28 at full price. I assume they'll give me back the difference if I ask, correct?

Most likely. In any case, you could cancel your order, get the refund, and then buy at the sale price.

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Rayner | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, May 5 2015 3:27 AM

Michael Kinch:

https://www.logos.com/product/3657/sheffield-tt-clark-bible-guides-collection

These guides are on sale.  What can you tell me about them? Are they a good investment?

These have been on my wishlist for ages.  I just purchased them (as I don't think I'll see them at this, price and I'm never likely to buy any Reformed base packages) and I think they're good entry-level introductory overviews.  

I've just been skimming the introduction to Exodus where three proposals for dating are laid out and the questions and issues inherent in each are laid out evenly, as below:

1. The ‘long’ chronology

(i) This chronology starts from the biblical data noted in Chapter 1.I above, which suggest that the exodus must have taken place ca. 1436, the descent of Jacob ca. 1866 and the migration of Abraham ca. 2081 bc. On the assumption that these are indeed chronological data in the strict historiographical sense, search has been made for suitable corroborative evidence in ancient Near Eastern history.

(a) On the side of ancient Near Eastern literary texts, appeal has been made to Josephus’ interpretation of Manetho’s tradition of the invasion and expulsion of the Hyksos as the descent and exodus of the Israelite ‘shepherd-kings’.

(b) On the archaeological side, the references in Babylonian texts at the end of the third millennium to the arrival of the Amorites (‘westerners’) were felt by many (see Chapter 1.IV.3 below) to be corroborated by the findings of field archaeology that city life had gradually revived inland from the coast after a period of decline at the end of the Early Bronze Age. The migration of Abraham was related to this phenomenon. Details in the patriarchal narratives have been compared with cultural practices evidenced from ANEn. texts of the second millennium: e.g., E.A. Speiser has compared Abraham’s passing his wife Sarah off as his sister (Gen. 12:10ff.; 20:1ff.; cf. Isaac and Rebekah in Gen. 26:6ff.) with Human texts from Nuzi. More recently J.J. Bimson has argued that archaeological evidence (especially the destruction levels marking the transition from the Middle to the Late Bronze Ages and the incidence of Bichrome Ware) can be interpreted to support an incursion of Israel into Canaan in the 15th century. Bimson’s position has been given wider currency in the ‘coffee-table’ presentation of Ian Wilson, who himself links the exodus with the ash cloud and tidal wave unleashed by the volcanic eruption of the island of Santorini in the Aegean ca. 1450 bc.

(ii) The problems with such an early chronology (even granting that the biblical data can be appropriately interpreted in a strictly chronological sense) include the following.

(a) In the Old Testament the Hebrew patriarchs are not equated with but distinguished from the Amorites, who are regarded as among the indigenous inhabitants of the land (cf. Gen. 10:16).

(b) The detailed archaeological argumentation for the migration of Abraham in the transitional EBA/MBA period and the arrival of the Israelites in Canaan after an exodus near the beginning of the LBA (the LBA is usually dated ca. 1560–1200 bc), involves a high degree of selectivity and a substantial amount of special pleading in the use of the evidence. Had it not been for the biblical chronology, no archaeologist would have thought of dating the end of MBA later than the mid-16th century, nor the introduction of Bichrome Ware later than the 16th century. Such phenomena are far too widespread in Canaan, Syria and Cyprus to be specifically related to an Israelite incursion, even assuming that to have been marked by armed conflict, and have links with other pottery typologies, especially Cypriote and Helladic, which provide additional chronological controls. The Santorini eruption does not fit the biblical record very well: volcanic ash, however reinterpreted in terms of darkness or as causing skin irritation, does not figure among the plagues in Exodus 7–11; a tidal wave, even assuming it reached the south eastern Mediterranean coast, accords ill with the narrative of the crossing of the Red Sea.

(c) More recent archaeological interpretation by, e.g., M. Kochavi and A. Mazar, links the arrival of the Israelites in Canaan to much later phenomena. Intensive archaeological excavation and surface exploration in the 1970s and ’80s find evidence for the coming of the Israelites in the growing number of rural settlements spreading from the region of Gilead into the areas labelled by the Bible ‘Manasseh’ and ‘Ephraim’ from the beginning of the Iron Age (IA 1, ca. 1200–1000 bc) with gradual encroachment south into ‘Benjamin’ and ‘Judah’. This, in rather general terms, matches the biblical picture in Numbers 32, Deuteronomy 1–4 and Joshua of Israel settling first in Trans-Jordan in the form of Reuben, Gad and Half-Manasseh before the main drive of the settlement of the remaining tribes on the West Bank.

(d) A disconcerting feature of recent archaeological investigation in the ‘wilderness’ of Sinai south and south east of the coastal strip has been the absence of evidence of occupation, Israelite or otherwise, from the beginning of MBA to the beginning of IA or even later, at sites plausibly identified as those featuring in the exodus narrative, e.g., Baal-zephon (occupation not resumed till the Persian period, 539–331 bc) and, especially, Kadesh-barnea (no Israelite occupation until the time of Solomon). If Israel’s settlement took place from the east, as archaeological evidence and biblical tradition suggest, this absence of evidence occasions little surprise but leaves the wilderness wandering period archaeologically unsupported.

(e) This absence of evidence for the presence of Israel in the wilderness in the LBA has led some, e.g., E. Anati, to affirm a still longer chronology: the wilderness wandering is to be associated with the increasingly copious evidence of occupation dated from the EBA to the beginning of MBA at numerous sites in the Negev and Sinai, including Kadesh-barnea and Baal-zephon themselves. In support of his argument, Anati, like many another scholar, links the problems of dating the exodus and wilderness wandering to those of the immediately following period, the conquest of Canaan under Joshua. Matching the gap in occupation in the Negev, which poses problems for an exodus and wilderness wandering in MBA/LBA, is the gap in occupation from about 2200 until IA 1 at Ai, which, according to Joshua 7f., was destroyed by Joshua and the Israelite invaders. If Ai was destroyed by Joshua, then the conquest, and, therefore, the preceding wilderness wandering and exodus, must be dated towards the end of the EBA. Anati compares also Jericho, where, according to K.M. Kenyon (its excavator in the 1950s), the LBA town ceased to exist by the third quarter of the fourteenth century and thus could not have been destroyed by Joshua in a thirteenth century invasion but only in an earlier one.
The chief difficulty in Anati’s theory—even on its own terms—is that, in order to account for the long gap in the biblical record between an exodus and conquest at the end of third millennium and the subsequent history of Israel, he has to assume that ‘an entire period’ (more like a thousand years!) has been omitted.

(f) If Israel settled in Canaan or even ‘conquered’ Canaan in the LBA, it would have encountered the Egyptian imperial power there. But of such an imperial presence there is no evidence in the account of the settlement in Joshua or of the post-settlement period in Judges. The more recent archaeological picture of Israel’s settlement in the period after 1200 (cf. (c) above) fits the historical evidence for the social, political and military conditions of the time. A fifteenth century date also leaves too large a gap between settlement and monarchy to be filled by the material in Judges. The conditions which made it possible for Israel to settle (the progressive impoverishment of Canaan by centuries of Egyptian exploitation and the incursions of the Sea Peoples from the west) only developed with the decline of the Egyptian empire in Syria and Canaan at the end of the LBA (cf. e.g. the division of Syria and Canaan between the Egyptians under Ramesses II and the Hittites after the battle of Qadesh ca. 1296; the Syrian interregnum between the XIXth and XXth Dynasties ca. 1200 and the engagement of Ramesses III against the Sea Peoples ca. 1188 [ANET 255ff.]).

(g) A general point may be added. In the discussion of archaeological data as such from the ancient Near East from EBA to LBA, terms like ‘the patriarchal period’ or ‘the period of the exodus’ are inappropriate: these impose on the vast range of evidence for the peoples of the ancient Near East, of whom the patriarchs and early Israel were at most a fringe group, a biblical pattern that is of highly marginal relevance. Even the term ‘biblical archaeology’, widely current (e.g., in the ‘Albright school’), if it leads to such misapplication, is better avoided. Near eastern archaeology is an autonomous cluster of disciplines which have to evolve their own patterns of interpretation of all the evidence, appropriately including, but not dominated by, the biblical.

2. The ‘short’ chronology

(i) The criticism of the ‘long’ chronology has already provided part of the case for the ‘short’. Because conditions in the Egyptian empire in Canaan at the end of LBA were apparently more advantageous for Israel’s conquest, most scholars in recent times, e.g., H.H. Rowley, have dated the exodus in the thirteenth century. The stele of Merneptah (cf. Chapter 1.II, above) mentioned Israel as already one of the peoples subjugated in Canaan; it is assumed, therefore, that the exodus must have taken place some time during the reign of Merneptah’s father, Ramesses II (1304–1237). If Ramesses II is the Pharaoh of the exodus, then his father Seti I (1318–1304) must be the Pharaoh of the oppression and of Moses’ flight to Midian. That it is this, the XIXth Dynasty, called ‘Ramesside’ after its founder Ramesses I (1320–1318), which is responsible for the oppression, seems to be confirmed by the name of one of the store-cities, Raamses, where the Israelites were employed as slave labourers (Exod. 1:11). If oppression and exodus are thus to be dated to the XIXth Dynasty, the descent must have taken place earlier. The suggestion is made that the ‘heretic’ king of the XVIIIth Dynasty, Amenophis IV/Akhenaten (1379–1362), who espoused the ‘monotheistic’ cult of the Aten, the solar disc, would have welcomed the monotheistic Joseph as his secretary of state (cf. the Joseph cycle, Genesis 37; 39–50). This kind of scenario has been associated by S. Herrmann with migrations of the Aramaeans, to whom, according to biblical tradition, the Patriarchs are indeed related (e.g., Gen. 11:28; Deut. 26:5).

(ii) At first sight, this identification of the Egyptian context of Israel’s descent, sojourn and exodus may seem more probable. Its uncertainty and arbitrariness should not, however, escape notice.

(a) The reference to Raamses in Exod. 1:11 is complicated by the references to the consonantally identical place Rameses (Gen. 47:11; cf. Exod. 12:37; Num. 33:3, 5), where Jacob and his sons were installed at the time of the descent, which ought equally to imply the XIXth Dynasty. If one is forced to plead anachronism in the case of Genesis, why not also in the case of Exodus?

(b) ‘The way of the land of the Philistines’, the name of the route to Canaan forbidden to the escaping Israelites (Exod. 13:17), is most probably also an anachronism, since the Philistines as one of the ‘Sea Peoples’, who were part cause and consequence of the collapse of the entire LBA civilization in the eastern Mediterranean, only properly settled post-1200.

(c) Even the place name Raamses, though pointing to the XIXth Dynasty, was known until Ptolemaic times (i.e. post-323 bc) and is, thus, non-specific as regards dating. It is perfectly possible that knowledge of atrocious working conditions for labourers in the grandiose building operations of Ramesses II, to whose reign some half of the surviving monuments of Egypt belong, became as notorious as the plagues of Egypt (already know to the Hittites, cf. ANET 394ff.). Quite detailed knowledge about conditions in Egypt is displayed by Old Testament writers who had not necessarily been there (cf. e.g. Am. 8:8; 9:5; Isa. 19; Jer. 46; Ezek. 29ff.).

(d) The sole historical point of reference is the Merneptah stele, but how much does it in fact prove? It provides a chance piece of information about a situation that may have long endured: that roving bands of marauding ḫabiru, among whom Israelites were indistinguishable, were in the region is already known from, e.g., the Amarna letters of a century and a half earlier. All else is supposition. As already noted, there are several alternative possibilities for the descent, sojourn and exodus of Semites. On the basis of the historical evidence it is more plausible to argue for recurrent processes than for a single event. It may then be better to consider the biblical material in another light and not assume (as, e.g., H.H. Rowley tends to) that its data and the data from ancient Near Eastern archaeology are, so to speak, mathematical digits of the same order which can be added up more or less congenially.
(e) There is no evidence that the wave of Aramaean wanderers reached the Delta of Egypt; the Egyptian records speak rather of the Shosu, the bedouin population of the Sinai peninsula.


3. The ‘part long, part short’ chronology
This chronology associates the patriarchs with the Amorites but also places the exodus in the thirteenth century. It reflects something of an international and inter-faith ‘consensus’ reached in the 1960s and held in a variety of forms by, e.g., W.F. Albright, K.M. Kenyon and B. Mazar, and has been eloquently advocated by, e.g., J. Bright and R. de Vaux in their respective Histories of Israel. The approach, however, merely combines the difficulties and uncertainties of both the ‘longer’ and ‘shorter’ chronologies.

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Unix | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 7 2015 3:34 PM

The most probable volume would have been James by John S. Kloppenborg (available in hardback) - if so (if it was that one I saw) some time during 2014 it's been scheduled to ship later. It's scheduled to ship in August 2015 and the product-page states it would be 144 pages (longer than the average volume in the series and great length for an introductory work).

I'm thinking whether I should grab this price. $109.99 on this old set or the £50 for the new volume (which isn't a replacement volume, Jas hasn't been previously covered)? I would want to avoid any need for requesting a return. Cherry-picking is a good way to get in-depth, fairly recent volumes (not the latest if needing to wait for a set to be broken up) or ones that have all the Biblical/academic languages: Greek (also Hebrew if the Old Testament), Coptic if the New Testament, German and possibly Gothic, as well as of course cognate languages/epigraphics dialects to Hebrew (see Dictionary of Epigraphic Hebrew DEH: $49.90):

Unix:
I saw a pre-pub not that long ago for one additional volume to the series, can't remember which one it was and couldn't find a quick search, it must have shipped but is it included in the set which is now a sale? I don't know what to search for on Amazon - what is the series called?

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mab | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 7 2015 3:48 PM

I got these as part of a package. There are some really good scholars here, but the brevity seems more indicative of a secondary set. Good for introductory study but if you have a good main set of exegetical commentaries, you already are on top of the game.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 7 2015 3:55 PM

mab, I find them to be helpful specifically for the limitation you mention - it reminds me of the issues and language for introductory material so I don't become too erudite and obtuse.Wink

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Unix | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 9 2015 5:44 PM

Alternatively, what I saw may have as well have been: Horrell, David G. (2008). 1 Peter (New Testament Guides). Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd., which Faithlife doesn't carry:

Unix:
The most probable volume would have been James by John S. Kloppenborg (available in hardback) - if so (if it was that one I saw) some time during 2014 it's been scheduled to ship later. It's scheduled to ship in August 2015 and the product-page states it would be 144 pages (longer than the average volume in the series and great length for an introductory work).:
Unix:
I saw a pre-pub not that long ago for one additional volume to the series, can't remember which one it was and couldn't find a quick search, it must have shipped but is it included in the set which is now a sale? I don't know what to search for on Amazon - what is the series called?


Today I was reading about Bibliometrics: http://www.sub.su.se/home/publish/bibliometrics/ and Analysis according to the Norwegian model: http://www.sub.su.se/home/publish/bibliometrics/analyses-according-to-the-norwegian-model/ and I'll have to translate, perhaps summarize, the latter here as that one document is in Swedish (the Bibliometrics is in English):
"Weight on research publications
Since the turn of the Month August/September 2007 there's a bibliometric functionality at Stockholm University. The functionality, that's been initiated by head master Kåre Bremer, is for providing the university board and other decision makers within the university with analyses of the university's scientific publishing. [...] The bibliometric functionality is placed at the university library's department for e-resources. [...]

In Norway [...]. The Model, which is to be applied on all scientific areas, has been applied since 2008 at the institutions at the four faculties at SU. [...]

The Norwegian model
... can be said to combine production and penetration. Regarding penetration, citations are however not used. Instead the model holds to to what extent publications are being published in channels with great scientific prestige. The channels that are considered in the model, are publishers, periodicals, series and websites. In Norway a large number of channels have been evaluated and assigned one of three levels: level 0 (non-scientific channel), level 1 (scientific channel) and level 2 (scientific channel with particularly great prestige). By "scientific channel" is meant " a channel organized redactionally to put out scientific publications", and a publication, to be considered scientific, is to:

  1. present a new insight
  2. be in a form that makes the results verifiable [lit. in orig.: "testable"] afterwards or usable in new research
  3. be written in a language and have a distribution making it available to most of the researchers who can have an interest in it
  4. be published in a channel with routines for peer review

The publishing channels on level 2 shall be the ones that (a) are perceived as the leading ones in broad profession context, and (b) be the ones that put out the most notable publications from researchers from different countries.

There are three publication types in the model: article in periodicals (review or annual book) or series, article in anthology as well as monograph. The weight of a publication is equally fixed by its type and the level of its publishing channel. From the table below there can be seen how publications are weighed (level 0 gives the weight 0 for all three publication types). [nivå=level]:

The monograph as a publication type is weighed higher than the type article in periodicals, which in turn is weighed higher than the type article in anthology. An article published in a scientific review belonging to level 2 is weighed three times higher than an article published in a scientific review belonging to level 1 (but is assigned a lower weight than a monograph, irrespective if this has come out on a publisher belonging to level 1 or 2).

The publishing channels on level 2 are to put out a certain share (1/5) of the publications of the research area. By this rule the comparisons between different research areas becomes more fair, compared to if a certain amount of channels constant over research areas would have been stipulated for level 2. The reason for this is that the supply to level 2-channels becomes more equal between research areas.

[* by the word "review" in most instances above in this translation I refer to the type of print that the more profane "magazine" consists of - but i didn't want to use that designation because it's down putting. Here on the forums most would identify it with "review" with "journal".]

[...[two paragraphs of technical calculations]...]

Certain publications are not taken into the analysis, such as:

  • Reviews (may be included though)
  • Letter to the editor
  • Work reports
  • Publications where to author has the editor function
  • Popular science publications

[...[a few paragraphs about input systems used]...]"

A couple of insights I had this evening (or was reminded of), are that:
First: just generally: Study technique, taking uni classes incl. (a) language(s), Bible Study softwares, the narrowing down as well as broadening interests i.e. being more specific and a cognitive searcher-process about whom (such as both authors and seniour lecturers) to trust are to be combined in order to at some point starting to ask the right questions and then finding the even more specific problems worthy to deal with.
... and then: that particularly in the case of for example this set on a sale it's necessary to ask oneself if the kind of questions pertained to be answered in the volumes are the type of questions You'll ask (religion) in the context of research when You author something yourself; because introducing Yourself to questions You don't really have is futile - You don't need to back up with a set mainly from the '90s in order to perhaps start asking the questions several years from now that You can do without asking at this point (assuming all here have started out taking classes now that we are at the end of a semester).

EDIT May 10. 10:55 AM local time: another insight I had [yesterday] was that what to strive for with many of the resources You buy, including this one, is that I've buy, have and use it for a while and then draw material from them, cite them, get introduced to things by them, then Your pay is when any day even later on You can look back and remember that "while I was writing on this paper" or "while I was preparing for this task" or "while I was reading through resources on this topic" You remember that You utilized the set for that, it will feel good. Then You are making Your record of utilization.
EDIT2 ...11:35 AM: also thought a lot about this: when You author a book and cite the set (remember You don't have to do that just in order to favour those authors and their institutions) it really doesn't add all that much to their esteem. What I mean is that I've come to a point where I have a notion regarding the notability (and whether I personally like them) of about a 100 different scholarly authors. But the problem is that I don't know enough about emerging scholars. So I risk thinking that a book from the '90s is awesome because of who wrote it (or even because of which authors it in turn references) because I recognize that generation of scholars.
The target is ever moving they say? Well research comes out pretty much continuously. That makes any introductory conclusions eventually perhaps a little dated. Researching historically what has been thought during the late 20th century is unnecessary, if doing that there would be other slightly more interesting periods in time such as the 1930s ("Moffatt Commentary" set which is in production will be a great addition (btw it's referenced as recommended literature in at least one of the volumes of Sheffield T & T Clark Old or New Testament Guides)! And Peake's commentary reveals what scholars used to told the lay audience at the time which in turn reveals what kind of misconceptions, misconceptions in the sense of that we know better several decades later, were taught to them). Perhaps You can't nail a topic by using this set, but if it can get Your thoughts going ... then it might be something to have - what I mean is in a way that I explained in the first post I wrote in this thread a few days ago that I want to have something so mid-level it'll actually sit right between all the basics I've learned and the threshold to higher insights and knowledge.
As I'm about to take a break from the forums now, see me at: http://www.christianforums.com/users/19555/ and post at: http://www.christianforums.com/t7541241/ ... I welcome new reviews posted there about academic commentaries, please ignore the content of the OP of that thread, ask me by PM over there and I'll help You navigate that thread, there may be a post You can quote to let the discussion continue. The thread is mean to last and the one where it's still possible to advertise to some degree but not blatantly and suggest commentaries even if no-one has asked for a commentary on a particular part of the Bible.

See You here at Logos forums next year!

EDIT 11:42 AM: of course what draws me to the set is that it's by some Anglicans and not all too many Evangelicals. I too easily gather too much books by the Reformed though.

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 10 2015 1:31 PM

MJ. Smith:
I find them to be helpful specifically for the limitation you mention

I agree. Being shorter often is advantageous.

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