Zondervan Exegetical Commentaries...worth it?

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Posts 79
Paul | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Sep 9 2015 7:06 AM

As a former Bible translator in North Africa and a current pastor...I am both a commentary junkie and on a tight budget.  I have WBC, NAC, NIGNT, BEC, NIVAC etc (and yes I know I am missing NICNT)   What I am curious is...for those who have a similar library and the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary series...do you find that it adds substantial value?  Or is it mostly duplicative?  I know it is not a lot of money for the books involved, but at the same time it is enough money that I need to think about it because I really don't have very  much margins in my budget right now.

Posts 3154
Whyndell Gizzard | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 9 2015 7:46 AM

I have a substantial commentary library(4200) - I use this set mostly because of its information layout easy to browse, exegetical notes and translation layout- very helpful. If there is a short fall- is that its only 10 volumes- and very slow adding other volumes.

Posts 1557
John Kight | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 9 2015 7:48 AM

I really like the ZECNT series. I have a similar commentary line-up as you and really enjoy what ZECNT offers--specifically the layout. I would like to complete the series but my budget will not permit at this time. 

For book reviews and more visit sojotheo.com 

Posts 325
Steve Farson | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 9 2015 10:30 AM

I have the commentaries you have and believe the ZEC offers extra and diverse value.  It it is a commentary set on my short list to turn to first.

It is organized well.  It looks at a passage, describing the literary context, the main idea, translation, structure, exegetical outline, then a verse-by-verse explanation of the text, including the original language.  Following, there is often an "in-depth" topic for key verses in the passage and a "theology in application."

I wish the series was available for all books in the Bible.

Posts 2219
mab | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 9 2015 5:25 PM

Worthwhile to be sure, but I think it's a crowded field. I'm still leaving them on my wish list.

The mind of man is the mill of God, not to grind chaff, but wheat. Thomas Manton | Study hard, for the well is deep, and our brains are shallow. Richard Baxter

Posts 79
Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 11 2015 7:20 AM

Thanks for the replies...if anyone else has additional thoughts please feel free to chime in

Posts 2787
Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 11 2015 7:53 AM

Paul:
if anyone else has additional thoughts please feel free to chime in

In my opinion, *nothing* from the big Z is "worth it". They flat out overcharge on basically everything (I suspect there will be occasional exceptions).

As long as there is a comparable resource from a competitor, that's the way I'm going to go.

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

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Posts 160
Michael | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 11 2015 8:15 AM

Doc B:

Paul:
if anyone else has additional thoughts please feel free to chime in

In my opinion, *nothing* from the big Z is "worth it". They flat out overcharge on basically everything (I suspect there will be occasional exceptions).

As long as there is a comparable resource from a competitor, that's the way I'm going to go.

What would you say are comparable resources to ZEC?

Posts 2787
Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 11 2015 10:44 AM

Michael:
What would you say are comparable resources to ZEC?

Without delving too deeply in the details, I'd put BEC in that category for starts. NIGTC may be a bit more technical than ZEC, but is also very good. The NAC is also as good as ZEC. Pillar beats ZEC, IMO. Tyndale, BST, and Mentor are all more expository, but have individual volumes that beat their ZEC counterparts and are a lot cheaper.

There are a couple ZECs that are tops, such as Schreiner on Galatians. I don't have it in Logos, but might if it went on sale and they still gave out birthday money. Smile

These are my opinions. YMMV.

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

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GaoLu | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 11 2015 11:13 PM

Oh yes!  Birthday money!  My birthday is just around the corner.

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 12 2015 1:44 AM

Doc B:

Michael:
What would you say are comparable resources to ZEC?

Without delving too deeply in the details, I'd put BEC in that category for starts. NIGTC may be a bit more technical than ZEC, but is also very good. The NAC is also as good as ZEC. Pillar beats ZEC, IMO. Tyndale, BST, and Mentor are all more expository, but have individual volumes that beat their ZEC counterparts and are a lot cheaper.

I think DocB has hit the nail on the head there. I'd agree with that assessment 100%.

It's worth adding that the ZEC is quite different from more traditional commentaries in that splits up comments into several sections:

  1. Literary Context
  2. Main Idea
  3. Translation
  4. Structure
  5. Exegetical Outline
  6. Explanation of the Text
  7. Theology in Application

I thought this would be a bad thing, and is actually really helpful. It works much better than the WBCs 5-part division, which drives me crazy.

So all that means that the ZEC brings something to the table not offered by other commentaries. As a result, I'd personally recommend it as a second or third string technical commentary to sit alongside BECNT, NICNT or Pillar (which are all excellent, but quite similar in what they offer).

Posts 2465
Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 12 2015 2:16 AM

@Paul:

I'd personally recommend buying individual volumes for now, if you need help with any particular book. I find they can be useful for the structural analysis. To be fair, you could do the structural analysis yourself.

The set is far from complete and bundles should be expected every now and then, so buying the set on offer now is not particularly advantageous.

Posts 1392
James Taylor | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 14 2015 9:39 AM

Mark Barnes:
ZEC brings something to the table not offered by other commentaries. As a result, I'd personally recommend it as a second or third string technical commentary to sit alongside BECNT, NICNT or Pillar (which are all excellent, but quite similar in what they offer).

I agree, and find that the layout can help one think logically/systematically while sorting through different aspects of study. I'm beginning to appreciate the commentaries more that break up the discussion into categories.

Mark Barnes:
the WBCs 5-part division, which drives me crazy.

Do you mean because of the linking (like when clicking from the Passage Guide) delivers you to a different part of the commentary than you'd like it to?

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John Kight | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 14 2015 10:42 AM

James Taylor:

Mark Barnes:
the WBCs 5-part division, which drives me crazy.

Do you mean because of the linking (like when clicking from the Passage Guide) delivers you to a different part of the commentary than you'd like it to?

This is something I personally dislike about the WBC. But I can live with it. 

For book reviews and more visit sojotheo.com 

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 14 2015 11:25 AM

James Taylor:

Mark Barnes:
the WBCs 5-part division, which drives me crazy.

Do you mean because of the linking (like when clicking from the Passage Guide) delivers you to a different part of the commentary than you'd like it to?

Partly that. But mostly because (a) I find contributors repeating themselves between sections, and (b) I can't just glance at the commentary if I want to, I have to scan through several sections.

Posts 236
Michael March | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 14 2015 10:44 PM

I agree. And I mean with Doc B and you. The other commentaries mentioned by Doc are better, but ZEC is still valuable. Just always good to hear another perspective on the text. I speak as a weekly preacher, ZEC isn't the best available, but they are definitely worth hearing, and like others, I wish they had more books covered. 

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Posts 79
Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 15 2015 9:43 AM

Thanks all...I have a special interest in Matthew so I picked up the Matthew volume a while back and while I am tempted to go further with the series...financially it isn't the best time for us and as has been pointed out the other commentaries I have really do cover the material well.  Perhaps when the series is more complete I will be in a different financial place and then I can succumb to temptation ;-)

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