I need help! How many commentaries are too many?

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Milkman | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Feb 7 2018 10:25 AM

Quick question.

In a layout how many commentaries, to you, are too many to have open? Most of us I think, have too many. I can hear someone saying, "To many? Anathema! Never too many." Fair enough.

Personally I can get bogged down with 'many' open while at the same time having an original language open, a critical apparatus, a lexicon or two plus any monographs, textual commentaries etc., etc.

It's like being in a book store. So many to choose from and don't know where to start. You pick up one, lay it aside, go on to the next lay that aside and the cycle continues and before you know it, you walk out of the store with no books.

So, I need your help with a squirrely brain. Embarrassed

mm.

mm.

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 7 2018 10:28 AM

I don’t work with a specific layout. Rather I open the commentaries I need for each occasion - sometimes that can be none, other times it can be ten.

I find that a more flexible and relevant approach

Posts 3522
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 7 2018 10:45 AM

So if you're studying a verse you;

Open as many commentaries as you feel you need to understand a passage? Then close them. Or open one commentary at a time?

Open up any other 'tools' to help you get to the heart of the passage and close them as well? Or open one at a time?

So essentially, you'll have your Bible open and one or two other books you feel you need to open and then close them and open anything other book you think you need to help you?

Is that basically what you do?

mm.

Graham Criddle:

I don’t work with a specific layout. Rather I open the commentaries I need for each occasion - sometimes that can be none, other times it can be ten.

I find that a more flexible and relevant approach

mm.

Posts 1085
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 7 2018 11:08 AM

I'll admit that my study practices are not ideal, but here you go.

If I'm studying for my own edification, or to teach a class, I usually have the English text, sometimes the original language text, and two to four commentaries open.  Typically there will be two commentaries that I focus on, and basically work through pretty thoroughly; sometimes I like to have an older commentary (say Calvin) and a more critical technical commentary (say Hermenaia) open as well for reference.  That's why I end up with two to four.

If I'm working on a paper, I have an insane number of resources open. That's because when I do a search on an issue, I'll go through the hits, check each one out, and the ones I think I'm going to actually use I keep open.  Then, when I use the reference and it's memorialized in a footnote (and my bibliography), I close the resource.  It's dumb, it's inefficient - but it's very similar to what I used to do with paper books.  I'd pull the ones that I intended to use, and when I was done with them I'd put them back to make room for the next batch.

So - that's more of a confession of my personal inefficiency than any sort of model for someone else to use.

Posts 3522
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 7 2018 11:29 AM

No that's good. I can certainly relate to having a bunch of books open on my desk pre-Logos. having them opened and layered on top of each other. Looks so, I was going to say "pretty" but I'll insert the more masculine, "studious." No offence to the female FL users. Maybe I shouldn't have even said that.

thanks. I suppose we all have our different ways of doing 'stuff.' I kinda like Graham's way of doing it. Sure makes it a lot less cluttered.

mm.

EastTN:

I'll admit that my study practices are not ideal, but here you go.

If I'm studying for my own edification, or to teach a class, I usually have the English text, sometimes the original language text, and two to four commentaries open.  Typically there will be two commentaries that I focus on, and basically work through pretty thoroughly; sometimes I like to have an older commentary (say Calvin) and a more critical technical commentary (say Hermenaia) open as well for reference.  That's why I end up with two to four.

If I'm working on a paper, I have an insane number of resources open. That's because when I do a search on an issue, I'll go through the hits, check each one out, and the ones I think I'm going to actually use I keep open.  Then, when I use the reference and it's memorialized in a footnote (and my bibliography), I close the resource.  It's dumb, it's inefficient - but it's very similar to what I used to do with paper books.  I'd pull the ones that I intended to use, and when I was done with them I'd put them back to make room for the next batch.

So - that's more of a confession of my personal inefficiency than any sort of model for someone else to use.

mm.

Posts 2589
Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 7 2018 11:30 AM

When working on a text: one or two go-to book-specific commentaries are open, plus any commentaries needed for specific issues. Most times I have a feel for the issues that are "in there". Flipping between 5 or 6 commentaries does happen often.

When not working on a text: a good habit is to scan (read through quickly and selectively) and size up commentaries in your library to become familiar with their content and strengths/weaknesses.

I'm always learning as I go.

If you need a numerical answer, it's either 7, 153 or 666 Big Smile

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Mike Binks | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 7 2018 11:42 AM

Milkman:

In a layout how many commentaries, to you, are too many to have open? Most of us I think, have too many. I can hear someone saying, "To many? Anathema! Never too many." Fair enough.

Personally I can get bogged down with 'many' open while at the same time having an original language open, a critical apparatus, a lexicon or two plus any monographs, textual commentaries etc., etc.

I tend to make use of the list in the passage guide. I will work through my top commentaries methodically. Sometimes snipping a note or quote.

If there is a helpful but expansive piece then I will leave the tab open to return to later.

I usually end up with quite a lot of snippets but only 3 or 4 commentaries still open.

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 7 2018 11:42 AM

I always have my favourite commentary open and I can use its Parallel Resource sets for more (so it is important to Prioritize them) . If I'm working with Passage Guide I can open resources from three collections.

Dave
===

Windows 10 & Android 8

Posts 67
Paul C | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 7 2018 11:46 AM

Milkman:
So, I need your help with a squirrely brain.
I too find too many opinions ... comments on a passage can be overwhelming. consider the old illustration:   Even a blind squirrel will eventually find an acorn if you tie him out under an oak tree. If, however, said squirrel is searching for truth, it would be beneficial to tie him to a different tree. 

I attempt to use commentaries as supplements. .... After exhaustive prayer, meditation, pondering have left me without a clear cut understanding.

Posts 3522
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 7 2018 12:03 PM

Nice puppies and nice illustration ;) Here's our 1 year old Golden. We put down our 15 year old about a year and half ago. One of the toughest things in my life, Skeeter was a great dog. Now we have Jack Smile

Paul C:

Milkman:
So, I need your help with a squirrely brain.
I too find too many opinions ... comments on a passage can be overwhelming. consider the old illustration:   Even a blind squirrel will eventually find an acorn if you tie him out under an oak tree. If, however, said squirrel is searching for truth, it would be beneficial to tie him to a different tree. 

I attempt to use commentaries as supplements. .... After exhaustive prayer, meditation, pondering have left me without a clear cut understanding.

mm.

Posts 3522
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 7 2018 12:07 PM

To be honest, I really haven't made use of the Passage Guide. Maybe I should. Thanks for the idea. So many great things in Logos! So exciting to learn new things in it as well.

mm.

Mike Binks:

Milkman:

In a layout how many commentaries, to you, are too many to have open? Most of us I think, have too many. I can hear someone saying, "To many? Anathema! Never too many." Fair enough.

Personally I can get bogged down with 'many' open while at the same time having an original language open, a critical apparatus, a lexicon or two plus any monographs, textual commentaries etc., etc.

I tend to make use of the list in the passage guide. I will work through my top commentaries methodically. Sometimes snipping a note or quote.

If there is a helpful but expansive piece then I will leave the tab open to return to later.

I usually end up with quite a lot of snippets but only 3 or 4 commentaries still open.

mm.

Posts 120
Jonathan Ray | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 7 2018 12:31 PM

Through a lot of trial and error, I've found the following setup works for me for sermon and lesson prep:

1. Doing my exegesis first. This includes translating (and outlining depending on the genre) the passage, sketching an outline, meditating on the applications.

2. Pulling up the passage guide for my text and opening my top commentaries for it. Through the years, I have written my own "best commentaries" guide for each book of the Bible with a paragraph block, describing what I liked and didn't like about the commentary. This has allowed me to choose the right tool for the right job. If I'm struggling to find the thought flow of an argument in an epistle, an EGGNT volume might be my first choice to bring up, etc. So, in this step, I might have noted that there are two commentaries for the book that I absolutely must consult because they were so helpful every time I consulted them. Sometimes, it is a ton of commentaries because the text includes a hotly debated issue. Other times, it might only be two. 

3. Linking the commentaries and my preferred Bible. This allows the commentaries and my text to scroll in tandem so that I can quickly scan the info I'm looking for. I then read the pertinent paragraphs in my top commentaries related to my passage.

4. Pulling up on a separate window every single one of the lexica that I would ever use. I also link the lexica with my preferred Bible. As I click on a word in my text, the lexica all jump to that lexical entry if it is included. I don't look at every lexicon, just the one(s) that I need for the particular job.

5. Minimize the "lexica window." I pull this up only when I need it. This de-clutters my screen.

The end result is that my main screen has my preferred Bible on the left, my top commentaries on the right, any valuable monographs on the subject on the right, and my lexica minimized from view.

Hope some of this helps!

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 7 2018 1:17 PM

Milkman:

So if you're studying a verse you;

Open as many commentaries as you feel you need to understand a passage? Then close them. Or open one commentary at a time?

Open up any other 'tools' to help you get to the heart of the passage and close them as well? Or open one at a time?

So essentially, you'll have your Bible open and one or two other books you feel you need to open and then close them and open anything other book you think you need to help you?

Is that basically what you do?

mm.

As others I typically work from a Passage Guide. I have customised it so I have ones I have classified as “best”at the top, then technical, intermediate, original language etc. And I have also prioritised series. And I select the ones that are most appropriate to what I am trying to explore at a time. If I have got the information I want - often extracting into a clipping document - I may close a commentary but just as likely to keep it open.

But I also use a range of other tools: exegetical guide, Bible word study, customised searches, factbook, notes files for comments / catching questions etc.

So - yes - I will have some core resources: Bible, notes file, often a sermon document, Passage Guide - and open others as required

Posts 67
Paul C | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 7 2018 1:21 PM

Dave Hooton:
I always have my favourite commentary open and I can use its Parallel Resource sets for more
Great point.Once we do consult a resource, We can look at specific similar resources from a drop down, or just scroll through them in order with the left/right arrow keys.

Posts 680
Steve Maling | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 7 2018 1:46 PM

Welcome back, Paul C. We've missed you lately. You were very helpful a few years back in my search for a Windows tablet. I hope you've been well. BTW, you had a lot more than 28 posts "back in the day".Big Smile

Posts 67
Paul C | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 7 2018 2:00 PM

Hi, Steve;

Good to "see" you. I am still thankful for my tablets. I have given up on Logos addressing the problems within that segment. With a little redneck ingenuity I muddle through. Having the entire library in a pocket is priceless.

Yes, I changed my email address which restarts the post count. May God continue to bless your studies.

Posts 510
Richard Villanueva | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 7 2018 2:22 PM

Milkman:
It's like being in a book store. So many to choose from and don't know where to start. You pick up one, lay it aside, go on to the next, lay that aside and the cycle continues and before you know it, you walk out of the store with no books.

I've benefitted tremendously by organizing my commentaries - left to one list (even prioritized) gets overwhelming very quickly. As others have mentioned, I've created a custom passage guide that helps you make Logos give you what you want, how you want it.

I'm a complete fan of Mark Barne's collection rules that help me find the kind of commentary I want quickly so I don't have to search and open resources I don't want, cluttering up my layout.

https://community.logos.com/forums/t/88829.aspx?PageIndex=1 

If you find yourself finding good content you want to use, but end up with too many commentaries open, it may be good practice to create a Clippings Document for the sermon/topic/study you are preparing for and then clip the content you like, close the commentary, and move on tot he next.  If you ever need to revisit the commentary again, the hyperlink is right there in your clipping you made.

I've taken the advice of others and created my Custom Passage Guide by organizing the commentaries and making the ones I don't want available, but out of sight.

MBPro'12 / i5 / 8GB // 3.0 Scholars (Purple) / L6 & L7 Platinum, M&E Platinum, Anglican Bronze, P&C Silver / L8 Platinum, Academic Pro

Posts 1085
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 7 2018 4:41 PM

I find the passage guide very useful as well.

Posts 3522
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 7 2018 5:18 PM

How come I have books or sets of commentaries that are not on my prioritize list coming up as first hits on the Outlines in the Passage Guide?

I have set the NAC as the top priority and then other commentary sets next, but the passage guide still has a totally different set in the outline?

mm.

Posts 510
Richard Villanueva | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 7 2018 9:28 PM

Is NAC literally the first title at the top of your prioritization?  If you have any commentary type before it then that would affect your results - and that would include books that are single-volume commentaries that are easy to overlook.  Otherwise, I'm not sure.  Maybe a screenshot of your prioritization list may be helpful?  Or shifting around a couple of titles/series and refresh your passage guide to see if it responds.

MBPro'12 / i5 / 8GB // 3.0 Scholars (Purple) / L6 & L7 Platinum, M&E Platinum, Anglican Bronze, P&C Silver / L8 Platinum, Academic Pro

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