MM: Let's get serious for a second about commentaries...

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Posts 7
Plip | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 13 2018 6:08 PM

Paul Caneparo:

I believe the NAC and REBC (certainly the original EBC) series are written by those from the dispensationalist camp. Whereas the other series mentioned in this post don't have a requirement for that theology. 

The REBC doesn't have a requirement for dispensational theology, although I agree that most of what you find in it is going to be compatible with what dispensationalists hold to.

But I don't want Alex to be misled about these commentaries as they relate to dispensationalism. I'm concerned that he might be disappointed with how any of these series treat certain passages that can be important to dispensational eschatology, for example -- and that includes the REBC. For instance:

Daniel was written by Gleason Archer in the original EBC, and he was definitely premillennial. But he's been replaced by Andrew Hill in the REBC, who is not. Hill's approach is more to survey the different positions. He doesn't endorse a dispensational viewpoint, but this is probably about the best a dispensationalist can hope for in this or any other top-of-the-line evangelical commentary.

Matthew in the REBC is contributed by DA Carson, who is amillennial. So you're not going to get the dispensational treatment of Matthew 24 (Signs of the End of the Age).

Revelation in the REBC is written by Alan Johnson. If I remember right, he's a historical premillenialist. But he's definitely not a dispensational premillennialist. And that changes a lot in the way you understand Revelation

In fact, one of the REBC's editors, Tremper Longman III, wrote a Daniel commentary for another series (the NAC), and my understanding is that it is quite amillennial.

I don't want to sound like I'm arguing against the REBC or any of the other series mentioned here for Alex. I think he should invest in the NICOT/NT (my first choice) or one of the other of the "heavyweight evangelical commentaries" Mark listed above. But I want him to go into recognizing that on questions that distinguish dispensationalists from other evangelicals, there aren't going to be many times when these commentaries are going to come down in the "dispensational camp."

Posts 134
Gene Britton | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 13 2018 6:18 PM

Mark,

I agree with you completely.  

Posts 1852
David Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 13 2018 9:13 PM

a while ago it was announced that all students at Dallas Theological Seminary were given access to a specially curated library of resources.  this post contains a link to a list of those resources. https://community.logos.com/forums/p/142070/899904.aspx#899904 

Making Disciples!  Logos Ecosystem = Logos8 on Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (Win10), Android app on tablet, FSB on iPhone, [deprecated] Windows App, Proclaim, Faithlife.com, FaithlifeTV via Connect subscription.

Posts 218
Joshua Tan | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 13 2018 10:58 PM

Mark Barnes:

3. BECNT (relatively new, and consistently good)

The physical copies of the books I have from this series are great (namely Luke and 1 Cor). Pretty easy for a layperson to digest without being fluffy. Plus points for the well-thought layout, beautiful typography, and good-quality paper.

I've been holding out for a sale but it seems like Logos never has one for this particular series by Baker. Sad

Posts 149
Alexander Fogassy | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 14 2018 5:35 AM

David Thomas:

a while ago it was announced that all students at Dallas Theological Seminary were given access to a specially curated library of resources.  this post contains a link to a list of those resources. https://community.logos.com/forums/p/142070/899904.aspx#899904 

David, that reference is extremely valuable, thank you for posting it. 

The excel spreadsheet is fairly involved, however. Would you mind summarizing which commentary sets it promotes? 

Thank you!

Alex

Posts 1399
Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 14 2018 6:12 AM

Mark Barnes:

Alexander Fogassy:
So, that being said...what are your thoughts?

If you're an evangelical wanting the best heavyweight evangelical commentaries, I would personally recommend, in this order:

  1. NICOT/NICNT (I'm not sure it's still the best overall for the NT, but nothing can touch it for the OT)
  2. ZECNT (a new series, but I'm very impressed with it)
  3. BECNT (relatively new, and consistently good)
  4. Pillar
  5. NAC
  6. EEC
  7. WBC

Slightly less heavyweight, but still excellent at what they're trying to do, I would recommend, in this order:

  1. Expositors
  2. Tyndale
  3. BST
  4. Socio-rhetorical
  5. NIVAC

Bear in mind that the scoring system at BestCommentaries favours slightly older commentaries (because they'll have more recommendations than commentaries that have only recently been released).

Also remember that not all authors from every series will meet your inerrancy criteria, if you define that as the Chicago statement does. The series I've listed above that have the highest proportions of non-inerrancy writers would be WBC (by some distance), Socio-rhetorical and NICOT/NICNT. That said, none of the volumes are sceptical.

Mark, thank you for sharing your rankings.  I know you've expressed before your dislike for the layout/format of WBC.  Does that figure very much into your placement of it in the "heavyweight" group?  And would you elaborate (just a little) on any other reasons (if any) for ranking it last?

I understand something has to be last in any ranking.  My main interest is, apart from WBC's format, whether you rank it last because there are other things you really don't like about it, or... do you typically find it of value, but just like the others in the list better?

Posts 10223
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 14 2018 6:53 AM

Rick Ausdahl:

I understand something has to be last in any ranking.  My main interest is, apart from WBC's format, whether you rank it last because there are other things you really don't like about it, or... do you typically find it of value, but just like the others in the list better?

While Rick is waiting for Mark, I'll illustrate the problem. WBC updated Joshua with a good in-depth 2-volume work by Butler. The gentleman has an excellent preface on his approach to what he terms 'Evangelical-Criticism'. He's evangelical, but his earlier commentary got 'tagged' as too accepting of the critical folks. Now, if you know Joshua, you're going to have a problem ... it's just how to resolve it. My opinion, he does it excellently, but then .... well, it's just how 'pure' do you want to be?


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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 14 2018 6:56 AM

Rick Ausdahl:
Mark, thank you for sharing your rankings.  I know you've expressed before your dislike for the layout/format of WBC.  Does that figure very much into your placement of it in the "heavyweight" group?  And would you elaborate (just a little) on any other reasons (if any) for ranking it last?

The reasons I place it below the others in this group are:

  1. Although there are several good volumes (2 Corinthians, Pastorals, Matthew), there are no stand-out volumes (think Beale on Revelation or Carson on John).
  2. Several of the authors are not evangelicals (e.g. Jimmy Dunn). David Aune takes a source-critical approach to Revelation(!) and imposes his own mindset on John.
  3. The set is quite dated with most volumes approaching thirty years old or more. That particularly matters, because very recent exegetical commentaries are making an effort both to be more theologically-aware and more applied, which is a real help for pastors (ZECNT is leading the way, here).
  4. The format encourages authors split apart things that belong together. Contrast that with BECNT and ZECNT formats which also have fairly strict headings, but seem to work much better, as the headings are quite distinct.

It's not bottom, though. WBC is still streets ahead of (e.g.) Continental, and ahead of both Anchor and Hermeneia, IMO, in terms of usefulness.

Posts 1852
David Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 14 2018 7:16 AM

I'm simply pointing you to something that somebody else posted. I'm sorry I don't have time to parse the list for you.

Making Disciples!  Logos Ecosystem = Logos8 on Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (Win10), Android app on tablet, FSB on iPhone, [deprecated] Windows App, Proclaim, Faithlife.com, FaithlifeTV via Connect subscription.

Posts 1399
Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 14 2018 7:23 AM

Denise:

Rick Ausdahl:

I understand something has to be last in any ranking.  My main interest is, apart from WBC's format, whether you rank it last because there are other things you really don't like about it, or... do you typically find it of value, but just like the others in the list better?

While Rick is waiting for Mark, I'll illustrate the problem. WBC updated Joshua with a good in-depth 2-volume work by Butler. The gentleman has an excellent preface on his approach to what he terms 'Evangelical-Criticism'. He's evangelical, but his earlier commentary got 'tagged' as too accepting of the critical folks. Now, if you know Joshua, you're going to have a problem ... it's just how to resolve it. My opinion, he does it excellently, but then .... well, it's just how 'pure' do you want to be?

Thanks, Denise!  I always enjoy your perspective.  So you like the updated Joshua... how about the series as a whole?

Posts 10223
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 14 2018 7:53 AM

Rick Ausdahl:

Thanks, Denise!  I always enjoy your perspective.  So you like the updated Joshua... how about the series as a whole?

I think it depends on how you come to the party. My opinion (and just that) is that the web is moving faster than 'the church'. In Bible class, folks bring in  arguments they read/heard. And quite sophisticated too. And people can detect rationalizing or finger-pointing. I feel hard-data people can see works best ... they can use it later with their friends. Same as with early Christian writers.

With that in mind, WBC cuts to the the chase pretty fast .... that's what I want. I don't need the final guess. But I do want to see what's the worst case. Alternatives like Hermeneia wander around. ICC goes over-board (for my purpose). And I'm not creating a sermon (a different need).


Posts 1399
Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 14 2018 8:20 AM

Mark Barnes:

Rick Ausdahl:
Mark, thank you for sharing your rankings.  I know you've expressed before your dislike for the layout/format of WBC.  Does that figure very much into your placement of it in the "heavyweight" group?  And would you elaborate (just a little) on any other reasons (if any) for ranking it last?

The reasons I place it below the others in this group are:

  1. Although there are several good volumes (2 Corinthians, Pastorals, Matthew), there are no stand-out volumes (think Beale on Revelation or Carson on John).
  2. Several of the authors are not evangelicals (e.g. Jimmy Dunn). David Aune takes a source-critical approach to Revelation(!) and imposes his own mindset on John.
  3. The set is quite dated with most volumes approaching thirty years old or more. That particularly matters, because very recent exegetical commentaries are making an effort both to be more theologically-aware and more applied, which is a real help for pastors (ZECNT is leading the way, here).
  4. The format encourages authors split apart things that belong together. Contrast that with BECNT and ZECNT formats which also have fairly strict headings, but seem to work much better, as the headings are quite distinct.

It's not bottom, though. WBC is still streets ahead of (e.g.) Continental, and ahead of both Anchor and Hermeneia, IMO, in terms of usefulness.

Thanks for the quick reply, Mark!

I'm looking at dropping a chunk of change on commentaries as a result of the new MM format this year.  I'm actually toying with completing WBC (missing 23 volumes) and NIC (missing 20 volumes) and springing for the ZECNT and maybe the Revised Expositor's.

I'm not in ministry, but have been slowly building my Logos library for several years, looking forward to a period in life when I would have a lot more time to make use of the library.  I'm just moving into that using phase now and looking to finish rounding out my commentaries, hoping to have a well rounded set of resources to pass along to someone down the road.  

I've purchased individual WBC and NIC volumes in the past during special sales and I'm not sure I'll have a better opportunity to complete the sets at a better price than they are now with this MM sale.  But... since I'm just now getting into the using phase of my library, I only have a little experience with either WBC or NIC so far, hence my questions about your ranking of WBC.

My interest in ZECNT was sparked by how much I like the volume on John which I purchased on sale recently.  I really like what I've seen so far in that volume and feel the series would work well for me if the other volumes are similar in content and quality.

Now I'm wondering... is pricing ever negotiable with Faithlife if purchasing multiple resource sets (a custom bundle) even if the individual resource sets are already on sale?   Hmm

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 14 2018 8:41 AM

Rick Ausdahl:
Now I'm wondering... is pricing ever negotiable with Faithlife if purchasing multiple resource sets (a custom bundle) even if the individual resource sets are already on sale?

It's worth trying, but I think it's unlikely if they're already 35-60% off. I don't think I've ever managed that.

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 14 2018 8:45 AM

Plip:
Matthew in the REBC is contributed by DA Carson, who is amillennial. So you're not going to get the dispensational treatment of Matthew 24 (Signs of the End of the Age).

Carson is historic pre-mill.

Posts 52
Rod | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 14 2018 8:54 AM

Here are two great resources that I have used to complement Bestcommentaries.com:

  • Old Testament - Old Testament Commentary Survey, 5th ed. by Longman, Tremper, III - in Logos 
  • New Testament - New Testament Commentary Survey, 6th ed. by Carson, D. A. - in Logos
Posts 52
Erwin | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 14 2018 10:09 AM

Actually Tremper Longman did not contribute a commentary for the NAC. The Commentary that he wrote for Daniel is in the NIVAC series. The commentary on Daniel in the NAC was written by Stephen Miller who is dispensational.John Evan (a non-dispensationalist) in his "A Guide to Biblical Commentaries" states that he knows to "consult Miller to get the best dispenationalidm has to offer in interpreting Daniel."

The REBC is still consistently premillennial in it positions even if not all of the writers are dispensational.  The most consistently dispensational exegetical commentary series - while not technical - would be the NAC. MacArthur Commentary series and the Holman Old and New Commentary Series would be dispensational expository commentary series.

As mentioned by others, the Detroit Baptist Seminary Book List would a good place to find recommended commentaries that the dispensational  faculty would recommend. The link is http://www.dbts.edu/basic-library-booklist/ 

Posts 52
Erwin | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 14 2018 10:18 AM

In addition to the resources Rod mentioned I would include John Glynn's "Commentary & Reference Survey" 10th edition, copyright 2007 and John Evan's "A Guide to Biblical Commentary and Reference Works" 10th edition, copyright 2016. 

Posts 1399
Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 14 2018 10:41 AM

Denise:

Rick Ausdahl:

Thanks, Denise!  I always enjoy your perspective.  So you like the updated Joshua... how about the series as a whole?

I think it depends on how you come to the party. My opinion (and just that) is that the web is moving faster than 'the church'. In Bible class, folks bring in  arguments they read/heard. And quite sophisticated too. And people can detect rationalizing or finger-pointing. I feel hard-data people can see works best ... they can use it later with their friends. Same as with early Christian writers.

With that in mind, WBC cuts to the the chase pretty fast .... that's what I want. I don't need the final guess. But I do want to see what's the worst case. Alternatives like Hermeneia wander around. ICC goes over-board (for my purpose). And I'm not creating a sermon (a different need).

Thank you, Denise.  I'm pretty sure I'll pick it up during the MM sale.  I don't think it's worth holding my breath, waiting for a better sale--especially since the publisher is allowing for dynamic pricing this go-around, which was not the case as I recall the last time the set as a whole was on sale.

Posts 1399
Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 14 2018 10:48 AM

Mark Barnes:

Rick Ausdahl:
Now I'm wondering... is pricing ever negotiable with Faithlife if purchasing multiple resource sets (a custom bundle) even if the individual resource sets are already on sale?

It's worth trying, but I think it's unlikely if they're already 35-60% off. I don't think I've ever managed that.

Well, if you've never managed it, that gives me a pretty good idea as to what my chances are.  Too bad reality has to spoil the daydream. Wink 

Posts 149
Alexander Fogassy | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 14 2018 12:54 PM

It seems that the list put out by Detroit Seminary is much more dispensational and evangelical than the one by Denver. 

Anyone have any insight with Longman/Carson's analysis? 

Alex

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