Thoughts about "Opening Up . . ." and "Baker New Testament Commentary"

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Doug | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Oct 12 2010 4:29 PM

I have the Opening Up series and was wondering what you guys think of it.  Is it helpful?  What are it's strengths/weaknesses?  . . .

Also, I am considering saving for the Baker set as my next purchase.  What are your thoughts on this set?  Keep in mind that I am a home scholar (with Silver library) with no formal Bible education.  I study from 10-30 hours per week and teach a Wednesday night Bible class.  I feel like I'm starting to get a pretty good handle on understanding scripture but again, I do not have formal training.

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Jonathan | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 12 2010 5:35 PM

Baker is a great set and is valuable for any serious student of Scripture. I think you'd love it.

Are you aware that the Baker set is available in the Platinum Base Package? If you could swing the cost to upgrade to Platinum you'd be getting substantially more than just the Baker set.

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Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 12 2010 5:43 PM

I am a pastor so my needs are different from yours in some ways, however I don't find much value in the Opening Up series. It is a bit strange, not really a commentary as much as an expanded outline of a book with some application ideas added on.

The Baker NT Commentary is a true verse by verse commentary. It is solid, Reformed in its outlook, but I find it a bit tedious at times.

My first recommendation for a lay person is the Tyndale Commentary. It covers the Old and New Testament and is a real commentary (as Baker is). As a lay person teaching Adult and youth Sunday School classes I found it had the right level of detail for me. (As in any series some volumes are better than others, but on the whole this is a very good series.) It costs a bit more than the Baker NT Commentary, however, but as I said does cover both testaments.

Pastor, North Park Baptist Church

Bridgeport, CT USA

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Doug | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 12 2010 6:02 PM

Jonathan:
Are you aware that the Baker set is available in the Platinum Base Package? If you could swing the cost to upgrade to Platinum you'd be getting substantially more than just the Baker set

I appreciate the suggestion.  However, that upgrade would cost me almost $600.  Right now, I have Scholar's Silver and a few other individual products.  I think I'll stick with this as a base and do more focused upgrades from now on.  I do appreciate the value of the base upgrades but I don't just want a lot of resources that I'll never use.  Thanks for your comments about the Baker set.  I'd be interested to know why you like them so much.

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Doug | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 12 2010 6:05 PM

Mark A. Smith:
My first recommendation for a lay person is the Tyndale Commentary. It covers the Old and New Testament and is a real commentary (as Baker is). As a lay person teaching Adult and youth Sunday School classes I found it had the right level of detail for me. (As in any series some volumes are better than others, but on the whole this is a very good series.) It costs a bit more than the Baker NT Commentary, however, but as I said does cover both testaments.

Thanks for the info Mark.  What do you think about the Holman series?

I'd also appreciate comments and recommendations from others out there.  Thanks. 

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Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 12 2010 6:19 PM

Doug:
What do you think about the Holman series?

Well I think they are better than the Opening Up series. They fall into the category of an expository or devotional commentary. They go verse by verse but the emphasis is not so much on helping you answer questions you might have on the text as hearing what they believe the text to say. I am not against expository commentaries, but the Tyndale, NAC (which you have), and Baker NT series aim at helping you know what the text was saying to the original recipients. The Holman and other expository comments spend just a little time doing that and more time explaining it for today. This is painting with a broad brush so take it as a general statement of what an expository commentary does. As I said, your needs are somewhat different from mine, but if you want to study the Bible and not just what others think about the Bible I'd want to add an exegetical commentary set to what you have. Exegetical commentaries are designed to open up the original text so you can understand it well enough to then do your own exposition or explanation of the text. Tyndale and Baker are both exegetical.

Pastor, North Park Baptist Church

Bridgeport, CT USA

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Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 12 2010 6:28 PM

Doug:
I'd also appreciate comments and recommendations from others out there.

I don't know if you've seen it but you might look here for some ideas as well: http://www.logos.com/search?q=commentary+guide

This rating system doesn't use the words 'exegetical' and 'expository' but those marked 'S' and 'S' 'P' are mostly exegetical, those marked 'P' and 'P' 'L' are mostly expository, and those marked 'L'  are almost all expository or devotional in nature. It is hard to categorize all sets, but I would urge you to look at ones that say at least 'P' 'L' (not 'L' 'P') and not just 'L'. (I'm sure you are confused by now.)

Pastor, North Park Baptist Church

Bridgeport, CT USA

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Edwin Bowden | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 12 2010 6:59 PM

Doug:

Jonathan:
Are you aware that the Baker set is available in the Platinum Base Package? If you could swing the cost to upgrade to Platinum you'd be getting substantially more than just the Baker set

I appreciate the suggestion.  However, that upgrade would cost me almost $600.  Right now, I have Scholar's Silver and a few other individual products.  I think I'll stick with this as a base and do more focused upgrades from now on.  I do appreciate the value of the base upgrades but I don't just want a lot of resources that I'll never use.  Thanks for your comments about the Baker set.  I'd be interested to know why you like them so much.

The Baker NT Commentary and Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible are half the cost of an upgrade to Platinum. Good items. I really enjoy the Pillar Commentary series, which about covers the other half of the Platinum upgrade. There are several other solid resources in the Platinum that I am confident that you would use. The other big practical value in that pkg are the UBS Handbooks. I think the Holman Commentary is spotty, but is also included in that pkg.

 I use my Platinum pkg to teach a Sunday School class. Great value.

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PL | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 12 2010 7:57 PM

Hi Doug,

I agree with the feedback from other posters above.  I find the Opening Up series good for getting a general (not in depth) idea of what each book of the Bible is about, in a relatively readable and user-friendly format.  It's definitely not a verse-by-verse commentary.

Tyndale is a good, first commentary set for serious Bible students.  Readable, just the right level of depth and detail for lay Bible study leaders.

Peter

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Paul Newsome | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 12 2010 8:22 PM

I think the strength of the Holman series is the same strength the NIV has over say the LXX to an English non Greek reader.  It doesn't help someone to have great information in their hands that they can't use.  The Holman Commentary series also attempts, as Mark says to bring practical application and devotional material such as prayers into the commentary.

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Super.Tramp | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 12 2010 8:37 PM

Doug:
I am considering saving for the Baker set as my next purchase.  What are your thoughts on this set?

I'm not a pastor either. What Mark Smith and Peter Li have said sums it up pretty good. I was hooked on Baker New Testament Commentary by my NT professor but he called it "Hendriksen and Kistemaker" (backwards for some reason. Confused ) I really love it. I also used Tyndale to teach adult Sunday School class for years.

In case you don't know; both of these Baker commentaries are available in Logos:
Baker’s New Testament Commentary, by Kistemaker and Hendriksen (12 Vols.)  http://www.logos.com/products/details/4233
Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (8 Vols.)  http://www.logos.com/products/details/4232

The former, BNT covers all the New Testament.
The later, BECNT is incomplete but a lot more technical.
I recommend you go with a "complete" commentary of the NT for help in your teaching preparation. I am assuming you are limiting your search among Reformed commentaries. If you are open to others and use the NIV, the The College Press NIV Commentary Series (Complete NT) is also very good for lay-workes. Tyndale is good.

 

...

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nicky crane | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 13 2010 2:16 AM

If you update from Silver to Gold, which should not cost so much, you get Holman and UBS. And lots of others.  UBS is my commentary of choice.  Intended for translators, it helps me understand what the text is about (you can't translate it if you don't understand it!) and ways in which to communicate it.

Other commentaries I use constantly are Cornerstone, Tyndale and WBC, tho WBC might be more technical that you want.

Posts 1362
nicky crane | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 13 2010 2:20 AM

I made the mistake of not upgrading because the upgrade had so many resources I didn't need.  An upgrade from Leaders to Gold would have been much cheaper than buying resources separately.  Check out what Gold resources you would use and calculate the cost if you bought them separately.  Then ask sales rep if they can give you a discount!

Posts 323
Doug | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 13 2010 4:53 AM

Mark A. Smith:
. I am not against expository commentaries, but the Tyndale, NAC (which you have), and Baker NT series aim at helping you know what the text was saying to the original recipients.

Mark, this is exactly what I'm trying to do.  I want to understand what the Bible was saying to the original audience.  Of course, the goal will then be to understand it for today.  I like the more scholarly resources but some of them get above my head.  However, I do spend a considerable amount of time each week studying so maybe it won't be too long until I have raised my understanding up to the level where some of these will be more helpful to me.  

I have looked at the commentary's page you linked to.  There are a lot of choices there.  That's one reason I asked for input from you guys.  I respect the answers that I and others have received on the forums.  Thanks for your help.

Posts 323
Doug | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 13 2010 4:56 AM

Peter Li:
 I find the Opening Up series good for getting a general (not in depth) idea of what each book of the Bible is about, in a relatively readable and user-friendly format.

This may be what I need for a starter with my Bible class.  Most of the adults in my church believe the Word of Faith doctrines that Kenneth Hagin and others teach.  I have been in the process for the past few years of trying to show them how that doesn't line up to scripture.  Any helpful recommendations would be appreciated.  Most of all, please pray for me and for them that the truth of God's Word will prevail.

Posts 323
Doug | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 13 2010 4:57 AM

Matthew C Jones:
I was hooked on Baker New Testament Commentary by my NT professor but he called it "Hendriksen and Kistemaker" (backwards for some reason. Confused ) I really love it. I also used Tyndale to teach adult Sunday School class for years.

If you had to choose between the two, which one would you choose and why?

Posts 323
Doug | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 13 2010 4:59 AM

nicky crane:
If you update from Silver to Gold, which should not cost so much, you get Holman and UBS. And lots of others.  UBS is my commentary of choice.  Intended for translators, it helps me understand what the text is about (you can't translate it if you don't understand it!) and ways in which to communicate it.

Maybe I'll consider the upgrade for the future.  I am fascinated by the translation process and I am learning Greek (still in the very elementary stage) so this interests me very much.  I'll look into the UBS as well.  Thanks Nicky.

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Edwin Bowden | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 13 2010 5:32 AM

Gold would be a good upgrade, giving you a lot more resources suited for your purpose at a great value.

Buying titles individually that are included in base packages costs much more.

With that in mind, you might narrow your additional individual title purchase options to those that are not included in a base package. (Tyndale, for example)

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