Lenski's NT Commentaries

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Posts 217
Danny Baskin | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Dec 15 2010 7:51 AM
Posts 277
Ben | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 15 2010 8:09 AM

???

2 Peter 3:18  But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Posts 217
Danny Baskin | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 15 2010 8:29 AM

For some reason my text didn't show up. I was using IE9 Beta. With Google Chrome, I think it's going to work now.

My original question was: Any opinions on Lenski's NT Commentaries? I see they're 299.95 in the Christmas sale. Do you think they're worth the price?

 

Thanks!

Danny

Posts 1874
Alan Macgregor | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 15 2010 8:33 AM

Welcome to the forums, Danny.

I have Lenski's commentaries in print. I have used them for about 20 years. I find them useful exegetically.

I fully intend to buy the Logos versions in the future, but they are not my top priority right now, which is to buy electronic resources which I don't have in print.

Every blessing

Alan

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Posts 13360
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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 15 2010 9:32 AM

Danny Baskin:
For some reason my text didn't show up. I was using IE9 Beta.

You have to use compatibility mode in IE9 for this site.

Danny Baskin:
My original question was: Any opinions on Lenski's NT Commentaries? I see they're 299.95 in the Christmas sale. Do you think they're worth the price?

That rather depends on what other commentaries you already have. Lenski is a fairly solid if sometime staid Lutheran expositor. I have the set, and use it from time to time, but there are other better sets in my view.

Posts 217
Danny Baskin | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 15 2010 10:24 AM

I have many of the NICOT/NICNT commentaries in print and all the commentaries that come with the Platinum package: Pillar, Baker Ex., etc. Perhaps my money would be better spent on other Christmas Sale items.

By the way, thanks so much for all the vids. I've learned more from you than any other resource concerning L4.

Posts 82
Timothy Shrimpton | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 15 2010 11:01 AM

Lenski is generally pretty solid.  His Romans commentary is a little suspect as he slips into intuitu fidei problems, but otherwise it's a useful set.

Posts 49
Jim Oesterwind | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 15 2010 11:28 AM

I'm a Baptist, but I use Lenski.  He is one of my favorite NT commentators.  I used a thought in his commentary on Matthew in a Christmas devotional used to wrap our annual cantata last Sunday:

How is it that these men entered a home of a humble carpenter and fell down and worshipped a baby with great joy?  The only answer to that question is found in the fact that "God enabled their hearts to behold what their eyes could not see" (Lenski).

In my opinion, you would profit greatly from consulting with him on a regular basis :)

Jim

Jim Oesterwind

Heritage Baptist Church

Antioch, CA

www.heritageantioch.com

Posts 217
Danny Baskin | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 15 2010 11:38 AM

Jim,

Sounds good. BTW I'm technically still a Baptist but serving in the UMC--an interesting experience!

db

Posts 142
Michael Sullivan | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 15 2010 12:18 PM

Lenski is generally a very good commentary.  The price, however . . .  Call one of the reps and you probably will get it for a lot cheaper.  

Michael

Posts 217
Danny Baskin | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 15 2010 12:36 PM

Michael Sullivan:

Lenski is generally a very good commentary.  The price, however . . .  Call one of the reps and you probably will get it for a lot cheaper.  

Michael

Thanks, Michal. I did wonder about the price.

db

Posts 13360
Forum MVP
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 15 2010 2:27 PM

Danny Baskin:
I have many of the NICOT/NICNT commentaries in print and all the commentaries that come with the Platinum package: Pillar, Baker Ex., etc. Perhaps my money would be better spent on other Christmas Sale items.

In my opinion NIGTC, Tyndale and BST commentaries would be the next ones to pursue after NICNT, Pillar and BECNT. NIVAC, Expositors, IVPNTC, Blacks AND WBC are also pretty good. Below are Don Carson's comments on those series from his NT Commentary Survey. I've also included his comments on your existing sets, so you can use them to interpret the comments on the sets you don't have!

The Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament is a large-scale project, in some ways rivaling the NIGNT series: both in the degree of interaction with secondary literature and in its reliance on the Greek text, BECNT is a major evangelical contribution. At the same time, because it provides the Greek both in Greek font and in transliteration, translates any foreign-language expression, and is edited for readability, the series aims to draw readers all the way from serious scholars to pastors and students to “the motivated lay Christian who craves a solid but accessible exposition.” Protestations of readability aside, I suspect that most readers will be serious pastors, students, and scholars. More than some series, BECNT tries to integrate exegesis and serious confessional theological reflection.

The series of Black New Testament Commentaries/Harper New Testament Commentaries aims to provide lucid comment on the NT text and a fresh translation without requiring a detailed knowledge of Greek. A few of the volumes in the series are distinguished (e.g., Barrett on 1 and 2 Corinthians). On the American side some of the volumes in the series have been taken over by Hendrickson. New volumes to replace earlier entries are being published on the American side only by Hendrickson, so the “H” in HNTC has changed its referent!

The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (/Zondervan) is a twelve-volume work of large pages and small print designed to offer exegetical and expository comment on the entire Bible, using the NIV text as the basis. The NT portion embraces vols. 8–12. The series is committed to evangelicalism but suffers serious unevenness—a flaw made worse by the fact that more than one NT book commentary is bound in each volume (e.g., the synoptics in vol. 8, John and Acts in vol. 9, etc.). It is usually more technical than the old EB (1887–96). In recent printings, individual commentaries have appeared in paperback or bound with others in paperback. The publisher is committed to bringing out a substantially revised edition of the series, and the first of the revised volumes, vol. 13 covering Hebrews–Revelation, has just appeared (so the series will become a thirteen-volume set instead of a twelve-volume set). All the contributors are new, and the typeface is much more pleasing.

The IVP New Testament Commentaries (/IVP) are designed to fit into the fairly narrow slot between the TNTC and the BST—in other words, they are still commentaries, but they are brief, simple, and designed to be immediately nurturing. Quite a few have now appeared, and if several are bland, several others are outstanding (W. Larkin on Acts, I. Howard Marshall on 1 Peter, Linda Belleville on 2 Corinthians, Rodney Whitacre on John).

The New International Commentary on the New Testament (/Eerdmans; sometimes referred to in the UK as the New London Commentary, MMS/) is a still-incomplete series of commentaries that adopts conservative critical views and is concerned to offer an exegesis of the Scriptures themselves. The text of these commentaries demands no special knowledge; the footnotes presuppose some knowledge of Greek and (occasionally) Hebrew and Latin. With the death of F. F. Bruce, its editor for many years, editorial direction passed to Gordon D. Fee, who has commissioned writers not only to complete the series but to prepare new volumes to replace some of the older entries (e.g., Moo on Romans, replacing Murray).

The New International Greek Testament Commentary (Paternoster/Eerdmans) is up-to-date, bibliographically almost exhaustive, exegetical, and within the evangelical tradition, broadly understood. Volumes keep appearing, some of them outstanding. One or two volumes have been criticized, not unfairly, by clergy who find their contents too technical and tightly packed to be useful. For clergy and others well trained in Greek and exegesis, the series is one to watch.

The NIV Application Commentary series (/Zondervan) provides fairly lightweight commentaries, easily accessible, that are then filled out by application of various kinds. At one level this aim is commendable: it works against the view that biblical interpretation has the right to remain   p 27  a cool and distanced discipline with the interpreter standing over the text. Yet there are converse dangers. Shallow handling of the Word coupled with immediate application may unwittingly foster the view that Scripture has primarily utilitarian value. The applications themselves may be driven by many different agendas, so that false connections are constructed between text and application. Lazy preachers may so rely on the applications provided by this series that they fail to devote themselves to the hard work of cultural reflection and appropriate application—just as lazy preachers may so rely on the immediate conclusions of commentaries in general that they never really learn how to do exegesis. Once its limitations and dangers are acknowledged, however, this series can be a useful pump-primer in the move from text to application.

The Pillar Commentary Series (/Eerdmans) started life as a non-series. Eerdmans published three independent commentaries (Carson on John, Morris on Romans, Hughes on Revelation) and put them all in the same binding. They then decided it was worth filling out an entire series, and the other NT books have now been commissioned. Several further volumes have appeared, with more on the way.

The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries are designed for the frequently-targeted well-read layperson, but many pastors profit as well. The series is conservative but focuses most attention on explaining the meaning of the text with minimal interaction with the voluminous secondary literature. Originally based on the AV/KJV, with Greek and Hebrew transliterated and explained, the series is being rewritten based on the RSV or NIV (at the individual author’s discretion), and space is being assigned more equitably. Several of the volumes of this new edition are, within the constraints of the series, outstanding (e.g., Marshall on Acts).

The Word Biblical Commentary is a full-scale series that aims to cover every book in the Bible. The series offers fresh translation, an original (and annoyingly repetitive) format, thoughtful interaction with the literature, and a commitment to handle both exegetical and literary/critical concerns. A few of the volumes that have appeared are already standard reference works. Do not let the “evangelical” label fool you: although some of the contributors sit comfortably within that tradition, in other cases the label applies only by the most generous extension.

Posts 217
Danny Baskin | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 15 2010 2:48 PM

Mark Barnes:

Danny Baskin:
I have many of the NICOT/NICNT commentaries in print and all the commentaries that come with the Platinum package: Pillar, Baker Ex., etc. Perhaps my money would be better spent on other Christmas Sale items.

In my opinion NIGTC, Tyndale and BST commentaries would be the next ones to pursue after NICNT, Pillar and BECNT. NIVAC, Expositors, IVPNTC, Blacks AND WBC are also pretty good. Below are Don Carson's comments on those series from his NT Commentary Survey. I've also included his comments on your existing sets, so you can use them to interpret the comments on the sets you don't have!

The Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament is a large-scale project, in some ways rivaling the NIGNT series: both in the degree of interaction with secondary literature and in its reliance on the Greek text, BECNT is a major evangelical contribution. At the same time, because it provides the Greek both in Greek font and in transliteration, translates any foreign-language expression, and is edited for readability, the series aims to draw readers all the way from serious scholars to pastors and students to “the motivated lay Christian who craves a solid but accessible exposition.” Protestations of readability aside, I suspect that most readers will be serious pastors, students, and scholars. More than some series, BECNT tries to integrate exegesis and serious confessional theological reflection.

The series of Black New Testament Commentaries/Harper New Testament Commentaries aims to provide lucid comment on the NT text and a fresh translation without requiring a detailed knowledge of Greek. A few of the volumes in the series are distinguished (e.g., Barrett on 1 and 2 Corinthians). On the American side some of the volumes in the series have been taken over by Hendrickson. New volumes to replace earlier entries are being published on the American side only by Hendrickson, so the “H” in HNTC has changed its referent!

The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (/Zondervan) is a twelve-volume work of large pages and small print designed to offer exegetical and expository comment on the entire Bible, using the NIV text as the basis. The NT portion embraces vols. 8–12. The series is committed to evangelicalism but suffers serious unevenness—a flaw made worse by the fact that more than one NT book commentary is bound in each volume (e.g., the synoptics in vol. 8, John and Acts in vol. 9, etc.). It is usually more technical than the old EB (1887–96). In recent printings, individual commentaries have appeared in paperback or bound with others in paperback. The publisher is committed to bringing out a substantially revised edition of the series, and the first of the revised volumes, vol. 13 covering Hebrews–Revelation, has just appeared (so the series will become a thirteen-volume set instead of a twelve-volume set). All the contributors are new, and the typeface is much more pleasing.

The IVP New Testament Commentaries (/IVP) are designed to fit into the fairly narrow slot between the TNTC and the BST—in other words, they are still commentaries, but they are brief, simple, and designed to be immediately nurturing. Quite a few have now appeared, and if several are bland, several others are outstanding (W. Larkin on Acts, I. Howard Marshall on 1 Peter, Linda Belleville on 2 Corinthians, Rodney Whitacre on John).

The New International Commentary on the New Testament (/Eerdmans; sometimes referred to in the UK as the New London Commentary, MMS/) is a still-incomplete series of commentaries that adopts conservative critical views and is concerned to offer an exegesis of the Scriptures themselves. The text of these commentaries demands no special knowledge; the footnotes presuppose some knowledge of Greek and (occasionally) Hebrew and Latin. With the death of F. F. Bruce, its editor for many years, editorial direction passed to Gordon D. Fee, who has commissioned writers not only to complete the series but to prepare new volumes to replace some of the older entries (e.g., Moo on Romans, replacing Murray).

The New International Greek Testament Commentary (Paternoster/Eerdmans) is up-to-date, bibliographically almost exhaustive, exegetical, and within the evangelical tradition, broadly understood. Volumes keep appearing, some of them outstanding. One or two volumes have been criticized, not unfairly, by clergy who find their contents too technical and tightly packed to be useful. For clergy and others well trained in Greek and exegesis, the series is one to watch.

The NIV Application Commentary series (/Zondervan) provides fairly lightweight commentaries, easily accessible, that are then filled out by application of various kinds. At one level this aim is commendable: it works against the view that biblical interpretation has the right to remain   p 27  a cool and distanced discipline with the interpreter standing over the text. Yet there are converse dangers. Shallow handling of the Word coupled with immediate application may unwittingly foster the view that Scripture has primarily utilitarian value. The applications themselves may be driven by many different agendas, so that false connections are constructed between text and application. Lazy preachers may so rely on the applications provided by this series that they fail to devote themselves to the hard work of cultural reflection and appropriate application—just as lazy preachers may so rely on the immediate conclusions of commentaries in general that they never really learn how to do exegesis. Once its limitations and dangers are acknowledged, however, this series can be a useful pump-primer in the move from text to application.

The Pillar Commentary Series (/Eerdmans) started life as a non-series. Eerdmans published three independent commentaries (Carson on John, Morris on Romans, Hughes on Revelation) and put them all in the same binding. They then decided it was worth filling out an entire series, and the other NT books have now been commissioned. Several further volumes have appeared, with more on the way.

The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries are designed for the frequently-targeted well-read layperson, but many pastors profit as well. The series is conservative but focuses most attention on explaining the meaning of the text with minimal interaction with the voluminous secondary literature. Originally based on the AV/KJV, with Greek and Hebrew transliterated and explained, the series is being rewritten based on the RSV or NIV (at the individual author’s discretion), and space is being assigned more equitably. Several of the volumes of this new edition are, within the constraints of the series, outstanding (e.g., Marshall on Acts).

The Word Biblical Commentary is a full-scale series that aims to cover every book in the Bible. The series offers fresh translation, an original (and annoyingly repetitive) format, thoughtful interaction with the literature, and a commitment to handle both exegetical and literary/critical concerns. A few of the volumes that have appeared are already standard reference works. Do not let the “evangelical” label fool you: although some of the contributors sit comfortably within that tradition, in other cases the label applies only by the most generous extension.

 

Many thanks, Mark! The Carson piece will be quite helpful.

db

Posts 261
Ralph A. Abernethy III | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 16 2010 12:57 PM

I notice that the Lenski NT Commentaries are now available individually through the Christmas 2010 sale.  Picked up a couple of the cheaper ones that I can use right now, but several of the Lenski volumes are going for $70.00 apiece.  That, to me, seems way overpriced, especially considering the age of these commentaries.  (Of course, I recognize that some would consider Lenski at five cents per volume overpriced Wink  ) Still, I'm glad to have Lenski on Matthew and the Revelation. 

Posts 1680
Jerry M | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 16 2010 1:18 PM

Ralph A. Abernethy III:
Still, I'm glad to have Lenski on Matthew and the Revelation. 

What position does he have on Revelation?  Amillennial, Pre, futurist, etc.  If you don't mind me asking. 

"For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power"      Wiki Table of Contents

Posts 261
Ralph A. Abernethy III | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 16 2010 1:26 PM

Amill.

Posts 249
Giovanni Baggio | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 16 2010 1:43 PM

Lenski is not a good set anymore.  You could learn something but not that much.  Here's what D.A. Carson has to say about Lenski, 

R. C. H. Lenski’s twelve-volume The Interpretation of the New Testament (/Augsburg Fortress, $29.99 per vol.—but most of the volumes are op) aims to force the student to think through the Greek text and stimulate exegetical rigor, but his grasp of Greek is mechanical, amateurish, and without respect for the fluidity of Greek in the Hellenistic period. The series is marred by a militant or even angry tone in defense of orthodox Lutheranism.

 

Carson, D. A. (2007). New Testament commentary survey (6th ed.) (33). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.

And you know what, I agree with Carson.  I used to think Lenski was the best, but not anymore.  I'd rather spent $299.95 on another more recent or less outdated work, than spend it on Lenski.  There! Spend your money more wisely...hehehe

Posts 249
Giovanni Baggio | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 16 2010 1:45 PM

He takes the Amillennial but he calls his interpretation "Parallelism" or something like that.  I've heard others mention his weird belief on Hades or should I say his non-belief in Hades.  He says some other name I can't remember, but is some really weird idea.  Read his comments on Luke 16:19-32.

Posts 249
Giovanni Baggio | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 16 2010 1:50 PM

Here's another comment by Gary Shogren one of the scholars that has contributed with articles for the IVP Dictionaries and AYBD.   Of lenski, in this forum, he says,

"Hey Mike, As you might have been able to infer from other posts of mine, Mike, I'm no fan at all of Lenski. "Amateurish" (D. A. Carson's term) is probably the best adjective. Yet, how many preachers are using him week after week? There are certain well-known preachers whom I hear on the radio, and too often I think, Oh boy, he got that from Lenski. In Bible College I was told he was the highest of the high for his study of the Greek.

What's the attraction? "Lenski gives you material you don't find in other commentaries!" That's right and that's the problem in a nutshell. It's not because Lenski had better eyesight, but because he saw stuff that isn't there.

There seems to have been this period of time, (let's say 1945-1970?) when you saw this sort off thing everywhere. You seem to have studied the history of Greek scholarship, if I'm remembering correctly from the other thread, maybe you can give me a sense of where things went awry for a while.

I just did some reading in Ernest Best on 1-2 Thessalonians (Black's), and he too was infected: once for all aorists, presents are always progressive, "they believe THE lie" must mean there is one ultimate lie (going on memory, here, I think that last one was Best....). It never goes away!!"

So those are his comments.  I'll post the link on another post.

Posts 249
Giovanni Baggio | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 16 2010 1:51 PM

Danny, here's the link to Gary Shogren's post in the Logos Forum: http://community.logos.com/forums/p/6204/48789.aspx#48789

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