Yale Bible Commentary and Yale Bible Dictionary

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This post has 24 Replies | 3 Followers

Posts 450
Alexander | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Dec 7 2011 10:06 AM

I've been looking at the Yale products as they have been highly recmmended on the forums multiple times. The wiki, however, seems to indicate that the Yale products follow a much more liberal tradition where I am much more conservative. The question then is, first, how far leaning are the Yale products and how apparent is their stance in the work? Also, is the dictionary also a long this line or is it more neutral? What are the more conservative options as opposed to the Yale items? I really want to pick up one good academic commentary and one solid accademic encyclopedia ontop of my TDNT (and hopefully soon to have BDAG/HALOT) resources.

Posts 1770
Rick | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2011 10:11 AM

As far as the dictionaries go, I understand that the ISBE is more on the conservative side: http://www.logos.com/product/3875/international-standard-bible-encyclopedia

I do like both dictionaries. I have only bought AYBD recently and have not used it as much as ISBE.

Posts 352
Mike & Rachel Aubrey | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2011 10:27 AM

Alexander Longacre:
The wiki, however, seems to indicate that the Yale products follow a much more liberal tradition where I am much more conservative.

That might be true for Yale Anchor Bible (I don't know how conservative you are), but the dictionary has contributors from across the spectrum, including many respected conservative scholars.

Posts 3373
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2011 10:38 AM

I have both as well. Being more "conservative" in my theology - Reformed Baptist - I use ISBE much more than the other. However the Yale does have much to offer.

mm.

Posts 450
Alexander | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2011 10:50 AM

What about for a commentary? Do you use the WBC more than the Yale then?

Posts 1432
Ben | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2011 10:59 AM

I wouldn't say "liberal" so much as "scholastically neutral" (which may equate to "liberal" in some minds); its authors come from all kinds of traditions.

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected."- G.K. Chesterton

Posts 8967
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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2011 11:50 AM

Alexander Longacre:
The question then is, first, how far leaning are the Yale products and how apparent is their stance in the work?

I am conservative too. Your impressions are correct. AYB is fairly liberal. I value Anchor Yale Bible because of that fact. The commentary gives me insight into how the other guys think. The collection of authors goes from moderate to liberal and several who do not hold to plenary inspiration and a few are not believers in the divinity of Christ. I would not use this commentary for sermon preparation. I also would not make it my only commentary. I would choose Word Biblical Commentary or NICOT/NICNT first.

The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary is more encyclopedic in nature. It's liberalism is only slightly detectable but the depth of content coverage is good. I like the ISBE. But if you add AYB to ISBE I suspect your favorite will soon become Anchor.

one other thought; The AYB did a great job in selecting which author would address which book.

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

Posts 847
Praiser | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2011 12:37 PM

Alexander Longacre:

I've been looking at the Yale products as they have been highly recmmended on the forums multiple times. The wiki, however, seems to indicate that the Yale products follow a much more liberal tradition where I am much more conservative. The question then is, first, how far leaning are the Yale products and how apparent is their stance in the work? Also, is the dictionary also a long this line or is it more neutral? What are the more conservative options as opposed to the Yale items? I really want to pick up one good academic commentary and one solid accademic encyclopedia ontop of my TDNT (and hopefully soon to have BDAG/HALOT) resources.

I would definitely get the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary. I use it alot and do not consider it as liberal as the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary.

If you do not have NICOT/NICNT, I would choose it over the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary. The NIC is one of my first go to commentaries.

 I agree that Anchor Yale Bible Commentary can be very uneven and extremely liberal in some volumes for my taste, but it does get me thinking. I agree with Super Tramp's review. I'm glad to have the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary  since it is referenced in other works quite often, but I don't consider it one of my main research commentaries.

You might want to check out the comparisons here http://wiki.logos.com/Resource_Review   From your post, you may already have visited it.

 

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2011 12:53 PM

Alexander Longacre:

I've been looking at the Yale products as they have been highly recmmended on the forums multiple times. The wiki, however, seems to indicate that the Yale products follow a much more liberal tradition where I am much more conservative. The question then is, first, how far leaning are the Yale products and how apparent is their stance in the work? Also, is the dictionary also a long this line or is it more neutral? What are the more conservative options as opposed to the Yale items? I really want to pick up one good academic commentary and one solid accademic encyclopedia ontop of my TDNT (and hopefully soon to have BDAG/HALOT) resources.

I have both the AYBD and ISBE.  I rarely use the ISBE.  It simply isn't as academically rigorous.  I also have the AYB commentaries.  They are much like other commentaries in the respect that they aren't all at the same level.  The AYB commentary on Revelation, e.g., is waaaay out in left field (It posits that much was from the school of John the
Baptist) and is being rewritten.  I find such proposals stimulating even though I don't always agree.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 1880
Philana Crouch | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2011 1:07 PM

I don't have the commentaries, but I own both AYBD and ISBE, and use both regularly. While AYBD can be somewhat liberal (I don't agree with it on some things, usually regarding dating of a book, authorship, or historicity of an event), I still find that it gives information and cultural background that is very useful. When I am looking into issues of historical dates, or authorship I use ISBE more, but find AYBD helpful for giving a lot of information. Both are good. So as far as the AYBD I would recommend getting that one, and if you don't own it yet, add ISBE as well.

Blessings,

Philana

Posts 10715
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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2011 1:54 PM

Super Tramp:
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary is more encyclopedic in nature. It's liberalism is only slightly detectable but the depth of content coverage is good. I like the ISBE. But if you add AYB to ISBE I suspect your favorite will soon become Anchor.

My experience is the opposite. I use ISBE more than AYBD.

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2011 2:02 PM

Jack Caviness:

Super Tramp:
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary is more encyclopedic in nature. It's liberalism is only slightly detectable but the depth of content coverage is good. I like the ISBE. But if you add AYB to ISBE I suspect your favorite will soon become Anchor.

My experience is the opposite. I use ISBE more than AYBD.

That's because you're an old codger, Jack.  After all, I'm only going to be 39 on my next BD.  Wink

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 13392
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2011 2:48 PM

Alexander Longacre:

I've been looking at the Yale products as they have been highly recmmended on the forums multiple times. The wiki, however, seems to indicate that the Yale products follow a much more liberal tradition where I am much more conservative. The question then is, first, how far leaning are the Yale products and how apparent is their stance in the work? Also, is the dictionary also a long this line or is it more neutral? What are the more conservative options as opposed to the Yale items? I really want to pick up one good academic commentary and one solid accademic encyclopedia ontop of my TDNT (and hopefully soon to have BDAG/HALOT) resources.

I am fairly conservative theological, and own both the Anchor sets. Whilst the Anchor commentary can be helpful, I couldn't recommend it if you want "one good academic commentary". Describing it as liberal' isn't exactly accurate, although it's certainly well-received in liberal camps. But it certainly doesn't treat the Bible as inspired by God, and several volumes are written by people who do not even profess to be Christian.

If you want a commentary at that level, but coming from a conservative tradition, then the NICOT and NICNT is definitely a better option - and in my view far better than WBC as well. Other possibilities include the BECNT, Pillar and NIGTC sets, although they're all both NT only and incomplete.

The AYBD, on the other hand, is very useful. This thread explains why: http://community.logos.com/forums/t/22656.aspx

That said, if you don't already have it, I might well be tempted to purchase IVP Reference Library instead. It's cheaper (which might release some dollars for the commentary), and at times has more depth. It's more consistently evangelical too, though that matters less with dictionaries than commentaries in my view. Having said that it's coverage is not as good a AYBD.

 

Posts 2836
Michael Childs | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2011 3:02 PM

Alexander,

I am about as conservative as one can be, but I don't want my mind so closed that I can't get any ventilation in there.  Wink

I have Anchor Yale Dictionary, and find it very useful.  It scholarship is a little more up to date than the others.  I use the New Bible Dictionary first, along with IVP Dictionaries.  NBD is a brief but good one volume dictionary, and with Don Carson as editior, it's evangelical.  Then for deeper study, I go to Anchor Yale Dictionary.  Dictionary articles tend to be primarily concerned with facts, and AYBD does a good job.  I just stay aware of its theological bias - and my own.

I do not have the Yale Commentaries, but hope to one day.  I am sure I would not agree with some of their views, but I can take what is good.  I want to know their views and understand them.  I use NICOT/NT and Word Biblical as my "go to" commentaries.  Of course, I treat them the same way.

I find some help in even more liberal commentaries.  William Barclay, for example, is extremely helpful in New Testament background.  But I noted in using his commentary on Luke today that he doesn't seem to believe in the virgin birth.  Still, he was helpful on many things.

"In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church," John Wesley

Posts 2400
mab | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2011 7:52 PM

Commentary sets, as a rule of thumb, are usually uneven, so I would say you should be inclined to cherry pick. I have some Anchor volumes in print that are quite good regardless of theological slant, and I'd be inclined to add some more if I could afford them. I'm not sure whether I'll add the set to Logos. Maybe...

AYBD is a different animal. I'm sure there's some opinion masquerading as scholarship, but it's not the only place you should be looking. Along with NBD and ISBE, you are likely to have the background info you need.

Dictionaries excel at providing context so your framework of biblical events are seen in the period that they took place. 

 

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 50
JAIN THOMAS | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 8 2011 1:26 AM

Hi

I am a conservative too. But when you approach the bible, nothing would influence you to interpret it. I would say your mind should be 'tabula rasa' (blank slate). More clearly an impartial approach. You won't get actual meaning, if you have a preconceived conservative or catholic or Jewish or Christian perspective.

Posts 893
Brother Mark | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 8 2011 9:37 AM

Its difficult to add anything meaningful to excellent posts already here (special recognition to Mark Barnes, and SuperT)... that being said, I'm of the "where ever you are I'm to the right of you" conservative ilk; and I find the AYBD to be the most detail oriented of my 45 Logos Bible Dictionaries, and I appreciate the depth of scholarship.  With regard to commentary sets, I endorse anything by Wiersby, Pink, or Ironside, the Pillar set is good, The Preacher's Commentary is very readable and heavy on application rather than scholarship, some of the WBC is great (and some of it: no so much).  I think you'd benefit from studying the recommendations from the bestcommentaries web site (which has a conservative slant)... and finally I recommend D.A. Carson's  New Testament Commentary Survey which will give you the straight skinny on liberal vs. conservative slant in commentary sets.

 

"I read dead people..."

Posts 847
Praiser | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 8 2011 9:48 AM

Brother Mark:
).  I think you'd benefit from studying the recommendations from the bestcommentaries web site (which has a conservative slant)... and finally I recommend D.A. Carson's  New Testament Commentary Survey which will give you the straight skinny on liberal vs. conservative slant in commentary sets.

 

Add Rosscups Commentaries for Biblical Expositors to this group.

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 8 2011 10:08 AM

Brother Mark:

Its difficult to add anything meaningful to excellent posts already here (special recognition to Mark Barnes, and SuperT)... that being said, I'm of the "where ever you are I'm to the right of you" conservative ilk; and I find the AYBD to be the most detail oriented of my 45 Logos Bible Dictionaries, and I appreciate the depth of scholarship.  With regard to commentary sets, I endorse anything by Wiersby, Pink, or Ironside, the Pillar set is good, The Preacher's Commentary is very readable and heavy on application rather than scholarship, some of the WBC is great (and some of it: no so much).  I think you'd benefit from studying the recommendations from the bestcommentaries web site (which has a conservative slant)... and finally I recommend D.A. Carson's  New Testament Commentary Survey which will give you the straight skinny on liberal vs. conservative slant in commentary sets.

 

It puzzles me that one would choose a commentary based on it "slant."  Are you simply seeking someone to confirm your already determined view on a subject?  It seems to me that, whether a commentary is "conservative" or "liberal", if it's right, it's right. 

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 893
Brother Mark | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 8 2011 10:31 AM

George Somsel:
It puzzles me that one would choose a commentary based on it "slant."  Are you simply seeking someone to confirm your already determined view on a subject?  It seems to me that, whether a commentary is "conservative" or "liberal", if it's right, it's right. 

I quite agree with, "if it's right, it's right".  I was simply rendering my opinion in response to the thread author's original premise with regard to good commentary sets and dictionaries from a conservative perspective.  This implied (at least to me) that he'd already determined that a conservative "slant" is right.  Neither I nor you (presumably) know whether he prefers to read conservative commentators exclusively, or broadens his horizons by looking at more than one side of the translation and application running gun fights (okay, /hyperbole).  

In any case, and my personal preference, is to look deeply into as many viewpoints as time permits, and sift the facts out of the denominational (or other) bias as much as possible.  The blessing (and curse) of Logos is that I own so many perspectives that I almost never have the time to read them all.  I appreciate both the humor and wisdom of MPseminar's Mo Proctor who says.... keep reading commentaries until you find one that agrees with you.

 

"I read dead people..."

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