Great conservative (reformed?) commentary sets

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Posts 234
Ben Hein | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Mar 21 2013 7:43 AM

Hello Pilgrim Friends,

 

I am looking to build up my library with one more solid commentary set. I currently have Wrights "for everyone" series, the WBC, some of the Pillar NT commentaries, IVP, and a few others scattered here or there. I also have the Preachers Homelitic set in Pre-pub.

I'd like to have one more consistently solid set I can turn to reliably. I am coming from a Reformed Baptist perspective, so something conservative and preferrably Reformed would be excellent.

Anyone have any recommendations?

Rev. Ben Hein

Shady Grove Presbyterian Church (PCA)

Reformed Theological Seminary, M.Div (2017)

www.shadygrovepca.org

Posts 452
Mitchell | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 21 2013 7:46 AM

There's always Calvin's commentaries. 

Posts 72
papa_gowgow | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 21 2013 7:50 AM

I agree, Calvin's commentaries would be my suggestion. Something to consider though: I have a couple of commentaries with which I totally disagree, I find their theology to be alien to me, but I regularly go back to them to see what other perspectives might be out there.  I find the challenge of stepping out of my comfort zone to be very stimulating, and it reaffirms my personal beliefs rather than threatens them.

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 21 2013 7:57 AM

Ben Hein:

Hello Pilgrim Friends,

 

I am looking to build up my library with one more solid commentary set. I currently have Wrights "for everyone" series, the WBC, some of the Pillar NT commentaries, IVP, and a few others scattered here or there. I also have the Preachers Homelitic set in Pre-pub.

I'd like to have one more consistently solid set I can turn to reliably. I am coming from a Reformed Baptist perspective, so something conservative and preferrably Reformed would be excellent.

Anyone have any recommendations?

Coming from a tradition that would consider a Reformed Baptist to be an oxymoron Wink, I'd suggest Calvin (if you don't have him). He doesn't cover everything, but he's a model exegete and, though dated and imperfect, his commentaries are still very, very good. I'd also recommend the Baker New Testament Commentary series (Kistemaker and Hendriksen). It's not perfect either, but it's usually worth looking at - obviously for NT studies). I've probably overlooked something.

There are other Reformed theologians who contribute to other sets, but few that are exclusively Reformed.

Most Logos commentary sets come from a generally conservative theological background, but the term 'conservative' is a bit of a moving target (depending on one's shibboleths). But the Baker Exegetical commentary (incomplete) is pretty good. I have found that the NICOT and NICNT are usually quite good and generally conservative as well. I have often also found that the New American and the Pillar series are quite good and also generally conservative.

From a Christian Reformed (crcna.org) pastor. Smile

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

Posts 11433
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 21 2013 8:09 AM

No offense, papa-gowgow, but I'm just the opposite (and so MJ's logical dog nipping at me).  I suppose if I was a pastor, etc maybe I'd want to read the bad boys 'just one more time'. But I'm not.

If I've already concluded commentaries/authors are incapable of logical reasoning, it's into the 'Hidden Resources' they go (until the last days of course). Since I haven't accidentally purchased any problem commentaries, only 1 is presently 'hidden'. I don't know where it came from.

But before someone kills me (it's happened before), though I theologically sit to the far right of the OP, most of my commentaries are to the far left. The reason is 'data'. I'm a big believer that the more data goes on the table, the more one can confidently espouse the validity of 'the ancient writing'.  Most of my arguments with 'doubters of the word' involve simply pointing out 'data' that anyone can check for themselves.  It's far more effective than opinions.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

Posts 72
papa_gowgow | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 21 2013 8:13 AM

DMB:

No offense, papa-gowgow, but I'm just the opposite (and so MJ's logical dog nipping at me).  I suppose if I was a pastor, etc maybe I'd want to read the bad boys 'just one more time'. But I'm not.

If I've already concluded commentaries/authors are incapable of logical reasoning, it's into the 'Hidden Resources' they go (until the last days of course). Since I haven't accidentally purchased any problem commentaries, only 1 is presently 'hidden'. I don't know where it came from.

But before someone kills me (it's happened before), though I theologically sit to the far right of the OP, most of my commentaries are to the far left. The reason is 'data'. I'm a big believer that the more data goes on the table, the more one can confidently espouse the validity of 'the ancient writing'.  Most of my arguments with 'doubters of the word' involve simply pointing out 'data' that anyone can check for themselves.  It's far more effective than opinions.

Fair point, well made.

Posts 234
Ben Hein | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 21 2013 8:49 AM

Richard DeRuiter:

[

Coming from a tradition that would consider a Reformed Baptist to be an oxymoron Wink,

Spurgeon would like to pick a bone with you! Stick out tongue

 

All the Calvin recommendations kind of confirmed where I was already leaning. I also understand having resources from other perspectives, thats what Ryrie is for Cool

 

Now, some of Calvin's commentaries are on discount. Would it be cheaper for me to get those and then would the larger set be discounted because I have some of the books in my library? Or should I just straight buy the set?

Rev. Ben Hein

Shady Grove Presbyterian Church (PCA)

Reformed Theological Seminary, M.Div (2017)

www.shadygrovepca.org

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 21 2013 9:07 AM

Ben Hein:
Spurgeon would like to pick a bone with you! Stick out tongue

As long as he sterilizes his bone pick first. Huh?

Ben Hein:
Now, some of Calvin's commentaries are on discount. Would it be cheaper for me to get those and then would the larger set be discounted because I have some of the books in my library? Or should I just straight buy the set?

If you have some, it's probable that the full set would be discounted, though you'd have to call or email sales to find out. I'd check out my options with a sales rep. before making a final decision. I do recommend the full set, if your budget can afford it, and you don't stumble too hard over Calvin's theology of baptism. Surprise

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

Posts 234
Ben Hein | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 21 2013 9:12 AM

Hah, as someone who grew up in paedo-baptist churches and has now made the "switch to the dark side", and a student at a conservative reformed PCA/OPC leaning seminary, baptism is one area I've learned to navigate through without getting too caught up in it :)

Rev. Ben Hein

Shady Grove Presbyterian Church (PCA)

Reformed Theological Seminary, M.Div (2017)

www.shadygrovepca.org

Posts 8899
fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 21 2013 9:12 AM

Ben Hein:
Now, some of Calvin's commentaries are on discount. Would it be cheaper for me to get those and then would the larger set be discounted because I have some of the books in my library? Or should I just straight buy the set?

If you do intend to buy Calvin, you should start by looking at http://www.logos.com/upgrade, since his commentaries are included even in Bronze. I don't know what your upgrade price would be (make sure you're logged in!), but it's worth checking out, given how much cheaper books are in base packages.

"The Christian way of life isn't so much an assignment to be performed, as a gift to be received."  Wilfrid Stinissen

Mac Pro OS 10.9.

Posts 234
Ben Hein | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 21 2013 9:27 AM

fgh:

Ben Hein:
Now, some of Calvin's commentaries are on discount. Would it be cheaper for me to get those and then would the larger set be discounted because I have some of the books in my library? Or should I just straight buy the set?

If you do intend to buy Calvin, you should start by looking at http://www.logos.com/upgrade, since his commentaries are included even in Bronze. I don't know what your upgrade price would be (make sure you're logged in!), but it's worth checking out, given how much cheaper books are in base packages.

I have the old Logos 4 Scholars Silver (I also upgraded to the basic logos 5 w/ new datasets), thats interesting that Calvin is indeed part of the Bronze upgrade now. It would be an extra 70$ to get the upgrade, which I guess would only be worth it if either of these two were worth it:

The New American Commentary Series (NAC) (40 vols.)

The Pulpit Commentary (77 vols.)

Thoughts?

Rev. Ben Hein

Shady Grove Presbyterian Church (PCA)

Reformed Theological Seminary, M.Div (2017)

www.shadygrovepca.org

Posts 188
Si | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 21 2013 9:49 AM

Ben Hein:

I have the old Logos 4 Scholars Silver (I also upgraded to the basic logos 5 w/ new datasets), thats interesting that Calvin is indeed part of the Bronze upgrade now. It would be an extra 70$ to get the upgrade, which I guess would only be worth it if either of these two were worth it:

The New American Commentary Series (NAC) (40 vols.)

The Pulpit Commentary (77 vols.)

Thoughts?

I don't find the Pulpit Commentary to be helpful, but the NAC is a different story. It is published by the SBC Convention publisher Broadman and Holman. As such, the commentators come from reformed and non-reformed baptist perspectives. Most commentators are Southern Baptist, but a few come from other Baptist denominations (e.g. Craig Blomberg on Matthew). Some of the volumes are steller (e.g. Schreiner on 1 & 2 Peter/Jude and Block on Judges/Ruth to name a few), but all are decent. If I did not own them, I would pay far more the $70 for this set alone. 

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 21 2013 9:53 AM

Ben Hein:

I have the old Logos 4 Scholars Silver (I also upgraded to the basic logos 5 w/ new datasets), thats interesting that Calvin is indeed part of the Bronze upgrade now. It would be an extra 70$ to get the upgrade, which I guess would only be worth it if either of these two were worth it:

The New American Commentary Series (NAC) (40 vols.)

The Pulpit Commentary (77 vols.)

Thoughts?

NAC yes (IMHO).

Pulpit: meh. Depends on what you're looking for. It's quite dated, and quite uneven. I use it sometimes. Preachers is better, Preaching the Word (Hughes, et al.) better yet.

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

Posts 184
Bill Coley | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 21 2013 11:03 AM

DMB:
I suppose if I was a pastor, etc maybe I'd want to read the bad boys 'just one more time'. But I'm not.

DMB:
though I theologically sit to the far right of the OP, most of my commentaries are to the far left.

DMB,

I am curious, so, with all respect, I ask: If you consider your theology "far to the right of the OP," but most of your commentaries "to the far left," then which are "the bad boys" you apparently choose not to read? A casual reading of your post could lead a person to decide you refuse to read most of your own commentaries!  Stick out tongue

Be blessed,

Bill

Posts 51
SWSovereign | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 21 2013 11:13 AM
NAC is great. The series is very nearly complete. The only thing you probably should be aware of if you are looking for a Reformed commentary set is that in the books that deal with eschatological issues, the commentaries are written from a Dispensational perspective. That's certainly not a reason to refrain from getting the NAC, but rather that if you are studying, let's say, Daniel or Revelation, you will have to look elsewhere to get a truly Reformed perspective.
Posts 11433
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 21 2013 11:38 AM

Bill ... probably 99.9% of Logos forum participants define along the lines of 'theology' and I have no argument with that. Each person should persue how they think best.

'Bad boys' for me are authors who jump the logic track of what they're arguing, no matter their theology.

I'm a big fan of reading the Bible text literally. I'm not convinced writers write figuratively (else how would their readers/listeners know what they were talking about). I read the text as if it's presented hours after the ink dried.

That said, I enjoy today's author's contributions either in terms of literal data (e.g. archaeology) or along the lines of decent logic (if/then sequences, maintaining the agregate of confidence levels).  Bad boys almost always use a series of if/then statements but then agregate them in such a way as to increase their confidence, ignoring that their earlier propositions were proposals still demanding support.  Humans don't get a free ride, when they wish to speak for God.

And so my favorites are typically Catholic authors, who for some reason, tend to present both data, and tight logic. They move off into their theology, which is fine; I skip that. Ditto on jewish authors. 'Liberal' authors tend to be touch-and-go; one needs to follow the logic carefully. And evangelicals tend to assume their readership and simply skip to the theology.

That's how I end up with both extremes. I bought Dunn during March Madness.  His logic so far is loosey-goosey, but we'll see where he goes.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

Posts 3075
Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 21 2013 12:07 PM

Ben Hein:

I am coming from a Reformed Baptist perspective, so something conservative and preferrably Reformed would be excellent.

Anyone have any recommendations?

Ben,

Same perspective.

Here is a list of what I have in Logos that fits these criteria-

MacArthur's commentaries
anything by Dale Ralph Davis
Boice's commentaries
Mentor commentaries
Focus on the Bible commentaries
Baker Exegetical commentaries
Book of Isaiah (3 vols) by Young
anything by AW Pink
RC Sproul Exposition collection
some of the NAC series
Pillar NTC
Preaching the Word series
Treasury of David (Spurgeon)

There are a few reformed commentaries sprinkled in many of the other sets as well...one just needs to dig.

HTH.

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

Posts 452
Mitchell | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 21 2013 12:13 PM

Ben Hein:

fgh:

Ben Hein:
Now, some of Calvin's commentaries are on discount. Would it be cheaper for me to get those and then would the larger set be discounted because I have some of the books in my library? Or should I just straight buy the set?

If you do intend to buy Calvin, you should start by looking at http://www.logos.com/upgrade, since his commentaries are included even in Bronze. I don't know what your upgrade price would be (make sure you're logged in!), but it's worth checking out, given how much cheaper books are in base packages.

I have the old Logos 4 Scholars Silver (I also upgraded to the basic logos 5 w/ new datasets), thats interesting that Calvin is indeed part of the Bronze upgrade now. It would be an extra 70$ to get the upgrade, which I guess would only be worth it if either of these two were worth it:

The New American Commentary Series (NAC) (40 vols.)

The Pulpit Commentary (77 vols.)

Thoughts?

Only $70 for L5 Silver? Absolutely worth it. NAC is from the perspective you want and overall pretty good quality, plus you get Calvin's commentaries (and a whole bunch of other toys, e.g. apostolic fathers, creeds, etc.).

Posts 8899
fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 21 2013 12:37 PM

Ben Hein:
I also upgraded to the basic logos 5 w/ new datasets (...) It would be an extra 70$ to get the upgrade

Not sure what exactly you mean by 'basic'. If you mean Starter, ignore the following, but if you mean the Minimal Crossgrade, a Sales rep might be willing to let you return it, and get [most of] the datasets through Bronze instead. You would then need to rebuy the MC again, to get the last of the datasets back. A bit of trouble for you, and a bit more for the Sales rep, but it should save you some money. The datasets cost considerably more in the MC than in a base package.

DMB:
so my favorites are typically Catholic authors, who for some reason, tend to present both data, and tight logic

"Some reason" being that Catholic priests generally study about three years of philosophy before they even start theology, and Catholic universities tend to strongly encourage similar paths for non-seminarians as well.

"The Christian way of life isn't so much an assignment to be performed, as a gift to be received."  Wilfrid Stinissen

Mac Pro OS 10.9.

Posts 13420
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 21 2013 12:42 PM

Ben Hein:

I am coming from a Reformed Baptist perspective, so something conservative and preferrably Reformed would be excellent.

Anyone have any recommendations?

My theology is also Reformed Baptist. I note that you're not looking for Reformed Baptist commentaries, but commentaries that will be useful to a reformed baptist. Everything I'm going to recommend is conservative, most of it is reformed.

At the academic level, there's NICOT/NICNT, Baker Exegetical, NIGTC and Pillar. All three are excellent.

In addition to Calvin, at the intermediate level you have the New American Commentary series, and also the Tyndale Commentary series and Hendrikson/Kistemaker. The NAC is more baptist but less reformed than Tyndale. Hendrikson is more reformed than both, but stodgier too. With slightly more application, but of a similar vein you have Bible Speaks Today and Focus on the Bible. You might consider Expositor's - some superb volumes, others not so good.

At the level of applied commentaries you have Preaching the Word (which is just superb), Boice, Wiersbe and Welwyn. There's also MacArthur but you may find him leaning too far to dispensationalism for your tastes.

The advice you've had about looking at upgrading your package is good advice. You can see if a commentary series is in a base package by looking at right-hand column of it's product page. If it's in a base package, they'll be a 'Recommendations' section in that column, and the package will be listed there.

There are others, of course (e.g. Lenski, Leupold, Preacher's, Pulpit). Generally, I find them much less helpful than those I've listed. For value for money, it's hard to beat Bible Speaks Today.

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