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ZoesProudDaddy | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Jun 11 2009 1:02 PM

Greetings,


So I need advice on which commentary set you all recommend? I already have WBC/NIGNT/NAC and a few others. I will be applying for PhD studies this year and hopefully will be in a program beginning in 2010. I am more interested in the contextual and scholarly side of biblical studies currently although a pastoral role may occur in the future. I have read volumes of all three sets and currently have individual volumes from Anchor and NICOT/NICNT. So which do you all recommend?

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 11 2009 1:33 PM

alanleerosenaur:

Greetings,


So I need advice on which commentary set you all recommend? I already have WBC/NIGNT/NAC and a few others. I will be applying for PhD studies this year and hopefully will be in a program beginning in 2010. I am more interested in the contextual and scholarly side of biblical studies currently although a pastoral role may occur in the future. I have read volumes of all three sets and currently have individual volumes from Anchor and NICOT/NICNT. So which do you all recommend?

I would recommend the Anchor Yale Bible series if you can afford it.  Others would doublessly recommend NICOT and NICNT though I think the reason for that is that it is more in agreement with their own views.  I firmly believe that a commentary with which you may not completely agree is more valuable that one where you sit there saying "AMEN!"  You hopefully already know what you believe and don't need a work which simply mirrors your position.

george
gfsomsel

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

Posts 390
Alain Maashe | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 11 2009 4:48 PM

I have a quarter of the volumes from the AB series, volumes  that are those I consider to be good contribution in the AB series and all the volumes from the NICOT/NICNT

As such, my recommendation is not motivated by a fear to interact with the people I disagree with but it is a reflection of what might give you the best value during and after your PhD studies

I personally prefer the NICOT/NICNT series because it is more comprehensive in its coverage of issues that a commentary should deal with. The AB set is more technical but is also more narrowly focused as it mainly deals with philology, historical background, and exegesis of the text with less attention to theology and the message of the book. NICOT/NICNT series are  more rounded and deal with the issue above including theology and the message of the text and has a better interaction with the entire spectrum of scholarship (from liberal to conservative, while the AB does not generally spent much time entertaining evangelical scholarship. As such the NICOT/NICNT series is better as giving a survey of the variety of scholarly views. The NICOT/NICNT is useful beyond the academic realm, the AB has little usefulness (and purposefully so) beyond the classroom. It does help that the series and I are in the same theological ballpark.

I also think that as a set, the AB is more dated than the NICOT/NICNT and quality wise, NICOT/NICNT has a greater percentage of good to great entries than the AB

My advice is to get the NICOT/NICNT set and use your school’s library to borrow the AB volumes that you need or buy individual volumes of the AB if Logos offers them in the future.

My rational for the above is that no matter what concentration you choose in biblical studies, you will not be a specialist in all 66 books of the Bible. The solid foundation you need (as a generalist) is without a doubt better provided by the NICOT/NICNT. If you specialize in a book or in a collection of books such as the Pentateuch, the gospels and so on, it would then make sense to purchase all the good individual commentaries and works on the given books.

Look at it this way, instead of spending $1,700 (academic price) on the AB set, spend $1000 on the prepub of the NICOT/NICNT and use the $700 to pick select  print volumes of the AB series and you should have enough money left to buy select volumes from Hermeneia and even get the whole Pillar series in Libronix

 

For me it is a no-brainer

Alain

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 11 2009 5:14 PM

I would recommend that you go for the NICOT/NICNT for all the reason given by Alain Maashe above.

 

Ted

 

Dell, studio XPS 7100, Ram 8GB, 64 - bit Operating System, AMD Phenom(mt) IIX6 1055T Processor 2.80 GHZ

Posts 2964
tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 11 2009 8:39 PM

I recommend AB and Hermeneia series for scholarly work

Posts 595
Pam Larson | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 11 2009 10:05 PM

Hermeneia is going for $699 with some of the Amazon sellers (including Logos).

Posts 2744
Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 12 2009 1:04 AM

What do you think about the classification of commentaries on this web site?  http://www.bestcommentaries.com/

Especially their list of the Best 2 for each book of the Bible. Do you know the list? Or better one? It looks to me that ideal would be to be able to choose the individual commentaries for the individual Bible books. Will Logos allow this? Surelly not in Pre-pub. I know. I am trying to make a collection in Logos of chosen commentaries for each book of the Bible.

For the discussed series: I don't know AB, I use and very much value WBC and am really looking forward to NICOT/NICNT. Looks to me almost a *must* for an evangelical pastor. That is when you have to choose just one. The best would be to have all of them Smile

Have a great day

 

Bohuslav

Posts 390
Alain Maashe | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 12 2009 9:30 AM

I agree with a lot of the choices in the list, however, without the rationale for the selection of each commentary, a list is not that useful

What I recommend is to look at various recommendations for commentaries:

Commentary and Reference Survey: A Comprehensive Guide to Biblical and Theological Resources by John Glynn (2007 edition)  

New Testament Commentary Survey by D. A. Carson (2007)

Old Testament Commentary Survey by Tremper Longman III (2007)

Commentaries For Biblical Expositors by Rosscup, Dr. Jim (2003)

Guide To Biblical Commentaries and Reference Works, Revised, 7th edition, 2005 by John Evans (order from Covenant Theological Seminary’s bookstore, out of stock now but you could call)

http://parablemania.ektopos.com/archives/2005/04/series_commenta.html

I also use book reviews by: the Journal of Evangelical Theological Society (JETS), Themelios, Denver Seminary, Bibliotheca Sacra, Review of Biblical Literature, and other journals in the theological journal library

In the process, I keep in mind the theological bias of the person giving the recommendation, what he is more likely to emphasize or omit

In all those lists, there are always a few commentaries that come up again and again as highly recommended, the reviews tell me why and I check them for myself at my seminary’s library or bookstore

In collecting commentaries I seek to cover all the bases

 Technical, semi-technical, exposition

Commentaries strong in historical background, textual issues, exegesis, theology, the overall message of the book, original languages and so on

Within the evangelical spectrum, I try to get commentaries representing the best of the various views and theological traditions (when it comes to exposition of the text)

Unfortunately, while doing the above makes sense in buying print volumes, the prepub system and the bundling on resources by the publishers does not make buying individual commentary very cost effective

Fortunately, the overall quality of series like NICOT/NICNT, BECNT, WBC (despite the issues I have with the format), and Pillar NT commentaries make buying the whole set easier

While I want individual commentaries in the AB, Hermeneia, Continental commentaries, Black's New Testament Commentary, NIBC,  I cannot buy whole sets and might have to stick to print volumes that I got for a bargain

Alain

Posts 2744
Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 12 2009 1:47 PM

Alain Maashe:
What I recommend is to look at various recommendations for commentaries:

It looks they use in the list I mentioned previously some of the resources by those authors you recommend, as a basis for their lists. Thanks a lot for your advice.

Bohuslav

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