Why are there so few reformation/puritan commentaries in Logos?

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Feb 2 2014 1:09 AM

I'm preaching on John's gospel at the moment. According to my library I have 140 commentaries on that book. Even allowing for the bad data in the "publication date" field, it seems only 3 were published between 1500 and 1750:

  • Luther’s Works, Volume 24 (1537)
  • Calvin's Commentary on the Gospel according to John and John: Crossway Classic Commentaries (1553)
  • An Exposition with Notes, Unfolded and Applied, on John 17 by George Newton (1660)

That's 250 years of important church history, and I only have effectively three works (because the Crossway volume is a simplification of Calvin) - despite owning the Classic Commentaries collection, which seem often to focus entirely on the period 1850-1923.

Now it's quite possible I've missed some, but I doubt I've missed enough to nullify the point.

Some worthy commentaries that seem to be missing entirely include those by Anthony Burgess (1656), Arthur Hildersham (1628) George Hutcheson (1657), and John Trapp (1650). There must be others. Hutcheson and Trapp I'd be particularly keen to see. Trapp has been on Community pricing for a year, but has has barely got off the ground. I suspect people haven't realised he covers the whole Bible over nearly 5,000 pages, and have bid too low.

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Paul-C | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Feb 2 2014 1:42 AM

Here's a link to the Trapp commentaries Mark mentioned above:

https://www.logos.com/product/33642/trapps-commentary

I'm in! Yes

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Christian Locatell | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 3 2014 10:39 AM

Yeah, we do need to keep working on getting more classic commentaries. Unfortunately, often times the works from before the 19th century are not available to us and even scans from archive or Google books are unusable. But, we are scouring the databases to find as much as we can.

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Mike Pettit | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 3 2014 12:23 PM

Christian Locatell:

Yeah, we do need to keep working on getting more classic commentaries. Unfortunately, often times the works from before the 19th century are not available to us and even scans from archive or Google books are unusable. But, we are scouring the databases to find as much as we can.

By unusable do you mean that they cannot be OCR'd?

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Christian Locatell | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 3 2014 12:26 PM

Often times not reliably. It seems that with most of the volumes from that period that I've seen, the text is barely legible to the human eye, let alone OCR. Especially if we want quality resources, OCR does not seem to be a very good option for a lot of these documents. 

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 3 2014 2:18 PM

Christian Locatell:
Often times not reliably. It seems that with most of the volumes from that period that I've seen, the text is barely legible to the human eye, let alone OCR. Especially if we want quality resources, OCR does not seem to be a very good option for a lot of these documents. 

I understand this problem. Hutcheson was reprinted by Banner of Truth relatively recently. They didn't re-typeset it, so there'd presumably be no copyright issues in scanning their facsimile.

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Christian Locatell | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 3 2014 2:34 PM

Yeah, that's a good idea. If a modern publisher has reproduced a work without changing the text, we use them as source materials in conjunction with the original editions.

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Timothy Jang | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 3 2014 3:17 PM

Mark, I agree with you. I hope to see more materials from the time frame produced for the Logos. 

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Scott S | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 4 2014 8:28 AM

Mark Barnes:
Trapp has been on Community pricing for a year, but has has barely got off the ground. I suspect people haven't realised he covers the whole Bible over nearly 5,000 pages, and have bid too low.

What's a fair bid price?

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 4 2014 12:00 PM

Scott S:
What's a fair bid price?

It's worth whatever you're willing to pay for it Wink. Bob advises at least 1 cent per page, which would be $50 in this case - more if you're very keen, of course.

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Stephen Steele | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 4 2014 1:30 PM

Are Logos able to make use of Early English Books Online?

I would imagine it would have the vast majority of Puritan commentaries digitised (I checked and it has all those Mark mentioned).

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Scott S | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 4 2014 2:11 PM

Mark Barnes:

Scott S:
What's a fair bid price?

It's worth whatever you're willing to pay for it Wink. Bob advises at least 1 cent per page, which would be $50 in this case - more if you're very keen, of course.

Thanks Mark.

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 7 2014 10:13 AM

It's good to see that the 8 volume Classic Commentaries on Colossians upgrade, which closes next week, includes no less than three Puritan works, plus two more from the early eighteenth century.

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Christian Locatell | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 18 2014 4:05 PM

Yes, we do use that for materials when we can. Unfortunately, many of the resources on there are not legible enough for us to use. But we use it when we can.

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Joseph | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 8 2014 2:58 PM

One idea would be for Logos to create a ''Puritan Commentary Series''. Ask 2 or 3 major Reformed experts to give a list of book suggestions about commentaries from the 16th and 17th century and we'd have a great collection.

Also Don't forget that John Murray firmly was convinced that while the Puritans were worth reading for their piety and practical spirituality, there were not to be trusted exegetically.

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Liam | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 8 2014 3:09 PM

Jgrig2:
One idea would be for Logos to create a ''Puritan Commentary Series''. Ask 2 or 3 major Reformed experts to give a list of book suggestions about commentaries from the 16th and 17th century and we'd have a great collection.

This is an excellent idea! And I'd be very interested if Logos released something like this!

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Evan Boardman | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 9 2014 3:56 PM

Jgrig2:
Also Don't forget that John Murray firmly was convinced that while the Puritans were worth reading for their piety and practical spirituality, there were not to be trusted exegetically.

Not to be bunny hopping but I trust the Puritans exegetically and theology more then Murray's.

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Evan Boardman | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 9 2014 4:05 PM

Fun Fact: Murray didnt believe God ever made a covenant of works.

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Christian Locatell | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 10 2014 1:14 PM

We should be getting Murray's The Imputation of Adam's Sin into Logos soon. That is an interesting read that shows Murray's view of the Adamic administration, in which many would say Murray teaches a covenant of works (even if he took exception with the terminology). Keep an eye out!

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