MM: Let's get serious for a second about commentaries...

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Posts 149
Alexander Fogassy | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Mar 13 2018 6:46 AM

This March I am probably going to drop some serious cash on a few commentaries... what I'm trying to figure out are the best ones.

Bestcommentaries.com seems to indicate that WBC, NICOT/NT, TOTC, and NAC are typically the top 1 or 2 commentaries for each book. (I already own TOTC, but no other in that list).

I am an inerrency affirming evangelical Christian to the core. I don't know what bestcommenataries' disposition is. I read on the Logos description page of some of these (like the NICOT/NT) that the authors are all inerrency believing scholars as well. That makes me extremely interested. The WBC says that the authors all believe in "divine revelation." Still good. 

Yes, a critical commentary (like the Herm series?) is helpful, but right now I'm interested in the best that Evangelicalism has to offer. 

So, that being said...what are your thoughts?

Alex

Posts 966
Reuben Helmuth | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 13 2018 6:54 AM

I've had NICOT/NICNT for quite a while and it's they're definitely my #1 commentaries. That said, I just got WBC (through organizational channels, not MM) and am really excited to start using it as well.

If you're planning to "lay down cash," I'll give NICOT/NICNT a big thumbs up!

Posts 85
Robert Bigouette | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 13 2018 7:04 AM

My go to's are the BKC, NAC, EBC, and warming up to the HNTC and HOTC.

Posts 541
Ryan | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 13 2018 7:06 AM

I realize that commentary favorites are as subjective as preferred Bible translations and everyone has a strong opinion, but if all my commentary sets were taken away and I was told I could only have one back, I would choose NICOT/NICNT.

Posts 525
Paul Caneparo | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 13 2018 7:17 AM

Alexander Fogassy:

This March I am probably going to drop some serious cash on a few commentaries... what I'm trying to figure out are the best ones.

Bestcommentaries.com seems to indicate that WBC, NICOT/NT, TOTC, and NAC are typically the top 1 or 2 commentaries for each book. (I already own TOTC, but no other in that list).

I am an inerrency affirming evangelical Christian to the core. I don't know what bestcommenataries' disposition is. I read on the Logos description page of some of these (like the NICOT/NT) that the authors are all inerrency believing scholars as well. That makes me extremely interested. The WBC says that the authors all believe in "divine revelation." Still good. 

Yes, a critical commentary (like the Herm series?) is helpful, but right now I'm interested in the best that Evangelicalism has to offer. 

So, that being said...what are your thoughts?

Alex

Alex

I'm a lay preacher, with it sounds like a similar theological persuasion as you.  What you chose will depend on the amount you want to spend and what you will be using the resources for.

If I were starting again, from the sale I'd be buying:

1 ZECNT great mix of in depth commentary and application for preaching

2 Reformed Expository Commentary. Commentary in the form of sermons.

3 I would then chose between NICOT/NT, Expositors Bible and Pillar. Obviously Pillar is only NT so you might want to chose one of the former with NIC being more highly regarded generally.

I love the Boice commentaries but there seems to be a sale on these every now and then at a better price.

These things are very personal though.

Posts 2275
Andy | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 13 2018 7:49 AM

Of the commentaries you mention, I would recommend NICOT/NT as most closely fitting your brief. WBC is, taken as a whole, a solid set, but is perhaps a little more uneven. The format of WBC is a little frustrating (in my opinion).

Others have mentioned ZECNT, which, again, taken as a whole, is a good set. However, the series will not (quite obviously) give you the coverage of the NICOT/NT (or WBC, for that matter).

In terms of other options, personally, I find the NAC to be somewhat patchy (in terms of quality). However, and to be fair, the series is designed to address a very different need to either WBC and NICOT/NT. I do find that NAC decently complements my more weighty commentary sets for the purposes of sermon and bible study prep.

I like the Reformed Expository Commentary, however - and in my opinion - the set is inadequate for serious study. Once again, I do use some of the stronger entries to complement my work with the heavy sets (NICOT/NT, BECNT, WBC, etc.).

Just my opinion!

Posts 610
Kevin A Lewis | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 13 2018 7:56 AM

Alexander Fogassy:

I don't know what bestcommenataries' disposition is.

As someone responsible for the BestCommentaries information content I can say that it doesn't really have 'a disposition' as such. The reviews are those of notable scholars (as indicated), users of the site and scraped from Amazon. So it is down to all its contributors how the reviews sound and the ratings come out.

I too would rate myself as an inerrancy adherent and believe also infallible on matters that it covers and in the manner the scripture covers it. So I can sympathise. I have however found it useful to engage with all opinions - it rather depends on the purpose for you study in the first place; personal devotion, bible background study, preparation for house group meeting, sermon prep. or even academic research. All need different commentaries from different sources and opinions. I even find the Jewish rabbinic sources of great help as they see things SO differently.

Shalom Kevin

Posts 1456
David Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 13 2018 8:04 AM

Alexander Fogassy:
I am an inerrency affirming evangelical Christian to the core.

Alex,

I am in your same camp! Trained in the Moody Bible Institute/Dallas Theological Seminary tradition and currently in doctoral studies at a SBC seminary.

I currently own Pillar and NAC because of earlier Base Package configurations and recently completed TOTC/TNTC in my digital library. I've been a logos user since 2003 and have watched sales come and go. I have never entered a payment plan in all that time but I am seriously looking to do so after NICOT/NT wins MM (hopefully).

In order to have depth of scholarship and breadth of the Cannon, I plan to call customer service and get the best deal I can on NICOT/NT and WBC. even if $120 (24 months at $5 service charge) is added to the total cost I believe now is the time to lock in pricing. Having these 5 sets partnered with the Faithlife Connect (no resources) will provide resources, datasets & features for the foreseeable future.

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 13 2018 8:14 AM

Andy:
Of the commentaries you mention, I would recommend NICOT/NT as most closely fitting your brief.

I agree with this.

Using adventure and community to challenge young people to continually say "yes" to God

Posts 149
Alexander Fogassy | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 13 2018 8:19 AM

Thank you all, this is quite helpful. 

Anyone have further on the WBC? what makes it great, what purpose does it serve, and why do people like/don't like it? 

Another thing I should mention is that I'm also dispenstionalist to the core...so the EEC might also be worthwhile (as they come out...frustrating). 

My interest is not so much preaching...I am in seminary with the goal towards one day teaching at the university/seminary level. Not sure if this distinction matters, but I am not interested in commentaries that have cool alliterations for each pericope..(not that there is anything wrong with that!)

Alex

Posts 149
Alexander Fogassy | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 13 2018 8:23 AM

David Thomas:

Alexander Fogassy:
I am an inerrency affirming evangelical Christian to the core.

Alex,

I am in your same camp! Trained in the Moody Bible Institute/Dallas Theological Seminary tradition and currently in doctoral studies at a SBC seminary.

I currently own Pillar and NAC because of earlier Base Package configurations and recently completed TOTC/TNTC in my digital library. I've been a logos user since 2003 and have watched sales come and go. I have never entered a payment plan in all that time but I am seriously looking to do so after NICOT/NT wins MM (hopefully).

In order to have depth of scholarship and breadth of the Cannon, I plan to call customer service and get the best deal I can on NICOT/NT and WBC. even if $120 (24 months at $5 service charge) is added to the total cost I believe now is the time to lock in pricing. Having these 5 sets partnered with the Faithlife Connect (no resources) will provide resources, datasets & features for the foreseeable future.

David, this is fantastic info. What do you think of the EEC with regards to dispensational thought?

Posts 541
Ryan | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 13 2018 8:25 AM

Alexander Fogassy:

Anyone have further on the WBC? what makes it great, what purpose does it serve, and why do people like/don't like it? 

I have the entire WBC set, while there are some volumes that are a bit "uneven" and others that are quite solid, I think my biggest critique of it is the way that it is laid out. To get the information you are looking for you often have to look in multiple locations depending on if it's categorized as "form/structure/setting," "comment," or "explanation." (Not to mention the sections on translation and notes.)

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 13 2018 8:33 AM

Any commentary set will be uneven: some volumes will be very good, others not so much.

If I were you, I'd create a long-term plan for myself to get NICOT/NT and WBC. To those I'd add the Pillar Commentary series. (I'm preaching through John right now and Carson on John is excellent!) 

I've found WBC to sometimes wander too far into some of the less "inerrency affirming" textual views than I'm comfortable with, or that I'm even interested in. In spite of that, and the way the commentary is formatted, it's often quite helpful. For me, it's almost never the first commentary I go to. I will check in, if there are matters in the text my other commentaries aren't resolving.

I'd also strongly suggest getting the NET Bible with notes, as well as a couple of good study Bibles. Sometimes something very succinct is more helpful than a lengthy discussion - especially on a minor point. (For example, I don't always need a lengthy discussion on all the possible proposed actual locations of the pool of Bethesda.)

Another thing I always have tabbed in one of my panes is a good Bible Background Commentary. IVP has a good one and Zondervan has one that is even more extensive.

You may find some of these included in a base package, so look for them. Sometimes buying a base package is the most cost effective way of getting what you want (even if you also get stuff you're not interested in - yet).

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

Posts 209
Charlene | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 13 2018 8:40 AM

Rich DeRuiter:
I've found WBC to sometimes wander too far into some of the less "inerrency affirming" textual views than I'm comfortable with, or that I'm even interested in.

With one first purchase of a WBC, that is what I found out! I was so disappointed and since that experience I have not wanted to purchase ANY, until I had to for my dissertation.

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Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 13 2018 8:55 AM

Alex, the NICOT/NT is evangelicalism's best overall effort so far. Pillar and Baker Exegetical are of the same rank but don't yet cover as much of the Bible as the NIC. You really should own it.

The WBC has a range of views and is more uneven IMO than NIC, plus its format is vexing. If I could have just one of these two it would definitely be NIC.

NAC is good but slightly less of a scholarly commentary than NIC. It is stronger in comparison in the OT than the NT.

I don't find Hermeneia very useful, nor Anchor, so I'd gladly skip those. (If you are writing commentaries or teaching in seminary you'd need them.)

The EEC is a puzzle to me. I don't own much of it. What I do own doesn't excite me about owning more. Those I have aren't wrong or unscholarly, just not in the top rank and therefore not ones I'll use.

Pastor, North Park Baptist Church

Bridgeport, CT USA

Posts 1938
Beloved | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 13 2018 9:56 AM

Mark Smith:
The WBC has a range of views and is more uneven IMO than NIC, plus its format is vexing. If I could have just one of these two it would definitely be NIC.

Maybe its because I obtained WBC before NIC, but I find myself sticking exclusively to WBC. Its coverage of language issues is superior to NIC IMHO. So, if I could own only one it would be WBC. 

Meanwhile, Jesus kept on growing wiser and more mature, and in favor with God and his fellow man.

International Standard Version. (2011). (Lk 2:52). Yorba Linda, CA: ISV Foundation.

Posts 525
Paul Caneparo | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 13 2018 10:10 AM

Alexander Fogassy:

Thank you all, this is quite helpful. 

Anyone have further on the WBC? what makes it great, what purpose does it serve, and why do people like/don't like it? 

Another thing I should mention is that I'm also dispenstionalist to the core...so the EEC might also be worthwhile (as they come out...frustrating). 

My interest is not so much preaching...I am in seminary with the goal towards one day teaching at the university/seminary level. Not sure if this distinction matters, but I am not interested in commentaries that have cool alliterations for each pericope..(not that there is anything wrong with that!)

Alex

I'd say NIC then. The Revised Expositors Bible Commentary has authors with dispensationalist leanings and covers the whole Bible, but isn't as thorough in its treatment of each book as the NIC.

Posts 9256
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 13 2018 10:21 AM

Beloved:

Mark Smith:
The WBC has a range of views and is more uneven IMO than NIC, plus its format is vexing. If I could have just one of these two it would definitely be NIC.

Maybe its because I obtained WBC before NIC, but I find myself sticking exclusively to WBC. Its coverage of language issues is superior to NIC IMHO. So, if I could own only one it would be WBC. 

Well, Beloved, I guess I disagree maybe?

 I can't imagine inerrancy and WBC in the same sentence. In fact, I often find Herm more conservative than WBC. I'm not an inerrancy person (nor an errancy person). Early Christians appear quite comfortable with textual varients.


Posts 149
Alexander Fogassy | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 13 2018 11:02 AM

Another question I have is regarding the NIGTC...bestcommentaries.com seems to often have this series as the 2nd best commentary for NT books. 

I have the Silver right now but am considering the Gold because I'll get the ACCS, AYBD, and most of the NIGTC. 

Any thoughts on this series, given my background interests? 

Alex

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