Help in choosing commentary

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Alan | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Aug 31 2016 7:41 AM

Dear community,

I am keen on purchasing an upgrade with the Hermeneia commentary series. But it is a fortune, especially when needing to pay in South Africa Rands at almost R15 to the $1.

If the forum rules allow, please would someone post a commentary extract on one of the verses from this week's RC lectionary reading, Luke 14:26. I would like to compare that to my other commentary sets.

Regards and blessings.

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 31 2016 7:50 AM

That's a fair request Alan. I totally feel for you as I've been in South Africa in each of the past couple of years and am fully aware at the challenge of the Rand.

Here is a copy of the Hermeneia for Luke 14:26. There is more information about the broader section but this is what is written for that specific verse. Hope it helps.

■ 16–27 Verse 26 makes an excellent connection with v. 25: it is not enough to “come to me,” that is, to “travel with me”; one must also have broken with one’s past. A person must not have a divided heart, pulled in opposite directions, and cannot serve two masters at the same time. The disciple must make a choice. Choosing means knowing how to give things up, and especially how to part with them (see 9:61–62; 16:13).
By making use of the verb “hate,” the text shocks and outrages us. The more pedagogical Matthean parallel is argued by means of a comparison: we must prefer Christ to our family. The Lukan text, on the other hand, works through contrast and opposition. And it has its truth: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (see 12:34). Believing that we could love everything at the same time would be tantamount to succumbing to the fantasy of being all-powerful. There are unconditional attachments that can be lived only to the detriment of other ties. To be sure, the verb “hate” probably reflects a Semitic origin, and the Semitic languages often use contrasts to express things our languages would express by a comparative degree of preferences (so in that case Matthew made a satisfactory “translation”).40 But by refusing to “translate,” the Hellenist Luke preserved the power of the truth that he expressed through the use of emotive opposition. He knew that everything that does not belong to the world of the being who is loved becomes a source of irritation and the breaking of relationships. How, then, can one reconcile this new order with the old commandment to love one’s parents and quite simply with the commandment to love one’s neighbor? There are four complementary answers: (1) The Decalogue also lays down a love of God that sets priorities and is exclusive (the first commandment). (2) The family circle, like every reality of this world, can   p 387  turn inward, excluding transcendence and one’s neighbor. It then becomes idolatrous, and thus God’s enemy. In that case, the rupture with that social reality42 signifies liberation and especially faithfulness to God. (3) Next, the aforementioned hate does not attack persons, but what they represent (social isolation, hierarchical roles). It finds its culmination, let us not forget, in “hating” oneself. (4) Set apart for God, the Levites also had to leave their families (Deut 33:9–10). Jesus may have been influenced by that requirement, as were the monks of Qumran (cf. 4QTestimonia [4Q175] 15–17). So Jesus did not suggest subjecting one’s family to public contempt in order to favor the blossoming of one’s own personality. Instead, he considered dying to one’s family and to oneself to represent the negative aspect of becoming a disciple, just as Good Friday is necessary for Easter.
Nevertheless, like certain philosophers, Jesus advocated breaking family ties—in an age when one’s aged parents needed the support of their adult children and when children who were minors depended on their parents.
What, then, does it mean to “be a disciple”? We should note that the text does not speak of “becoming a disciple,” since that expression would suggest that such becoming depended on ourselves. Rather, “being a disciple” means being accepted by the Master. For that to happen, we must be here and not elsewhere; attentive and not distracted. One must be ready to learn, not from human but from divine wisdom; not in the course of an intellectual learning, but a global one, involving the head, heart, will, and body. What a tremendous event! To explain this, the New Testament appeals to various images: undressing, dying, leaving, not turning back, and hating.45
“Hating” is tantamount to “leaving.” The crowds who came to him (v. 26), traveled with him (v. 25). What had to be added, in order for them to join him and to have fellowship with him that was genuine and lasting, was the unavoidable element of parting with what was closest to their hearts. In this connection hate is not, in the first instance, an emotion; it is an act.48 Once the break has been made and we have gone through the tunnel of Good Friday, the light of Easter can make possible loving others, including our family, no longer as a closed circle but as relatives in Christ and as God’s creatures. But we must not cut corners.
The list of family members differs from one tradition to another, from one Gospel to another. The triple tradition   p 388  (Matt 19:29 par. Mark 10:29 par. Luke 18:29) begins with the inclusive notion of “house,” before proceeding to distinguish generations and curiously fitting “fields” into the enumeration. The double tradition was unacquainted with the house and the fields but began with father and mother and ended with children. Brothers and sisters, absent from the parallel in Matthew, were probably imported here by Luke from the triple tradition (since logically they should have come before rather than after children). Luke’s originality,50 the mark of his radicalism, is the mention of the wife and oneself: the wife that a man chose, even if the choice was not as free then as it is today, and oneself, the person one prefers. The mention of “oneself” also serves as a hermeneutical safeguard. Make no mistake about it, the hate in question does not correspond to the break made by the prodigal son, since he acted out of self-love (15:13).
Luke did not create the phrase “cannot be my disciple” (it was Matthew who interpreted it as “is not worthy of me”). Luke took it up here and made it explicit in terms of “coming” to Christ,53 of accompanying him and loving him.


Bovon, F. (2013). Luke 2: A Commentary on the Gospel of Luke 9:51–19:27. (H. Koester, Ed., D. S. Deer, Trans.) (pp. 386–388). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

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Allen Browne | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 31 2016 7:55 AM

Did yo notice that Hermeneia is included as part of the Platinum base package? Would that make it a more attractive possibility for you?

There's quite a bit on the structure of the passage, but the relevant commentary runs like this:

François Bovon, Luke 2: A Commentary on the Gospel of Luke 9:51–19:27, ed. Helmut Koester, trans. Donald S. Deer, Hermeneia—A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2013), 386–388:

Verse 26 makes an excellent connection with v. 25: it is not enough to “come to me,” that is, to “travel with me”; one must also have broken with one’s past. A person must not have a divided heart, pulled in opposite directions, and cannot serve two masters at the same time. The disciple must make a choice. Choosing means knowing how to give things up, and especially how to part with them (see 9:61–62; 16:13).
By making use of the verb “hate,” the text shocks and outrages us. The more pedagogical Matthean parallel is argued by means of a comparison: we must prefer Christ to our family. The Lukan text, on the other hand, works through contrast and opposition. And it has its truth: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (see 12:34). Believing that we could love everything at the same time would be tantamount to succumbing to the fantasy of being all-powerful. There are unconditional attachments that can be lived only to the detriment of other ties. To be sure, the verb “hate” probably reflects a Semitic origin, and the Semitic languages often use contrasts to express things our languages would express by a comparative degree of preferences (so in that case Matthew made a satisfactory “translation”).40 But by refusing to “translate,” the Hellenist Luke preserved the power of the truth that he expressed through the use of emotive opposition. He knew that everything that does not belong to the world of the being who is loved becomes a source of irritation and the breaking of relationships. How, then, can one reconcile this new order with the old commandment to love one’s parents and quite simply with the commandment to love one’s neighbor? There are four complementary answers: (1) The Decalogue also lays down a love of God that sets priorities and is exclusive (the first commandment). (2) The family circle, like every reality of this world, can   p 387  turn inward, excluding transcendence and one’s neighbor. It then becomes idolatrous, and thus God’s enemy. In that case, the rupture with that social reality42 signifies liberation and especially faithfulness to God. (3) Next, the aforementioned hate does not attack persons, but what they represent (social isolation, hierarchical roles). It finds its culmination, let us not forget, in “hating” oneself. (4) Set apart for God, the Levites also had to leave their families (Deut 33:9–10). Jesus may have been influenced by that requirement, as were the monks of Qumran (cf. 4QTestimonia [4Q175] 15–17). So Jesus did not suggest subjecting one’s family to public contempt in order to favor the blossoming of one’s own personality. Instead, he considered dying to one’s family and to oneself to represent the negative aspect of becoming a disciple, just as Good Friday is necessary for Easter.
Nevertheless, like certain philosophers, Jesus advocated breaking family ties—in an age when one’s aged parents needed the support of their adult children and when children who were minors depended on their parents.
What, then, does it mean to “be a disciple”? We should note that the text does not speak of “becoming a disciple,” since that expression would suggest that such becoming depended on ourselves. Rather, “being a disciple” means being accepted by the Master. For that to happen, we must be here and not elsewhere; attentive and not distracted. One must be ready to learn, not from human but from divine wisdom; not in the course of an intellectual learning, but a global one, involving the head, heart, will, and body. What a tremendous event! To explain this, the New Testament appeals to various images: undressing, dying, leaving, not turning back, and hating.45
“Hating” is tantamount to “leaving.” The crowds who came to him (v. 26), traveled with him (v. 25). What had to be added, in order for them to join him and to have fellowship with him that was genuine and lasting, was the unavoidable element of parting with what was closest to their hearts. In this connection hate is not, in the first instance, an emotion; it is an act.48 Once the break has been made and we have gone through the tunnel of Good Friday, the light of Easter can make possible loving others, including our family, no longer as a closed circle but as relatives in Christ and as God’s creatures. But we must not cut corners.
The list of family members differs from one tradition to another, from one Gospel to another. The triple tradition   p 388  (Matt 19:29 par. Mark 10:29 par. Luke 18:29) begins with the inclusive notion of “house,” before proceeding to distinguish generations and curiously fitting “fields” into the enumeration. The double tradition was unacquainted with the house and the fields but began with father and mother and ended with children. Brothers and sisters, absent from the parallel in Matthew, were probably imported here by Luke from the triple tradition (since logically they should have come before rather than after children). Luke’s originality,50 the mark of his radicalism, is the mention of the wife and oneself: the wife that a man chose, even if the choice was not as free then as it is today, and oneself, the person one prefers. The mention of “oneself” also serves as a hermeneutical safeguard. Make no mistake about it, the hate in question does not correspond to the break made by the prodigal son, since he acted out of self-love (15:13).
Luke did not create the phrase “cannot be my disciple” (it was Matthew who interpreted it as “is not worthy of me”). Luke took it up here and made it explicit in terms of “coming” to Christ,53 of accompanying him and loving him.



Posts 21
Alan | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 31 2016 7:55 AM

Thanks so much for the prompt reply!

Posts 21
Alan | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 31 2016 8:06 AM

Allen Browne:

Did yo notice that Hermeneia is included as part of the Platinum base package? Would that make it a more attractive possibility for you?

Yes, that's what I'm looking at, but even with the dynamic pricing and academic discount it will cost $874 or a very scary R12,600. I'm sure it's worth every cent, but it is a massive layout, even with the payment options.

Posts 125
Dave Colclough | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 31 2016 8:41 AM

Hermeneia and Continental Commentaries are also in Lutherian Gold (although it may not be all of the series as it's labelled as having only 'some'), that might be a cheaper option though. https://www.logos.com/product/81173/lutheran-gold

Posts 298
LogosEmployee
Matthew Miller | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 31 2016 8:46 AM

Dave C.:

Hermeneia and Continental Commentaries are also in Lutherian Gold (although it may not be all of the series as it's labelled as having only 'some'), that might be a cheaper option though. https://www.logos.com/product/81173/lutheran-gold

I can confirm that Lutheran Gold has the entire Hermeneia and Continental Commentary series.

Posts 3270
Mattillo | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 31 2016 9:42 AM

Matthew Miller:

Dave C.:

Hermeneia and Continental Commentaries are also in Lutherian Gold (although it may not be all of the series as it's labelled as having only 'some'), that might be a cheaper option though. https://www.logos.com/product/81173/lutheran-gold

I can confirm that Lutheran Gold has the entire Hermeneia and Continental Commentary series.

When I look at the Lutheran Gold package and then at the Hermeneia/Continental it says next to it that "Only Some Resources from this collection are included"

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