Word Biblical Commentary to be $399.99 this weekend

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Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Aug 28 2019 7:04 PM

Just got this in an email tonight:

Coming Soon: WBC for $399.99

We don't want you to be caught off guard this weekend. Starting Friday August 30 and lasting only through September 3, the Word Biblical Commentary series will be over 65% off—which means you'd save a staggering $800. 

This is a great deal and as low as I think we've seen it in a long time. Regardless of how long its been, this is a great price and well worth it for those who want another solid commentary that covers virtually the entire Bible.

Pastor, North Park Baptist Church

Bridgeport, CT USA

Posts 131
Tony Walker | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 28 2019 8:26 PM

I got it on 5/22/17 for that price according to my order history. Pretty sure hasn't been that low since then. Bet they’ll be busy!

Posts 690
Jerry Bush | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 29 2019 7:11 AM

Thanks for the heads-up, Mark. I have had this on my wishlist for some time but never pulled the trigger. I am a pastor without the benefit of a theological education so I am not sure if this set would be of use to me. 

Do you have an opinion on it? I cannot read Greek or Hebrew so would this commentary be beneficial?

Win7 - - Intel Core i3, 530 @ 2 .93GHz - - 6GB RAM ATI Radeon HD Samsung 500GB SSD

Burning Bush Ministries

Posts 2834
Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 29 2019 7:54 AM

Jerry Bush:
Do you have an opinion on it?

It really depends on how you use scripture.

If you take an academic approach to your use of scripture, the set is worth the money at this price. If you are more exegetical and have a more traditional view of scripture (inerrant, inspired, etc.), you can do much better for the money. If you are in a fundamentalist church, stay the heck away from WBC. Big Smile

WBC has always had a bit of a bad reputation for the organization of the text. Moving that to Logos makes it worse (according to some) or improves it (according to others). I own about four or five WBC volumes which IMO, were some of the best ones in the set. I would not buy the entire set, even at this price, as some of the volumes are pretty bad (IMO).

If you are a professor, you'll need the set just for citation purposes (even though it is starting to be a bit dated).

You'll see both those who love it and those who hate it, along with a few of us in the middle who find parts of it useful and parts not so useful. It's your $400, and your decision.

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 10255
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 29 2019 8:03 AM

Agree with Doc B. And for any other wonder-ers.

WBC sort of sits in the middle. It's claim to fame is affordability, and not too technical. A bit more conservative, Lenski. Then the NIC series (conservative, good quality, but a bit more $$).  Moving left, ICC (older, technical ), then Hermeneia (loosey-goosey, but more coverage).

My guess, if conservative, if I compromised on WBC (affordable), I'd be starting over on NIC later.


Posts 131
Tony Walker | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 29 2019 8:03 AM

Doc B:

 If you are in a fundamentalist church, stay the heck away from WBC. Big Smile

im a full time staff at an IFB church, lol. The only commentary I ever hear is from ‘the good ol days’

Posts 131
Tony Walker | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 29 2019 8:06 AM

Is there a good acid test that you could look for to quickly know how a set leans? If one isn’t familiar with the scholarly names, maybe one or two passages to check and it’ll quickly give away what to expect as a whole?

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Paul Caneparo | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 29 2019 8:34 AM

Jerry Bush:

Thanks for the heads-up, Mark. I have had this on my wishlist for some time but never pulled the trigger. I am a pastor without the benefit of a theological education so I am not sure if this set would be of use to me. 

Do you have an opinion on it? I cannot read Greek or Hebrew so would this commentary be beneficial?

Jerry. I'm a lay pastor with no formal training, but 20+ years of preaching, etc.  I've found the ZECNT series far more satisfying if you want a technical commentary, which is also user friendly, up to date and has application pointers.  The Greek and Hebrew in the volumes don't seem to get in the way of understanding the commentaries in the ZECNT/OT series.  The New Testament volumes aren't complete though and the ZECOT Old Testament series is only just getting going.  Another big plus is that you'll be able to pick up the volumes on Ruth, James and 1, 2, 3 John for $6.98 from 1st September.

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Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 29 2019 8:42 AM

Tony Walker:

Is there a good acid test that you could look for to quickly know how a set leans? If one isn’t familiar with the scholarly names, maybe one or two passages to check and it’ll quickly give away what to expect as a whole?

A quick way to winnow would be to check the Pentateuch and see what they do with the documentary hypothesis. (WBC, incidentally, seems mostly for it.) But I've never understood the practice of only reading works that you know in advance that they already agree with you...

Posts 690
Jerry Bush | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 29 2019 9:07 AM

Thanks to all of you! I appreciate each of you taking the time to give input.

Win7 - - Intel Core i3, 530 @ 2 .93GHz - - 6GB RAM ATI Radeon HD Samsung 500GB SSD

Burning Bush Ministries

Posts 2834
Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 29 2019 9:25 AM

Tony Walker:
Is there a good acid test that you could look for to quickly know how a set leans?

There are several websites directed at commentary set reviews and such. These are usually worth consulting.

These forums are usually (not always!) helpful, depending on who sees the post. Trying to get an objective description without starting theology battles can be trying at times, but when cooler heads prevail, there is a LOT of knowledge here in the forums.

Knowing the background of the authors is also helpful. These can usually be found by google searches.

I also agree with Sean's comment about how certain (controversial) issues are handled. Pick a few that you care about (age of the earth, Jonah, Isaiah authorship, documentary hypothesis, NT use of the OT, Bultmanian de-mythologization, and so on) and take a gander.

I would also add that just because a commentator takes a stand with which you don't agree shouldn't necessarily rule out the rest of his work as useful. Certainly, a first-order gospel issue would disqualify someone (i.e., Jesus is not divine, non-trinitarian, universalist, etc.), but questions about lower-level issues should not eliminate otherwise helpful commentary or authors, IMO.

YMMV, and others will likely disagree. And FWIW, I chose the parenthetical list based on my own views which you may not share. (There are non-trinitarians on these forums who would be offended by my list. Surprise ).

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 9099
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Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 29 2019 10:48 AM

Jerry Bush:
Do you have an opinion on it? I cannot read Greek or Hebrew so would this commentary be beneficial?

Opinion: The Best Commentaries site shows WBC volumes in the top 5 for each volume most of the time. In other words, using their system of rating, you will add a lot of their top volumes on books of the Bible all at one time for a very reasonable price with this sale.

In the NT (which I've used more), the volumes on Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians and Philemon, the Pastoral Epistles, and the Epistles of John are all ones I've used with profit. Lane on Hebrews is supposed to be quite good, but I have not used it enough to have an opinion.

In terms of stance, these volumes are broadly evangelical. They are scholarly so there is interaction with more liberal theories and you will find authors you disagree with.

Greek or Hebrew needed? No.Greek and Hebrew is also translated into English.

Format: My favorite quote about the WBC comes from D. A. Carson, who says something to the effect the the WBC format will exercise one's sanctification.

Pastor, North Park Baptist Church

Bridgeport, CT USA

Posts 906
Justin Gatlin | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 29 2019 12:21 PM

Tony Walker:

Is there a good acid test that you could look for to quickly know how a set leans? If one isn’t familiar with the scholarly names, maybe one or two passages to check and it’ll quickly give away what to expect as a whole?

DA Carson's New Testament Commentary Survey for the New Testament and Tremper Longman's Old Testament Commentary Survey (which I do not like quite as well) are both valuable resources for this. For each book of the Bible, they give a rating and brief review of each commentary. Buying whole sets is not usually the best way to get started, except when doing so gives a substantial discount. 

I have both of the survey books in Kindle, but Logos is probably worth the extra money to be able to search and navigate quickly and easily. I am not sure if the entries are linked to the commentaries in Logos, but if they are, that would be a nice bonus. When I get ready to preach a new series, I always read through the relevant chapter to get a feel for the different commentaries. 

The Exegetical Summaries series or the Lexham Bible guides are also helpful, since they summarize the various commentaries positions on each verse, letting you see who falls where. 

Posts 42
Chi Shun Cheung | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 29 2019 12:34 PM

Hey Jerry,

Like Doc B said, it depends on how you read and use Scripture. 

If you are one who believes in the inerrancy of God's Word, then WBC might not be the best of use to you, because while some authors in the series do believe in inerrancy, it is quite clear that some of the authors are of the more liberal camp and do not hold strongly to inerrancy. Personally, I am a pastor too, and I believe in the inerrancy of God's Word. But I plan on getting this series because it is nevertheless a great resource but I will use it with  caution because of some to the stances of the authors.

If you are one who wants to truly exegete and explain the meaning of God's Word  and want to read authors who have a stronger stance on inerrancy, the commentaries I would recommend for the NT: The Pillar Commentary Series, The Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (BECNT), and the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (ZECNT). For the entire bible, I would recommand the New American Commentary (NAC). I would would also highly  recommend the MacArthur Commentary for the NT if you are one would would agree with his interpretations. 

I hope this helps. 

Posts 263
Greg Corbin | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 29 2019 2:44 PM

What an INCREDIBLE price for a great resource. I bought this set in print in 1994 and then again in Logos a few years back. It is extremely valuable.

Posts 640
Michael S. | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 30 2019 5:20 AM

I would like to throw in my penny (my opinion is probably not worth 2), and say that one area that I have felt that I have grown in with my Theological studies is to be brave enough to engage with works that do not align with my own positions.  I am VERY conservative, and reformed in my Theology.  And in my earliest years of going deeper, I stayed with those whom I would agree with.  However, as I have grown, I have come to appreciate the daunting task of listening to the positions and reasons of those who do not agree with me.  Let me give some quick reasons:

1.  It helps me examine my position to identify any weaknesses (holes, even).  Iron sharpens Iron- this does not happen if you are not "battling" some with other views.

2. It helps me understand why others do not believe the way I do- so I can interact with those who differ from me in a more civil way.  For example, I don't shut the door on the Jehovah's Witness that knocks on my door- because I understand what they believe, and I attempt to politely conversate with them... dialog is much better when you understand others, and also understand your own position... Know What You Believe, and Why You Believe It.

3.  People are fallible, so there are times I can be taught something.  Maybe I learn that there actually is another viewpoint that COULD be just as valid as mine.  Sometimes what we are taught is a rigid doctrinal viewpoint turns out not to be as rigid.  Maybe tradition has given a view more authority than the actual Scriptures do.  So, I have learned there are actually some gray areas that I was taught was black or white.  This could not have occurred if I did not consider other viewpoints.

But at the end of the day, I have taken the counsel of Best Commentaries, DA Carson, Challies and Ligonier when evaluating which commentaries to buy for each book of the Bible.  I have seen the wisdom of not getting whole sets (unless they are cheaper to buy the set versus buying the individual books that I would buy based on the previous recommendations).

I hope this helps, and is encouraging to you to allow other viewpoints into your study.

Posts 4
Kenneth | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 30 2019 8:54 AM

The set at $399.99 is a good deal.

If you are going to buy individual books based on the ranking at bestcommentaries.com, the total is as follows, based on the regular prices: 

  • Top 1 only - $499.87
  • Top 2 only - $279.93
  • Top 3 only - $173.95
  • Top 4 only - $501.87
  • Top 5 only - $385.90
  • The rest - $506.87
  • Total = $2,348.39

If you are only buying WBC Top 1 & 2 books at 50% off (like during the last Best Commentaries Sale), the total would be around $389.80.  Add $10.19 more, you'll get the complete set. Smile

Posts 44
Joseph Sollenberger | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 30 2019 1:10 PM

Mark Smith:
Format: My favorite quote about the WBC comes from D. A. Carson, who says something to the effect the the WBC format will exercise one's sanctification.

Liking the format and organization of complex material is very much related to personal preferences (and perhaps personality preferences), field of study and time in that field (one gets comfortable with the format over time), among other things.

For me, the WBC format makes perfect sense and is comfortable to use. The format makes it easy to focus in on the specific area of interest when the article has many pages. Digital format makes this process even faster. 

Perhaps almost four decades of reading and evaluating lab reports has done something to my brain! Big Smile

Shalom,

Joseph

Joseph F. Sollenberger, Jr.

Posts 10255
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 30 2019 2:20 PM

Michael S.:
I would like to throw in my penny (my opinion is probably not worth 2), and say that one area that I have felt that I have grown in with my Theological studies is to be brave enough to engage with works that do not align with my own positions.

I understand your point, Michael. Let me assist in sharpening your iron.

- The bulk of belief is tradition. Folks' parents, friends, etc. It's social. No one researches the world's religions for the prior 4,000 years to find the right one (except MJ).

- Christian-wise, most denominations anchor pretty decently in the writings (OT, NT). I can argue for the validity of Catholic and I can argue the same for  Mormon/LDS. Calvin and Luther. The anchors are all there in the text. Just pick your favorites. It's why the denominations stick around.

- Books have literally been written on dating the Parables of Enoch. There's only 4 clues, all bad. Both the OT and NT are similar. Well meaning churchmen just have to pick.

That's why I'm a big believer in arrange your Bible study for your beliefs. Catholic? Find the best darn software for Catholic (Verbum, of course). Baptist? Mormon? Montanist (oops, no heretic software allowed).

Explore away, but you'll be back.


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