Would be nice to have ranking next to the commentaries

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Posts 230
1Cor10:31 | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Dec 8 2020 3:55 PM

When I open Passage Guide, thanks to Matt Barnes, the commentaries are grouped in a logical order (I don’t have L9 yet where I understand many groupings are possible). For a layman, it will be nice to see some sort of rank attached next to it. I know NIC, in general, is good. But even many top commentary series have some big misses.

 

When I’m digging into a verse, I use BestCommentaries.com to see the top 10 and then go through it one by one. It would be a time saver if the rank is attached next to the commentary. Since Logos recently had a sale on the top 10 commentaries as ranked by this website, it is safe to assume that they do like this site. I know the rank moves around a bit, but that’s ok. How about picking the rank as of Dec 31st and then attaching it for the following year? Effectively, update the ranks once a year.

 

I would appreciate the time saving that comes with  providing a ranking next to the commentaries.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 8 2020 4:37 PM

NDD:
When I’m digging into a verse, I use BestCommentaries.com to see the top 10 and then go through it one by one. It would be a time saver if the rank is attached next to the commentary.

No thank you. Best Commentaries has no basis for authority and would be akin to Faithlife explicitly supporting one particular theology above others. Were there a site that gave neutral academic rankings that treating many types of criticism as being of equal value, I would reconsider my position.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 11433
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 8 2020 4:37 PM

Sounds like a great opportunity for collections.

Certainly 'Best Commentaries' appeals to many, especially during purchase. But it's a particular perspective (avoiding theo-logical discussions).

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

Posts 230
1Cor10:31 | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 8 2020 5:09 PM

I am a nobody, so I need to rely on experts to tell me where to spend my time. There are 50-100 commentaries on each book. Certainly most people don't have time to read that many. When I get stuck in a verse, I will read 5-10 commentaries to get an idea of what people are saying.

Here is one for the NT: https://www.logos.com/product/151680/new-testament-commentary-survey-7th-ed

Here is one for the OT: https://www.logos.com/product/31954/old-testament-commentary-survey-5th-ed

There are others by RC Sproul, John Piper etc. Pick your favorite. I am fine with having multiple rankings too. Just like sorting commentaries by denominational background of author, we could have sorting based on different rankings.

The point is that it would be helpful to have some sort of rankings next to it. It saves time for people who don't know the ins and outs.

Posts 643
John Kaess | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 8 2020 5:33 PM

I have tagged the top 2 or 3 commentaries for each book of the Bible as recommended in the two resources listed below and in addition, I tase the top 3 listed on Best Commentaries

NDD:

I then built a collection with all commentaries that have any of those tags and have that collection in the passage and exegetical guide.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 8 2020 5:57 PM

NDD:
I am a nobody, so I need to rely on experts to tell me where to spend my time.

Yes, but you are the expert on what you want to know ... which any experts must know before they can make recommendations. For example:

  • do you want to read that which will reinforce what you already believe so that you can better defend it?
  • do you want to read the most recent material so you know what people are currently arguing about?
  • do you want to read a new approach to the material so that you can learn new skills to bring to the text?
  • do you want to read a historical survey of interpretations (reception history) so you know what has been thought over time?
  • do you want to something that challenges you current beliefs so that you can test them for validity and truthfulness?
  • ... this list still could grow significantly but you should get the point.

NDD:
The point is that it would be helpful to have some sort of rankings next to it. It saves time for people who don't know the ins and outs.
I agree with this but am uncertain what kind of ranking could be meaningful.  There are certain publishers that I assume their resources are junk until proven otherwise. Other Logos users consider those same publishers among the best.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 1397
Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 8 2020 6:13 PM

MJ. Smith:
No thank you. Best Commentaries has no basis for authority and would be akin to Faithlife explicitly supporting one particular theology above others. Were there a site that gave neutral academic rankings that treating many types of criticism as being of equal value, I would reconsider my position.

+100% to all that MJ has said. Moreover, personally, why I am studying and what I am trying to find out has a great deal of bearing on which particular commentary is "best" for that purpose. Sometimes I really need an exegetical commentary; sometimes I need an expository one. Sometimes I need a critical one, and sometimes I need the opposite. Sometimes I wanting cutting-edge scholarship; sometimes I need the insights from a particular era.

Think of a range of commentaries as like a toolbox; it's rather arbitrary to say that a hammer is better than a screwdriver. Certainly there is a range of quality within commentaries of a certain type, but what you (or Best Commentaries) might consider the best I might think the opposite. It's better for everyone just to learn their libraries rather than forcing another schema on it.

Posts 9186
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 8 2020 6:17 PM

As you mentioned, there will always be BIG misses even in the “best” commentaries.  That’s why rankings are subjective.  Sometimes the best insights will be found in a commentary that’s not even listed in the top 100.

Remember, study the text on your own then check commentaries.  Most layman students of the Bible think studying the Bible means you read the top commentaries first.

Best wishes in your studies!

DAL

Posts 754
Brad | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 8 2020 6:47 PM

MJ. Smith:

  • do you want to read that which will reinforce what you already believe so that you can better defend it?
  • do you want to read the most recent material so you know what people are currently arguing about?
  • do you want to read a new approach to the material so that you can learn new skills to bring to the text?
  • do you want to read a historical survey of interpretations (reception history) so you know what has been thought over time?
  • do you want to something that challenges you current beliefs so that you can test them for validity and truthfulness?
  • ... 

Yes I do!!  Wink  That's why I buy too many commentaries!  This brief list is great example of some of benefits of consulting a variety of commentaries.  Nicely crafted, as usual, MJ.

Posts 230
1Cor10:31 | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 8 2020 7:15 PM

Before I can respond, could somebody please tell me how to include snippets of others' replies in my own (like you all seem to do)? Thank you.

Posts 186
TWBeining | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 8 2020 7:25 PM

NDD:

When I open Passage Guide, thanks to Matt Barnes, the commentaries are grouped in a logical order (I don’t have L9 yet where I understand many groupings are possible). For a layman, it will be nice to see some sort of rank attached next to it. I know NIC, in general, is good. But even many top commentary series have some big misses.

 

When I’m digging into a verse, I use BestCommentaries.com to see the top 10 and then go through it one by one. It would be a time saver if the rank is attached next to the commentary. Since Logos recently had a sale on the top 10 commentaries as ranked by this website, it is safe to assume that they do like this site. I know the rank moves around a bit, but that’s ok. How about picking the rank as of Dec 31st and then attaching it for the following year? Effectively, update the ranks once a year.

 

I would appreciate the time saving that comes with  providing a ranking next to the commentaries.

While I understand your thoughts on this I have to think it's not a good idea (in my opinion). I fear the bias that it could create in different Christian groups (traditions). I would not want to stare at this listing in my library every time I just wanted to browse around.

I think the best solutions to this are to be found in collections as suggested above by Denise, tagging or a combination of both. You could also edit the resource name to add a number or something before the title to help you with this. Personally I would go with collections or tagging or both.

Just my 3 Copper Abe's worth.

Tim

Posts 6136
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 8 2020 7:25 PM

NDD:

Before I can respond, could somebody please tell me how to include snippets of others' replies in my own (like you all seem to do)? Thank you.

Click to Respond, then click on "Quote".

“The trouble is that everyone talks about reforming others and no one thinks about reforming himself.” St. Peter of Alcántara

Posts 230
1Cor10:31 | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 8 2020 7:50 PM

Thanks SineNomine. When I hit "Quote" the following came up. I tried putting my response in various spots (within the square parentheses; removing the parenetheses,...) and I could never get Forum to accept my post. Could you please point out what mistake I could be making?

SineNomine:

NDD:

Before I can respond, could somebody please tell me how to include snippets of others' replies in my own (like you all seem to do)? Thank you.

Click to Respond, then click on "Quote".

Posts 230
1Cor10:31 | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 8 2020 8:12 PM

MJ. Smith:

NDD:
I am a nobody, so I need to rely on experts to tell me where to spend my time.

Yes, but you are the expert on what you want to know ... which any experts must know before they can make recommendations. For example:

  • do you want to read that which will reinforce what you already believe so that you can better defend it?
  • do you want to read the most recent material so you know what people are currently arguing about?
  • do you want to read a new approach to the material so that you can learn new skills to bring to the text?
  • do you want to read a historical survey of interpretations (reception history) so you know what has been thought over time?
  • do you want to something that challenges you current beliefs so that you can test them for validity and truthfulness?
  • ... this list still could grow significantly but you should get the point.

Till just a few years back, I didn’t think I was smart enough to be able to read the Bible and come to independent conclusions. I took the various pastors at face value without questioning anything. Then a few dominoes fell in place. First, I was reading a book on how to read the Bible and it struck me that researching the Bible is very similar to researching Finance (which I do for a living). The main difference is the tools. Second, one of my fellow academic found it hard to believe that a logical person like me would believe in God. I thought that if I am logical, my God must be infinitely more logical. So I started trying to understand the “why” behind God’s decisions. Asking “why” comes naturally to all academics. As I made progress, I realized that some of my beliefs fell apart and some of my beliefs became rock solid because I could derive a logical basis for my belief.

Bringing it back together, the purpose I read commentaries is to ensure that the doctrine is not based on wrong interpretation.

Surely, I don’t want to reinvent the wheel. Therefore, I would like to know the history. I’ve thought about the counterpoint series: https://www.logos.com/product/183828/zondervan-counterpoints-series. I am interested in knowing about other good resources.

NDD:
The point is that it would be helpful to have some sort of rankings next to it. It saves time for people who don't know the ins and outs.
I agree with this but am uncertain what kind of ranking could be meaningful.  There are certain publishers that I assume their resources are junk until proven otherwise. Other Logos users consider those same publishers among the best.

Posts 230
1Cor10:31 | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 8 2020 8:31 PM

Sean:

MJ. Smith:
No thank you. Best Commentaries has no basis for authority and would be akin to Faithlife explicitly supporting one particular theology above others. Were there a site that gave neutral academic rankings that treating many types of criticism as being of equal value, I would reconsider my position.

+100% to all that MJ has said. Moreover, personally, why I am studying and what I am trying to find out has a great deal of bearing on which particular commentary is "best" for that purpose. Sometimes I really need an exegetical commentary; sometimes I need an expository one. Sometimes I need a critical one, and sometimes I need the opposite. Sometimes I wanting cutting-edge scholarship; sometimes I need the insights from a particular era.

Think of a range of commentaries as like a toolbox; it's rather arbitrary to say that a hammer is better than a screwdriver. Certainly there is a range of quality within commentaries of a certain type, but what you (or Best Commentaries) might consider the best I might think the opposite. It's better for everyone just to learn their libraries rather than forcing another schema on it.

I completely agree that it is good to read a range of commentaries. I've ready badly-ranked commentaries and found good takeaways. But there are times when time is in short supply, you want a ranking to help you make the best use of the time.

I have no intention of imposing my preference on anybody. That is why I prefer multiple rankings being available.

Posts 230
1Cor10:31 | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 8 2020 8:37 PM

DAL:

As you mentioned, there will always be BIG misses even in the “best” commentaries.  That’s why rankings are subjective.  Sometimes the best insights will be found in a commentary that’s not even listed in the top 100.

Remember, study the text on your own then check commentaries.  Most layman students of the Bible think studying the Bible means you read the top commentaries first.

Best wishes in your studies!

DAL

I agree with you as I've also found nuggets in unranked commentaries. Nobody has unlimited time, thus we need to prioritize. That is where I'm coming from. 

Posts 19717
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 8 2020 8:52 PM

NDD:

Thanks SineNomine. When I hit "Quote" the following came up. I tried putting my response in various spots (within the square parentheses; removing the parenetheses,...) and I could never get Forum to accept my post. Could you please point out what mistake I could be making?

SineNomine:

NDD:

Before I can respond, could somebody please tell me how to include snippets of others' replies in my own (like you all seem to do)? Thank you.

Click to Respond, then click on "Quote".

Some more tips:

1. If you select a portion of the person's post before clicking "Quote" it will quote just that portion.

2. If you want to quote more than one portion and intersperse your answers in the reply, I find it easiest to open a duplicate tab (most browsers will let you do this -- look for a command on the right-click menu if you right-click on the current tab), and then create my response to a second portion of the person posts there, but don't post it, just copy it all and then paste it back into my active tab where I'm working on my full response.

3. The markup code has to have all the quote tags properly matched. Open-square-bracket quote user="SineNomine" close-square-bracket to begin or open a quoted bit and open-square-bracket /quote close-square-bracket to end or close it. With the name of whomever you're quoting where I've put SineNomine. No spaces anywhere in there (except between quote and user, or within the quotation marks for the person's name). If you have nested quote tags, they also have to be properly matched: e.g., open-open-open-close-close-close instead of open-open-close-close-close. Just like you would need to do with parentheses in a math equation ((())) not (())).

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 8 2020 9:20 PM

NDD:
I have no intention of imposing my preference on anybody. That is why I prefer multiple rankings being available.

You can Prioritize commentaries and they will appear in that order in the Commentaries section (under Priority). You can have multiple collections of commentaries, and prioritize the top 5 -10 in each collection. This gives you a more refined ranking, where you separate the top 50 or so from the bottom 50 or so. But you can sort each collection by Era, Type or Author/Denomination in the guide, as a further refinement.

Dave
===

Windows 11 & Android 8

Posts 1275
xnman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 9 2020 4:15 AM

Maybe I'm still fumbling around in my mind... But...I don't pay attention to many rankings of "Bibles, commentaries, books" by most people. It takes me longer, but I "don't walk in another man's steps as I may start learning to think like that man".  I check commentaries and prioritize them or put them in collections as I wish for my way of studying. 

Too often, I find, that people want others to "think for them" and not think for themselves. Thinking something through is hard work but to be the kind of person that I think God wants me to be, then I have to put forth that hard work. 

Having said that... I am glad that Logos does not rank commentaries or other books that way it doesn't influence my mind into some direction I may not want to go. And besides all that, I think the Bible sheds a lot of light on all commentaries.  Remember commentaries is some man or men's opinion about the truth of the Bible. Just saying...

xn = Christan  man=man -- Acts 11:26 "....and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch".

Barney Fife is my hero! He only uses an abacus with 14 rows!

Posts 2444
Joseph Turner | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 9 2020 4:28 AM

NDD:
I need to rely on experts to tell me where to spend my time. There are 50-100 commentaries on each book. Certainly most people don't have time to read that many. When I get stuck in a verse, I will read 5-10 commentaries to get an idea of what people are saying.

I use the Denver Bibliographies, and the OT is annotated.  I have made two personal books, OT/NT, which you can find here.  All of the commentaries are linked to Logos resources, so you just have to click on them to either open them or go to the website to buy them.  Once you build them in Logos as a personal book, they open just like any other resource.

Disclaimer:  I hate using messaging, texting, and email for real communication.  If anything that I type to you seems like anything other than humble and respectful, then I have not done a good job typing my thoughts.

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