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Posts 27
Rifhen | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Sep 9 2021 10:35 AM

I'd love to hear any recommendations anyone has for commentaries on the deuterocanonicals.  I recently came into the Church from Protestantism and am just reading these for the first time.  Most of the resources I have for finding good commentaries cater primarily to Protestants, so there is not much on these books.  It looks like Biblicum package uses Anchor Yale for these commentaries, but I've had mixed results with that series.  

Posts 1174
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 9 2021 11:35 AM

My favorite is the Cambridge Commentary (copy of Sirach, verse by verse below). But best sources are individual monographs, however.

Posts 344
Pater Noster | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 9 2021 12:29 PM

Here are my favorites, with varying prices and densities but this list should give you an excellent start to find ones you like:

- Sacra Pagina

- Berit Olam

- Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture

- Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture

- Paideia Commentaries on the NT

- Catena Aurea

- Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture

- The Great Commentary of Cornelius à Lapide

- Hermeneia

Also some Bibles with good commentary in them:

- Navarre Bible

- Ignatius Catholic Study Bible

- Little Rock Catholic Study Bible

Happy hunting!

Posts 27
Rifhen | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 9 2021 12:45 PM

Thank you both.  I think I probably am looking more for single volumes on each book.  Ideally I'd like to find something similar to say Wenham's commentary on Genesis, but for the deuteros

Posts 94
John W Gillis | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 9 2021 8:50 PM

As you're discovering, there isn't much out there on the Deuterocanonicals.

The Anchor/Yales are often your best bet. Hermeneia has a couple volumes (2Macc, Judith); the Cambridge Bible for Schools & Colleges has a few older, more succinct volumes (1Macc, Sirach, Wisdom) --which have the advantage of being cheap.

The UBS Handbooks, while not commentaries, are very useful if you want exegetical insight (focuses on lexical & cultural meaning of words/phrases). The Deuterocanon is covered in six volumes.

For background/intro, Sheffield Academic has published I think 4 useful "Handbook" volumes in Logos covering most of the Deuterocanon. Daniel J Harrington S.J. published a ~200 pg Introduction to the Apocrypha that I found in my library (!).

Among the Catholic publications, the Collegeville/New Collegeville volumes are lightweight, and rarely worth consulting IMHO. The Navarre (early 21st-century) and Haydock (mid 19th-century) "commentaries" are sound, each in their own way, but are really just Study Bible notes without the Bible text. Orchard's One-Volume Catholic Commentary (mid 20th-century) is solid, but necessarily rather succinct.

A few other single-volume commentaries are available in Logos which cover the Deuterocanonicals: Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible (2003) covers the "Apocrypha" in ~160 pgs.; Harper's Bible Commentary (1988 ed.) covers the same scope in ~180 pgs. Gore's "New Commentary" (1928) covers the same scope in ~150 pgs.

In more thorough works: R. H. Charles' ~700 pg. Commentary on the Apocrypha of the Old Testament is available in Logos as a stand-alone volume (dirt cheap). The ~700 pg. volume on The Apocrypha of the Old Testament from Lange's commentary is also available very cheap as a stand-alone volume (no guarantees on the theological soundness of these...). Also, the New Interpreter's Bible contains the Deuterocanon spread across several volumes, though that appears to be available only as a complete set.

Some of these older works are included in the collection: Classic Commentaries and Studies on the Biblical Apocrypha / Deuterocanon (42 vols.).

Posts 27
Rifhen | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 10 2021 5:09 PM

Thank you John, some good ideas.  I've had the same experience as you with Collegeville/New Collegeville, Navarre and Haydock.  I'm embarrassed to say I own the RH Charles volume and didn't know!  I'll try it out for a couple of chapters.   I also went ahead and picked up Lange as it was cheap enough to try out.  

Would love to hear your thoughts on any of the Anchor Yale you have read on the Deuterocanon.  That series has been so hit or miss for me.  I was not expecting to get as much out of LTJ on James as I did.  But some of the others I didn't get much from.  But I will probably try to pick up those and the UBS handbooks over time.  


Posts 281
Kevin Clemens | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 10 2021 5:42 PM

Not a commentary, but perhaps a helpful starting point to open up further avenues for exploration would be Bergsma and Pitre's superb Catholic Introduction to the Bible: Old Testament (still on pre-pub...). Each book has roughly 20 pages of coverage, with attention to reception history and use in the liturgy that I think are particularly helpful.

You might also find some helpful content by digging around on Dr. Mark Giszczak's blog: He spends a good deal of time working on Wisdom literature and has a number of bibliographies of commentaries for some of the deuterocanonical books.

Posts 27
Rifhen | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 11 2021 7:04 AM

Thanks Kevin - I have that OT intro on my list if it is ever released.  I think I've learned a lot from everything Pitre has put out, but I didn't realize this had so much content on every OT book.  I hadn't heard of Dr. Giszczak's blog, and will definitely check it out.

Posts 5921
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 16 2021 11:40 AM

The unfortunately titled ACCS volume on (most of) the Deuterocanon is handy, though perhaps chiefly for different uses than you have in mind.

Please use descriptive thread titles to attract helpful posts & not waste others' time. Thanks!

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