Choice of commentaries

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Michael Kinch | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Dec 19 2021 6:33 AM

What is the logic you use in choosing which commentaries to refer to when studying a passage? Do you use your go to commentaries or do you have some other criteria that you use to determine which commentaries you will use. Typically I look at bestcommentaries and pick a few of the top ones then add in some of my favorites that might not be in the list.

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Kathleen Marie | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 19 2021 7:01 AM

I usually see what pops up in Logos, to start. And then I notice what did NOT pop up in Logos and go searching for things that are as different as possible from what did pop up.

For example, when recently researching "Fear of the Lord", the resources that popped up are mostly Catholic/Orthodox and classic dead white guys. To start, I  think I need more Protestant, women, people of color, and modern ideas.

I am interested in hearing what more experienced people have to say.

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Kathleen Marie | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 19 2021 7:05 AM

Oh, and if Logos suggests a book that I cannot afford to buy, sometimes I can borrow it through interlibrary loan. Then, if I thought the book is good enough, I add it to my logos wishlist, and hope at some point to find it part of some type of bundle on sale for a price that I can afford.

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DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 19 2021 7:06 AM
Probably not specific to Michael's or Kathleen's approach, but the question comes up often. I'd think in buying commentaries, one would become familiar with them. Of course, this same issue is specific to Logos' 'tools' ... if you're familiar with your books, you already know which ones to take a look at.
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John Fidel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 19 2021 7:07 AM

Michael Kinch:

What is the logic you use in choosing which commentaries to refer to when studying a passage? Do you use your go to commentaries or do you have some other criteria that you use to determine which commentaries you will use. Typically I look at bestcommentaries and pick a few of the top ones then add in some of my favorites that might not be in the list.

I go through the pericope going from exegesis to application and utilize commentaries accordingly. I have a best commentaries collection in my passage guide and utilize those. However, sometimes I want to see varying interpretations to evaluate my understanding and then will utilize commentaries that may have a different opinion from myself. Lastly, most commentaries refer to other commentaries and if I have them I open those.

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Kathleen Marie | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 19 2021 7:23 AM

John Fidel:

 Lastly, most commentaries refer to other commentaries and if I have them I open those.

I definitely do this. I try and get as far back as possible, to the original person that started an idea. And I look for patterns of lots of modern people all quoting the same older resource. When I get all the way back, I am sometimes shocked at how twisted the idea has become from the original idea.

For example, have been studying "Gaps" in scripture. And Bibb inflated an idea that Greenstein also inflated so that it no longer represents what Leibowitz originally said. This example taught me to never quote without tracing the footnotes back.

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 19 2021 11:07 AM

I have prioritized my commentaries according to which ones I am most likely to benefit from consulting, based on my previous experience.

Please use descriptive thread titles to attract helpful posts & save others time. Thanks!

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mab | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 19 2021 1:03 PM

There are scores of useful commentaries. I prefer bedrock ones that focus on the text to those that attempt to be expository or application oriented. I see commentaries as something that often give you insights as to what is there, but you have to build your own exegetical picture.

Biggest hint I can give you is to sit with the text as long as possible and read through it at least a half-dozen times before you reach for a commentary. The foundation starts on the ground floor of the text itself. It shocks me how often the text already has the answer if you just read it until it registers.

The mind of man is the mill of God, not to grind chaff, but wheat. Thomas Manton | Study hard, for the well is deep, and our brains are shallow. Richard Baxter

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