Commentary Recommendations

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This post has 27 Replies | 3 Followers

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Paul Caneparo | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Sep 15 2021 11:38 PM

I'm sure many of us on the forums have more commentaries than we may ever have time to consult. (Maybe you do refer to them all. I certainly don't.) Therefore, I try to be very selective when making additional commentary purchases. In addition to Carson's book on NT commentaries, I tend to also consult the Denver Seminary recommendations which are updated every year. I've just noticed that Keith Mathison has started to update his top 5 on every book too. He hasn't completed the update yet, so there's no official landing page, but this link should take you to a page that shows his posts so far.

https://www.ligonier.org/learn/teachers/keith-mathison?sort=recent&type=article&fields.primaryTopic.fields.name=Biblical+Studies

Does anyone else have recommendations on choosing wisely? Obviously the Faithlife 30 day returns policy helps to some extent too.

Posts 1752
Allen Browne | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 15 2021 11:51 PM

Paul Caneparo:
Does anyone else have recommendations on choosing wisely?

Something I do periodically before making a purchase is to open the Library window, enter type:commentary, and sort by the Most Used column.

I also set the Rating for each commentary as I use them. This makes it easy to see which ones I find helpful.

Before I buy another, I'm also asking whether it will bring a perspective different to what I already have. It could if it's newer (recent scholarship), older (from an earlier era), or from another faith community (e.g. Judaism on the OT).

HTH.

Posts 9023
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 16 2021 5:38 AM

The Bible (a few translations for comparison), The Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible along with NICOT/NT and some good dictionaries and lexicons would be all I need to preach a lifetime and more 👍😁👌

DAL

Posts 2537
GaoLu | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 16 2021 7:07 AM

I have way too many commentaries and don't need or use most of them, but I am glad for every one and would buy them again.  

Posts 5971
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 16 2021 11:27 AM

Paul Caneparo:
Does anyone else have recommendations on choosing wisely?

Anything at least a thousand years old makes for a helpful contrast and supplement to most of what's less than a couple hundred years old.

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

Posts 1008
Josh Hunt | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 17 2021 2:43 PM

GaoLu:

I have way too many commentaries and don't need or use most of them, but I am glad for every one and would buy them again.  

I feel the same way. 

Here is one site to consult  https://bestcommentaries.com/ 

Posts 1924
Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 17 2021 3:58 PM

SineNomine:
Anything at least a thousand years old makes for a helpful contrast and supplement to most of what's less than a couple hundred years old.

Advice more of us need to follow...

The Gospel is not ... a "new law," on the contrary, ... a "new life." - William Julius Mann

L8 Anglican, Lutheran and Orthodox Silver, Reformed Starter, Academic Essentials

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Posts 1143
xnman | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 17 2021 4:40 PM

Lest we forget.... many times ...the Bible sheds a lot of light on commentaries. Geeked

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

Posts 125
Darrell Tan | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 17 2021 7:30 PM

It helps me to read an excerpt. That has been decisive in some decisions to purchase or not to.

Posts 2844
mab | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 17 2021 8:13 PM

The Bible still gets pride of place for me, but I don't regret having all these people who see things from vantage points I have not been standing at. 

I still think the technical commentaries are best and balanced by those apply to daily life.

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

Posts 2377
Joseph Turner | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 18 2021 5:37 AM

I know you already mentioned that you use them, but I also use the Denver Bibliographies, and I have made Personal Books for them here which makes them much more valuable and convenient to me.  I especially like the OT entries because they are annotated, but the NT entries are valuable as well.  The lists include both "traditional" and "critical" scholarship, which I appreciate.  In general they do lean toward traditional scholarship.

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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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 18 2021 11:29 AM

Joseph Turner:
The lists include both "traditional" and "critical" scholarship, which I appreciate. 

Just curious if I am understanding your distinction correctly.. By "critical scholarship" do you mean scholarship based on methods that have evolved from 17th century on? leaving methods that developed prior to that as "traditional scholarship"?

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

Posts 2377
Joseph Turner | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 18 2021 4:30 PM

MJ. Smith:

Joseph Turner:
The lists include both "traditional" and "critical" scholarship, which I appreciate. 

Just curious if I am understanding your distinction correctly.. By "critical scholarship" do you mean scholarship based on methods that have evolved from 17th century on? leaving methods that developed prior to that as "traditional scholarship"?

I probably should have used evangelical vs. critical, but I was trying to prevent my statement from being used to start a debate on "liberal" and "conservative" scholarship, as I think these distinctions are unhelpful, but yes, basically, critical scholarship based on the enlightenment and leading up to areas such as source and literary criticism, where I find literary criticism extremely helpful, and traditional scholarship associated with a higher view of scripture than some, but not all, hold in critical circles.  I prefer a balanced diet.

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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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 18 2021 6:03 PM

Thanks, Joseph, I think I understand now.

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

Posts 2377
Joseph Turner | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 19 2021 3:37 AM

MJ. Smith:

Thanks, Joseph, I think I understand now.

Yes

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.

Posts 3427
Beloved Amodeo | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 20 2021 10:26 AM

Not having been trained in the academic method of identifying the most authoritative commentaries, I depend heavily on the opinions of others, whether they be sites like Challies or 4-5 star ratings by Logos users. Also, not unlike DAL I'm a firm believer in the guidance of the Spirit of Truth (Ps119.99) and his operation through meditation, prayer and scripture interpreting scripture.

Meanwhile, Jesus kept on growing wiser and more mature, and in favor with God and his fellow man.

International Standard Version. (2011). (Lk 2:52). Yorba Linda, CA: ISV Foundation.

MacBook Pro macOS Big Sur 11.6 1TB SSD 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 20 2021 1:42 PM

Beloved Amodeo:
Not having been trained in the academic method

Ah, but you were trained to a certain level in your language and literature classes for whatever schooling you have; you were trained in additional methods and techniques in Sunday school and listening to preachers. You may not know the fancy names but you know the many of the techniques. Why do I make the point? Because I have seen far too many people who were so smart they become self-educated sell themselves short because they didn't get to spend the time in the classroom.

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

Posts 5971
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 20 2021 1:57 PM

Joseph Turner:

MJ. Smith:

Joseph Turner:
The lists include both "traditional" and "critical" scholarship, which I appreciate. 

Just curious if I am understanding your distinction correctly.. By "critical scholarship" do you mean scholarship based on methods that have evolved from 17th century on? leaving methods that developed prior to that as "traditional scholarship"?

I probably should have used evangelical vs. critical, but I was trying to prevent my statement from being used to start a debate on "liberal" and "conservative" scholarship, as I think these distinctions are unhelpful, but yes, basically, critical scholarship based on the enlightenment and leading up to areas such as source and literary criticism, where I find literary criticism extremely helpful, and traditional scholarship associated with a higher view of scripture than some, but not all, hold in critical circles.  I prefer a balanced diet.

You're probably aware of this, but for many folks, like me, "traditional scholarship" would be at least most of a millennium old.

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

Posts 3427
Beloved Amodeo | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 20 2021 2:51 PM

MJ. Smith:

Beloved Amodeo:
Not having been trained in the academic method

Ah, but you were trained to a certain level in your language and literature classes for whatever schooling you have; you were trained in additional methods and techniques in Sunday school and listening to preachers. You may not know the fancy names but you know the many of the techniques. Why do I make the point? Because I have seen far too many people who were so smart they become self-educated sell themselves short because they didn't get to spend the time in the classroom.

Being the perceptive person that you are put me far from arguing with you. However, having been professionally trained in a focused environment I know what both general and specialty training does for both competency and facility with the area of your training. Though some may scoff at the academy because of its exclusivity, I envy its fellowship and the "deeper dive" it affords.

Meanwhile, Jesus kept on growing wiser and more mature, and in favor with God and his fellow man.

International Standard Version. (2011). (Lk 2:52). Yorba Linda, CA: ISV Foundation.

MacBook Pro macOS Big Sur 11.6 1TB SSD 

Posts 1860
Paul Caneparo | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 19 2021 1:24 AM

Keith Mathison has now completed revising his list of top 5 recommendations on each book of the Bible.

https://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/top-5-commentaries

His previous recommendations seemed to be largely the basis for Tim Challies' recommendations, which have found their way into various Logos Tim Charlie's commentary recommendation sets.

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