Series: Commentary Reviews

| | Comments (19)

This post is for the purposes of keeping track of all the posts in my series of commentary reviews. The intro to the series is here. It explains the series and lists resources I've used and will be using in this series. I started out with an overview of the various commentary series I'll be looking at as I treat the commentaries on various books of the Bible. Since each post will be assuming background knowledge of the series, I thought it best to have a post at the outset dealing with all of those. This series started out as a way to provide more detail on particular commentaries, focusing on one book of the Bible at a time.

I also have a list of which commentaries I recommend on each book of the Bible at three different levels of detail. I do intend to keep that post updated as new works come out and as I come to appreciate any that might become my most recommended. This current series will cover more commentaries on each book than what appear in that list, and I'll say something about them instead of just listing them. So it's mostly a deeper exploration, and it's partly a justification for the choices I made in what I put in that list. [Update: See also my list of forthcoming commentaries.]

This post will list linking to all the posts I've written so far as I review the commentaries on each book of the Bible. Here's the list so far:

Genesis
Leviticus
Numbers
Samuel

Psalms

Hosea
Nahum
Habakkuk
Zephaniah

Luke
John

Romans
I Corinthians
Galatians
Ephesians
I Peter

19 Comments

Hey Jeremy,
Have you heard anything about the WBC releasing the volume on Job 21-37? This title has been listed as coming soon on many websites for nearly 2 years. Now Dove booksellers lists it as release date unknown, has something happened to this book or has there been a problem with WBC? I thought you may know.... Thanks

Dave Beldman has a copy of the new Job vol.2. See his comment on Dec 4 on my forthcoming commentaries post and also look at his own post here. In that post, he says it's not out yet, but Amazon seems to be treating it now as if it's out or will imminently be out. Given that they were selling it at the SBL, I think that's very plausible.

You can see the currently predicted release schedule for WBC here, by the way. It hasn't been updated in several months, and one of the volumes they list is delayed a bit with another completely missing, but it's nice to see what they're planning with some expected timetable.

Jeremy,
What is the best book in your opinion on theology or philosopy? Your commentary lists are great, I was just wondering if you have recommendations on these subjects with differing levels of detail.
Thanks

Do you have any particular areas of philosophy or theology or types of books you have in mind? That's such a wide-open question I'm not really sure where to begin.

Jeremy,

What are the best advanced commentaries on Jeremiah and Ezekiel in your opinion (especially on the exegesis of the Hebrew text)? I'm doubting whether I should buy the Hermeneia volumes or the Anchor Bible volumes. I have read already your list of recommendations and also Longman's recommendations. Thanks,

Robert

Is it that you don't know which of the AB or Hermeneia you should buy, or is it that you don't want to buy AB or Hermeneia and want an alternative?

Assuming you just don't know which to buy, you should buy the AB on Jeremiah by Lundbom. Greenberg's AB is incomplete on Ezekiel, but it is the one I'd recommend at the most detailed level. I would prefer Block's NICOT myself, but I don't know how well respected he is by non-evangelicals. The biggest difficulty is that it's incomplete, so if you wanted to get Greenberg you'd need something else to cover the last section of the book (chs. 38-48). Maybe Allen's WBC or Block's NICOT could be a good, not-as-expensive supplement until the final volume comes out.

If you meant the other thing, I'd say Block for Ezekiel or perhaps Allen. For Jeremiah, the WBC set is adequate but not excellent (the parts by Craigie and Scalise are very good, but the other contributors aren't as reliable, and it isn't even in quality), and Thompson's NICOT is ok too, but there isn't really much that's even close to as detailed as AB and Hermeneia that's very good. Those two are much briefer.

Thanks Jeremy,

I own the WBC and NICOT volumes on Jeremiah and Ezekiel already. The WBC volumes are useful but rather thin. The NICOT volumes (especially Block) are good indeed, but they don't have the same quality of text analysis as the AB and Hermeneia volumes usually have. So I'm considering to buy the AB or the Hermeneia volumes. Lundbom seems better to me than Holladay (although I like the lay-out of the Hermeneia series much more), but it is difficult to decide between Greenberg (although incomplete) and Zimmerli, because Zimmerli has a very good name.

I prefer Lundbom to Holladay and Greenberg to Zimmerli. In both cases, the AB is more recent and by a scholar who has at least as good scholarly reputation albeit a bit younger, I believe. So both had access to the Hermeneia volumes in question, and both come from the more recent trend back in a somewhat more conservative direction. If it's a choice between AB and Hermeneia, on both these books the AB is at least noticeably better in several ways. The only downside for Ezekiel is it's still incomplete, and I don't know how soon they're expecting the final volume. But if you've got other stuff on Ezekiel, that's not too worrisome, and you can just get the last volume when it comes out.

Hey,
I guess the best way to answer that is... current. I was talking about anything from introduction to general subject, or indepth. I know that both are very broad subjects, but what are the best current works on either of these. I do not have any formal training in either of these areas but have studied them with the resources that are available to me. I just respect your opinion and thought that someone with your experience may know of titles that were very helpful to you.
BTW I recently read Out of Eden by Paul Kahn and found it very original although I do not agree with his "myth" perspective. He seemed to have amazing insight into this text, but as I said I am an amateur, and he may not be an original thinker at all.
When I find a book like this that makes me rethink my position on things I get excited about what other ideas that are out there that I haven't heard of.
This is the motive for my original question.
Thanks

Maybe I'll put together a post listing some philosophical recommendations for beginners. I think it might take a day or two at least.

What happened to Esther in progress?

I was going to do Esther next, but I decided not to. I was thinking of trying to spread them out over the different parts of the Bible somewhat evenly, but I decided that it's better for me just to do the ones I know better first and then to move into others later as I get more familiar with the commentaries on those books. There are several that I'm more ready to do than Esther. It will probably be I Corinthians next, but I don't think I'll be listing the in-progress ones until I actually start putting the posts together. I hadn't gotten that far with Esther.

Well, I changed my mind again. I decided that Habakkuk and Nahum would be easiest to do first, since most commentaries that cover either of them also cover Zephaniah, and I've already done that. So I'm about to post Habakkuk, and I'll probably do Nahum next.

Hi Jeremy,

The more I've been studying, the more I think it would be helpful to own a copy of the non-canonical Jewish and Christian writings in the 200 bc - 200 ad range. Most Bible's with an apocrypha seem to have very few of them. Do you know of a good resource to go to that would give me as many of these writings as possible without costing an arm and a leg.

Thanks

There's a Penguin Early Christian Writings that could get you started on the early Christian ones. I don't know about further than that on Christian ones (except if you want Gnostic stuff, which I could give further pointers on) or Jewish writings in that period. If Penguin has anything, it will be inexpensive, but I'm not sure what terms to search for. When I get the chance, I'll try to take a look in John Glynn's bibliographies to see if he included anything like this.

Thanks, that will be a good starting place. Gnostic writings are not as interesting to me as I don't think that Gnosticism influenced the NT writers or offers any insight into the NT. It'll be great if you have a chance to check out if Glynn offers any direction on Jewish writings. Thanks again.

Marcus

This is the standard resource for OT Pseudepigrapha, edited by Charlesworth (Princeton). Here's the link (sorry, I don't know how to do a cleaner link, so I'm just pasting the url):

http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?item_no=140199&netp_id=515118&event=ESRCN&item_code=WW&view=details

The only inexpensive ones that I see in Glynn's listing that are primary sources (at least I think they are) for Jewish background are:

Geza Vermes, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English
Paul Maier, Josephus: The Essential Writings
Charles Duke Yonge, The Works of Philo
Mitchell Reddish, Apocalyptic Literature

Thanks Jeremy and Danny for your suggestions!

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