Eerdmans Critical Commentary

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This is a list of the current and forthcoming commentaries in the Eerdmans Critical Commentary series. For more series, see my post on commentary series.

Only three volumes of the ECC are out now: Psalms, I-II Timothy, and Philemon. The latter two were intended to be Anchor Bible volumes, but the authors died without finishing them, and AB reassigned those volumes to other authors. The editor of the Anchor Bible series began this series with the completion of their work by students of theirs who shared the style and viewpoint of their teachers. Only one further volume has been completed beyond those two, but the list of contributors suggests that this series will be similar to the more recent Anchor Bible entries in quality and perspective, with top-notch scholars ranging from moderate to pretty skeptical.

My impression of this series so far is that it's much too detailed for non-scholars to spend much time on. At least the NT volumes so far seem this way. They've got lots of information, but it's too much for expositors who don't reserve most of their week for sermon preparation. Detailed academic commentaries exist that don't drown the reader with this much information. Even so, the academic can't ignore this series, and well-trained preachers with a large budget might use it as a reference. It will end up being one of the most important scholarly commentary series as it develops. The one OT volume so far seemed to me not to answer any of the questions I was interested in. Surprisingly, it didn't seem anywhere near as detailed as I expected given what the NT volumes are like, but what it did have focused on things that weren't as helpful as, say, the Word Biblical Commentary trio of volumes. I tried to use it when I was leading a Bible study on the Psalms, and it was virtually no help. So I'm not sure what to say about that one. I've read lots of reviews that rave about it, but it just didn't seem useful to me. The volumes in this series are also extremely expensive. Several names in the list of contributors lead me to think their work will become the standard on the books in question, but I wonder if I will end up with many in my library due to the prohibitive cost and painstaking level of detail.

Volumes Released So Far:

Psalms: Samuel Terrien (2003)
I and II Timothy: Jerome D. Quinn and William C. Wacker (1999)
Philemon: Markus Barth and Helmut Blanke (2000)

Forthcoming Volumes:

Deuteronomy, Jack Lundbom
Judges, Richard Nelson
Ezra-Nehemiah, Lisbeth Fried
Job, Choon-Leong Seow
Song of Songs, F.W. Dobbs-Allsopp
Isaiah 1-39, Andrew Bartelt and Paul Raabe
Isaiah 40-66, Shalom Paul
Matthew, Jack D. Kingsbury
John, I-III John: Urban C. von Wahlde (3 vols.)
Galatians, Robert Van Voorst
I Peter, David DeSilva


The Timothy volume is superb for the academic theologian. I agree with you that the pastor might find the text too detailed for his needs. It is interesting that the Timothy text bears the Catholic Church's imprimatur, too.


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