Commentaries: June 2006 Archives

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:

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

The Apollos Old Testament Commentary (AOTC) series is an interesting venture. The publisher and editors are evangelicals, but I'm not sure how conservative all the authors will be. I get the sense that some of them are only moderately evangelical. This is not a full-scale academic conmmentary, but it's much more than a popular-level exposition. I'd probably place it within the intermediate range, but I've got only the slightest familiarity with the series so far, having looked at only one volume just a little bit without reading much of it.

Only Deuteronomy and Daniel have been published so far, and both are of the highest quality scholarship without the detail of the more in-depth series. The primary purpose, according to the editors, is to explain the text to the contemporary reader, focusing on theology and providing less detail on other elements commentaries often cover. There are enough really stellar people on the projected authors list that I expect this series to be excellent. Given the conservative nature of the publisher and the stated aims of the series, I was a little disappointed at the stance Lucas takes on Daniel's date and content (rejection of an exilic setting and historical basis of the accounts), but the list of names of other contributors suggests a fairly conservative lineup.

Volumes Released So Far:

Leviticus, Nobuyoshi Kiuchi (April 2007)
Deuteronomy, J. Gordon McConville (2002)
Daniel, Ernest C. Lucas (2002)

Forthcoming Volumes:

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