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Thread: best and favorite commentary set

  1. #1

    Default best and favorite commentary set

    What is everyone's favorite commentary set, whether Word Biblical, Anchor, NICOT/NICNT, NIGNTC, Pillars, etc... and why?


  2. #2

    Default Favorite commentaries

    It depends on how you use commentaries: for preparing sermons, for personal study, for preparing college lectures, etc. In any case, I wouldn't recommend buying a set, unless you pick it up at a great used price. Instead, pick the best work on each book. A couple tools that are helpful for doing that are the following:
    • Tremper Longman, Old Testament Commentary Survey, Baker, 1995, 2003.
    • D. A. Carson, New Testament Commentary Survey, Baker, 2001.

    Dale A. Brueggemann

    כִּי עֶזְרָא הֵכִין לְבָבוֹ לִדְרוֹשׁ אֶת־תּוֹרַת יְהוָה וְלַעֲשֹׂת וּלְלַמֵּד בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל חֹק וּמִשְׁפָּט (Ezra 7:10)

  3. #3

    Default Suggested commentaries

    I've collected some lists and links of recommended commentaries here.
    Mark G. Vitalis Hoffman
    Professor of Biblical Studies
    Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg -
    Biblical Studies and Technological Tools

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    Default Commentaries

    Fee & Stuart include a list of good comentaries in How to read the Bible for all its worth.

  5. #5

    Default Ramdom Selections

    Dale's right, don't waste your money on a complete set, unless of course you are purchasing Baker's NTC ($200.00 for all twelve volumes). Individual recommendations: Romans - Baker's ECNT vol. 6 by Schreiner; 2 Corinthians - Zondervans NIVAC by Hafemann; Ephesians - Baker's green volume by Hoehner; Pastorals - WBC vol. (?) by Mounce; Revelation - (?'s) NIGTC by Beale.
    Last edited by cmyktaylor; 08-22-2005 at 10:56 AM. Reason: updated

  6. #6

    Lightbulb good commentary sets

    I find that the Word Biblical Commentary offers value for money, but do look for the best deal. In Australia it can be as high as $550 or as low as $349.

    Word has some excellent commentators, though some are only loosely evangelical.

    The Expositors Bible Commentary 5.1 version [Pradis] is well worth buying and has many excellent commentaries, and a few that are less than excellent.

    The IVP Essential Reference Collection has some terrific resources for the teacher and preacher.

    David McKay

  7. #7

    Default Commentary Pickin!

    Ah, the joy of reading someone else’s comments on scripture. I truly enjoy reading commentaries for several reasons.

    • It allows you to see where the commentator stands on scripture. For example, I like to pick a passage in scripture that I have studied out, one that I have applied good sound biblical hermeneutics to, and then read the commentary of that particular person and see if they have done the same. I normally use Matthew 5:17, if available. Matthew 5:17 is an excellent scripture to use, because unlearned commentators, that is, one’s who are unfamiliar with Hebraic styles, such as ramez and literary genre, usually misinterpret the word “fulfill
    • Secondly, good commentators fuel the spiritual fire that sometimes grows dim, due to lack of scripture study, or just plain ignorance, in other words, were I lack in understanding they don’t. But it’s a very good practice, even with sound commentators, to use good old fashion biblical hermeneutics to exegete the passage. And with good commentators, the sometimes rough edges of the Original Language, Culture, History, Etc, are smoothed over.

    My Favorite,

    Jewish New Testament Commentary
    by David H. Stern

    ISBN: 9653590111
    Be diligent to present yourself approved to God
    as a workman who does not need to be ashamed,
    handling accurately the word of truth.

  8. #8

    Lightbulb ugotme

    Hi Dave
    Can you tell us how you think fulfill should be interpreted in Matthew 5:17. You got me intrigued!

    And ... forgive me, but some folk evaluate bible versions by seeing how they render their favourite verses, or verses they have a particular interest in, and then say a version is lacking, or even worthless, if it doesn't translate the way they favour.

    That could be a danger with your method of evaluating commentaries, I think.

    David McKay

  9. #9

    Default Mat 5:17


    Sure, I will be glad to share.

    You are correct; my method employed by seeing if a commentator is “kosher” or not has its issues, I know that one data point analysis is not the best practice. In this case though, I have never seen it fail, you can really see what school of thought a scholar has adopted by using this method.

    Lets take Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Matt 5:17 for example.

    He had four points on the passage, I took just one of them.

    [4.] To fill up the defects of it, and so to complete and perfect it. Thus the word plerosai (NT:4137) properly signifies. If we consider the law as a vessel that had some water in it before, he did not come to pour out the water, but to fill the vessel up to the brim; or, as a picture that is first rough-drawn, displays some outlines only of the piece intended, which are afterwards filled up; so Christ made an improvement of the law and the prophets by his additions and explications

    (from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

    Matthew Henry makes a bad mistake here, he says, “To fill up the defects of it” and “so Christ made an improvement of the law and the prophets”. If the Law, or better rendered in this context as Torah, has need of improvements or worse has defects, we have some serious scripture reconciling to think about. Psalms 19 comes to mind, as several other scriptures.

    Could you imagine, me standing up and teaching that the Word of God has defects and needs improvements. I would be labeled a heretic!

    The word “fulfill” in Greek is used in the active voice in Mat 5:17, not in the passive. There are 16 occurrences in Matthew for this verb, 13 of which were in the passive and 3 in the active. 12 of the passive occurrences are of Prophecy being “fulfilled”, and the other passive occurrence is in Mat 13:48, where an analogy is made of what the “Kingdom of Heaven” is like, the nets were “filled” with every kind, they gathered the good but threw away the bad (I paraphrased here). If Mat 5:17 were in the passive, it could be rendered this way, 1 “… I did not come to abolish, but that the Law and Prophets might be fulfilled”.

    Another worthy search is seeing how the Lxx uses the word "fulfill". In this instance it only leaves one searching harder for the proper interpretation. More on this if needed.

    Barnes’ Notes is headed in the right direction, but still if found lacking.

    Matt 5:17 (Barnes’ Notes)

    [But to fulfil] To complete the design; to fill up what was predicted; to accomplish what was intended in them. The word "fulfill" also means sometimes "to teach" or "to inculcate," Col 1:25. The law of Moses contained many sacrifices and rites which were designed to shadow forth the Messiah.

    (from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

    I see this post is getting lengthy.

    David, if I still have your interest and your still intrigued let me know and I will continue on.

    P.S. If you find any errors on my part, please be kind, I have a very open heart to correction.

    Also, I am not saying that the commentators I have quoted are not men of God, all I am doing is being a Bereian.

    If I offended anyone, by using their favorite commentator or the like, please be sure, this is not my heart.

    End Notes:

    1. Taken from Tim Hegg's "Yeshuah view on the Torah" paper. Pg 6

    Be diligent to present yourself approved to God
    as a workman who does not need to be ashamed,
    handling accurately the word of truth.

  10. #10

    Lightbulb fulfilling discussion

    Hi Dave
    Interesting thoughts.
    What do you think of Carson's take on "fulfill" in Matthew 5:17?

    Are you familiar with New Covenant Theology? I think what he says is quite close to the NCT geezers.

    Thanks for your reply.
    David McKay

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