A Layman's Commentary Guide

Discussion in 'Commentaries' started by greenbaggins, Oct 8, 2008.

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  1. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

  2. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    Thanks, Lane. Would you be open to any constructive criticism?
     
  3. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    No, Fred. I can't stand constructive criticism. I am above criticism. What did you have in mind? :p;)
     
  4. CharlieJ

    CharlieJ Puritan Board Junior

    Thanks, great job. It must have been painful, though. Choosing which Romans commentaries to keep is like choosing which of your own children you most want.
     
  5. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    I'll look more, but for example, I would recommend Grudem instead of Jobes on 1 Peter. The fact that Jobes is a woman is one matter (and a Biblical matter, I believe), but especially for a layman I think her constant "Greek-izing" is a bit too much. And as someone who has 20+ years of Greek under his belt, I don't buy all her conclusions. I think Grudem is more helpful and more pastoral.

    I know Jobes is all the "scholarly rage" now, but I frankly found her to be third or fourth on the list of helpfulness on 1 Peter (after Schreiner, Grudem, Calvin and others in no particular order).
     
  6. CarlosOliveira

    CarlosOliveira Puritan Board Freshman

    Lane, Thank you so much for the list but I think you forgot to include Candlish on Genesis to it.
     
  7. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    How about J.G. Vos on Genesis?
     
  8. CarlosOliveira

    CarlosOliveira Puritan Board Freshman

    Benjamin, I like J.G. Vos' plain and simple writing style but if one would had to choose only one commentary on Genesis, I'll advise him to go for Candlish.
     
  9. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Fred, I was actually debating in my own mind the very question to which you allude, as to whether Jobes or Grudem should be on there. As to the fact that she's a woman, I have never had a problem with that, since, in my mind, it is no different reading a commentary written by a woman than it is having a conversation with a woman knowledgeable in Greek and Hebrew. One does not have to believe what she wrote. Would you then have a problem with all the (Joyce) Baldwin commentaries I recommended? I found Jobes more helpful than Grudem, especially on the spirits in prison passage, where she takes (rightly, in my mind) Dalton's approach, and Grudem does not.

    Carlos, I deeply appreciated Candlish on Genesis when I was preaching on Genesis, and would warmly recommend it. However, I was seeking to restrict myself primarily to commentaries that were in print. To my knowledge, Candlish is not in print. Maybe I am wrong about that.
     
  10. asc

    asc Puritan Board Sophomore

    Any other recommendations on a single complete commentary set for a layman? Thanks.
     
  11. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Calvin and Henry are both great. If you already have these, then you could get Kistemaker and Hendriksen for the New Testament. Keil/Delitzsch is great, but you need Hebrew to get the really good stuff out of it. Past these, I would concentrate more on single volumes than sets, which are often uneven.
     
  12. asc

    asc Puritan Board Sophomore

    Thanks for the advice. That's unfortunate that sets are uneven; it seems like a lot of work (for a layman) to have to select individual commentaries for each book of the Bible.
     
  13. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    While they are uneven, I think that the Tyndale series is very good, and since they are small paperbacks, cheaper than something like the Word Biblical Series (which you would be insane to buy as a set).
     
  14. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    Lane,

    I guess I look at commentaries less for linguistic help than pastoral insight. I know the Greek (after 20 years) but I want help in seeing the text from all angles, with an eye toward exposition and application (a-la Calvin). So I don't want a woman giving me her pastoral insight.

    I would likely have a problem with the Baldwin series for the same reasons. I'll have to look next week at Jobes on the spirits in prison passage, b/c I can't recall what her view was. Can you sum it up? I recall that I agreed with Grudem, who agrees with the Reformers, but I could be recalling incorrectly.
     
  15. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Of course I respect that position very much, and I think it is a matter of perception in different people's minds, since I view it as a conversation about the text.

    Jobes believes that the spirits are demons (the normal use of plural pneumata in the NT), and that Christ preached to them after His resurrection.
     
  16. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    Ok, that is right, and I do disagree. It doesn't make much sense to me when you bring Noah into the passage.

    I've preached on that passage, and it think it is actually very helpful with the current "baptism-mania" in FV circles. The text makes it clear (to me at least) that the central point of the passage is about the message (preaching) and not about baptism.

    Baptism, Preaching and Salvation
     
  17. JonathanHunt

    JonathanHunt Puritan Board Senior

    Hm. You really think so? I love K/D and I have zero hebrew. Perhaps I'm not getting the 'really good stuff' but I do think I am, and I have had help from K/D which is not available anywhere else. Seeing as it is free on e-sword, I'd encourage everyone to have it.
     
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