How many Romans Commentaries do we need?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
This is the question I keep asking my pastor, who is writing Yet Another Romans commentary: how many are enough? His reply: "Well, we need a new one every couple of years." !!!??? Am I missing something? Unless the text of Romans is changing, surely it's been commented on to death since 2000 years ago. Is there really that much new stuff to say by now?
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
I think that you have to remember that everything has a shelf life. Once something has been out for a while, people will get bored of it and want something new. There are also continuing advances in Greek studies and in extrabiblical literature, which can help to illuminate the biblical text. Also, different writers appeal to different people. Some authors, while they may be excellent doctrinally, do not appeal to everyone for stylistic reasons. Also, there are plenty of Reformation-era commentaries that I would like to see translated. They might not be the last word in exegesis, but the doctrinal and practical reflections are usually outstanding.
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
This is the question I keep asking my pastor, who is writing Yet Another Romans commentary: how many are enough? His reply: "Well, we need a new one every couple of years." !!!??? Am I missing something? Unless the text of Romans is changing, surely it's been commented on to death since 2000 years ago. Is there really that much new stuff to say by now?
Are you going to read your pastor’s commentary when he’s published it?
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Since we are always learning in linguistics, and we are always dealing with new challenges, then we need to always be ready to write new commentaries.
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
Ben, the text of Scripture has God as its ultimate author. Do you really think we will ever exhaust its meaning until Christ comes back?
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
A lot of commentaries are written to expire. They're meant to digest a body of literature, engage with new studies, evaluate approaches, and so forth. Naturally in terms of ongoing scholarship, there's always new stuff to digest. So many commentaries appear, are consulted for a few years, and are then relegated to just the shelves of the obsessive.
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
I guess the board's concensus is that we need at least one more for now. I simply can't fathom what new light could possibly be shed on a book that hasn't itself changed for millenia. But I guess I don't have a dog in this fight since I don't read commentaries much anyway.
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
Are you going to read your pastor’s commentary when he’s published it?
Absolutely not. I'm one of his proofreaders, which not only means I'm reading it in advance, but we're always scrapping about my comments about his comments. I'm like, "this word doesn't mean what you think it means."
He's like, "I'm using it anyway."
Me: "Why are you asking my opinion then?"
We do that a lot. I can't figure out why he keeps sending me chapters.
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
To answer your question, as electronic book publishing advances no amount of commentaries will satisfy the book of Romans.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
Ben, I think you ask a good question. I would tell your pastor he should have a clear idea of how his commentary will be helpful in a way that other available commentaries are not, and then he should keep that distinctive in mind as he writes. I have little doubt that more helpful material could be written on Romans in a way that adds something distinctive. The trick for him is to make sure he pulls that off.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
Isn't that like asking how many Lucille's tri-tip dinners do you need?
 

JimmyH

Puritan Board Senior
I guess the board's concensus is that we need at least one more for now. I simply can't fathom what new light could possibly be shed on a book that hasn't itself changed for millenia. But I guess I don't have a dog in this fight since I don't read commentaries much anyway.
Read this book and that might give you a different opinion :) https://www.amazon.com/Faith-Jesus-Christ-Exegetical-Theological/dp/0801045649/ref=sr_1_5?crid=3DT8CEWF4VLAE&dchild=1&keywords=the+faith+of+Jesus+Christ+richard+hays&qid=1592104796&s=books&sprefix=the+faith+of+Jesus,stripbooks,163&sr=1-5
Screenshot-42.png
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
Joshua gave the score from the Russian judge. :)

To the OP, perhaps you could ask your pastor what he's hoping to accomplish and see what you could do to support his efforts?
When I ask what he's hoping to accomplish, the answer is: "A Romans Commentary!" As for supporting, well, as a proofreader I'm doing my utmost to make it legible. I'm beginning to think that courses in literature and writing, especially grammar and composition, ought to be required seminary studies.
 

Goodcheer68

Puritan Board Sophomore
I guess the board's concensus is that we need at least one more for now. I simply can't fathom what new light could possibly be shed on a book that hasn't itself changed for millenia. But I guess I don't have a dog in this fight since I don't read commentaries much anyway.

Dr. Marcus Mininger, Associate Professor of New Testament Studies at Mid-America Reformed Seminary, speaks about the theme of revelation in the book of Romans. In his book, Uncovering the Theme of Revelation in Romans 1:16–3:26: Discovering a New Approach to Paul’s Argument (Mohr Siebeck), Dr. Mininger argues for approaching Romans 1–3 through a new interpretive paradigm that features revelation over reading Paul’s words primarily through a soteriological or sociological framework.

There is always something new to discover and contemplate in God’s Word. The truths are eternal but how we might understand them can grow and be nuanced through careful study.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
I think most everyone should write a commentary on Romans. It's a good and profitable exercise.

Not everyone should publish one, though.
 

JimmyH

Puritan Board Senior
Presumably to correct their error?
Ben Zartman said, "I simply can't fathom what new light could possibly be shed on a book that hasn't itself changed for millenia."

The book I recommended is a series of essays by NT scholars who are on opposing sides of whether Galatians 3:22 , among other verses, should be translated 'faith of Christ', faithfulness of Christ, or faith in Christ.

So the point is ... while 'the book itself hasn't changed for millennia', interpretations of the content have been argued since, and still are today. Therefore new commentaries are not necessarily redundant. That was my reason for posting the link to the book above.

Somewhat obscure in illustrating my point, I see that in retrospect. :doh:

I didn't intend to 'hijack' the thread, but if anyone is interested, for a previous PB discussion on the faith in/ faith of debate see this thread linked below;
https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/justified-by-the-faith-of-Christ.73364/
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
Ben Zartman said, "I simply can't fathom what new light could possibly be shed on a book that hasn't itself changed for millenia."

The book I recommended is a series of essays by NT scholars who are on opposing sides of whether Galatians 3:22 , among other verses, should be translated 'faith of Christ', faithfulness of Christ, or faith in Christ.

So the point is ... while 'the book itself hasn't changed for millennia', interpretations of the content have been argued since, and still are today. Therefore new commentaries are not necessarily redundant. That was my reason for posting the link to the book above.

Somewhat obscure in illustrating my point, I see that in retrospect. :doh:

I didn't intend to 'hijack' the thread, but if anyone is interested, for a previous PB discussion on the faith in/ faith of debate see this thread linked below;
https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/justified-by-the-faith-of-Christ.73364/
But wouldn't that debate have come up time and again throughout the centuries? If there's an ambiguity, surely the fathers would have hashed it out long ago: there is nothing new under the sun. Why not simply read the old arguments and decide the question without writing reams and reams of new material, as though 2000 years of pious inquiry into the Scriptures wasn't enough.
It's not that I think the depths of Scripture will ever be plumbed by one person--surely each of us can learn new things. But to presume that WE in out time have discovered something new, that no saint before ever saw as they diligently searched, seems a little far-fetched.
 

Goodcheer68

Puritan Board Sophomore
But wouldn't that debate have come up time and again throughout the centuries? If there's an ambiguity, surely the fathers would have hashed it out long ago: there is nothing new under the sun.

The post (#22) I linked to actually argues a different perspective than what has been previously argued. You should check it out.
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
The post (#22) I linked to actually argues a different perspective than what has been previously argued. You should check it out.
Perhaps I'll listen to it if I find the time....however, am I wrong to be suspicious of anything that claims to be "New"? I seem to remember a "New Perspective on Paul" that turned out to be crumbly. If every Scripture has only ONE valid interpretation, surely among the options propounded throughout history the right one has been found.
 

JimmyH

Puritan Board Senior
Perhaps I'll listen to it if I find the time....however, am I wrong to be suspicious of anything that claims to be "New"? I seem to remember a "New Perspective on Paul" that turned out to be crumbly. If every Scripture has only ONE valid interpretation, surely among the options propounded throughout history the right one has been found.
I'm assuming you've come to a conclusion on what the cut off point is for the ONE valid interpretation ? Please enlighten me, was it the Church Fathers, or subsequent exegesis ? Inquiring minds want to know.

For those, such as myself, who continue to value the efforts of those who continue to search the Scriptures, Stephen Westerholm's 'Perspectives Old And New On Paul,' gives a wonderful overview of the major contending viewpoints on the New Perspective.

https://www.amazon.com/Perspectives...And+New+On+Paul&qid=1592229282&s=books&sr=1-1
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Perhaps I'll listen to it if I find the time....however, am I wrong to be suspicious of anything that claims to be "New"? I seem to remember a "New Perspective on Paul" that turned out to be crumbly. If every Scripture has only ONE valid interpretation, surely among the options propounded throughout history the right one has been found.

Let's apply the same logic to Luther. Chrysostom had already written a Romans commentary, so what need was there for Luther's? Let's apply the same logic to Calvin. Luther had already written a Romans commentary, so what need was there for Calvin? Let's apply the same logic to Oleivanus. Calvin had already written a Romans commentary, so what need was there for Oleivianus? Let's apply the same logic to Haldane. Chrysostom/Luther/Calvin/Oleivanus had already written a Romans commentary, so what need was there for Haldane? Let's apply the same logic to John Murray. Chrysostom/Luther/Calvin/Oleivanus/Haldane had already written a Romans commentary, so what need was there for Murray?

Every age has new challenges. Unless we ant to be Eastern Orthodox and arbitrarily cut off growth at a certain point, we are always going to write new commentaries.
 

JTB.SDG

Puritan Board Junior
A lot of the Puritans didn't set out writing commentaries or topical thoughts on Scripture to actually publish. It's what they did as part of their calling to study the word of God. Hence many of them ending up with 8-20 volumes. I like this model.

Doesn't really answer your question, but these are my thoughts.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top