If you had the money to buy just ONE full commentary (whole Bible) set...

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Damon Rambo

Puritan Board Sophomore
O.K.

I have some tax refund money, and I am going to invest in a commentary set. Now, before you suggest these, I already have Calvin's commentaries, and the Expositor's Bible Commentary sets.

I also have Libronix (Silver) so I have all the nice fluffy commentaries. I am looking for something meaty, yet not so critical that it hurts my head, and puts me to sleep. Also, I am not fluent in Latin, so the commentaries need to be in English. I am also looking for hard copies, not software; quite frankly, my time with Libronix has taught me that I prefer to read with a book in my hand...just something about the smell and feel of the paper, I guess...

With these criteria in mind what would you suggest?

I thought about the Reformed Expository Commentary, but I do not know much about it.

What say you?
 

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
Covenant Seminary also has an online guide to recommended commentaries and sets here.

For a complete set, the New International Commentaries of OT and NT are very good, but the entire set is pretty expensive (well over $1000). Another possibility (though only NT) is the New Testament Commentary series (begun by Hendricksen and completed by Kistemaker) which will only run you about $150. :2cents:
 

Damon Rambo

Puritan Board Sophomore

I can't stand to do that. I have done it, and do have a slew of individual commentaries. But looking on my shelf and seeing only 3 of a 4 set commentary series is depressing and distracting to me. I am just too obsessive compulsive...
 

Damon Rambo

Puritan Board Sophomore
FYI:

I already have Matthew Henry and M. Poole in electronic format in Libronix. I am looking for something I do not already have.

Edit: actually, Henry is on Libronix, Poole is separate.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
It depends on what you are going to use them for, but two (relatively) inexpensive and pastoral commentary sets are:

The Bible Speaks Today ($256)

Tyndale Commentaries (which are harder to find)

The Reformed Expositional Commentaries are very good. Besides that, I have to say that I don't buy whole sets generally. A better way to think about it is to think about which books of the Bible you will be preaching/teaching on in the next few years, and buy every good commentary for the next 3-5 of those.
 

jogri17

Puritan Board Junior
that doesn't include his commentary on Hebrews nor his ''Biblical THeology''. All of Owen is a must!
 

rbcbob

Puritan Board Graduate
Thomas Scott's Notes on the Bible are a precious treasure when you can find a set. Mine is rebound with the original yellowed pages (200 yrs old).
 

Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis

I can't stand to do that. I have done it, and do have a slew of individual commentaries. But looking on my shelf and seeing only 3 of a 4 set commentary series is depressing and distracting to me. I am just too obsessive compulsive...

:ditto:
 

TomVols

Puritan Board Freshman
NICOT/NICNT aren't finished are they? Some vols are good, others are sleepers. I'd go with Hendriksen/Kistemaker for NT. Sell your bed and buy this set. I don't know of one on the entire Bible I love besides Poole. Expositor's, which I bought brand new for $50, is almost a joke in places in the OT.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor

I can't stand to do that. I have done it, and do have a slew of individual commentaries. But looking on my shelf and seeing only 3 of a 4 set commentary series is depressing and distracting to me. I am just too obsessive compulsive...

I hate to be yet another guy telling you that you've got the wrong idea, but... you've got the wrong idea. I too am a bit obsessive about liking my shelves to look complete and orderly. But I've had to get over that. The fact is that the best, current commentary sets are only as good as their authors, and the authors change from book to book. A truly impressive, awesome commentary set is one that represents the best individual volumes from several good sets.

Think of it like picking a team for an All-Star game. The players will all be wearing different uniforms, which looks kind of haphazard. But in fact, it's a far more impressive team than you could get from having players that all wear the same uniform.
 

Damon Rambo

Puritan Board Sophomore

I can't stand to do that. I have done it, and do have a slew of individual commentaries. But looking on my shelf and seeing only 3 of a 4 set commentary series is depressing and distracting to me. I am just too obsessive compulsive...

I hate to be yet another guy telling you that you've got the wrong idea, but... you've got the wrong idea. I too am a bit obsessive about liking my shelves to look complete and orderly. But I've had to get over that. The fact is that the best, current commentary sets are only as good as their authors, and the authors change from book to book. A truly impressive, awesome commentary set is one that represents the best individual volumes from several good sets.

Think of it like picking a team for an All-Star game. The players will all be wearing different uniforms, which looks kind of haphazard. But in fact, it's a far more impressive team than you could get from having players that all wear the same uniform.

The problem is that in most cases the sets cost only a fraction of what the individual commentaries cost. You can buy a complete set of commentaries, often, for the same price as three or four individuals. Take for instance my set of the "Expositors Bible Commentary." I got it for 150 bucks. Individually, the books cost 20 to 30 bucks a piece. So I could have just bought the four volumes that I needed at the time, but why not pay the extra 20 dollars or so, and get the full 12 volume set?

Like I said, I DO have, and DO buy individual commentaries, when I am doing a study over a particular book or such. But, unless the other titles of a series are completely worthless, why not get the full set?
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
If you don't worry about hit or miss by some authors, then get all 58 volumes of the Word Biblical Commentary. Will look very nice on your shelves. ;)

AMR
 

Damon Rambo

Puritan Board Sophomore
Yeah, that is a little overboard. But there are many commentaries in which all of the books are valuable. How many people here have bought single editions of Calvin's commentaries?
 

Damon Rambo

Puritan Board Sophomore
I would also like to add that I am considering a Historical volume (or volumes) instead; academically speaking, Church History is my second love next to Theology (I am even contemplating a Th.M in Church history). I already have Gonzales' works, Frend, Murrel, and many one volume works. I was thinking Schaff's History of the Christian Church, or Oden's Ancient Christian Doctrine series.

Any suggestions in that regard?
 
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