Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Books / Publications Forum' started by Reagan, Oct 16, 2003.
What are your thoughts on these 3 commentary sets? Favorite? Pros and cons for each?
I use Word Biblical Commentaries (digital edition). It's useful and relatively inexpensive considering the cost of the printed set. Because there are different authors for each book the style is varied which is good at times and frustrating at other times.
I've never compared them side by side. I infrequently am able to use the others at a nearby bible college.
There are of course no commentaries that really answer the questions you want them to answer though.
The WBC is usually a little too technical for standard preaching. It is a good research commentary in most cases. I hate the format of it but in a difficult passage it usually gives a good idea of the basic positions. Overall, it is less than useful for normal preaching.
The NAC is usually a bit too surface for my tastes. It doesn't seem to involve itself in enough detail to make it of value. I have a few of the volumes and have been unimpressed by them. I probably wouldn't buy any more of them.
The NICNT and NICOT series is usually good. I like as well as any for the most part.
Like all series, some volumes are better than others in each of these.
I like Word. Don't know much about NIC or NAC. I have also always enjoyed reading Hermeneia.
WORD -- I only have a couple of volumes in this set. As Pastor Larry mentioned, the format stinks, so they can be hard to use. Also, my impression is that, on the whole, the series is less conservative than NIC or NAC.
NAC -- I have collected quite a few from this set, mainly in the OT. There are some real gems (Numbers, Joshua, Judges/Ruth, Daniel) but also some that are not so helpful (Proverbs/Eccl/SoS, 1&2 Samuel, 1&2 Kings). If you can look at particular volume in a local bookstore before you buy, you might be able to weed out the losers from the winners.
NIC -- Overall, probably a little bit better than NAC. There are some volumes I would stay away from given the theological viewpoint of the author. For example, I know it's supposed to be good but I can't get myself to buy Fee's 1 Corinthians (although I do have his commentary on Philippians in the same series). I am planning on getting David Garland's 1 Corinthians when it's available from Baker.
Speaking of Baker, there are two other NT series that are worth mentioning. One is the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the NT. All the volumes in that series are great. I would say the same thing about the Pillar NT Commentary Series. I have about 5 from that set and they are all terrific. Good technical detail and help with difficult passages.
NICOT/NICNT- Best of the three. Some excellent volumes, others very good. Problem is, Eerdmans has told me they have no immediate plans to finish the series anytime in the next 800 years I think they're doing one volume about every four years or so.
NAC - Good editors/compilers, but too "all over the page." Some are outstanding (Acts, Galatians) and some are flops. Not bad, but don't prepare to have your socks knocked off.
Word - Some are better than others. Some have moderate leanings. Some are indispensable (Pastoral Epistles, Genesis, Revelation). Buy only if you have a rich uncle who gets out of the poor house.
As with most all sets, buy the good volumes and punt the sets. Best set of NT are the Hendriksen commentaries by Kistemaker and Hendriksen. Keil & Delisztch (sp) for OT is decent set, and Poole's and Expositor's for the whole Bible (Watch out for the dispensationalism) are good for the entire Bible.
NICNT & OT are excellent.
NAC is pretty good. I like Stein on
Luke and Borchert on John. Timothy
George on Galatians is quite good too.
Blomberg on Matthew is good as well.
Word is good, but I don't buy an
entire set of anything.
I have some NIVAC voulumes. I
really like the two by Gary Burge.
Some others are very good too.
Tremper Longman and Don Carson have
both published good books about OT
(Longman) and NT (Carson) commentaries.
Longman's book is out in a new edition.
Carson's is available in a 3rd or 4th
My problem with these is that if you don't break the passage up the exact way that they do, they are very hard to use since they typically don't use verse by verse discussions. These would be better for general Bible study. I do like the breakdowns of bridging the gaps and contemporary application (though I am not convinced by their arguments all the time).
I also like the BECNT. I think these are excellent works, at least the ones that I have. I like their format, though I wish they more clearly identified where discussion of a particular verse begins. Pillar is generally good as well.
Somone mentioned above that WBC tends to be more liberal and critical than the others. I have found this to be true in the ones I have.
I have the Luke volume in the Baker
series. It is quite good, by Bock.
I like the Pillar series too. I have
been preaching in Mark's Gospel lately
and have found that volume by
James Edwards to be very good. I also
have a few others, Carson on John is
good, O'Brien is great too.
Schreiner's volume on Romans in the BECNT is very good as well. I don't think there are a lot of those out though. Anyone know of others in that set?? I have Luke (Bock) and Schreiner (Romans).
In addition to Luke and Romans, the BECNT set includes Revelation (Osborne) and, in November, 1 Corinthians (Garland). Baker also publishes a commentary on Ephesians by Harold Hoehner that is similar in substance to the others but not in the exact same format.