Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Commentaries

My number one piece of advice to people studying academic theology at doctrinally mixed or liberal universities is to read good evangelical commentaries on the relevant passages. I find here a good place for recommending evangelical commentaries on books, though I disagree with some of their selections.

A while ago, I was asked about the NIV Application Commentaries series. I've recently had occasion to skim quite a lot of commentaries, and I can make the following points:

  • They're probably more consistently solid as a series than Tyndale (or even BST). Some of that is down to the format. On the other hand, I don't think there's anything spectacularly amazing in the series - I think that's also down to the format.
  • They're not heavyweight in terms of textual stuff, translation issues, etc but they do mention them. A few of them are shortened versions of other stuff in print (e.g. Smith's very good commentary on Amos).
  • They're ok at applications (better than Tyndale / BST) - they probably make it a lot easier to preach a decent sermon on a passage, but not much easier to do an excellent one
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