Help deciding my next commentary set acquisition.

Discussion in 'Commentaries' started by Reformed Bookworm, Mar 3, 2018.

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  1. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    I am torn on what commentary set to purchase next. The options are as follows:
    John Gill
    Keil & Delitzsch
    John Lightfoot's NT Commentary
    J. P. Lange
    John Trapp
    John Calvin (I have full access to my Church's set)
    I am open to more suggestions. Here are the sets I have:
    Matthew Poole, Matthew Henry, Johann Bengel's NT set, Jamieson, Fausset & Brown, IVP's New Bible Commentary, Chrysotom's homilies on the NT, various from IVP's Ancient Christian series, and a plethora of Commentaries ranging from old to new on various books of the Bible.

    Which would you go with and why?
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2018
  2. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    Well, Gill, K&D, and Calvin are usually available freely if you are looking for electronic versions.
     
  3. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    I should have mentioned I am old school and love tangible books. I struggle with ebooks. I do find them convenient for quick quoting in my writing.
     
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  4. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

  5. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Gotta go with Calvin on this one. You'll never regret it. On K&D, you really need to be able to read Hebrew to get the full benefit of it. After Calvin, it would be either Gill or Lange.
     
  6. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    Thanks for the feedback thus far. I have been struggling between Gill and Calvin. The only reason Gill has been in the lead is because he fully expounded the Scriptures and I found a beautiful rebound set in library binding for an incredible price. This is tough.
     
  7. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Gill may cover the whole Bible, but Calvin is more incisive than Gill, in my opinion.
     
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  8. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    Yeah, this is very true. Calvin it is.
     
  9. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    Does anyone have experience with John Trapp?
     
  10. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    Going back to our discussion on my other thread. I just purchased a mint copy of Peter T O'Brien's commentary on Hebrews for cheaper than when it came out. I was shocked to find it for so cheap when people are trying to sell his books for up to $1300.
     
  11. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    I have Trapp. He is exceedingly brief, most of the time. Too brief for my taste. However, he is colorful, and occasionally hits it just right. I pick Calvin over Trapp, however.
     
  12. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    Good to know. I am looking for some season per se to throw onto my meatier commentary main dishes. I was thinking Trapp or Hawker. I am working through Calvin's commentary on Hebrews at the moment and to no surprise enjoying it. This is my first time reading through one of his commentaries. Although, I have Institutes and collections of his sermons. I absolutely love those.
     
  13. USNCerGuard

    USNCerGuard Puritan Board Freshman

    Poole and Henry; not "or."

    If you've got access to Calvin in your church library then spend the money on things you don't have. I've found Poole and Henry to be both devotional and pastoral, helpful for pulpit ministry.
     
  14. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    I have both Poole and Henry already. I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment. I love and refer to both often. That is why I was leaning towards this rebound Gill set for a steal.
     
  15. Poimen

    Poimen Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I firmly believe that if you have Calvin and Henry, you have everything you need. Even, and especially, for pastors.
     
  16. USNCerGuard

    USNCerGuard Puritan Board Freshman

    See, this is why I ought to read slower. I'd have clearly seen what was right in front of me. :)
     
  17. Timotheos

    Timotheos Puritan Board Freshman

    I'm surprised you were able to find it. It is out of print and pulled off the shelves b/c of plagiarism.
     
  18. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    No worries, friend. I too am guilty of this at tines.
     
  19. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    I search high and low when I have a book in my aims. To top it off, I paid $30 for it mint. The previous one I saw was going for around $200, which is on the lower end. People exploit the plagiarism scandal to fetch astronomical prices. It's absurd.
     
  20. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    They are a beautiful combination, indeed. I am a bibliophile and have been painstakingly building out a large theological library. All glory goes to God for this endeavor.
     
  21. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    As highly as I esteem those two princes of commentators, I cannot agree with this assessment. While God's Word never changes, and thus God's truth never changes, language changes, and so do cultures. Some things stay the same (human nature, for example, is fairly constant, even as people are also different from each other). Other things change. There is never a time when we can say that everything has been said. God's Word is infinite. As deeply as Calvin and Henry plumbed the depths of divine truth, they could not possibly have gotten everything. Even over the course of two millennia, there is still more light to come from the pages of God's Word. Do we not believe that the Holy Spirit has given gifts of interpretation to every age? We can learn from John Chrysostom, Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, Matthew Henry, Charles Spurgeon, and the modern commentators. I can't imagine preaching from Samuel or Kings without Dale Ralph Davis, or Daniel without Iain Duguid. Now, maybe you were just exaggerating to prove a point, Daniel. Nevertheless, I firmly believe that there will never be a time this side of glory when commentary writing should cease.
     
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  22. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    This is exactly what I needed to hear as I have been fighting discouragement with my endeavor to write a new book on Hebrews, as well as my other books I have planned. I ask myself once a day "what can I possibly add to the many great commentaries and books that have already been written over the years?" Thank God for God and my encouraging wife to keep me motivated. Anyhow, thanks for these words. It gives me encouragement to keep my project moving forward. Also, as great as Calvin and Henry are, I concur with Spurgeon when he says, "The best commentators, after all, are those who have written upon only one book. Few men can comment eminently well upon the whole Bible, there are sure to be some weak points in colossal works"
     
  23. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    Calvin then Gill.
     
  24. Poimen

    Poimen Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Not hyperbole though I only meant to say that they were sufficient for one's needs, that is to say that others are not necessary. Though I personally have Davies and Duguid on my shelves and I have profited by them, I always go first to these dead brothers and prefer them before all others.
     
  25. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    God did not just give to the Church those gifted pastors/expositors/theologians at that time period, for He is continuing to give to us gifted men in the scriptures in every generation.
    The more modern commentaries and theologies will be much more up to date in regards to objections to the Bible, and in historical and background information, and even in how the Greek/Hebrew was used.
     
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