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Discussion in 'Commentaries' started by BayouHuguenot, Mar 25, 2005.
I saw it at *cough Lifeway *cough. Does anybody have this?
Don't have it, and haven't read it, though a seminary student who reviewed it said it was drenched in you-know-what bias.
DA Carson suggests that with the exception of "one or two extraordinary lapses" Fee's commentary is the best "general commentary" available on the book.
I have not personally looked at Fee's commentary on First Corinthians... but I do have his Philippians commentary and I like it very much. I actually prefer it o O'Brien (which is the best technical commentary on Philippians).
I have Fee's Phillippians as well. I was looking at it for technicality at a low price, sort of low price.
He is Pentecostal, just a thought to keep in mind if you buy it.
Just me, but I think technical commentaries are just about useless for the non-preacher. For the preacher they are one tool of many, and used in conjunction with other, better tools. My advice - don't mess with it, stick with Calvin, Henry or some other solid commentary.
I do agree that technical commentaries are just about useless for the non-preacher... I'd actually go further and say that a technical commentary is best suited for students writing academic papers. But I'd say that a semi-technical commentary - Like Fee - is good because it has a very pastoral tone and at the same time he deals with the technical issues in such a way as to make them at least understandable by non-specialists. I do agree that commentaries are one type of tool among many.... but Calvin and Henry are in the class of commentaries, not in the class of "other, better tools."Concerning the use of Calvin and Henry, I echo the opinion of Carson: "Both Calvin and Henry are still worth reading. The latter (Henry) makes shrewd, practical comments; the former (Calvin) is a more reliable interpreter of Scripture. Both should be used only in conjunction with modern commentators." (NT Commentary Survey, 5th ed. p.29)
[Edited on 3-26-2005 by SolaScriptura]
Thanks Fred and Ben,
I know Fee is Pentecostand; I have read several books by him. The reason I was looking at it was to put my knowledge of Greek to use in research. Also, I had always thought that NICTNT was a good series, most of it anyway.
Ben I disagree to a large extent with Carson. Most modern commentaries are a blight. For example, the Word series, which has some of the best technical and "up to date" scholarship, is filled with rubbish about JDEP, Moses did not write this, a later interpreter inserted that, this verse is just wrong, etc.
I am experiencing this first hand as I go through both Exodus (Durham) and 1 Peter (Michaels). I have about every commentary that is physically available for 1 Peter - thanks RTS library. I mean it. I have like 15 on my shelf right now. Time and again, the "modern" "exegetical" commentaries are of little to no use. 95% of their grammatical/exegetical points I can garner myself from the text, without the godless rubbish. Calvin and Henry (and Poole, and John Brown, and Nisbet, and Leighton) on the other hand, both feed my soul and give me material for preaching. I don't think I would ever use anything from a Word commentary in the pulpit, and I don't believe my people would miss anything.
That is just my thought - others disagree. I just come at this from a perspective that is pastoral AND a thorough knowledge of the languages. I would stack my Greek against any commentator's anyday, so it's not like I have my head in the sand.
Word has degenerated that much? I didn't know they bowed to JDEP. I have Bruce on Thessalonians and that is about all that I have. I know Dunn did Romans so I am not going to get it. My school is gushy over the Anchor Bible (define godless right there, although Fitzmyer on Romans is good to get to see how far Rome will let their scholars roam).
I know many people urge against buying sets because they hit or miss. I have Calvin's set due to the love and generosity of someone dear. What is a good set, price and theology wise?
I agree that much of the Word series is totally lame-o.
There are a few notable exceptions in that series, though.
Do have happen to have Schreiner's 1 Peter commentary from the NAC series? There are several good works in that series.
[Edited on 3-26-2005 by SolaScriptura]
I know that you directed your question at Fred, but I can´t help myself"¦
Though you've anticipated my response in your own posting...
I'm among those who advise against purchasing any set wholesale. Each of the sets "“ even the thoroughly conservative ones "“ have volumes that are "œgood" and some that are "œbad."
I recommend picking and choosing the best commentaries from the various sets"¦
That said, the NAC series has produced some surprisingly strong commentaries and the series is thoroughly conservative. Also, the NICNT, NIGTC (warning: if you aren't proficient in Greek, disregard this series), BECNT (you simply must get Schreiner's Romans commentary!) and Pillar series are all good in terms of being conservative/evangelical. However... again, not all the commentaries are of equal quality.
Fred, I feel your pain about Exodus commentaries"¦ the relative lack of evangelical scholarship in the OT is saddening. Although it is in the NIVAC series, I really like Enns´ commentary"¦ and he doesn´t have Durham´s attitude towards the historicity of Exodus.
I believe Fee also argues in his First Corinthian commentary on chapter 11 that men and women are equal in their roles in the church. We discussed this in class the other day. That was enough for me to reject it.
[Edited on 3-26-2005 by puritansailor]
And this would be one of those "extraordinary lapses" which was referred to above.
I guess that I don't disregard an entire work - or person - because I happen to disagree with some of their conclusions or lines of reasoning. If that were the case then I'd end up rejecting just about everybody.
Besides, I do think that a preacher/teacher should read this type of thing in order to respond to their arguments as they actually are... in most cases a non-adherents articulation of an opposing position is a caricature. Since most Americans are egalitarian by virtue of worldview, then it seems that if I want to confront it from the pulpit that I should respond to the best arguments that are put forth by adherents of that position... and by anyone's reckoning, Fee is one of the more scholarly/well-respected of the egalitarians.
[Edited on 3-26-2005 by SolaScriptura]
I didn't say I wouldn't study it. I just wouldn't buy it
Ok... sort of like me and the Milgrom JPS commentary on Numbers.
I agree with you about Exodus commentaries. I too like Enns' commentary. In fact, I find the NIVAC series pretty good. That is my proclivity - it has some good insights and applications. Much better than the Word technical pagan rot. I have also used John Mackay, who is good. So I have basically: Enns, Mackay, Currid (among the best, I think), Calvin, Poole, and Henry. That is enough for me. I had enough of Durham when he went on for a whole paragraph about how it coulod not possibly be the case that the Bible was actually right in Exodus 5 when it said Aaron was older than Moses. Why? Because the "formula" used in Exodus 2 to describe Moses' birth just had to mean he was the first born (proof anyone? don't waste your time looking - there isn't any). So how does Durham solve this "problem" (that he invented) ? Of course - a later priestly redacter changed the Bible (into a lie) in order to make Aaron more important. Sheesh. Go back to trolling the pits of hell.
So that is why I stay away from most modern commentaries. I know Schreiner and Cranfield get alot of press (and I see some value in them), but give me Murray, Calvin, Hodge and Haldane anyday. I'll do the Greek on my own.
As for sets, I think the Hendriksen NT series is very good. I don't know of any real dogs in that set. Other than that, I would NEVER buy a whole set except for Calvin, Henry and Poole.
I would suggest that every seminarian and preacher get a copy of three books worth their weight in gold:
1. Spurgeon's Commenting and Commentaries, the best assessment of Puritan and old commentaries.
2. Derek Thomas' The Essential Commentaries for A Preacher's Library. Enough said.
3. John Glynn's Commentary and Reference Survey, the best new guide to commentaries, it gives excellent descriptions of the newest and latest (there is a 2003 edition!)
Where can I get this?
RTS bookstore. Call them or check online.