A Brick in the Valley

Friends with Commentators
December 2, 2007, 5:28 am
Filed under: Recommended Reading

Read great commentaries. 

As a pastor, I truly enjoy my friendships with some commentators.  Granted, they are rather one sided – – the authors don’t even know that I exist – – but I so appreciate their wisdom and hard work, and I often make a note to hang out with a particular commentator on the New Earth.   Until then, I soak up what they  have written.

 Take for instance, Derek Kidner on the Psalms –if you don’t have the Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries on the Psalms, take back one of your grandchildren’s Christmas presents, and get the commentary.  They are inexpensive and great.

 Then there is Bruner on Matthew.  He’ll say some wacko thing ever so often.  But, he is still good to have around  – – he has a fresh take on things.

 But, currently I am preaching on Isaiah and I am humbled at the resources available today.  If you are looking for a place to begin, then get Barry Webb’s excellent, accessible, and brief commentary in the Bible Speaks Today series.  That series is edited by Alec Motyer who himself wrote a splendid commentary published by IVP.  But, my favorite has to be the magesterial two volume NICOT written by Oswalt, The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 1-39 (New Intl Commentary on the Old Testament), published by Eerdmans.  Oswalt must be a prince of a guy.  If he is ever in Stillman Valley, I hope to buy him breakfast at the Royal Blue.

2 Comments so far
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As you are preaching through Isaiah, particularly Isaiah 40-55, check out how he uses the terms “righteous” and “righteousness.” I think this is key for how we read Paul since both Moo and Wright believe this portion of Isaiah is foundational. I’m interested to hear the conclusions from your own personal study.

Regarding commentaries, I used to feel bad for reading so many because we are always told that we should come to our own conclusions first. However, postmodernity has convinced me of the value of community, and I now view commentaries as members of the Christian community. To be in dialogue with them and read them is essential.

May your book allowance increase.

Comment by brianmcl

Same deal for me about commentaries. I felt guilty at first. Dr. Hoch used to yell at us that commentaries would put a ring in our exegetical noses. . . never mind that he ran the bookstore and owned every commentary written in the history of Western civilization.

Of course, Hoch had a point.

Still, I do treasure them now.

I won’t get to Isaiah 40 for a bit.

Comment by cdbrauns

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