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Thursday
Mar292012

Commentary collecting

Since I'm working on a series of posts about bible study, commentary selection has come up in my thinking.  Quite a while back Tim Challies posted about it.  He gave suggestions for New Testament commentaries on his own blog, and then posted at Ligonier about Keith Mathison's suggestions for commentaries for every book of the bible.  What I like about Keith Mathison's suggestions is that he provides a comment about more than just one or two.  If a commentary is more technical as opposed to pastoral,  he will mention it.  I have followed his suggestions for the past four commentaries I have purchased, for Ephesians, Leviticus, Numbers, and John. All of them have been excellent.
 

Fee and Stuart in their book How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth talk about in commentary selection in an appendix.  According to them, what you want a commentary for are these three things: 

  1. helps on sources and information about historical context
  2. answers to content questions
  3. thorough discussions of difficult text, with suggested meanings and supporting arguments
One thing perplexes me, and this is something I just recently discovered.  There is apparently a commentary directed to women specifically.  It is written for women by women.  I'm a little curious about that. I'm not really sure why such a thing exists.  Is not the skill of the commentator more significant than his gender?  Is this saying that women aren't able to understand a man's writing?  Is there some special insight that women have that men don't?  If there are, how do those insights apply to a commentary on Scripture?    I'm not trying to be argumentative; I seriously don't understand.
 
I recommend Fee and Stuart's book, and their section on commentaries is very helpful. 

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