Re: Question on commentaries

From: David L. Moore (
Date: Thu Aug 01 1996 - 13:38:07 EDT

Randall & Shelly Keyes wrote:
> Greetings!
> As a new one to this particular list, I do have a question that may have
> been answered previously, so if it was, please just refer me to the proper
> archive---THANKS! :)
> My question is this: I was trained as (and actually still am) a liscenced
> Baptist minister at an excellent school here in Michigan. However, I ran
> face first into what I believe is the Biblical/Historical reality of
> sacraments and am now a confirmed Lutheran. Herein lies my dillema: Most
> of the commentaries I have are from an Zwinglian-Reformed position. This
> is fine, and I will still use them, but I am really beginning to realize
> the need for commentaries which come from a sacramental perspective and
> understanding of "Law" and "Gospel." ***PLEASE DON'T MISUNDERSTAND**** I
> love my heritage and am not "slamming it," I just *need* some new
> commentaries. All that intro for this:
> I have heard that Lenzski's commentaries are fairly descent and remember
> one of the profs I had at Conerstone (AKA GRBC---an excellent shool, BTW)
> using a series entitled "Hermeneia" or something like that.
> Please, send those suggestions! (Oh, and I'm open to classic Anglican
> works as well; Reformed though they may be <grin>)

        Since I haven't seen any answers ventured to Randall's question,
I'll give an opinion. Lenski's commentaries are worthwhile. He is very
competent in Greek, and his exegesis is skilled and to-the-point. He
dialogues with points of view other than his own although you won't find
the latest theories dealt with in his commentaries since they were
published about 30 years ago.

        Most authorities suggest that the best approach in purchasing
commentaries is to consult select bibliographies to get a feel for which
individual commentaries are deemed most excellent and most helpful. You
should start out by picking one or two high-quality commentaries for each
book of the Bible you are going to study. If you want to take a scholarly
approach, don't just look for commentaries that agree with your own point
of view, since you will want to know what is being said about the portion
of Scripture you are working with.

        It might be helpful to read the appendix on "The Evaluation and
Use of Commentaries" in Fee and Stuart's _How to Read the Bible For All
Its Worth_ (pp. 219-21). They also give a list of recommended works, but
don't rely on any one list. Read widely in bibliographies, especially more
recently published ones.


David L. Moore                             Director
Miami, Florida, USA                        Department of Education                     Southeastern Spanish District            of the Assemblies of God

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