Three New Books Worth Checking Out

The first is this long-awaited commentary on Matthew in the New International Commentary. This work is 1233 pages, and it is written by one of the very best Gospels scholars alive today. His commentary on Mark is already well-established as one of the best, if not the best, on that book. He has already published two earlier works on Matthew. What is interesting is the history of this spot in the NICNT series. At first, Gundry’s commentary was supposed to fill that gap. However, Gundry’s views were not so popular in the Evangelical Theological Society, and so the commentary had to be published as a stand-alone commentary. Then several other scholars were slated to contribute that volume, but for various reasons were not able to fulfill their engagement. Finally, France agreed to do it. I think that the scholarly world will agree that God’s providence worked in such a way as to give us a splendid commentary that will serve the church well.

The second work I would like to recomment is this work on the life of David. The Gospel According to the Old Testament series is establishing itself as one of the best biblical-theological series available. For preachers, especially, the series is invaluable.

The third work I would like to recommend is this work on Genesis. You can read the table of contents here, and you can read chapter 9 here (on the birth of Isaac). The work is very full (536 pages), so, as a preaching book, it goes beyond what most books on Genesis from a homiletical point of view would have.

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8 Comments

  1. July 27, 2007 at 11:28 am

    I seem to remember someone mentioning that R.T. France is theologically Arminian (as is Ben Witherington). I wonder how badly that affects his commentaries.

  2. greenbaggins said,

    July 27, 2007 at 11:33 am

    The only caviat that Carson (a Calvinist) gives is France’s interpretation of the eschatological discourse in Matthew. He doesn’t mention any Arminianism. I haven’t seen any yet in reading his Tyndale commentary.

  3. Tim Wilder said,

    July 27, 2007 at 11:54 am

    Interesting, because I got Gundry’s commentary after taking R.T. France’s course on the Synoptics, and it seemed the Gundry was taking the redaction criticism approach the France was recommending and using in class.

    France, by the way, was not at that time Arminian, but anti-systematic. He thought that Calvinists and Arminians were picking texts that could fit in a system and rejecting the rest, and that in fact the totality of texts could not be harmonized in the theological system, but that that did not matter.

  4. greenbaggins said,

    July 27, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    Well, it will certainly be interesting to see what kind of an approach he has now. The Tyndale volume is now 22 years old, and his monograph is 18 years old.

  5. thomasgoodwin said,

    July 27, 2007 at 4:01 pm

    Here are some thoughts on modern commentary sets (I’d love to hear what commentaries have helped some of you):

    I own the NICNT and NICOT sets and, personally, they have dissapointed me. Longman’s commentaries on Eccles. and Song of Songs are not good. Waltke lives in two worlds at times; Harvard and Westminster. But he’s much preferred than Longman.

    Calvin gets better and better the more I read contemporary commentaries.

    Although, I have enjoyed some in the Pillar series which, I hope, will grow. Gundry denies the doctrine of justification by faith as understood by the Reformers and Westminster divines.

    The Word commentary series is terribly affected by modern higher criticism.

    NIGTC is either great or totally useless.

    Love the Tyndale series, esp. for its brevity.

    Hendriksen is a favorite; such a help to the preacher. Kistemaker can’t seem to rise to the same standards.

    I’d like to see the very best Pastors write commentaries because I think they see the real issues and can make some very important insights that the ‘scholars’ often gloss over. That’s why Calvin’s are so magnificent.

    So, to sum up, I’d take Lloyd-Jones any day over Gundry, France, Longman, etc.

  6. greenbaggins said,

    July 27, 2007 at 4:15 pm

    All sets are hit and miss. None of them are uniformly good, except maybe BECNT. It is always best to pick and choose among the best on each book. Calvin is uniformly good and helpful, as is Matthew Henry. I always read those two. Your wish about pastors is being granted in the new Reformed Expository Commentary series, every volume of which has been pure gold, of those that have appeared so far. I don’t find Kistemaker/Hendricksen as helpful as I find some others. I believe in chronological and theological diversity (for the discerning reader), when it comes to commentaries. I want to know what the liberals are thinking, so as to refute them.

  7. Fred Greco said,

    July 27, 2007 at 4:15 pm

    I never buy sets, because they are so uneven. I also don’t have much use for “scholar’s” commentaries. They give almost no help in preparing sermons. The Word series (as you mention) is an example of this. The volume on Exodus is almost unreadable because of all the JDEP garbage that keeps coming in. The Tyndale series is good as you mention; so are volumes in The Bible Speaks Today. The Eaton and Kidner volumes on Ecclesiastes are 1/8th the size, with 10x the help of other “scholarly” volumes.

    That is not to say that scholarship is always bad – Knight on 1&2 Timothy is by far the best, for example.

    So always start with Calvin, and find pastoral commentaries to go to.

  8. June 8, 2009 at 11:50 am

    I agree with Fred who never buys sets because they’re uneven… I’ve focused on individual authors instead or checked out http://www.bestcommentaries.com/ to get their recommendations…


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