Impressive Bibliographical Skill

This commentary is impressive to me. I just got it in the mail yesterday. Most commentaries offer an apology for not being able to take into account the most recent monster commentary. Peterson’s commentary, however, was able to take into account both Bock’s and Longenecker’s recent (both 2007) contributions. The only recent commentary that Peterson doesn’t interact with is Pervo, too recent obviously to be included. So, like I said, I am impressed. Most of the time, there is a three year lag in the bibliography for commentaries. Peterson has been working on this commentary for a long time, and he is a noted Acts scholar even before this publication. Acts is starting to be well-served by modern evangelical commentaries. Still to come are Porter (NIGTC), Green (NICNT), and Walton (WBC). Walton is scheduled to come out at the end of this year, which means it will probably be available next year sometime. When these three commentaries are available, Acts will be as well served by good commentaries as it has been poorly served in the past. Previously, we really only had Bruce and Marshall. Both of these are still quite valuable. Then also there is now Witherington, Stott, Hughes, Barrett, Lloyd-Jones, and Fitzmyer.

Of first priority, in my opinion, are Peterson, Bock, Longenecker, Witherington, Barrett, and probably Pervo (I don’t own it, but it looks good, even though it’s in a liberal series). Second priority are Alexander, Bruce, Marshall, Lloyd-Jones, Johnson, Stott, Hughes, and Fernando. For those who really want a complete library, then Haenchen, Conzelmann, Willimon, and Pelikan will round it out.



  1. June 12, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Hey, bro,

    Aren’t you confusing some “Long” people here? I follow your link, and it takes me to the Expositor’s Bible Commentary on Acts by Tremper Longman and David Garland. Hehe.


  2. greenbaggins said,

    June 12, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    No confusion, bro. Longman is the editor of the OT, Garland is the editor of the NT, but they are not the authors of the commentaries. Longenecker is the author of the Acts commentary in the series edited by Longman/Garland.

  3. Pete Myers said,

    June 12, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    And Lane you demonstrate some of your own blogariffic bibliographic skill with this post. I just think it’s crazy how you manage to have so many opinions on so many commentaries?? I’m in awe.

    Seriously, though, when it comes to “assessing” a commentary, I assume you don’t read the whole thing. So how do you precie the data so quickly and come to a conclusion about it that you’re happy with? Do you look for the handling of key passages? Read the intro?

    I’m about to go to Oak Hill (where we’ve sadly lost Peterson), and I’m trying to pick up any useful tips for making best use of study time.

  4. greenbaggins said,

    June 12, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Pete, I use my commentaries more than any other part of my library. I have at least dipped into every commentary I own at one point or another. However, another part of the basis for my estimation is what other people say about the commentaries, and also what I am led to expect, considering the author’s other contributions to academic world. In Peterson’s case, for instance, I could assess his contribution to the Marshall/Peterson volume _Witness to the Gospel_. Having seen the level of scholarship there, and also knowing that D.A. Carson is the editor of Pillar (and they haven’t produced a dud yet), I can also therefore expect a very high quality of scholarship from Peterson. Another thing I do is immediately go the “quoted authors” index at the back to see who are his “go-to” guys. Those will be the most influential commentators that influence the direction of his discussion, even if (obviously) he will not follow them at every point. This is how I get a “feel” for a commentary. I now do this kind of work immediately with every commentary I purchase.

  5. June 13, 2009 at 12:29 am

    Speaking of D. A. Carson, isn’t he supposed to be writing a commentary on the Johannine letters? I’ve been hearing this for more than ten years now, and am beginning to wonder if I’ll live long enough to see it published. Perhaps he’ll publish it along with a revised and updated second edition of his 1991 commentary (is it almost 20 years old already?) on the Gospel of John. Wishful thinking, I know…

  6. greenbaggins said,

    June 13, 2009 at 7:42 am

    Richard, he’s slated to write four commentaries: Galatians and Revelation in the Pillar series, Hebrews in the BECNT series, and 1-3 John in the NIGTC series. I know that he is currently updating his Matthew commentary for publication in the revised EBC series. I don’t know whether he will update his John commentary or not. I sincerely hope he doesn’t, actually. If he does, then he will never be able to write these four other commentaries, which I would very much like to possess.

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