Thursday, January 24, 2008

At my fingertips!

Being several hundreds of kilometers away from home, in Melaka, I could not bring with me that many books - all I have now is my little ESV hardback bible, Francis Moloney's Mark: Storyteller, Interpreter, Evangelist, and DA Carson's For the Love of God, Vol 1. There is only so much you can do with those 3 books.

I need to prepare for the bible study lesson this Friday evening on the topic of discipleship. I used BibleWorks7, did a word search on it and decided to use 2 Timothy 3:10-17. I used Libronix's Word Biblical Commentary: Pastoral Epistles by William D. Mounce and read up on its background, form, structure and comments.

Before I decided on getting the Word Biblical Commentary on CD-Rom, a good friend and coursemate of mine kept insisting that they just have to be in hardcopy book form. I agreed with him. But the idea of having all 58 volumes of commentaries in my notebook just sound too good to be true. I literally will have them all at my fingertips. I like the idea of carrying 58 huge tomes of commentaries everywhere I go with my computer.

Now that I am actually using them few hundreds kilometers away from home, I am one happy girl.

Of all the books in the bible not covered by this 58-volume series are Judges, Job 21ff, Acts and 1 Corinthians. On the NT commentaries covered in the series, DA Carson's take on them are listed below. Please take note that these are just excerpts: for the full survey, please refer to Carson's New Testament Commentary Survey, (Nottingham: Baker, 2007).

Matthew by Donald A. Hagner (2 vols) - cautious and understated on many points

Mark 1–8:26 by Robert A. Guelich - extraordinarily detailed

Mark 8:27–16:20 by Craig A. Evans - stronger on technical issues than on theology

Luke by John Nolland (3 vols) - Carson prefers Bock, Fitzmyer and Green

John (2nd Edition) by George R. Beasley-Murray - thin on the first 2/3 of the gospel, very rich on the passion narrative

Romans by James D. G. Dunn - more up-to-date bibliography and worthy of diligent study

2 Corinthians by Ralph P. Martin - has mastery of secondary literature, clarity of writing but speculative on many junctures

Galatians by Richard N. Longenecker - a substantial improvement over its predecessor in the series

Ephesians by Andrew T. Lincoln - excellent on many points, but on grounds of non-Pauline authorship

Philippians (Revised) by Gerald F. Hawthorne - accessible to students and pastors who have not kept up their Greek

Colossians, Philemon by Peter T. O'Brien - the best

1 & 2 Thessalonians by F. F. Bruce - accessible, thorough, detailed, valuable introductory remarks

Pastoral Epistles by William D. Mounce - more conservative than Marshall but not quite as penetrating

Hebrews by William L. Lane (2 vols) - good mix of technical comment and thoughtful theology

James by Ralph P. Martin - masterpiece of condensed writing, admirable summary of current status of scholarship on James, but some judgements requires some qualification

1 Peter by J. Ramsey Michaels - scarcely less important

Jude, 2 Peter by Richard J. Bauckham - the best

1, 2, 3 John by Stephen S. Smalley - good bibliography, good summarising and interacting with the positions of others

Revelation by David E. Aune (3 vols) - superb handling of Greek text at the level of grammar, prose accessible, arguments often elegant but not as good as Beale

Source: D.A. Carson, New Testament Commentary Survey, (Nottingham: Baker, 2007)


  1. I like the idea of carrying 58 huge tomes of commentaries everywhere I go with my computer.

    You are one awesome geek, Pearlie!
    Love ya' :)