One of the blessings of our generation is the unprecedented proliferation of books made available to Christian readers. It must be part of the curse that we don’t have time to keep up with them all! The pastor who determines to preach through a given book of the Bible faces a question — Which commentaries merit the expense and the time? One of the primary objectives here at Books At a Glance is to help relieve this frustration by helping toward more informed purchases. D.A. Carson has done the same in a big way with regard to New Testament commentaries.
“The purpose of this book is to provide theological students and ministers with a handy survey of the resources, especially commentaries, that are available in English to facilitate an understanding of the NT” (p.viii).
Remarkably abreast of virtually all the commentaries available on the New Testament Carson quickly highlights the strengths and weaknesses of each. His frank and often enjoyable remarks take into account the various considerations of scholarly weight, theological slant, usefulness and profitability, level of audience / readership, and so on. Carson’s scholarship and his theological commitments are well known, and his judgments reflect mature learning and are consistently insightful and even handed.
This resource, in various forms, has been available now for several decades, and this 7th Baker edition brings the work up to date. Carson’s focus is on individual commentaries (and related monographs), and this takes up the bulk of his attention. But he also provides brief counsel regarding commentaries generally, their value to the preacher, how they should be used, perceptive cautions regarding some attending pitfalls, etc. And he also surveys one-volume multi-author commentaries (eg., the New Bible Commentary, the International Bible Commentary, Elwell’s Evangelical Commentary), older commentaries, one-author sets of commentaries (eg, Barnes, Robertson, Ryle, Barclay, etc.), multi-author sets, New Testament Background commentaries, New Testament Introductions, New Testament Theologies, and works on Pauline studies, briefly weighing the comparative value(s) of each.
Of the publishing of commentaries there is no end, and because of this, Carson’s New Testament Commentary Survey is very simply a resource no pastor or Bible teacher will want to be without — an easily accessible, eminently reliable guide to New Testament commentaries. An invaluable service provided in a single handy volume.
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New Testament Commentary Survey, 7th Ed.