Jonathan Robie wrote:
What other single-book commentaries should we consider?
Evan Blackmore wrote:Then there are the various commentaries of Lightfoot and Westcott, although it might be argued that they’re not quite such a high priority because their material has been recycled so often. (Everyone who writes nowadays on the same books takes great care to read L & W and to repeat everything worthwhile that they said.)
But they may be of value precisely because they are so widely cited, and said it so well in the first place.
Yes, absolutely. In fact, looking more closely at the "ICC" set linked in your first post, I see that it already includes Westcott's 1908 Gospel of John commentary. That's quite reasonable. Only the first half of Bernard's ICC John is in the public domain, and even if it were available, I suspect most readers would still prefer to have Westcott's (it has been much more influential, and is probably a more representative summation of 19th-century scholarship on John).
Similarly, I think most readers would rather have Westcott's Hebrews than Moffatt's ICC volume (if pressed to choose between them). Moffatt writes gracefully but is less detailed than most ICC volumes and provides relatively little help with details of Gk syntax--a serious limitation for purposes of this project, esp. when you reflect that Hebrews has some of the most complex Gk in the NT. Here's a link to Westcott:
Brooke Foss Westcott, The Epistle to the Hebrews: The Greek Text with Notes and Essays
London: Macmillan, 1892http://archive.org/details/epistletohebrew00westgoog
Other public-domain commentaries in the Macmillan series that are still highly prized include Westcott's Epistles of John; Lightfoot's Galatians, Philippians, and Colossians-Philemon; Armitage Robinson's Ephesians; Milligan's Thessalonians; and Vaughan's Romans (which is particularly well attuned to the needs of Greek students). In each of those cases, however, the equivalent ICC volume is also outstanding.
Acts never appeared in the ICC till 1994. The above "ICC" set has chosen to fill the gap with Hackett's 1867 Gk-text commentary. I think that's an acceptable choice, although two other options might also be considered seriously:
Paton J. Gloag, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles
2 vols. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1870
J. Rawson Lumby, The Acts of the Apostles
Cambridge Greek Testament
Cambridge, England: Cambridge U. P., 1891
(not to be confused with his briefer English-text commentary in the Cambridge Bible series)http://archive.org/details/actsofapostleswi05lumb
In fact, I'd find it hard to choose between Hackett, Gloag, and Lumby. Hackett really belongs to an earlier generation than the ICC--from that point of view, Lumby would be a better match, but he's not so detailed. Does anyone else have strong views about these three? Fortunately Knowling's treatment of Acts in EGT is exceptionally full and helpful, one of the very best parts of that excellent set, which helps to compensate for the absence of an old ICC there.
The other single-vol commentary that I'd particularly like to mention is:
Franz Delitzsch, Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews
2 vols. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1874
I wouldn't suggest that it's a higher priority than Westcott, but it offers a Hebraist's unique perspective on the work. I don't think any more recent OT scholar has attempted anything comparable.
Comments on other options mentioned above: On Galatians-Colossians, I wouldn't regard Eadie as such a high priority as the later and more detailed ICC and Macmillan volumes on the same letters. I considered mentioning Godet, but I'm not sure whether he really counts as a Greek-text commentator (he does deal with some Greek issues, but mainly when there are textual variants), and all the books he covered have been well covered by ICC (Luke, Rom, 1 Cor) or Westcott (John). All Hort's commentaries are tantalizingly incomplete fragments (sometimes less than a chapter); the fullest of them is James (where he got as far as 4:6, if I remember rightly), but both Ropes (ICC) and Mayor (Macmillan) would obviously be higher priorities there, since they're both complete.