Advice Needed: New Testament Commentaries

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Advice Needed: New Testament Commentaries

Postby Jonathan Robie » October 18th, 2013, 4:23 pm

Perseus and biblicalhumanities.org are cooperating to digitize a variety of resources related to biblical Greek. I have been asked to put together a wishlist.

Here is a set of commentaries on the complete New Testament that I think are probably worth digitizing - do you agree? Are any of these resources no longer important? Am I missing any out-of-copyright resources that should be added to this list?

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary by Henry Alford
http://archive.org/details/GreekTestame ... aryByHenry

ICC Commentary
https://www.google.com/search?tbm=bks&h ... ry&tbm=bks

Robertson's Word Pictures
(Where can I find the best text that is already converted?)

The Expositor's Greek Testament
http://books.google.com/books?id=G5cRAA ... utput=html

Bengel
Latin:
http://books.google.com/books?id=Rm09Cg ... utput=html
English:
http://archive.org/details/cu31924092350515
http://archive.org/details/cu31924092350523
http://archive.org/details/cu31924092350499
http://archive.org/details/cu31924092350507
http://archive.org/details/cu31924092350531
Abridged:
http://books.google.com/books?id=v-jir3 ... utput=html
http://books.google.com/books?id=PsVBhA ... utput=html
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: Advice Needed: New Testament Commentaries

Postby Stirling Bartholomew » October 18th, 2013, 4:51 pm

Robertson's Word Pictures
(Where can I find the best text that is already converted?)


STEP Bible has this. Don't know where they got it. David Instone-Brewer would be the person to ask.
http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/index.php?page=STEP
www.instonebrewer.com
C. Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Advice Needed: New Testament Commentaries

Postby Jonathan Robie » October 18th, 2013, 7:47 pm

Stirling Bartholomew wrote:
Robertson's Word Pictures
(Where can I find the best text that is already converted?)


STEP Bible has this. Don't know where they got it. David Instone-Brewer would be the person to ask.
http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/index.php?page=STEP
http://www.instonebrewer.com


Thanks - will do!
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: Advice Needed: New Testament Commentaries

Postby Evan Blackmore » October 19th, 2013, 4:33 pm

There’s a real embarras de richesses in this field. I think all the above are wise suggestions.

Personally, I’d also draw particular attention to two big 19th-century Greek-text commentaries that include types of material not readily found in more recent works:

H. A. W. Meyer
Critical and Exegetical Hand-Book to the New Testament
11 vols.
New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1884

http://archive.org/details/CriticalExeg ... t11Volumes

On most passages, Meyer discusses greater numbers of possible (& impossible) ways of construing the Greek, and evaluates them in more detail, than any subsequent commentary available in English.

Christopher Wordsworth
The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the Original Greek
New edition. London: Rivingtons, 1872 (preferable to the various earlier editions also digitized)

Vol. 1 (Gospels & Acts)

http://archive.org/details/newtestamentofou01word

Vol. 2 (Epistles & Revelation)

http://archive.org/details/newtestamentofou02word

Wordsworth is still the only Gk Testament commentator who consistently pays attention to ancient patristic exegesis (by writers to whom the language of the NT was their native tongue).

Are single-book commentaries also being considered? I see Swete’s Mark listed in another thread. Some other volumes in the same Macmillan Greek NT commentary series are in the public domain and might be worth considering, e.g.:

Joseph B. Mayor
The Epistle of St. James
2nd ed. London: Macmillan, 1907

http://archive.org/details/epistleofstjames1897mayo

Henry Barclay Swete
The Apocalypse of St. John
3rd ed. London: Macmillan, 1909

http://archive.org/details/cu31924076060676

another copy of the same edition:

http://archive.org/details/2apocalypseofstj00swetuoft

Both of these are often preferred to the corresponding ICC volumes (Mayor is often more detailed than Ropes on James, and Swete is much less idiosyncratic than Charles on Revelation).

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.)
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Re: Advice Needed: New Testament Commentaries

Postby Jonathan Robie » October 20th, 2013, 7:11 am

Really helpful suggestions, Evan.

I actually had Meyer on my list, I agree with you about him. Wordsworth is new to me, really good stuff!

Evan Blackmore wrote:Are single-book commentaries also being considered? I see Swete’s Mark listed in another thread. Some other volumes in the same Macmillan Greek NT commentary series are in the public domain and might be worth considering, e.g.:

Joseph B. Mayor
The Epistle of St. James
2nd ed. London: Macmillan, 1907

http://archive.org/details/epistleofstjames1897mayo

Henry Barclay Swete
The Apocalypse of St. John
3rd ed. London: Macmillan, 1909

http://archive.org/details/cu31924076060676

another copy of the same edition:

http://archive.org/details/2apocalypseofstj00swetuoft

Both of these are often preferred to the corresponding ICC volumes (Mayor is often more detailed than Ropes on James, and Swete is much less idiosyncratic than Charles on Revelation).


Single-book commentaries are definitely being considered, I was trying to figure out whether to ask in one thread per book or organize the question some other way. Commenting here makes sense. I love the Swete Apocalypse, I used it to teach a class once. Mayor's James also looks good.

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.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: Advice Needed: New Testament Commentaries

Postby Jonathan Robie » October 20th, 2013, 7:49 pm

I do not currently have these on my list of "top-tier" commentaries:

Eadie Commentary (Galatians to Colossians)

Godet Commentary (Luke, John, Romans, & 1 Cor.)

Hort Commentary (Rom., Eph., parts James, 1Pet., Rev)

Westcott Commentary (John, Ephesians, Hebrews, 1-3 John)

I am not terribly familiar with them, have not used any of these in anger. Are any of these "must-haves"? Or important enough to have precedence over some of the commentaries discussed above?
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
Jonathan Robie
 
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Re: Advice Needed: New Testament Commentaries

Postby Evan Blackmore » October 21st, 2013, 3:00 am

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, 1892

http://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

vol. 1

http://archive.org/details/acriticalandexe01gloauoft

another copy:

http://archive.org/details/criticalexegetic01gloa

vol. 2

http://archive.org/details/acriticalandexe02gloauoft

another copy:

http://archive.org/details/criticalexegetic02gloa

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

vol. 1

http://archive.org/details/epistlecomment01deliuoft

vol. 2

http://archive.org/details/commentaryonepis02deliuoft

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.
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Re: Advice Needed: New Testament Commentaries

Postby Evan Blackmore » October 21st, 2013, 4:47 am

Purely as a discussion point, might I attempt an integrated and prioritized synopsis of the above?

I assume that most users would prefer (a) more thorough works and (b) works that are more representative of the scholarship of the period. On that basis, I’d suggest starting with the work marked 1, then the one marked 2, etc. All works listed are of high general repute (no mere personal favorites are included).

CGT = Cambridge Gk Testament (not to be confused with the simpler Eng-language Cambridge Bible; many authors contributed to both).

COMPLETE NT: 1: Expositor’s GT (for the state of scholarship at the end of the 19th cent); 2: Meyer (for detail); 3: Wordsworth (for patristic perspective); 4: Bengel; 5: Alford. (All useful.)

MATTHEW: 1: Allen (ICC); 2: McNeile (Macmillan); 3: Carr (CGT). (Debatable; all three are rather brief. Any better options?)

MARK: 1: Swete (Macmillan); 2: Gould (ICC).

LUKE: 1: Plummer (ICC); 2: Godet.

JOHN: 1: Westcott (his final 1908 commentary); 2: Godet.

ACTS: 1: Hackett (more detailed); 2: Lumby (CGT; more recent); 3: Gloag. (Debatable.)

ROMANS: 1: Sanday & Headlam (ICC); 2: Vaughan (Macmillan); 3: Godet.

1 CORINTHIANS: 1: Robertson & Plummer (ICC); 2: Godet.

2 CORINTHIANS: 1: Plummer (ICC).

GALATIANS: 1: Burton (ICC); 2: Lightfoot (Macmillan); 3: Eadie.

EPHESIANS: 1: Abbott (ICC); 2: Robinson (Macmillan); 3: Eadie.

PHILIPPIANS: 1: Vincent (ICC); 2: Lightfoot (Macmillan); 3: Eadie.

COLOSSIANS: 1: Abbott (ICC); 2: Lightfoot (Macmillan); 3: Eadie.

THESSALONIANS: 1: Frame (ICC); 2: Milligan (Macmillan).

TIMOTHY & TITUS: 1: Lock (ICC); 2: Bernard (CGT).

PHILEMON: 1: Vincent (ICC); 2: Lightfoot (Macmillan).

HEBREWS: 1: Westcott (Macmillan); 2: Delitzsch; 3: Moffatt (ICC).

JAMES: 1: Mayor (Macmillan); 2: Ropes (ICC); 3: Hort (Macmillan; incomplete).

PETER & JUDE: 1: Bigg (ICC); 2: Mayor (Macmillan; only 2 Pet & Jude).

1-3 JOHN: 1: Brooke (ICC); 2: Westcott (Macmillan); 3: Plummer (CGT).

REVELATION: 1: Swete (Macmillan); 2: Beckwith (Macmillan); 3: Charles (ICC).
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Re: Advice Needed: New Testament Commentaries

Postby Jonathan Robie » October 21st, 2013, 8:32 am

Nice!

I would very much appreciate feedback on the above list.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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