Thoughts on Theology
This appears in the latest issue of Themelios:
Review of Anchor Yale Bible commentary series (84 vols.) in Logos Bible Software. Themelios 34 (2009): 226–27.
Thanks for a helpful review. I still wonder about the advantages to purchasing an entire set rather than choosing the best commentaries on a book by book basis. I find this to be more cost effective in most cases.
Your review was very helpful. However if I may offer one small note you say “so in this sense, the AYB is a mixed series that is not nearly as trustworthy as series such as the Pillar NT Commentary,
Baker Exegetical Commentary on the NT, and New international Commentary on the OT and NT.” I certainly agree that some volumes (many of which you mentioned) in AB are much better than others, but this is also true for BECNT, NICNT and PNTC. I think we, as conservative evangelicals, myself included, can often be more forgiving to volumes that may not be as good just because they are closer to our theological convictions.
Thanks, Daniel. Perhaps I was not clear enough in the short review, but you’re eisegeting what I wrote. I don’t give a free pass to commentary series simply because they are evangelical in name. See, for example, my much longer review of the PNTC, BECNT, and NIGTC.
I am not sure why you describe what I said as “eisegeting”. The sentence I quoted compares AB’s good/not so good mixed nature with the other series trustworthiness. By setting the sentence up the way you did you contrast a negative quality of AB and make a positive assertion about the other series thereby implying that the negative quality of the former is absent in the later.
If I said “Windows OS crashes too much, but Mac OSX is a much better OS” it is clear that I am stating that Mac OSX does not crash as much as Windows.
So if this is not what you meant, I really am sorry for misinterpreting your words, but I hope you can see why the way you wrote the sentence could lead me to that conclusion.
I’m not following you, Daniel.
You interpreted my comment this way in your first comment: “I certainly agree that some volumes (many of which you mentioned) in AB are much better than others, but this is also true for BECNT, NICNT and PNTC.” I agree with that, so it appears that you misunderstood what I meant (either that or I wasn’t sufficiently clear).
I stand by what I said re trustworthiness. In general, those other series are more trustworthy theologically than the AYB from my viewpoint as an evangelical.
Cool, if you agree that the other series are also mixed in their quality then we are on the same page. And I also agree that most of the time BECNT, NICNT and PNTC are usually better. The thing was that it seemed like your statement was implying that the other series were not mixed in their quality. Strangely enough, I would say that only series that is almost always the absolute best scholarship is NIGTC. Other than Gal (Bruce), every volume in that series is absolutely excellent, and Bruce’s is only of lesser value as it is so dated and I think was the first one published. Either way I think we are in agreement now.
By the way, it would be nice catch lunch with you sometime once classes start back up. I have not yet met anyone in real life from the blog world that I enjoy reading.
I’ve been a big fan on the Anchor for years. It is actually much cheaper than that. You can frequently pick up box sets of 20+ volumes for $100 or so; and on Amazon/Ebay you can get volumes used in the $5 range. It would be probably be about $600 to put together the complete set used. The computer version should be priced at around $400 tops and should include all the other supporting materials like Meier, Bible Dictionary…
Preparing the entire AYB set in this format is incredibly expensive and requires an overwhelming amount of work. (I think this was the single-largest project that Logos has ever done.)
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