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Commentary and Reference Survey: A Comprehensive Guide to Biblical and Theological Resources [Paperback]

By John Glynn & Darrell L. Bock (Foreward By)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   380
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.5" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   0.95 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2007
Publisher   Kregel Publications
ISBN  0825427371  
EAN  9780825427374  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Now in its tenth edition, this reliable, acclaimed guide lists and ranks approximately 900 commentaries and 1,600 other biblical resources for the benefit of professors, Bible students, and pastors. The theological slant of each volume is provided as well as its level (either technical or expositional). Two new chapters on exegetical software round out this comprehensive guide.

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More About John Glynn & Darrell L. Bock

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! John Glynn is Professor and Director of Canterbury Business School Kent.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
2007 Edition  Mar 16, 2007

"A phenomenal work which I would have thought was impossible, if John Glynn hadn't done it."

Dr David Instone-Brewer
Senior Research Fellow in Rabbinics and the
New Testament, Tyndale House, Cambridge University (UK)
A Very Reliable Guide to the best Christian Books  Jun 17, 2006
This is the best book of its kind. As a pastor, I am always on the lookout for the best Bible commentaries and the best resource books for studies that I lead. I've been burned many times before by spending lots of money on a book that turned out to be a dud.

John Glynn understands this, and so he has prepared a guide to the best stuff available for the Bible student. The opening chapter discusses how to begin building a personal reference library, and he starts out by recommending the first 10 books you should buy (if you don't have them already). He then gives a rough estimate of how much you can expect to shell out to build up your library. He even suggests getting as many of your resources on CD-ROM as you can to save money.

After he presents the bill, he makes an articulate defense for why it is worth your while as a Christian pastor/missionary to spend up to $5000 on a good library. He points out that this will cost roughly the same as a semester of education at a good Bible seminary, and that it will serve you well for all the days of your ministry.

He then suggests commentaries (both liberal and conservative, technical, semi-technical, and application oriented) on each book of the Bible that are worth getting. There are also short sections on good theology and history books.

I highly recommend this resource as a terrific guide to building your own library.
JETS Review  Sep 13, 2004

Those of us who are continually inundated by students with questions regarding which commentaries they should buy will be extremely interested in this guide to buying biblical/theological books. This helpful revision by John Glynn-the ninth edition of his book that first appeared in 1994-reflects a thorough and contemporary updating and it is thus exceptionally current, at least for the immediate future.
Glynn evaluates a wide range of theological resources. The book is organized logically into the following 21 chapters: Building a "Must-Have" Personal Reference Library; On Commentary Series; OT Introduction, Survey, and Theology; OT Commentaries; OT Background; ANE History; NT Introduction, Survey, and Theology; Jesus and the Gospels; NT Commentaries; NT Background; Jewish Background; Popular Dictionaries, One- and Two-Volume Commentaries; General References; Biblical Hebrew Resources; NT Greek Resources; Exegesis, Interpretation, and Hermeneutics; Systematic Theology; Church History; Computer Resources; Internet Web Sites; and The Ultimate Commentary Collection.
This book is a practical guide designed primarily for students. Commentaries are classified according to the extent that they require knowledge of the original languages (Technical, Semi-technical, Exposition). They are also classified according to general theological stance (Evangelical, Evangelical/Critical, Conservative/Moderate, Liberal/ Critical). Also included in each section are Glynn's recommendations.
Rating commentaries and other theological books can be a bit like rating NFL quarterbacks; obviously, there is always some subjectivity involved. It is unlikely everyone will agree with every choice Glynn makes. However, overall, I found this work solid and extremely helpful. Glynn's recommendations are made from an evangelical viewpoint, but he is not narrow in his appreciation of serious biblical scholarship, and he recommends "Liberal/Critical" works when they are outstanding. Likewise, Glynn recommends theologies and commentaries across the theological spectrum.
One of the features of the book that I appreciated the most was Glynn's discussion of commentaries that were in progress but not yet published. For instance, regarding commentaries on the Gospel of John, he notes that Craig Keener has a three volume work that is forthcoming (Hendrickson) and that Richard Bauckham is working on the NIGTC volume for Eerdmans. Glynn thus recommends buying the currently available works on John by Blomberg (IVP) and Carson (Eerdmans), but waiting for Keener and Bauckham to supplement these two.
My only criticism-and it is a mild one-is that there is no price data given with the commentaries. Cost is always a factor when building a library. For example, the three-volume commentary on Matthew in the ICC by Davies and Allison is great, but its retail cost is $235! For that price one can purchase quite a few other commentaries that are
also outstanding. All in all, however, this is a well-balanced, helpful guide to buying commentaries and other theological resources. I heartily recommend it.

J. Daniel Hays Ouachita Baptist University, Arkadelphia, AR
Some strengths, some weaknesses  Mar 8, 2004
I must begin by saying that everyone should buy this book as it is only $14 bucks. If it saves you from buying one commentary then it has paid for itself. Whether or not you ultimately agree with all his recommendations only time will tell, but it is always helpful to have one more voice for advice and a respected one at that.

This survey has some strong points and weak points and I will list both. A lot of my comparisons will be made with D.A. Carson's "New Testament Commentary Survey" and Longman's "Old Testament Commentary Survey".

1) He has a conservative bias. This is generally listed as a weakness below but for us conservative people this is exactly what we are looking for. It is true that less-conservative commentaries are often helpful and indeed, Glynn recommends some. Nevertheless, it is for this very reason that we are buying this survey, so we can be steered in direction we find orthodox.

2) He lists the author's bias. Glynn lists authors as Evangelical (E), Evangelical yet slightly critical (E/cr), Conservative/Moderate (C/M) or liberal critical (L/cr). This is very helpful when choosing commentaries and is not listed in either Carson's or Longmen's commentaries. True, it is often spelled out in their descriptions but not always(!)

3) He covers both the new and old testament, as well as a whole host of other fields such as systematic theology, end times, church history, NT/OT/Biblical theology; all of which we may also seek recommendations.

4) He gives some information on future volumes which is often interesting.

5) He often gives a one liner that may help categorize the position on controversial subjects (for example, post-trib: Revelation, complimentarian:Pastorals, charismatic:1 Corinthians, etc.)


1) He doesn't rank his commentaries on either an absolute scale (1-5 stars) or relative to one another. This is quite frustrating as sometimes he seems to like almost every commentary in the field. Also, it leaves out commentaries he doesn't recommend quite in the cold, with no hint as to whether it just barely missed the list or is out right heresy. This can be really frustrating when it is a commentary you happen to think IS good.

2) He doesn't really add any discussion on the commentaries. On selected commentaries he does, but this is the exception rather then the rule. This is once again frustrating when he lists many commentaries or doesn't list those you might expect.

3) He defines two categories of commentaries, technical and semi-technical, with the distinction that semi-technical leaves its technical discussion to the footnotes. But then he goes on to list both of these types of commentaries under one heading and doesn't differentiate between the two. This was the most frustrating aspect to me since this is the very distinction I am looking for in a commentary(!)

All in all, I find Carson's and Longmen's work more helpful but I am glad I have this second voice (in both the OT and NT) to compare these two with.

I think a combination of the three approaches used by Carson, Longman, and Glynn would be most helpful. List the books in order that you recommend them (Carson), have detailed discussion about whom the book is for (Longman/Carson), give an absolute rating (Longman), list the authors bias (Glynn), summarize controversial stances (Glynn), include future predictions (Glynn) ,differentiate between technical and semi-technical (nobody), and finally WRITE LONG AND MEANINGFUL DISCUSSIONS ABOUT EACH COMMENTARY.

A Very Good Commentary & Reference Survey  Nov 23, 2003
This book is a money saver! I hate buying a book, only to find out that it is not worth the paper it is printed on. What a waste of money!! Glynn's book prevents me from making these ill-advised purchases. However, the biggest problem with a book of this type is that it becomes obsolete as soon as it is published. The publisher needs to arrange for quarterly online updates for all who have purchased the book. Otherwise, this is a very helpful survey, in that it tells you the theological bent of the author by classifying each book in one of the following categories: Evangelical, Evangelical/Critical, Conservative/Moderate, and Liberal/Critical. Glynn defines each of these categories.

A previous reviewer criticized Glynn's recommendations as being biased towards conservative commentaries and not recommending any of the Interpretation series in the Old Testament. This is NOT TRUE. Glynn oftentimes recommends a liberal commentary over a conservative one (for example, Houtman on Exodus, Japhet on Chronicles, Fox on Esther, Clines on Job, Clifford on Proverbs, Fox on Proverbs, Seow on Ecclesiastes, etc.). He also recommends a couple of volumes from the Interpretation series; for example, Mays on Psalms and Dobbs-Allsopp on Lamentations.

I find that Glynn is even-handed in his recommendations. Sometimes he will recommend a liberal commentary; othertimes, he will recommend moderate or conservative commentaries.

In Glynn's earlier editions of this wonderful guide, he listed the commentaries in order of quality; the best first and the worst last. Now, however, he lists them alphabetically, with the recommended commentaries in bold. The problem is that the reader has no way to know which books "just missed" getting a recommendation. These "just missed" books are grouped together with some of the worst books on the list, listed in alphabetical order and with no way to tell them apart. I hope that future editions revert back to Glynn's earlier method of listing the books; that is, in order of quality.


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