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Old Testament Commentary Survey [Paperback]

By Tremper Longman III (Author)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   160
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.48" Width: 5.58" Height: 0.41"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2007
Publisher   Baker Publishing Group
ISBN  0801031230  
EAN  9780801031236  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
"A very helpful annotated bibliography for beginning students or busy ministers, lay or ordained. . . . This book will be of great benefit to those in search of works on biblical books, but not sure where to find them."--Bible Today

All serious students of the Bible seek to know which resources are most valuable to add to their growing libraries. With an abundance of tools available, relative merit is difficult to ascertain, so students often turn to trusted professors for advice. This commentary survey provides such advice from respected Old Testament scholar Tremper Longman III.

In this handy volume, Longman introduces the most popular commentaries on each book of the Old Testament, gives a brief indication of their emphases and viewpoints, and evaluates them. At the end of the book, he summarizes his top recommendations for those trying to build a library that covers every book of the Old Testament.

For this fourth edition, Longman has added comments on the commentaries published in the years since the third edition, updated his evaluations of other commentaries in light of these new additions, and refined his rating system to provide more nuance. The result is a balanced, sensible guide for those who preach and teach the Old Testament and need help in choosing the best tools

Publishers Description
For the student, minister, and layperson alike, "Old Testament Commentary Survey "makes finding the best Old Testament commentaries easy.
In this fourth edition, Longman focuses on the best of established commentaries and commentaries published in recent years. He lists a number of works available for each book of the Old Testament, gives a brief indication of their emphases and viewpoints, and evaluates them. Longman also indicates who would most benefit from the commentary under consideration (scholar, minister, layperson). Finally, he summarizes his top recommendations for those trying to build a library that covers every book of the Old Testament. The result is a balanced, sensible guide for those who preach and teach the Old Testament and need help in choosing the best tools.

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More About Tremper Longman III

Tremper Longman, III Tremper Longman, III is an Old Testament scholar, theologian, professor and author of several books, including 2009 ECPA Christian Book Award winner Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings

Tremper Longman III (PhD, Yale University) is the Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. Before coming to Westmont, he taught at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia for eighteen years. He has authored or coauthored numerous books, including An Introduction to the Old Testament, How to Read Proverbs, and commentaries on Daniel, Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, Jeremiah and Lamentations, and Song of Songs.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Good Tool  Mar 26, 2007
If you want a quick way to pick a commentary this is the way to do it.
Does the job without wasting words  Sep 27, 2005
This is one of the most clean, organized, and easy to use commentary surveys I have seen. It doesn't try to take on too much, and does a great job at selecting the best commentaries. The notes and 5 star ranking system are also very helpful.
Helpful guide to Old Testament commentaries  Sep 19, 2004
Books are expensive! As Jim Beale's T-shirt says: So many books, so little time? Which books are you going to spend your money and time on? Longman's book is a helpful guide, and the latest edition includes many new books, not reviewed in the 2nd edition.

At times I wish that Longman would clue us in more on the theological stance of the books he recommends, but overall his book is an indispensable guide to the bewildering array of books available on the Old Testament.

I appreciate his ratings, including the 1 to 5 star system, and the rating of the work as suitable for Layperson, Minister or Scholar. An additional aid would be a rating of the scholarship's place on the continuum of conservative to critical approach.

Highly recommended.
Worth the wait  Nov 29, 2003
It is a great joy to finally have available the third edition of Tremper Longman's fine review of Old Testament commentaries. It has been a long wait since the 1995 second edition.

Again Longman offers judicious and careful advice on the merits and demerits of a large number of OT commentaries. As with all such comments on the commentaries, there is subjectivism at work, and not all will agree with all of Longman's assessments. After all, how can one say what is the best commentary on, say, Deuteronomy? It really depends on the needs of the reader. A busy pastor may want something more expository and devotional, while the academic may prefer the more technical and scholarly.

Thus Longman tries to rate the commentaries by what they set out to do, or what the series they are contained in set out to do. Thus he comes up with recommendations that may differ from others. For example, of the 19 commentaries on 1 and 2 Kings, he gives the highest rating (5 stars) to Iain Provan's volume in the NIBC series. While acknowledging that it is a bit too brief (in keeping with the series), he believes that in terms of accessibility and readability, along with a good balance of literary and theological emphases, this is the best thing going on Kings.

Interestingly, David Bauer, in his An Annotated Guide to Biblical Resources for Ministry (Hendrickson, 2003), does not even give Provan's volume a mention, in the 21 books he lists. However, John Glynn in his Commentary and Reference Survey, 9th ed. (Kregel, 2003), does mention it, along with 16 other commentaries.

Thus there will always be disagreements in this area, as a lot of differing criteria and measuring sticks are used to make assessments.

One omission from this volume is the section on OT reference works and Hebrew helps. They too, like the commentaries, continue to pour forth at an alarming rate. Thus cuts need to be made somewhere.

But of the three reference works cited here (the other two cover the NT as well), Longman is my first port of call. Unlike the other two authors, Longman is an OT specialist, with several fine commentaries of his own.

Longman mentions in his intro that many people emailed him, urging him to get a revised edition of this work out. I was one of them, and such lobbying has paid off. One hopes to see a 4th edition before another 8 years lapse however!

The positives -- this book is a MUST for anybody at all serious about commentaries. Longman is VERY sharp. A Yale Ph.D. with years of teaching experience, he knows his stuff. Great authroity. Very, very good resource.

The negatives -- this third edition is not what it could be.
Omissions are plentiful. How could he possibly exclude reviews of Dale Ralph Davis' commnetaries on Joshua, Judges, I and 2 Samuel and I Kings? These are some of the best commentaries I've ever used. Another example, how could he leave out O. Palmer Robertson on Jonah?

Also, he often does not clue the reader in on the ideological biases of some works. P. 23 doesn't mention that the Daily Study Bible series is highly critical. Same for p. 58 and Kath. Sakenfeld (far left).

Other puzzles -- how can a book on p. 20 be a "fine" commentary when he gives it just 2 stars (overall he is a very generous grader!).

Some are P&R publishers' editing flaws. How can Longman mention in vol. 1 of a set that the author for vol. 2 is "announced" for the future to be.... when vol. 2 is already out and reviewed by Longman? (see p. 100). Also, some abbreviations used don't appear in the Abbreviation Key ("MT" on p. 107). In three places Longman reviews his own books in the first person ("I was trying to do this..."), whereas for another of his books he refers to himself in the third person as "Longman" (see p. 89). On p. 128 he says it would be "inappropriate" for him to comment on his own book (no way!), but he does this anyway in four other cases.

Overall, excellent book. But it needs better editing, and the addition of some outstanding works that are ignored. (He could easilly cut some things, if need be, that are highly dated, and irrelevant.)


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