Every year at the annual meeting for the Society of Biblical Literature I meander through the book stalls, make some purchases, and set myself up for another year of reading and researching. Today I want to make some book suggestions in the general area of commentaries and reference books.
Pastors, preachers, students, professors and those seriously studying the Bible and theology can find something here.
You might want to play a trick I always play: wrap one up, put it under the tree, and write on it “To [your name], from [your name].” Works like a charm.
My pick of the year for a reference book is W.A. Dyrness, Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, Global Dictionary of Theology
. Almost a thousand pages, this reference book examines theology from a global perspective. All the major topics, evangelical in perspective, but fresh in orientation — I enjoyed reading the essays on justification and kingdom of God.
But I have to also give top billing to Michael Holmes’ new handy Greek-English edition of the apostolic fathers. Simply a must: The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations.
Now some commentaries:
On Judges, in the Old Testament Library from Westminster, Susan Niditch: Judges: A Commentary (Old Testament Library) (Old Testament Library). I learned much from her book on Israelite religion.
On Psalms, John Goldingay has completed volume 3 in his series: Psalms, vol. 3: Psalms 90-150 (Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms). I go to Goldingay’s commentaries on Psalms first.
In the same series, Tremper Longman has completed his commentary on Proverbs: Proverbs (Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms). I often find myself wandering into Proverbs and in need of a commentary and Longman’s will become the first one I go to.
Fuller professor Leslie Allen has a new commentary on Jeremiah: Jeremiah: A Commentary (Old Testament Library)
Now to the New Testament. An old friend, Robert Stein, has completed his commentary on the Gospel of Mark: Mark (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament). Stein’s commentary is marked by common sense and, perhaps the greatest sign of common sense, the commentary is the right length. (We don’t need multi-volumed commentaries on the Gospels.)
One of the most erudite, scholarly, critical commentary series is the Hermeneia series; Richard Pervo’s commentary on the Acts of the Apostles is now out: ACTS: A Commentary (Hermeneia: a Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible).
There are two more commentaries from the New Testament Library series: Jerry Sumney’s brief, readable piece on Colossian: A Commentary (New Testament Library) and Judith Lieu’s I, II, & III John: A Commentary (New Testament Library).
And the Baker Exegetical Commentary has two new books: Bob Yarbrough’s 1, 2, and 3 John (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) and Gene Green’s Jude and 2 Peter (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament)