1. Beate Epp, one of our readers and occasional commenter (and artist), has a nice book for kids on horses: I gave the book to a friend whose daughter loves horses. Here is her comment: “A charming story, perfect for reading to little ones at bedtime. It will be enjoyed equally by the reader as well as the listener.”
I want to mention a new commentary series. Here’s the issue — of the making of commentaries there is no end. Why? They are needed. Each generation examines the Bible and writes up its results; each generation needs its own commentaries. Tyndale Press is now publishing a new commentary series for evangelicals — based on the New Living Translation — called The Cornerstone Biblical Commentary.
Brief general comments: the commentaries in the CBC are not too long and don’t enter into endless and tedious discussions of what everyone in the world has said about the passage — so they are useful for pastors, students, and Sunday School teachers. Each passage has the NLT translation, specific notes about exegetical issues, and then a clear and readable brief commentary on each passage. There are substantial introductions to each book.
I recommend that every pastor own three commentaries for each book of the Bible — and I know it takes time to build such a library: the best exegetical/scholarly commentary, a solid expository commentary, and then a sermonic commentary. The Word Biblical Commentary is a good example of the first; the Tyndale or New International Version Application Commentary or Interpretation or New Interpreter’s Bible commentaries the second; and pastors have to choose what kind of preaching they prefer to select the third. CBC fits mostly for me in the second, but it straddles the first two.
I’m always asked this: Should I buy a specific series? My answer: Not for the first group because the best can’t be found in one series; for the second you can get a consistent set of books from a specific theological angle in one series. OK, here’s the next question: Which series do I think is best for the first? It’s a toss-up: I like the New International Commentary series from Eerdmans (of course, I’m biased as I’m writing James) and the Word Biblical Commentary (even though I think it is often unreadably complex) and the New International Greek Testament Commentary and the Anchor Bible Commentary.
Now for some notice of the CBC:
2. Volume 6 of the CBC is on Job (August Konkel), Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs by a friend Tremper Longman.
3. Volume 8 of the the CBC is on Isaiah (Larry Walker — hey I thought he was a baseball player) and Jeremiah/Lamentations by a scholar I admire, Elmer Martens.
4. Volume 11 by two friends: Matthew by David Turner (he’s been working on Matthew for far too long folks) and Mark by Darrell Bock (after three commentaries on Luke it’s about time he did one on Mark).
5. Volume 12 is on Luke (Allison Trites) and Acts (Bill Larkin).