Forthcoming Commentaries 2010

There haven’t been many commentaries published so far this year that have really got me excited (Peter O’Brien on Hebrews being the notable exception). But all that is set to change with a bumper crop of commentaries set to come out just in time for Christmas. Here’s my pick of the bunch.

New Testament Bonanza

One of the newest series, the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary (which covers the New Testament) has three new volumes scheduled for later this year. Matthew by Grant Osbourne, Galatians by Thomas Schreiner and Ephesians by Clinton Arnold. All three are exciting, although Galatians is probably the one I will prioritise getting as I am looking forward to Schreiner’s take on the New Perspective. I have the ZEC commentary on James and it looks to be a very nice format.

We’re treated to another significant Ephesians commentary this year as Frank Thielman’s Ephesians in the Baker Exegetical Commentary series is due out in November. The BEC volumes I have read have all been excellent and are usually very competitively priced.

There is also a major new commentary on the gospel of John by Ramsey-Michaels in the NICNT series. At 1122 pages, this one will should prove an excellent companion to my current favourite on John by Don Carson in the Pillar Series.

Speaking of Don Carson, the revision of his commentary on Matthew in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary series is finally due out. The first edition published in 1984 was simply outstanding, and I look forward to reading his interaction with more recent commentators. The volume also includes a revision of Mark by Wessell and Strauss.

Carson is also the editor of the Pillar series, which has a new volume on 1 Corinthians coming out by Roy Ciampa and Brian Rosner. I don’t know a lot about the authors, but it will be nice to get something else to complement my current favourite on 1 Corinthians in the NICNT series by Gordon Fee.

Which nicely links me to the rumour that Fee’s commentary on Revelation in the NCCS series is due out soon. Fee’s commentaries never disappoint, so I am sure it will be worth getting hold of.

Old Testament

On the Old Testament side of things I tend to focus on the more intermediate level commentaries and there is a good helping of those coming out soon.

The Bible Speaks Today series seems to have awoken from its slumber and is filling in some of the remaining gaps in its Old Testament coverage. Gordon Bridger has the task of bringing the somewhat gloomy books of Obadiah, Nahum and Zephaniah to life, while Robert Fyall tackles Ezra and Haggai.

The revision of the Expositor’s Bible Commentary takes another step towards completion with the release of a volume on 1 Chronicles – Job featuring several contributors including Tremper Longman III on Job. And the Cornerstone series, also nearing completion, has two new volumes. Ezekiel and Daniel by Thompson and Carpenter and Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther by Gary Smith.

On the slightly more technical side, the Apollos OT commentary series has a new volume on Joshua by Pekka Pitkanen. And there is an interesting looking commentary on the Psalms by Waltke and Houston, which is not part of any series.

As always, the definitive guide to what’s coming up is the forthcoming commentaries blog post by Jeremy Pierce (Parableman).

13 thoughts on “Forthcoming Commentaries 2010

  1. Brian Rosner has done a lot of work on the Jewish background to 1 Corinthians and from what I’ve heard, Rosner’s and Ciampa’s forthcoming commentary is unparalleled in its exploration of that very issue. While I haven’t done it, one could probably get a decent feel by reading their contribution on 1 Cor in the Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament that Beale and Carson edited.

    I too am particularly excited about J. Ramsey Michaels on John. John is one of the few books that needs more good academic commentaries.

    I’ve gotten the feeling (though I could be wrong and I certainly couldn’t prove this point) that Schreiner has cooled on the NPP over time (and I’m not sure why). What’s your sense? I wouldn’t be surprised if he was negative on it.

    I think that Fee on Revelation in the NCCS series will be right up your alley.

  2. Posts like this were specifically designed to keep me from getting any work done. I cannot resist the siren call…

    I studied under Ciampa in seminary, though didn’t take 1 Corinthians with him. He’s a Bible translator (has been working on Portugese translations for years) so he’s really strong on linguistics, semantic structure analysis (sometimes called ‘discourse analysis’ and things like that. He did his dissertation in Galatians, focusing on the use of the OT, so I expect he’ll emphasize that aspect of 1 Corinthians as well. Rosner has written some interesting stuff on Pauline ethics, specifically in 1 Corinthians. I think they’re also taking an approach to understanding the Jewish background to the letter. At any rate, I think the problem with the commentary is that there are so many good ones on 1 Corinthians that it might suffer for that.

    Revelation commentaries always interest me, and Fee has been my favorite scholar for some time, so naturally I’d love to see it for myself. I also think Theilmann is an excellent scholar, so his Ephesians commentary is noteworthy. Unfortunately, there are also a number of excellent Ephesians commentaries out there already (O’Brian, Hoehner, Lincoln, Best and probably more), with Thielmann, Arnold and Turner all due to release theirs. That’s a lot of top-notch scholars.

    Okay, I can say more, but I have to pretend to work for a while.

  3. Yes, how predictable, that we’d be commenting a minute apart on a post about forthcoming commentaries. 🙂

    After Sophia was born, the first time that I went out by myself to get away for an afternoon I went to the library to look at commentaries. I came back totally refreshed and re-energized.

  4. @Marcus, I’ve enjoyed Schreiner on Romans (only got two chapters in so far). My guess is that he’s not pro NPP. Seems to me that most conservative evangelicals have conceded there is some good in NPP but that it has not overthrown the traditional understanding.

    On John, I felt a little short-changed by Kostenberger who seemed to have the same view as Carson on almost everything, so a fresh perspective will be good (I haven’t read any Ramsey-Michaels before so I don’t know what to expect).

    @danny – thanks for the background on Rosner & Ciampa. 1 Cor has always been one of my favourite books of the Bible just because of the wide variety of topics addressed in it. My only serious commentary on it is Fee’s, (I’ve also read Prior in the BST and I have Barrett but haven’t read it) so I feel like I need at least one other.

  5. I’m something of a self-appointed expert on 1 Corinthians. =) Thiselton is really good, but almost overwhelming at points. It can be hard to figure out where he stands on an issue sometimes, whereas with Fee, you’re never really left guessing.

    I’m a huge fan of Richard Hays’ commentary. I don’t always agree with him, but he does more with his (relatively) little space than some do with twice as much.

    Anyway, I do think Ciampa and Rosner’s commentary will be good. It’s just heading into an already over-saturated market.

  6. I’m highly interested to read Ciampa and Rosner. I haven’t read much of Fee, but what I’ve read of Garland, Thiselton and Fitzmyer it seems as if commentaries have not focused all that much on Jewish background. Bruce Winter sort of set the agenda with his book ‘Paul and Philo Among the Sophists’ moving 1 Corinthians studies over the past 10 years towards looking at Greco-Roman parallels.

    If it’s unique enough it may be worth picking up. As soon as it becomes available in my library I’ll pick it up and review it.

  7. Wow. This is really helpful. I’m looking forward to the Pillar Hebrews commentary. Didn’t know about Fee or Schreiner’s ones… But now I’m looking forward to those too!

    Just working through Carson on Matt at the moment, so I’m curious to know what substabtiL revisions there will likely be in this update…

  8. hi Liam, one thing that makes Carson’s commentaries so enjoyable to read is the way he is willing to take on the interpretations of other commentators. I fully expect some interaction with NT Wright’s reinterpretations of many of Jesus sayings thought to refer to the second coming as well as more interaction with France on preterism and recapitulation. (France’s Mark had come out before the initial version but his major commentary on Matthew is much newer). Other notable commentaries which came out since the first edition include Alison & Davies (ICC), Craig Keener, Donald Hagner (WBC), John Nolland (NIGTC) plus a whole host of intermediate level commentaries. Perhaps most interesting will be if Carson interacts with Stanley Hauerwas on politics and pacificm.

    Anyway, he’s taken longer than any almost other EBC author to get his revision done, and they’ve even pushed Luke out of his volume, so hopefully that means he’s been given a bit more space. I suspect he may remove much of the interaction with David Hill, whose commentary is probably not widely read any more, to free up space for new discussions.

  9. Pingback: Forthcoming Books: Former Prof Edition « Boston Bible Geeks

  10. Don’t forget Garland on I Corinthians. Some people think it’s almost eclipsed even Fee. It’s certainly of the same quality and much more recent and thus interacting with the intervening period’s scholarship. Thiselton really is too difficult to make much use of unless you want to spend loads more time than you most likely have, but it comes so highly recommended by Carson that I’ll have a hard time getting rid of it (whereas the similar problems with the Hebrews volume in NIGTC will not prevent me from removing that one from my collection once I get around to acquiring O’Brien’s Pillar). It’s hard for me to get excited about new I Corinthians commentaries given that I’ve got Fee, Barrett, Blomberg, Garland, and Thiselton already. The same is true of Ephesians, since I have O’Brien, Lincoln, and Hoehner, although I suppose one more wouldn’t hurt too much.

    O’Brien was very influenced by Arnold, so I’m expecting that to be very good. Arnold is then going to turn to revising O’Brien’s Colossians and Philemon volume for Word. That should be interesting. O’Brien didn’t want to do it, so they picked a scholar who largely agrees with O’Brien and has O’Brien’s favor.

    Expect Ramsey-Michaels to be less conservative than Carson, Kostenberger, Leon Morris, and similar authors. He probably will argue against Johannine authorship. He seems to me to be very hesitant on Petrine authorship of I Peter. I don’t know how he’ll be on historicity issues, but I’m not holding my breath. He may well deny inerrancy. British scholars for some reason don’t like to admit to holding such a view, even when they actually do, and I think inerrancy is essential for a commentary to be top-notch for my purposes. One of the crucial things I look for in a commentary on John is how the author defends the book from charges that it’s ahistorical or how it conflicts with the synoptics, and too many scholars just give up on that. Maybe Ramsay-Michaels will surprise me, but I’m not content with most evangelicals’ commentaries on John on this issue, Carson, Morris, and Kostenberger excepted.

  11. thanks for the info Jeremy. I found Carson and Kostenberger to be extremely similar, so I will be glad of a different perspective on John.

    Garland’s 1 Corinthians doesn’t seem to get mentioned too often. He’s written several NT commentaries now, but I’ve not read any of them, so don’t really know what to expect with him.

    Interesting about Arnold on Colossians. Moo’s Colossians commentary in the PNTC refered a lot to Arnold’s research on the background of the “powers” etc.

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