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The Oxford Bible Commentary

by John Barton, John Muddiman

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370470,304 (4.16)1
CD-ROM contains: Introductions and verse-by-verse commentaries to Genesis and Mark's Gospel -- Logos Library System.

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This book, which has considerable merits, is now 20 years old and thus lacks the benefit of scholarship produced since its publication. Also, it has one salient and frustrating defect, which is not unique among popular Bible commentaries, especially those on the New Testament: It often fails to comment on some of the most crucial but obscure passages, which are naturally most in need of explanation to non-specialist readers seeking to understand the text. These omissions usually occur in the case of texts that are theologically contentious and thus most likely to raise religious sensitivities and passions. I cannot help but think that the commentators knew this and were intent on avoiding controversy (and thus losing sales?). That irenic approach, if that is what it is, leaves genuinely interested readers--who cannot be expected to conduct biblical scholarship independently--totally uninformed about some of the most consequential and interesting findings of biblical scholarship. Readers who take the trouble to consult (or even to buy) a Bible commentary like this one deserve to be informed of such knowledge, even if it is unsettling to some, about passages that they will not be able to interpret for themselves. Seekers of truth should not be deprived of such knowledge when it is available.

There are, however, exceptions to this apparent reluctance of commentators to discomfit some unsuspecting readers among their "ecumenical" (the editors' description of this commentary) audience. For example, Dale Allison, in his commentary on Matthew, acknowledges that Jesus thought that he would return to earth to establish his perfect kingdom very soon (surely within the first century or, at the very latest, the early second). Many churches, and even learned commentators, have ignored or even denied this foundational teaching of the historical Jesus. Allison reminds them that the eschatological expectation of Jesus's imminent return was incontrovertibly real and obviously mistaken. This means that Jesus and the early Christians were wrong about this essential and integral feature of his teaching: Jesus manifestly did not return. This is a crucial fact that many will find unwelcome.

Useful features of the book are several clear, color maps that show places relevant to the Bible; an introductory essay on each book of the Bible; and a short (pre-2000) bibliography for each book of the Bible. ( )
  ChristopherRiels | Aug 22, 2021 |
Whether you see the Bible as the living word of God, or as a highly significant document from the ancient world, or as one of the classic works of world literature, The Oxford Bible Commentary will put in your hands everything you need to study and understand the biblical text.

Here is a monumental, line-by-line critical commentary on the Bible, covering all the books that appear in the NRSV. An essential reference work, this definitive book provides authoritative, non-denominational commentary written by an international team of more than 70 leading scholars from various religious backgrounds. Incorporating the latest research, the contributors examine the books of the Bible in exhaustive detail, taking a historical-critical approach that attempts to shed light on the scriptures by placing them in the context in which their first audiences would have encountered them, asking how they came to be composed and what were the purposes of their authors. The Commentary includes a general introduction, extensive introductions to both testaments and the Apocrypha, and briefer introductions to the particular books, plus an essay with commentary on important post-biblical Jewish and Christian literature. Each article concludes with a bibliography that points the reader toward the most important supplemental works in English, including major reference works, introductions, and so forth.

A truly stunning work of biblical scholarship, The Oxford Bible Commentary will be an invaluable resource for pastors preparing a sermon, for students, for those in study or discussion groups, and indeed for anyone--whether Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, or Orthodox Christian--who seeks a clearer perspective on a text that has been held in reverence for thousands of years. The OBC features a Logos Library System CD-ROM that, once unlocked, gives the reader access to its text and that of the New Revised Standard Version Bible. The CD is fully compatible with all Logos products.
  tony_sturges | Jun 26, 2017 |
I never fail to learn something from this scholarly volume after a quick consultation about a particular text. ( )
  dhamid | May 30, 2013 |
This review has been flagged by multiple users as abuse of the terms of service and is no longer displayed (show).
  MsPibel | Nov 9, 2009 |
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CD-ROM contains: Introductions and verse-by-verse commentaries to Genesis and Mark's Gospel -- Logos Library System.

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