Disappointment with Commentaries

Please indulge me as I vent a bit more about commentary B.  I only feel it is necessary because I believe that the issues I am currently finding are too often characteristic of modern commentaries.

As you saw in the previous post, author B simply recounted the views of author A without citation or a real attempt to change the material beyond recognition.  Thus leads to my first observation…The production of evangelical commentaries, at times, seems like an attempt to flood the market with more material without having the slightest bit of concern for what is being produced.  There is no emphasis placed on innovation, a new approach, or the integration of new developments in various fields.

The second annoyance (is annoyance too strong a word here), comes from the lack of critical thought when a new commentator disagrees with his sources.  For instance, in my reading I found that author B actually disagrees with author A at one point (yes…he does cite author A this time…shocker…).  Yet, instead of engaging with author A, he simply says, “Against [author A], who claims…”  That’s it.  No reasons are provided for his disagreement.  No support for his claim.  The tragic thing is that there are at least three easily obtained reasons for why author B is right.  Why are they not included? Why am I expected to take author B’s word over author A?  Why even include dissenting opinions if you refuse to engage with your interlocutor?

This entry was posted in Biblical Studies, Greek Resources, New Testament Studies, Sarcasm, Teaching and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Disappointment with Commentaries

  1. I can definitely echo that sentiment. I remember reading in one commentary a footnote that said something to the effect of, “I find such-and-such’s view on this point to be unconvincing.” I remember thinking in reply, “Why did you put this in a footnote?”

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