Since I posted recently on the NIGTC set, I thought I’d put some comments up about the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Overall I like this set. These commentaries are laid out nicely. The shaded section at the beginning of each pericope orients the reader to the flow of the passage. Often, after the verse by verse comments there is a shaded section that summarizes the pericope. These shaded sections help keep the commentary from becoming atomistic. I’m also very pleased that the Greek is printed in Greek font and not merely transliterated.
Here are my thoughts on the individual volumes.
Turner, Matthew – It’s nice to have a volume on Matthew by a Progressive Dispensationalist, especially in light of key eschatological passages like the Olivet Discourse. However, his comments seem exceedingly brief in many places. Perhaps I need to use Turner more, but right now I’m not sure this was the best purchase.
Stein, Mark – This may be a fine commentary, but I’ve not looked into it because I feel as though I have Mark well-covered between Edwards (PNTC), France (NIGTC), Cranfield, Hiebert, and Lane (NICNT). [Note: I just read the RBL Review of Stein’s work; it didn’t incline me toward purchase.]
Bock, Luke –Bock’s 2 volume work is massive. He defends the historicity of Luke and interacts with the Jesus seminar. He deals with the synoptic problem. He includes helpful text critical notes. The commentary proper provides verse-by-verse exegesis, and Bock often helpfully surveys and adjudicates various interpretations. He is not as helpful when it comes to tracing the flow of thought or literary themes of the passage in light of the rest of the book. Nor does this commentary consistently bring out the major theological themes of Luke. Joel Green’s NICNT contribution, though not as conservative as Bock, does a better job on those points. Nonetheless, Bock is invaluable and I’m glad I own these volumes.
Köstenberger, John –I like Köstenberger, and his commentary is not bad. But after reading Morris (NICNT), Carson (PNTC), and Ridderbos, I don’t sense that he is adding anything. He’s in many ways similar to Carson, but Carson packs more in. For this reason, I’ve not bought this volume.
Bock, Acts –This volume is okay. Once again it is light on literary approaches and theology. The notes are moderately helpful, but the lack of synthesis makes this commentary not all I was hoping it would be. Peterson’s contribution to the Pillar series looks to be a fine commentary on about the same level, and in addition to solidly explaining the text it is very strong on synthesis and theology. I prefer Peterson to Bock.
Schreiner, Romans – Douglas Moo has written the finest commentary on Romans (NICNT), but I’m also glad to own Schreiner’s Romans commentary. Schreiner does a good job of tracing Paul’s flow of thought and of explaining Paul’s meaning. Well worth owning. [Do note that in Paul, Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ, 205ff., Schreiner humbly corrects some of his interpretations in the Romans commentary]
Silva, Philippians – I’d rank commentaries on Philippians: Fee (NICNT), O’Brien (NIGTC), Silva (BECNT) [I’ve not looked at the recent PNTC contribution yet]. Silva does a good job showing how the book fits together. I’m glad to own this volume.
McCartney, James – This is newly out, and I hear good things about it. It’s on my look into getting list.
Jobes, 1 Peter – I’ve read good things about Jobes’ commentary, and I’ve found it moderately useful when I’ve used it. But I already have Schreiner (NAC), Grudem (TNTC), Hiebert, Achtemeier (Hermenia), Stibbs (TNTC), Davids (NICNT), and a number of older works. So I’ve not felt a Jobes necessary purchase. (I would rank Schreiner, Grudem and Achtemeier among the most helpful commentaries on 1 Peter. Achtemeier is liberal, but his comments on the Greek are helpful.)
Green, Gene, Jude & 2 Peter – I’ve not spent a whole lot of time with this volume, but I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen. But having Schreiner (NAC), Bauckham (WBC), Hiebert, and Michael Green (TNTC), this isn’t a priority purchase for me.
Yarbrough, 1-3 John – This looks to be an excellent commentary on the Johannine epistles. It looks as though between Yarbrough and Carson’s forthcoming NIGTC volume, these epistles will be well covered. This volume is high on my to-get list.
Osborne, Revelation – This is my favorite Revelation commentary. Osborne writes from a premillennial perspective and carefully exegetes the book. His section on the theology of Revelation is also very helpful.