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Amy L. B. Peeler
Every Tongue Should Confess
For the writing and reading of commentaries, it is the best of times. Of their publishing there is no end, and readers can select from a variety of types. If you want a volume that presents the latest and best of historical, grammatical, sociological, and rhetorical criticism with no particular ecclesial or theological background or aim, Yale's Anchor Bible Commentary is still producing helpful volumes. Joshua 1-12 and Revelation have come out within the last year. If you want a close reading of the Greek text, Baylor University Press offers its Handbook on the Greek New Testament Series, with most recent volumes focusing upon the lexical, analytical, and syntactical nuances of 2 Corinthians and Revelation. If you want new approaches, Sheffield Phoenix's Guides to the New Testament series introduces students or scholars to traditional questions and cutting edge research for each book.
The world of commentaries offers special excitement for those who affirm that God speaks through the biblical text today. In this sprawling marketplace, there are a great many series with explicitly theological aims. Either written by contemporary authors or mining the wisdom of previous generations that wouldn't have understood a division between biblical studies and systematic theology (see for example IVP's Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture and Reformation Commentary on Scripture), major publishing houses are promoting series written with "primary interests on theological readings of texts, past and present. The result is a paragraph-by-paragraph engagement with the text that is deliberately theological in focus" (Eerdmans' Two Horizons Old Testament Commentary Series); that present "a balanced synthesis of current scholarship, enabling readers to interpret Scripture for a complex and pluralistic world" (Fortress Press's Fortress Commentary on the Bible); or that outline "more fully than usual the theology of the book," ...