IVP Bible Background Commentary – New Testament

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I picked up the IVP Bible Background Commentary and it is quite a good resource. It goes section by section through the entire New Testament and gives commentary of any relevant background, history, or customs that illuminate a given text. It doesn’t give much of any time to word study or in depth exegesis but the tidbits it gives you are very helpful. This commentary can be a great time saver as it compiles what you might scramble around through dozens of other books to piece together yourself. Craig Keener did the New Testament volume which you can find here.

I think it is important when we talk about commentaries to mention that commentaries can be a great time saving device but nothing can substitue with you studying and wrestling with the text itself and coming to your own informed conclusions. I think it was Fred Craddock who said that we should do our best to sit as a peer around the table of scholars and enter into the discussion with them rather than take everything the commentaries say at face value as fact. That takes study. So while this commentary is good. Don’t let it replace your own study and don’t let it make other reference material in your library obsolete.

0 Responses

  1. Matt,

    Slowly but surely, I have gotten rid of a lot of my commentaries, saving only the ones that really home in on the history and culture of the day. This is one reason I really like Barclay. His aren’t so much about exegesis as they are the background setting. I like that. It allows me to develop my own conclusions, instead of using commentaries as a “crutch” to discover the meaning.

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