Sad, Sad, Sad

I just left a chain Christian bookstore (one of the major chains) in search of a Hebrews commentary. There were several, but none that made my toes tingle (any suggestions would be much appreciated).

When I was satisfied there weren’t any I couldn’t live without, I looked in the section entitled “OT Commentaries.” And that was about the extent of it. There were a few, very few, “Old Testament” commentaries. Not one individual OT book commentary.

I think this is evidence of the sad state of Christianity’s understanding and interest in the Old Testament. Unfortunately, Christians will never understand the New Testament as well as they want or need to without understanding the Old Testament.

It’s sad, sad, sad.

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  1. #1 by Scripture Zealot on August 7, 2009 - 9:52 pm

    I agree. I’m going to make a concerted effort next year to further educate myself on the OT. I’m going to post a tidbit on this soon.
    Jeff

    • #2 by petermlopez on August 8, 2009 - 4:15 pm

      Thanks for the linkage, I appreciate it.

  2. #3 by Bryan L on August 7, 2009 - 10:14 pm

    You should check out Cokesbury if they have one in your area. That’s a great chain bookstore and if you’re a minister you get 20-25% off (I can’t remember exactly). They have a good selection of OT and NT books considering they are aregular Christian bookstore.

    • #4 by petermlopez on August 8, 2009 - 4:38 pm

      No Cokesbury, my friend. Our choice of bookstores is limited. Thanks for the advice though.

  3. #5 by Brian Small on August 7, 2009 - 11:26 pm

    Depending on your technical skills the best commentaries are probably by Harold Attridge (Hermeneia) and William Lane (ICC), both of which require some facility with Greek. Below that is Craig Koester (Anchor Bible) which is still rather technical. Other good commentaries would be by Luke Timothy Johnson (NTL), F. F. Bruce (NICNT), or P. E. Hughes. A smaller but very good commentary is by James W. Thompson in the Baker Paideia series.

    • #6 by petermlopez on August 8, 2009 - 4:39 pm

      Thanks for the info.

  4. #7 by Bob MacDonald on August 8, 2009 - 12:47 am

    Go to your local University Library and see if they have a BS section (Biblical Studies) – I found great stuff at mine. Book stores cannot stand stale inventory and commentaries are not good sellers.

    • #8 by Edward Pothier on August 8, 2009 - 9:45 am

      Readers should note that “BS” is the Library of Congress code for classifying books on the Bible and Biblical Studies. It is not the abbreviation for “taurine excrement”!

      • #9 by petermlopez on August 8, 2009 - 4:44 pm

        Bob, that’s a good idea, but we have no local university. There are three Christian colleges about 45 miles away, which is coincidentally where all the bookstores are.

        Edward, thanks for the clarification. LOL.

        • #10 by Mike on August 14, 2009 - 9:02 pm

          Wow… doesn’t that ever say something about the state of christian higher education!

  5. #11 by tc robinson on August 8, 2009 - 11:47 am

    Yes, says a whole lot.

  6. #13 by Jason on August 8, 2009 - 2:52 pm

    Yes, brother, I share your grief. Our local LifeWay has a fair amount of commentaries, but they’re from NAC, NIVAC, BECNT, and the like. I like these three series, but not for more technical exegesis. Bob’s right–commentaries, especially technical ones, are not big sellers and most bookstores would probably like to turn a profit! The LifeWay on campus where I went to seminary was a biblical studies wonderland–how I miss being so close to such choice!

    • #14 by petermlopez on August 8, 2009 - 4:48 pm

      Jason, I intended to leave the store nameless, but since you mentioned it, it was Lifeway. Since Mardel opened up, I don’t make it to Lifeway much anymore, but I made it there yesterday. Thanks.

  1. Paul and the Importance of the Old Testament | Scripture Zealot
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