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New Testament Commentary Survey

March 12, 2014

The New Testament Commentary Survey by D.A. Carson (5th edition, Baker, 2001) is a unique gem and at 132 pages a must have for students interested in Biblical/Theology/Ministry studies in higher education. The lay out is very simple, D.A. Carson who serves as research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School begins with an explanation of the different types of commentaries, Individual commentaries or series, (He prefers individual volumes) older commentary classics as well as an overview of one volume N.T. Commentaries. The rest of the book deals with the 27 books of the New Testament in cannon order. The major works in each category are dealt with with a singular writing flair for example, “I mention Jesus and the Rise of Early Christianity: A History of New Testament Times by Paul Barnett (IVP 1999) here because it is such a refreshing reversal of many presuppositions about the historical Jesus. Here is a scholar who sees Jesus to be the wellspring of earliest Christianity; now there is a radical thought”. The book concludes with a two page overview of the 2 or 3 most recommended essential volumes for every New Testament book. I absolutely loved reading the book, it made me think, laugh and informed my of some volumes I will now be intentional about purchasing. Having been in ministry and Christian Higher Education for decades I had some slightly different opinions about the specific value of some of the works but that is only to be expected and appreciated. The true value of this book is in the hands of a student beginning the assembly of a Professional/Ministry library. I understand that Baker updates the additions and that a 7th is now available for those who want the absolutely most recent publications, a a frequent searcher of used book stores for commentary purchases I am finding the earliest additions almost as useful because of the selections I am culling through.

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