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Hebrews: 35 (The New American Commentary) Kindle Edition

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Length: 677 pages

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About the Author

David Allen is dean of the School of Theology, professor of Preaching, and director of the Center of Biblical Preaching at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) in Fort Worth, Texas.  He holds degrees from Criswell College (B.A.), SWBTS (M.Div.), and the University of Texas at Arlington (Ph.D.).

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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jordan Atkinson on June 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Allen's recent commentary is good but not great. Unlike I do, he advocates a "loss of rewards" interpretation of the warning passages in Hebrews (377). In the process of defending his position, however, he criticizes other commentators who implicitly lack "considerable attention to [Hebrews 6:4-6's] exegetical, historical and theological aspects" (344). Allen devotes 33 pages to these three verses (344-77), whereas with most other verses in Hebrews he is rather brief. This unique nit-pickiness annoyed me, as Allen needlessly disparaged other interpretations of the warning passages in Hebrews other than his loss of rewards interpretation.

Particularly concerning Hebrews 12:14-17, 25-29 does Allen's view come to the forefront. I do not mean to demean the loss of rewards interpretation; my distaste with Allen's commentary is due to what D. A. Carson calls "cavalier dismissal" (in Exegetical Fallacies, Second Edition) of others' views. On 12:15's "fails to obtain the grace of God," Allen writes: "Hughes, in light of 12:1-2, took it as meaning falling behind in the race and failing to finish. He, along with Lane, wrongly interpreted it as implying apostasy" (585). By not explaining immediately after this why he finds Hughes and Lane wrong, Allen seems to dismiss their view in an almost rude manner. "Often what is meant by such cavalier dismissal is that the opposing opinion emerges from a matrix of thought so different from a scholar's own that he finds it strange,weird, and unacceptable (unless he changes his entire framework)," which I believe is the case with the above quote from Allen. "If so, something like that should be said, rather than resorting to the hasty dismissal which is simultaneously worthless as an argument and gratingly condescending" (Carson 118).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MechPebbles on April 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover
The strength of this commentary lies in those areas of Hebrews where the author builds up a strong and convincing case. He comes across very strongly on certain topics, like authorship. His thesis on Lukan authorship is really very good. Another area he seems to feel strongly for is in the hortatory passages of Hebrews, where he spends very many pages tearing apart the apostasy interpretation while supporting Loss of Rewards. These parts of the commentary are the best although they often felt repetitious and bogged down.

However, I feel that this way of treating Hebrews makes the commentary unbalanced. For example, the first 4 verses of the commentary alone take up 66 pages while some other verses, especially in the second half of the book, are given light treatment.

This commentary is significantly more technical than the ones I'm used to in the NICNT, NICOT and Pillar series. A lot more ink is spilled on things like discourse analysis and Greek grammar. I do not know if this is true of the entire NAC series or only of this particular volume as this is my first NAC. If, like me, you're fond of the NICNT and Pillar commentaries, don't assume you'll like this one. And if even the NICNT and Pillar commentaries are too technical for you, you really should avoid this book.

The author's favorite way of exegesis is to keep himself in the background; he is quite satisfied to quote other commentators, one after another, sometimes for pages. It tends to make the commentary feel directionless and compromises the argumentative flow. Frequently, the author recounts in some detail all the different interpretations the various commentators give, then leave off without any indication about his preference.
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Matt on February 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of my favorite commentaries on the book of Hebrews. I trust the scholarship of Dr David Allen, who has dedicated many years to the study of Hebrews and its authorship. Having been a student of Dr Allen's during my time at seminary, I know him to be a dedicated scholar and a skillful preacher.

I was especially interested in this commentary for two main reasons:
1) Dr Allen has long advocated the position that Luke wrote Hebrews - this was his doctoral thesis many years ago. Now in this commentary, Dr Allen expounds on the authorship of Hebrews (one of the more thorough discussions I have read on the topic), and why it is that he believes Luke to be the author.
2) I have heard Dr Allen preach on some passages in Hebrews. He is a preacher and a professor of preaching. As such, he writes from a perspective, not simply of a scholar, but of a pastor and teacher.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D Petterson on May 26, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you have a Southern Baptist theology you might enjoy this read, otherwise probably not the best. I would recommend F.F Bruce's commentary on Hebrews or Philip E. Hughes instead. Hughes not only gives a good exposition of the Hebrews text, but he also quotes early church fathers and reformers and their interpretation of the text as well which I found to be very helpful.
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By clarynb on July 10, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great reading
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David on August 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an outstanding commentary on the book of Hebrews. It is an essential edition to the library of anyone wanting to understand this amazing book of the New Testament. The reason I cannot give 5 stars has nothing to do with the content. I have now had this book for less than 4 months, and now pages are pulling away from the binding. Though I have opened and closed it many times while reading it, I have treated it the same as other books on my shelf, some dating back 50 years. B & H Publishing Group should be ashamed of the quality of their product. Until they can fix their process, I recommend getting the electronic version.
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