- Hardcover: 510 pages
- Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 12, 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0849902541
- ISBN-13: 978-0849902543
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.5 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #668,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Word Biblical Commentary Vol. 35b, Luke 9:21-18:34 (nolland), 501pp Hardcover – May 10, 1993
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About the Author
John Nolland is Vice Principal and Head of Biblical Studies as well as Lecturer in New Testament Studies at Trinity Collge, Bristol, England. He holds S.Sc. (Hons.) from University of New England (Australia), the Th.L. from the Australian College of Theology, The B.D. from the University of London, the Ph.D. from Cambridge University, and the Dip.Th. from Moore Theological College. His numerous articles have been published in Revue de Qumran, The journal of Theological Studies, Vigiliae Christianae, Journal of Biblical Literature, Novum Testamentum, New Testament Studies, and The Journal for the Study of Judaism.
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Anyone who is familiar with any of the "Word Biblical Commentary" series, edited by Bruce Metzger and published by Nelson Reference & Electronic will be quite familiar with the layout of these volumes. You will also be well aware that this series even exceeds the characterization of `the Cadillac of commentaries'. Its scholarship is of such an industrial strength that I'm inclined to call it the `Hummer' of commentaries.
This does not mean this is the best commentary. It does not even mean it is the best commentary for most people. In a very real sense, this series, and this set within the series, is oriented almost entirely to the professional biblical scholar. It may not even be appropriate for pastors and for those who write Bible Study guides for lay readers, since there are so many other excellent commentaries on the market which are far more accessible.
The hallmark of this series is their excellent division of material into the following five sections for each pericope or paragraph in the Gospel.
1. Bibliography. This section is a testament to the great volume of work published on even the smallest parts of each Gospel. This can take multiple pages, and is often divided into several sections for each Gospel paragraph.
2. Original Translation plus Notes. I think this is essential, in that it gives one an alternative to the translation you hear from the lectern and in lay Bible study classes.
3. Form / Structure / Setting. Is this a narrative? Is the material original to Luke (as with the parable of the Good Samaritan)? Is it adapted from known sources, such as Mark?
4. Comment on the Verses. This and the next section are the two a pastoral user will be most interested. Here is where one gets the author's contribution to an hermeneutics of the text. This section is long, often with multiple paragraphs for each verse.
5. Explanation. A reflection on the overall passage, with the best assistance for the pastoral reader.
I am convinced that one cannot do really effective Bible study with a single commentary, even with one as large as this. There are some times when I have seen two commentaries give exactly the opposite interpretations of the same verse, as when in Chapter 4, Jesus reads from Isaiah, one commentator was sure He selected the verse himself while another was certain the verse was selected for him. The latter interpretation is more likely, but one would not have thought of it if you only read the first interpretation.
I am not a professional Biblical scholar. I am not yet even a good amateur Biblical scholar, and I often don't have time in the course of a week to plough through Nolland's three volumes to prepare for an adult Bible study lesson, when there are so many other excellent commentaries. And yet, I still keep Nolland close at hand, when none of the other commentaries can make sense of a passage. And, there are several such verses in Luke. With Nolland's Luke and with several other books in this series, it often provides the best answer to my puzzling over a passage. The readings are also some of the most conservative. Nolland and his co-writers on other NT books tend to be very conservative. You will find little or no speculation here. Even better, you will often find other authors called out for their more adventuresome speculations.
Of all the `big' commentaries, this is possibly the least theological and most bound with discussions of lexical and exegetical issues. If you want a good theological summary of Luke, go to Fitzmyer's introduction in volume 1 of his Anchor Bible set. If you want good reflections on individual passages, try Joel Green's `The Gospel of Luke'. These two may be the best pair. Unfortunately, Fitzmyer is very difficult to acquire, so Nolland makes an excellent exegetical companion to Green's hermeneutics.
Nolland's commentary follows that found in most of the WBC volumes. Along with a bibliography at the beginning of each section, Nolland provides an original translation of the section of text being examined. This is followed by a series of footnotes on the translation interacting with issues in the Greek text. This section will be of most interest to the NT scholar with a working knowledge of Greek. The Form/Structure/Setting section follows. Some of the points in this section are fairly technical. However, the "Comment" and "Explanation" sections provide a clear and easy to understand analysis of the text and also practical applications that will be of value to scholar and layperson alike.