Carson - New Testament Commentary Survey - Карсон

New Testament Commentary Survey - Carson D. A.

Работа Д. Карсона  предназначена в помощь студентам и всем кто изучает Новый Завет. В ней автор даёт обзор и рекомендации относительно существующего многообразия богословских работ по изучению Нового Завета. Книга станет хорошим подспорьем тем, кто стремится иметь в своей библиотеке лучшие новозаветные исследования.


Carson D. A. - New Testament Commentary Survey

Карсон Д. А. Обзор новозаветных комментариев (6-е издание)
1986 1996, 2001, 2007 by D. A. Carson
Published by Baker Academic
a division of Baker Publishing Group
P.O. Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516–6287

Carson D. A. - New Testament Commentary Survey - Preface


In its first edition, this little book was written by Dr. (now Prof.) Anthony C. Thiselton and appeared under the title Personal Suggestions about a Minister’s Library. In 1973, it was revised, and shortly after that the “Best Buys” section was brought up to date. That revision also introduced the change in title and format: New Testament Commentary Survey was born, the NT analogue of Old Testament Commentary Survey (both published, at the time, exclusively by British Theological Students’ Fellowship). In 1976, I brought the book up to date again simply by adding additional paragraphs and by inserting new prices and publishing information where relevant. Apart from such modifications, Dr. Thiselton’s comments were left unchanged. In 1984, the Theological Students’ Fellowship asked for another revision, and this time it was thought unwise simply to add a few more paragraphs. It seemed more sensible to recast the entire work and enter it on a computer so that subsequent revisions, including price changes and the like, could be accomplished with less work than would otherwise be the case. With Professor Thiselton’s kind permission, his text was sometimes incorporated into that third revision—occasionally with changes, especially on those rare occasions where I found myself mildly disagreeing with his assessment of a book. In the United States, Baker brought out the third edition. The fourth edition of this book appeared in 1993, and the fifth in 2001.

The years fly by, and new commentaries keep appearing—and so we have arrived at the sixth edition. Much of the checking was undertaken by one of my doctoral students, Jonathan Davis, to whom I owe an enormous debt.

The purpose of this short book is to provide theological students and ministers with a handy survey of the resources, especially commentaries, that are available in English to facilitate an understanding of the NT. The mature scholar is not in view. On the other hand, commentaries that are written at the popular level are generally given less attention than more substantive works. Theologically I am an evangelical, but many of the positive assessments offered in these notes are in connection with books written from the vantage point of some other theological tradition: the usefulness of a commentary sometimes turns on something other than the theological stance of its author—assuming, of course, that commentaries are read critically, as they should be whatever one’s theological heritage. Conversely, just because a commentary stands within the evangelical tradition does not necessarily mean it is a good book. It may be thoroughly orthodox but poorly written, uninformed, or quick to import from other biblical passages meanings that cannot rightly be found in the texts on which comment is being offered. In other words, this Survey is a guide to commentaries, not orthodoxy. Nevertheless, I have not hesitated on occasion to draw attention to the theological “slant” of particular works. Such information is often as useful as comments on the work’s level, general competence, and so forth. The restriction to English works is not absolute: occasionally I have included a foreign language work where nothing of a similar nature or stature exists in English. If I have not included more of them, it is because of my envisaged readership.

Prices and other publication data are, I hope, reasonably accurate and more or less comprehensive up to about the beginning of 2006, occasionally a bit beyond. At one time, book prices were more stable than they are now. Moreover, one used to be able to consult the latest edition of, say, British Books in Print to obtain current price information. But this work is no longer published, and online equivalents change prices so fast that they are not particularly useful as a guide to prices, especially on the British side. So the stipulation of, say, only an American price does not necessarily mean (as it did in earlier editions) that the work is not published on the British side. Moreover, nowadays readers anywhere in the world can purchase the same books through Internet companies, whose prices (less shipping) are usually way below list. So price information must now be read with more discretion than in earlier editions. I make no warranty of the accuracy of the information, both because the details change constantly and because almost certainly I have made some mistakes. On both sides of the Atlantic, it is often possible to beat the prices quoted here by purchasing from discount houses, special sales, or dot-com companies.

Related to changes in editions of commentaries, one must constantly examine what a new “edition” means. During the early 1980s, many of the TNTC and NCB volumes came out in new paperback editions, therefore boasting a new date even though all that had changed was the cover: the text was that of work done ten or twenty or more years earlier. The latest TNTC editions, however, are either work updated by the same author or commentaries by new authors replacing the earlier contributors.

Those interested in keeping up with the endless stream of commentaries need to consult the book review sections of journals. The Expository Times used to be first off the mark, but no longer, and an increasing number of its reviews are frankly eccentric. Reviews that usually keep the theological student in mind, and that are written from an evangelical perspective, are found in Themelios, whose quality has risen rapidly during the last few years. More comprehensive are the Journal of Biblical Literature and the Catholic Biblical Quarterly. Evangelical journals with useful reviews include (in addition to Themelios) Churchman, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Trinity Journal, and Westminster Theological Journal. Older commentaries are treated to entertaining and sometimes profound comment in C. H. Spurgeon, Commenting and Commentaries, occasionally republished by Banner of Truth.

I have tried to scan the reviews of the fifth edition of this book and learn from them. On some matters I remain unrepentant. If I do not devote more space to United Bible Societies productions, for instance, it is because many of their commentaries, though doubtless of value to Bible translators, are of minimal use to theological students and ministers. One reviewer thought some of my comments too trenchant. I have tried to be careful, but in a survey this condensed I prefer to be a shade too trenchant than a good deal too bland. Apart from published reviews, I am indebted to several people who have written to me from various parts of the world to offer suggestions as to how to improve this Survey. To all of them I extend my gratitude.

Soli Deo gloria.

D. A. Carson
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
March 2006



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