Tuesday, February 28, 2006

SBL Review of Allison, Shorter Commentary
There is a useful review of the abridged "easified" version of the excellent commentary on Matthew available here .

Non-specialists readers can now access Allison's useful remarks and insights, though of course the commentary loses lots of its force and utility (it no longer features, though it still refers to, the Greek text of Matthew, for example, and the scholarly interaction and especially the bibliography have been cut way back). Hard to say if it is better in this form than others of its size, though I cannot imagine that any other critical or moderately critical commentary of its size would be superior. (Again, I'm a huge fan of David Garland's shorter commentary.)

Allison joins Keener on the list of those who have produced smaller versions; but I think R. T. France is the only one going from small to large; he is writing the forthcoming volume in the NICNT series.

2 Comments:

Blogger James Crossley said...

It is an interesting question about shortening as one of the major things that made it arguably the finest of all commentaries is the fact that it is so comprehensive. Perhaps the answer is just money???

9:00 AM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger J. B. Hood said...

That will be the third edition, after the hardback and (now) paperback.

I suppose utility does have something to do with it, as I personally don't think Allison would commit it just for 'money' (though I can't read peoples' hearts of course). But money is surely somewhere in the equation.

Money (and of course ideology!) surely is the reason why we've got some 40-something major commentary series in production currently. Granted there are significantly more competent scholars on Matthew and other books--can you imagine picking the top ten Matt scholars in the world? This would have been very easy 30 years ago. Not so much today...

One of my favorite rants, which I learned from a prof of mine, is the proliferation of English translations; surely a great deal of that energy would be better spent on improving mongol, bantu, tagalog, etc. translations?!? Same holds true for scholarship...I taught a course in Siberia and had almost nothing to suggest in the way of commentary material in Russian--in part because of oppression of Orthodox and Protestants alike, and in part due to a lack of scholastic priorities...

9:40 AM, March 01, 2006  

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