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FW: [GTh] Commentaries

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  • Jacob Knee
    There s always been some breadth in the commentary genre - from the aspiration to completeness that you find especially in recent ICC, Hermeneia, Anchor Bible
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 6 11:39 AM
      There's always been some breadth in the commentary genre - from the
      aspiration to completeness that you find especially in recent ICC,
      Hermeneia, Anchor Bible volumes (though not necessarily in earlier ones) to
      the more introductory Pelican New Testament Commentaries (not sure what they
      were published under in USA), or Black's New Testament Commentary series,
      some of the TPI New Testament Commentaries or the books in the
      Interpretation commentary series.

      Relatively recently commentaries (and whole commentary series) have begun to
      set other goals than the search for the 'original meaning' (eg the new
      Blackwell Commentary series focuses on reception history - which traditional
      commentaries often completely ignored). Valantasis falls within a commentary
      series that is explicitly 'non-traditional'. 'Traditional' commentaries have
      often been poor at reading the text as a theological whole. Valantasis
      attempts to do that. I do think Mike is right that the context Valantasis
      finds for this reading of the whole is early christian asceticism (orthodox
      or not). I found it thought provoking and suggestive. Worthy of reading and
      IMO purchase.

      Best wishes,
      Jacob Knee
      (Cam, Glos.)

      -----Original Message-----
      From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com [mailto:gthomas@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
      Rick Hubbard
      Sent: 06 July 2005 18:09
      To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [GTh] Commentaries

      Mike Wrote:

      "After Rick's sweeping statement, I have to question whether I know what a
      commentary is....."

      Well, I guess after my sweeping statement, I too, started to wonder what
      defines a commentary. While the books that Mike enumerated are indeed
      informative and useful, they are not, IMHO, commentaries.

      When I think of a commentary, I immediately think of a work that thoroughly
      examines a writing line-by-line and word-by-word, from beginning to end and
      that brings into play a full range of historical and philological tools. I
      expect also a thorough review of the widest possible selection of secondary
      literature (i.e., journal articles, monographs and other scholarly studies).
      I expect a minimal amount of exposition and a maximum amount of calculated
      exegesis. In short, I like lots of cold hard facts and hundreds of

      I mentioned the Hermeneia series because I think it represents the apex of
      critical commentaries. On near-par with this series would be, I think, the
      ICC. Next would perhaps be the Anchor Bible Commentary series and the
      Westminster OTL (although both of these are of uneven quality).

      With these remarks in mind, I think all may understand why I say that, to
      date, no work has been published that resembles a respectable commentary on
      the Gospel of Thomas (PROVIDED THAT, of course, my expectations of what a
      commentary should be, are valid.

      Rick Hubbard
      Humble Maine Woodsman

      Gospel of Thomas Homepage: http://home.epix.net/~miser17/Thomas.html
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