[B-Greek] What makes a good Greek Commentary?
Suttles, Andrew C. (GRC-DSI0)
andrew.c.suttles at nasa.gov
Tue Apr 21 10:28:29 EDT 2009
Does anyone have much experience with these Bryn Mawr commentaries? I assume they are aimed at students so I would hope they would be helpful for a beginning to intermediate reader. They are inexpensive, so I might pick up a few if they are useful.
>From: b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
>[mailto:b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of
>Sent: Monday, April 20, 2009 11:41 PM
>To: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
>Subject: Re: [B-Greek] What makes a good Greek Commentary?
>How about the Bryn Mawr commentary series for something concise?
>It seems to me like NT commentaries have as their business to
>deal with the NT text and message. Such as John Chrysostom
>wrote commentaries that seem to me like they are longer than
>the NT book that it covers.
>I like Zerwick. I don't read Latin, so J. A. Bengel is not available
>for me, haven't seen the English translation of him.
>On Apr 20, 2009, at 8:31 PM, Mark Lightman wrote:
>> I've been reading through the Iliad using several commentaries.
>> It's been frustrating, and the experience has reminded me
>that I never
>> really found a good commentary to the Greek NT. This got me
>> about what makes a good Greek commentary.
>> Three things:
>> 1. IT HAS TO BE COMPLETE. A commentary has to give you help with
>> ALL the diffficult passages. It's frustrating to come across a
>> difficult word or construction and look it up in several
>> and find nothing on it. A good commentary has to somehow anticipate
>> which passages will cause the reader trouble and hit them all. It
>> should probably offer a literal translation of all the really
>> difficult passages.
>> 2. IT HAS TO BE CONCISE. This is a balancing act with
>> The commentary has to stick to the Greek, giving background
>> only when it is necessary to understand the Greek. A commentary
>> cannot be wordy because the point is to give you the info quickly so
>> you can get back to the text. NT commentaries in particular
>> crazy when they get into theology or homiletics-- good
>things on their
>> own but not what I need to unpack Greek. A good commentary
>> longer than the text it helps explain.
>> 3. ITS FORMAT HAS TO BE USER FRIENDLY. This really means the
>> commentary has to be beneath the Greek text. One pet peeve
>of mine is
>> when a commentary says stuff like "See the note on page 101 above,"
>> Why not just repeat the essence of the note? maybe condensed, but I
>> hate having to flip back to the prior note. You should be able to
>> go from the commentary to the Greek text and back again as
>> The good news is I have found one commentary on the Iliad that meets
>> all three criteria, a 2002 effort by Pamela Draper. The bad
>> it only covers Book 1, and I found it only after working
>> 1 several times with other commentaries. Draper's really
>does set the
>> standard in my mind. She is complete AND concise and the format is
>> So, what about NT Greek commentaries? I haven't had much luck, and
>> wonder if list members know any that meet all three of my criteria.
>> Zerwick is
>> fairly complete and pretty concise. If you put him under a
>> you would'
>> have a nice volume. The NET Diglot is also concise and complete in
>> the sense that is offers you help with MOST of the difficult Greek
>> constructions, and the format could not be better, large print with
>> everything on facing pages.
>> Lightfoot's volumes
>> on Paul are the best real commentaries I have ever found. The only
>> ones I own, the Expositor's Greek New Testament, is
>> concise nor complete, though the format is nice.
>> Actually, I don't really need a Greek NT commentary anymore, but if
>> list members know of any really, really GOOD commentaries on
>> in Greek that would meet all three criteria, let me know. If a
>> commentary is good enough, that may be reason enough to read a Greek
>> text. (Except for Thucydides.)
>> Mark L.
>> B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek
>> B-Greek mailing list
>> B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org
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