In the long-ago days when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was in college, there was a popular set of Bible commentaries that seemed to be carried in every Christian book shop around. I bought 2 of the commentaries— Romans and Revelation I think— and wanted to collect them all like they were Pokemon or something.
But at the end of my college years I had what I now think of as a spiritual breakdown— I lost my faith that Christianity is true, in spite of the fact that I had found no logical refutation of the reasons I believed in the first place. As a result, my commentaries along with other Christian books were sold at a garage sale.
In 2005 my faith came back, and I wished I still had the commentaries, even though my faith came back Catholic. I didn’t even remember the name of the commentary series.
Recently I asked my assorted FB friends if they knew the commentary series. One of them shared a list of Bible commentaries with me and as soon as I read Tyndale Bible Commentaries I knew that was the right one.
I Googled, hoping to see a picture of the commentaries with the covers that I remembered (as pictured above.) While doing that, I found a picture of the commentaries with a different cover— and this picture was from an eBay auction of 14 of the commentaries in the Old Testament series for a very reasonable price. I snapped those commentaries up like they were bound in imported dark chocolate.
When they arrived I learned a few things I hadn’t known about the commentaries before. They were a series based in England and most of the Bible scholars who wrote the volumes seemed to be English or Australian. The dates of the commentaries ranged from 1964 to 1984. And one of the authors of the commentaries, Derek Kidner, is popular enough today that his commentaries are available in a reprint series called the Derek Kidner Commentaries.
I’ve currently been reading Kidner’s commentary on Psalms as a part of my Bible and Catholic Catechism reading program, based on a leaflet provided by the Coming Home Network. I read the Psalm I’m supposed to read for the day’s reading, and read the related pages of Kidner’s commentary with it. It’s far more enriching than to just read the Bible text which I’ve read a number of times before. Of course, it will probably slow down my progress a bit. It will probably take more than one year if I read all the Bible passages with a commentary. And I’ve already gotten far behind the goal. But at least now, with the commentaries, I have an excuse.
As a Catholic, I’m also interested in getting some good Catholic commentaries. I’ll share some about that search on another Sunday.
These are the commentary volumes I currently own:
Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, IVP
D. J. Wiseman, General Editor
2. Exodus – R. Alan Cole (1973)
4. Numbers – Gordon J. Wenham (1981)
5. Deuteronomy – J. A. Thompson (1974)
7. Judges & Ruth – Arthur E. Cundall & Leon Morris (1968)
12. Esther – Joyce G. Baldwin (1984)
13. Job – Francis I. Anderson (1976)
14a. Psalms 1-72 – Derek Kidner (1973)
14b. Psalms 73-150 – Derek Kidner (1975)
15. Proverbs – Derek Kidner (1964)
16. Ecclesiastes – Michael A. Eaton (1983)
17. The Song of Solomon – G. Lloyd Carr (1984)
19. Jeremiah & Lamentations – R. K. Harrison (1973)
20. Ezekiel – John B. Taylor – (1969)
21. Daniel – Joyce G. Baldwin (1978)
24. Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi – Joyce G. Baldwin (1972)