Friday, 28 March 2008

A great doorstop

One of the books I purchased with my $1,000 Geneva bursary was the huge volume by Greg Beale and Don Carson, Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Baker, 2007). A comprehensive commentary on every quotation, allusion, and echo of the Old Testament that appears in Matthew through Revelation. 1152 pages. How do people write that much?!? Amazing!
I was gleefully looking forward to plumbing the depths of its scholarship. Then a couple of days ago, I heard Professor Carson himself, speaking at Moore College. He made a passing reference to this volume. What's his assessment of his own work? "It's far too long. It'd make a great doorstop".
Oh dear. And an expensive one, too...
I'm sure he's underestimating the quality of his own work. Still, takes the wind out of my sails a bit.
Anyone used this volume yet? Is it any good? Should I keep it, or exchange it for something else...?

4 comments:

Seumas Macdonald said...

I don't know, but I'd like a look! If it's within copyright, I'd love a copy of the material on Matthew...

- Seumas

John Dekker said...

My initial glance was a disappointment. My copy came in the mail this week, and I immediately turned to the passage I'm preaching on this Sunday - Matthew 28:18-20. Incredibly, there was no mention of Genesis 1:26-28.

So maybe the book is too short...

Roger Gallagher said...

How was Carson? I was unable to make it due to St John's having its' AVM that night. It finished in record time (7:30-8:45) and providing convincing proof of my masochistic tendancies - I'm back on as Synod Rep, Lay Canon & Parish Councillor.

John McClean said...

Kamal,
I've used it a bit and it seems OK (probably a bit more than OK)! It is a good reminder that OT background is a key factor in NT interpretation at two levels. First in 'grammatico-historical' interpretation the OT determined so much of the thought world and expression of NT writers and second for more explicit Biblical-Theological interpretation. Of course a decent commentary will cover the material in more depth than this can, but it can do two things a commentary can't. It is an easy point of reference for any NT passage when you aren't working through a book in detail. It highlights the OT background immediately and gathers it in one place.

I'm preaching on John 1:1-18 this weekend and I've found it a good summary. See http://ptcsydney.blogspot.com/2008/05/johns-prologue.html for a few of my developing thoughts.