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The Oxford Bible Commentary
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129 of 135 people found the following review helpful
on 15 October 2001
The Oxford Bible Commentary is a concise, expert commentary, providing useful verse-by-verse explanation of the Christian religious book.
The commentary encompasses all books recognised as canonical in any of the western churches of Christianity, and also includes excerpts from books in other canons. The advanced bible scholar may additionally wish to refer to more specialist textbooks for detailed insight into specific topics or individual biblical books.
This is among the most authoritative Bible commentaries available. The reader will appreciate the expertise of the distinguished contributors, their concise verse explanations, thorough verse cross-references, and critical approach. The book is intuitively structured throughout and, despite the large size of this volume, easy to navigate.
It is a helpful aide toward informed reading of the Bible for any reason - religious, theological, historical, literary, or general interest. An extensive bibliographic resource and relevant maps complement the text.
A good Bible commentary such as this is highly enlightening. Each verse in the Bible suddenly makes much more sense in the light of expert explanation. In reading the Bible without the benefit of well-informed commentary, essential considerations such as the historical context, and relationships between verses, are almost certainly overlooked. While opinions expressed in this commentary are objective, they are frequently conservative and tend to be representative of mainstream or orthodox thought.
The OBC is a huge, high quality reference textbook, with a proportionate price-tag, and I fervently commend it to anyone with a serious interest in the Christian scripture.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
This serious Bible Commentary contains over 1400 pages and some 11 maps and, as other reviewers have commented, it is a weight tome, too.

It is edited by John Barton who is the Oriel & Laing Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture, Oxford University and his colleague, John Muddiman, Tutorial Fellow in New Testament Studies at Mansfield College, Oxford. These two editors are to be commended for both the thoroughness of the articles and the relative consistency evident throughout this single volume. There are over other 70 contributors of articles, each an accredited expert in his or her own field.

Consistency can be an issue with a 'single volume' commentary on the Bible. It is easy for us to forget that the Bible is not strictly a book but is really a library which contains a broad and formidable range of literary genres sourced from a variety of cultures, ages, and philosophies. With that in mind, it is probably expecting too much, when we ask for one volume to 'tick all the boxes'; The Oxford Bible Commentary gets much closer to fulfilling these expectations than most other single volume works.

Michael Calum Jacques
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 22 November 2009
Detailed explanation of the bible text. Great if you are trying to get to the underlying meaning of the original. This bible commentary is a single volume commentary so is necessarily light on detail but gives a great oerview.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 14 June 2011
I use the Oxford Bible Commentary all the time in my work (congregation) and also in my personal life just to get a better grip on what's going on in the Bible. It's compact, informative and useful. If I needed to pick just one commentary to have around, this would be it.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 25 February 2010
For any student experiencing an essay crisis and needing to know the potential dating of the book of Baruch at an unsociable hour, this book is a life-saver! It has bibliographies too for those in need of in-depth knowledge and doesn't assume a vast amount of theological knowledge. It also contains a chapter on the methodology of the scholarly approaches contained within (although the scholars who contribute hold diverse beliefs.) It is not as detailed as Anchor Bible commentaries in terms of linguistic analysis of Hebrew and Greek, so anyone who needs help with obscure grammar points may need a different commentary. Nevertheless, I can't fault this one on its meticulous yet accessible approach.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Having completed a lay preachers course in the Christian Church I have been looking for a one volume commentary. Have now found it!
The Oxford Bible Commentary is a concise (but rather heavy), written by well informed experts commentary. It gives a great verse-by-verse discuss of the whole Bible.

A great starting point fot study and sermon preparation.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 9 March 2009
Viewpoints of several scholars are presented so that the student can interpret what is read for himself. Obscure Biblical passages can more readily be understood. This is certainly a good companion.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 15 September 2010
Really important for any student of theology at any level. The most crucial thing about this for me is that it is deliberately universal and as far as possible unbiased towards any sect of Christianity. This is vital because different denominations read certain passages of text in different ways.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 December 2011
This book is an excellent commentary and companion to the bible.
It is cut from a very broad cloth, and is more open ended than one might have
expected. It admits some areas of uncertainty and accepts some alternative views.
It is of extreme value in offering interpretation in areas where the meaning is uncertain
or in explaining confusing language.
It is strongly recommended to anyone wishing to study the Bible for whatever reason
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 April 2013
The coverage of this single volume work is such that I was able to give away several of my old (1950s and 1960s) commentaries. I think that says it really. Of course, scholarship moves on apace and this book is no longer new. I wait to see if updates or revisions are planned.
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