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Luke 1:1-9:50 (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament): No 1-4 Vol 1 Hardcover – 1 Dec 1994

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 988 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic, Div of Baker Publishing Group (1 Dec. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801010535
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801010538
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 6.6 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 586,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

Luke is the most linguistically up-to-date and comprehensive evangelical commentary on the Gospel now available. For quick or detailed reference, Luke unites depth and clarity to create a tool usable by scholars and laypeople alike.

About the Author

Darrell L. Bock (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is research professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. He is the author or editor of many books, including Acts in the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series, Jesus according to Scripture, and Studying the Historical Jesus.


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Format: Hardcover
The commentary by Bock in the Baker series is a very very wordy one. It is so detailed it had to be split into two volumes. This first volume alone is over 960 pages. Bock delves into the Greek text pointing out nuances and meanings. He compares various other authors handling of the texts and draws his own conclusions. The depth of knowledege is unbeatable. If serious scholarly study of the gospel is what you are after then these two volumes by Bock are essential. However, as a pastor it is not as useful if what you are looking for is how to apply the text to contemporary life. While he does some of this, in the first place it is so difficult to find because one must first plough through the heavy exegesis before you get to the pastoral application. And secondly, because of the heavy exegesis the pastoral application is sparse and in my view in some places inadequate. There is a lot of heavy material in the body of the text even though the footnotes contain the bulk of the detailed references etc. If you are about to preach a sermon on Luke then this is not the best commentary to take down from the shelf. However, if you want to engage in serious Biblical study of the Gospel of Luke then you may need no other commentary but this one and its second voulme.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 18 reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Mess of Excellent Material, but Could Use Better Structure 15 Aug. 2004
By C. Price - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
There is much to like and much that is useful in Bock's commentary on the Gospel of Luke. Bock obviously has done his homework. One feature of his commentary that is first rate is that when he approaches difficulties in the text or areas where scholars disagree, Bock provides lists of the alternative explanations, who advocates them, and his view of their respective strengths and weaknesses. If Bock does not see a clear winner, he is candid about it.

Bock's practice of providing clear explanation as to different approaches to the text or problems of history or sources extends to an excellent series of "Excursuses" at the end of the book. Topics covered include the Census of Quirinius, Sources and Synoptic Relationships, The Genealogies of Matthew and Luke, and discussions about the Son of Man sayings. Each section is well written and provides the reader with a clear picture of the possible conclusions. Bock is more emphatic in his own conclusions in some sections than others. This section greatly enhances his commentary.

Another feature that distinguishes this book from other commentaries on Luke is its focus on sources and historicity. Bock spends more time on these issues, obviously linked in his mind, than most other commentaries. He also highlights the discussions in their own sections. Though they are well written, the degree of satisfaction I felt after reading each one varied. Some left me wanting much more discussion. I realize that there are space limitations in gospel-specific commentaries, but sometimes felt that Bock had bitten off more than he could chew. Not that he could not handle the issues in an informed manner, but that he simply had insufficient space to do so.

The introduction is well written, but did not spend as much time on issues like authorship and dating than I would have liked. I am sure Bock has more to offer on those issues. Instead, the introduction spends more time dealing with specific topics in the Lucan text, such as Jerusalem: The Innocent One Slain and Raised, Faith and Dependence, and Prayer. Most commentaries introduce the reader to some of the gospel's authors theology and focus, but I thought some of these discussions would have been better served as Special Notes within the general discussion of the text, or as more Excursuses on the end. This is simply an organizational preference of mine. The sections are well written.

Finally, I have one other organizational criticism. He usually begins his discussion of a particular set of passage with an overview of his opinions on the passages. Then he discusses "Source and History", and includes an examination of the structure and outline of the passage. Only then does he actually repeat the text in full in a section on "Exegesis and Exposition." Bock then includes a Summary and Additional Notes. Placing the actual text in the middle of the discussion seemed odd to me and bugged me throughout. Again, this is just an organizational, ergonomic, preference of mine. The actual discussions were good. I simply believe they could have been enhanced with a different organization.

Overall, though I have my organizational quibbles, a valuable commentary that exposes the reader to many different perspectives on and potential solutions to problematic passages in Luke.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Preaching Through Luke? This Commentary is for you. 5 Oct. 2005
By wisdomofthepages.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
By far, Darrell Bock's 2-Volume set on Luke is my most often used commentary while preaching through Luke.

In this first volume, Bock unleashes 1,000 pages of exegetical work on the first 9 chapters of the Gospel of Luke.

If you haven't utilized any of the Baker Exegetical Commentaries, then you don't know what you are missing in terms of page layout, font, side-bars, etc. The editors and designers have done all they could to increase the ease of reading.

As for the content, you can trust Bock to clearly lay out various positions on issues, then state his opinion. Rarely did I find myself differing from his conclusions.

Thoughtful outlines break down text into manageable chunks, and these seem to be about right for walking across the bridge from exegesis to exposition.

Which brings me to the main point. If you need a commentary to aid you in expository preaching of the Gospel of Luke, you will not be disappointed with this volume. Save your money on 2-3 lesser-quality volumes, and invest instead in Bock.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite on Luke 2 April 2007
By David A. Bielby - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a pastor who uses commentaries in my sermon prep. I've found that Bock's stuff on Luke, and this volume in particular, as well as it's twin, encourage me with practical and technical information that is actually useful. For example, in the passage I just did for Palm Sunday, Bock does a great job of providing many worthwhile nuggets on Luke 19:28-40-the twin volume to this one using the exact same format and approach. I found some commentators wasting lots of space on issues like 'which part of the story was really spoken by Jesus' and things like that which are completely worthless for preaching....Marshall (NIGTC), who so many rave about, gives far less practical help and spends time evaluating and defending what parts of the story are 'real' and what parts are added later...AND yet his overall coverage is about 25% of Bock's in total...so this means you get about 15% of the real meat that Bock gives you on any one passage. Bock gives much more than the NICNT also.

Bock avoids all that stuff and goes to the meat of the issues at hand. For example, on the cross references he sometimes provides great insights as in when discussing Bethphage, one of the little towns Jesus was near when he sent his disciples to get the colt for him to ride on...that Bock points out the Aramaic meaning of Bethphage, which was 'House of unripe figs'. The cross reference in the Greek text to the pronouncement of judgment on the fig tree earlier in Luke was augmented by this information. The clear allusion then is to the judgment pronounced on the Jews for being an unripe fig tree by Jesus as he passes through 'the house of unripe figs' just before his Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem which ends up with his grief over Jerusalem's judgment for rejecting his kingship.
Bock has a lot of detail like this that I have not found as much of in most commentaries.

He also cued me in on the angaria concept without too much information so that I could see crucial points without wasting a lot of time on minutia. (Angaria was the custom of demanding citizens provide transportation...which may relate to the provision of the colt for Jesus triumphal entry).

This commentary is a wealth of very helpful information that is based on solid exegesis. His information provided also blends well with the sermon crafting process for those who are careful to use tried and true hermeneutical principles.

I have found that these two Luke commentaries (Baker Exegetical) are more helpful to me than even the NICNT on Luke...and I love that one as well.

A whole hearted recommendation here. I completely agree with Marc Axelrod's review as well. Thank you Marc!
21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is definitely the best commentary on the Gospel of Luke 3 Nov. 1999
By Dr. Marc Axelrod - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I LOVE this commentary! Darrell Bock stays close to the text, and he engages in dialogue many of the great scholars of the present and of the past. I also appreciate his eye for how the text applies to our lives today. While he discusses controversial sections of Luke, he lists all of the main interpretations that have been offered on a point, and when he is through, he explains why he has chosen one of those interpretations.

One noteworthy point is that this two volume set came out right when the left wing Jesus Seminar was coming into its own as a study group, and Bock consistently defends the historicity of the text in response to statements the Seminar has made. This may make his two volume exposition of Luke something of a period piece.

But coming from a pastor who has all the major studies on Luke, this commentary rocks. This one is the best.

One more point: The print is really large for an academic book like this, too. It is easy on the eyes.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best 20 July 2007
By Anthony J. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
For studying Luke, I always keep Nolland, Fitzmyer, and Bock at my side. There are other good commentaries (Marshall, Green, Ellis, Goddet, etc)--but these three are the core. Within this group, Bock is prefered above all because 1) he is VERY clear and thorough. He does a wonderful job of explaining all (or most) sides of an argument and the rational for his decision. 2) Contrary to some of the reviewers, I love the layout of the book As a preacher, it is very easy to find exactly what I need without getting too bogged down in source and historical critical issues. However, I also like the layout of the WBC for the same reason, so my opinions may not be worth much in this respect! 3) If you want to get wrapped up in source and historical critical issues, Bock will help you get there. He deals with the Seminar as well as the more moderate critics, deftly without resorting to "well the HS wrote it, that's all that maters." 4) and this may be most important of all. Unlike many NT scholars, Bock is an OT expert of the highest degree as well as a NT scholar. His knowledge of the OT is not just a way to get at the NT, but a study unto itself. He deals masterfuly with the OT allusions present thoughout Luke and with the customs of first century judaism. A note of caution, however. He is a dispensationalist. You may agree, you may not, but you need to know where he stands.
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