The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Abridged Edition: 2 Volumes
Good for what it is
Compared to other single-volume commentaries, this one is top notch. It is more thorough and well rounded than other sources I have examined, and I would not hesitate to recommend it to someone interested in deeper study without the need for the technical details found in most commentary sets.
The text is a significant abridgment of the 12-volume set, condensing several pages of notes to a single paragraph in some cases. The book introductions are brief and to the point. They have removed most of the discussion of source criticism, but generally acknowledge when disagreements exist while presenting a generally conservative consensus opinion (i.e. date of the Exodus). I find that I miss the book outlines, thematic overviews and some of the maps and charts that are included in the introductions of the full set.
Surprisingly, they have include many photographs (pottery, plants, mountains, artwork, etc.) and some illustrations that are not in the full set. For example, they include an artists rendering of the Tabernacle, but omit the detailed diagram that is in the Exodus introduction of Volume 2 of the full set. Personally, I would prefer the chart to the conceptual drawing, but I'm probably not the target audience.
As expected, footnotes and bibliographies are excluded, so suggestions for further study are limited, though the text does include occasional recommendations for outside sources where appropriate. There is little Hebrew or Greek in the text, even when explaining what a word means in the original language, though the included GK numbers make looking up the root word easy enough.
September 10, 2012
I have used my volumes only a few times to date. I have found them to be good for what I seem to need. I am somewhat a novice at using this type of in depth material.
August 10, 2010
In addition to pastoring a church, I teach classes on both the Old and New Testaments at the local community college. When students or church members ask me to suggest a brief commentary on the whole Bible, this one is always my top pick. I know of no better brief commentary on the entire Bible.
September 28, 2009
I use these in sermon prep and appreciate the contextual info at the beginning of each chapter about the authorship, location, purpose and other bits of information. The commentary portion is brief and to the point but well written and helpful.
August 8, 2007