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The Oxford Bible Commentary
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John Barton is Oriel & Laing Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture, University of Oxford. John Muddiman is G. B. Caird Fellow in New Testament Studies, Mansfield College, Oxford.

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Written by a team of more than 70 Christian and Jewish scholars from around the globe, The Oxford Bible Commentary is one of the most comprehensive one-volume commentaries available. Edited by John Barton and John Muddiman, the entries are arranged in biblical order, with verse-by-verse discussions of meaning, context and language. If the tome is too hefty or unwieldy to use, never fear: each book comes packaged with a sampler CD-ROM, which allows readers to easily search and cross-reference the books of Genesis and Matthew. The entire text is available on CD-ROM for an additional fee. (Oxford, $65 1,488p ISBN 0-19-875500-7; Dec.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

A very fine work and a useful addition to any study bookshelf. Church Review [A] magnificent, supremely scholarly volume. Indispensible to clergy, lay preachers, students, adult members of congregations and those just interested in the Bible as literature, it provides an up to date, clear, verse by verse explanation of all the books of the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Apocrypha... After carefully examining this brilliant authoritative volume, I unreservedly recommend it to anyone who wishes to understand the Bible more fully. Ronald S. Mallone, Day by Day

Every few years, a new Bible commentary or a new edition of an existing one appears. This allows new voices to be added to the conversation and recent developments in biblical and related studies to be showcased. For this volume, Barton (Holy Scripture, Oxford) and Muddiman (New Testament, Oxford) chose more than 70 well-known and respected biblical scholars as contributors, many of whom have written extensively in the area of their assignment. Though many of the contributions reflect moderate critical scholarship, there are some surprises. For example, traditional attributions of authorship for James and 2 Peter are accepted. The content of this volume is similar to other one-volume commentaries, with two notable exceptions. There are brief chapters on "Post-Biblical Jewish Literature" and "Extra-Cannical Early Christian Literature," dealing with such writings as the Pseudepigrapha and the Dead Sea Scrolls and with the New Testament Apocrypha and the Apostolic Fathers, respectively. These chapters contain excerpts but no commentaries. Some contributors engage in interpretation of the text while not ignoring exegetical details; others focus almost exclusively on the latter. Both approaches provide useful information, though perhaps to different audiences. The only real drawback here is that while most chapters have bibliographies, some are quite skimpy. Highly recommended for all academic and many public libraries. Craig W. Beard, Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham Lib. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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