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The New Interpreters' Bible: One Volume Commentary.

The New Interpreters' Bible: One Volume Commentary. Edited by Beverly Roberts Gaventa and David Petersen. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2010. ISBN: 978-0-6873-3411-7- xii and 1061 pages. Cloth. $75.00.

Welcome the most recent one-volume commentary on the Bible, including the books of the Apocrypha (including 3 and 4 Maccabees and Psalm 151), i.e., the contents of the NRSV. (The biblical text is not printed.) This is the latest entry in the big, one-volume biblical commentary sweepstakes. It includes general articles on the creation of the Bible, the canon, literary genres, cultures of the ancient near east, Judaism, the Greco-Roman world, lectionaries, and the Bible in the life of the church. The writers are in general younger scholars, whose names may not be familiar to users (a positive feature).

The commentaries on individual books vary in detail. The bibliographies for further study are almost restricted to English popular works. Writers write in essay style, not giving as much detail as does the New Jerome Biblical Commentary. Introductions to the books are spare, briefly apodictic in approach. Let me illustrate from the commentary on Acts. It begins with an "Overview" of 1 1/3 columns; it does not mention the current debate about its literary form or raise questions about its historical accuracy. A basic outline follows, not based on Acts literary conventions, but on the geographic development in the book. The commentary fills pages 737-767. The spare bibliography contains only eight titles. It is thus a brief general interpretation, providing a quick entry into the book, typical of the commentary. It will be more helpful for lay readers than for seminary students or clergy.

The general articles, chronological timeline and tables of measures and money on pp. 943-1006 are good aids for understanding the texts, their canonization, cultural contexts, and aids in teaching the Bible.
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Author:Krentz, Edgar
Publication:Currents in Theology and Mission
Article Type:Book review
Date:Feb 1, 2012
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