Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 154:613 (Jan 1997)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Luke 1:1–9:50 . By Darrell L. Bock. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1994. 988 pp. $44.99. Luke 9:51–24:53 . By Darrell L. Bock. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1996. 1162 pp. $44.99. Two-volume set, $75.00.

Given the multitude of commentaries now available on the Synoptic Gospels, one may wonder how to justify yet another addition (and two volumes at that!). To answer this question it is important to consider not so much the positions the author has taken on specific difficult passages, or from what particular theological perspective the commentary is presented, but more importantly what specific features differentiate the present commentary from previously available ones.

This two-volume set on the Gospel of Luke has much to offer in this respect. Its format could be regarded as innovative and indeed a model for future works of this type. Major attention has been given to the usefulness of the page layout, taking advantage of recent developments in electronic typesetting and publication. This includes the use of marginal verse references in the detailed exegetical discussions and shaded boxes to draw the reader’s attention to certain key issues. This last feature is especially helpful for nonspecialists who may not be familiar with such issues and who would not know where to look for such summaries in a volume laid out in traditional fashion.

Another major feature is the indexes at the end of the second volume, which are some of the most comprehensive to appear in a recent commentary. In addition to the standard author and subject indexes also included are an index of Greek words (very helpful for the study of key terms in Luke’s Gospel) and separate, thorough indexes for various categories of Old Testament, intertestamental, postapostolic, and rabbinic literature. These include references to allusions as well as quotations. The extent of these indexes not only serves as a model for what can (and should) be done in this area, but are so valuable that they alone are worth the price of the second volume. Anyone interested in the literary backgrounds of the Gospel of Luke (or the literary backgrounds of the Synoptics in general) will find these references invaluable for pursuing further study, especially in the primary sources. They are particularly important for exegetical study in Luke’s Gospel because previous tools and sources have either overlooked much of this material or have quoted it indiscriminately

without due consideration of the problems of dating some of the material in relation to its possible significance for the meaning of New Testame...

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