Critical Commentary Definition

Critical Commentary Definition

A critical commentary:
  • Is based on the Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic text.

  • Was (preferably) published in the last 40 years or so.

  • Has a large bibliography and footnotes.

  • Often has a translation of the original text.

  • Focuses on narrower areas of the text (such as a book or a few books that can be grouped together, such as the Johannine Epistles).

  • Tends to have a significant portion of their text devoted to behind-the-text issues such as the composition of the book, history of interpretation, text-critical issues, etc. These issues can have their own chapter.

Examples of critical commentaries include:

  • The Anchor Bible Commentary series or the Anchor Yale Bible Series (AYBC)

  • Word Biblical Commentary (WBC)

  • Hermeneia Series

  • The Interational Critical Commentary Series (ICC)

  • The New Cambridge Bible Commentary (NCBC)

  • The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (NICOT)

  • The Old Testament Library Series (OTL)

  • The New Testament Library Series (NTL)

  • Pillar New Testament Commentary (PNTC)

  • The Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (BECNT)

  • The New International Greek Testament Commentary (NIGTC)

  • The New International Commentary on the New Testament (NICNT)

This is in contrast to commentaries based on the English text and homiletical and/or devotional commentaries (such as Interpretation, Teach the Text, or The Old/New Testament for Everyone) which would NOT be considered critical commentaries.