The New International Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsWritten by Robert L. Hubbard and Gordon D. Fee, eds. Reviewed By Andrew David Naselli
Logos Bible Software has probably received more requests for the New International Commentary (NIC) series than any other resource. Many of us have begged Eerdmans and Logos Bible Software to produce a version of the NICOT and NICNT for the Libronix Digital Library System, and Logos has been working with Eerdmans for about a decade to make this happen. I am overjoyed that it is now available. This is good news for two reasons: Libronix is far more efficient than print books, and the NIC is a prestigious evangelical commentary series.
It is not as controversial as it used to be to say that using Libronix is more efficient than using print books. One reason is that more and more people are becoming familiar with Libronix’s searchability and versatility. Not only can users search Libronix books incomparably faster and more thoroughly than print books; they can easily carry around thousands of books on a small hard drive, change the font and size of the text, view a book’s collapsible table of contents on the side or top of the screen, mark the text with highlighters and notes, copy and paste the text, save workspaces and bookmarks, jump directly to other electronic resources (such as Bibles and dictionaries) that are integrated in all Libronix books, and much more. (Cf. my review “PNTC, BECNT, and NIGTC: Three New Testament Commentary Series Available Electronically in Libronix,” Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal 12 : 81–99.)
The NICOT has had two editors: R. K. Harrison (1968–93) and Robert L. Hubbard Jr. (1994–). The NICNT has had three: Ned B. Stonehouse (1946–62), F. F. Bruce (1962–90), and Gordon D. Fee (1990–). The NIC is written by outstanding evangelical scholars who generally hold conservative critical views. The commentaries are characteristically preoccupied with the text of Scripture. The text of the commentaries is readable enough for many lay people to follow, and most technical discussion (e.g., original languages) occurs in footnotes.
This Logos product includes the full, current forty-volume NIC: twenty-two OT volumes (on twenty-five of the thirty-nine OT books) and eighteen NT volumes (on twenty-five of the twenty-seven NT books, sans 2 Peter and Jude). The average cost per volume is $42.50. The contract between Logos and Eerdmans requires Logos to sell the entire NIC as a bundle and not to sell the individual commentaries separately.
When evangelical scholars and pastor-theologians list their most recommended commentaries on each book of the Bible, the NIC volumes nearly always occur within the top five and are often the number one recommendation. See, for example, the rankings for each book of the Bible at BestCommentaries.com, which compiles reviews and then plugs them into a scoring algorithm. The forty NIC volumes are listed below, and an asterisk occurs before ones that I have found exceptional (even if I am not convinced of some of their views). Moo on Romans, for example, is one of the finest commentaries ever written.
1–2. Genesis, 2 vols. (Victor P. Hamilton, 1990–95; xxxvii + 1296 pp.)
*3. Leviticus (Gordon J. Wenham, 1979; xii + 362 pp.)
- Numbers (Timothy R. Ashley, 1993; xvi + 667 pp.)
- Deuteronomy (Peter C. Craigie, 1976; 424 pp.)
- Joshua (Marten H. Woudstra, 1981; xix + 396 pp.)
*7. Ruth (Robert L. Hubbard Jr., 1988; xiv + 317 pp.)
- First Samuel (David Toshio Tsumura, 2007; xxii + 698 pp.)
- Ezra and Nehemiah (F. Charles Fensham, 1982; xv + 288 pp.)
*10. Job (John E. Hartley, 1988; xiv + 591 pp.)
*11–12. Proverbs, 2 vols. (Bruce K. Waltke, 2004–5; lxviii + 1282 pp.)
- Ecclesiastes (Tremper Longman III, 1998; xvi + 306 pp.)
- Song of Songs (Tremper Longman III, 2001; xvi + 238 pp.)
*15–16. Isaiah, 2 vols. (John N. Oswalt, 1986–98; xxxi + 1501 pp.)
- Jeremiah (J. A. Thompson, 1980; xii + 819 pp.)
*18–19. Ezekiel, 2 vols. (Daniel I. Block, 1997–98; xliv + 1713 pp.)
- Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, and Micah (Leslie C. Allen, 1976; 427 pp.)
- Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah (O. Palmer Robertson, 1990; x + 357 pp.)
- Haggai and Malachi (Pieter A. Verhoef, 1987; xxv + 364 pp.)
*23. Matthew (R. T. France, 2007; lxiv + 1169 pp.)
- Mark (William L. Lane, 1974; xvi + 652 pp.)
- Luke (Joel B. Green, 1997; xcii + 928 pp.)
*26. John (Leon Morris, 1995 [rev. ed.]; xxii + 824 pp.)
- Acts (F. F. Bruce, 1988 [rev. ed.]; xxiii + 541 pp.)
*28. Romans (Douglas J. Moo, 1996; xxv + 1012 pp.)
*29. First Corinthians (Gordon D. Fee, 1987; xxiv + 880 pp.)
*30. Second Corinthians (Paul Barnett, 1997; xxx + 662 pp.)
- Galatians (Ronald Y. K. Fung, 1988; xxxiii + 342 pp.)
*32. Philippians (Gordon D. Fee, 1995; xlvi + 497 pp.)
- Colossians, Philemon, and Ephesians (F. F. Bruce, 1984; xxviii + 442 pp.)
*34. First and Second Thessalonians (Gordon D. Fee, 2009; xxviii + 366 pp.)
*35. First and Second Timothy and Titus (Philip H. Towner, 2006; xlviii + 886 pp.)
- Hebrews (F. F. Bruce, 1990 [rev. ed.]; xxii + 426 pp.)
- James (James B. Adamson, 1976; 227 pp.)
- First Peter (Peter H. Davids, 1990; xxii + 266 pp.)
- The Epistles of John (I. Howard Marshall, 1978; xvii + 274 pp.)
*40. Revelation (Robert H. Mounce, 1997 [rev. ed.]; xxxvi + 439 pp.)
These forty volumes do not include some past ones that have been replaced (like John Murray on Romans, Herman Ridderbos on Galatians, or Leon Morris on 1-2 Thessalonians), but Logos plans to sell forthcoming volumes when they become available. (BestCommentaries.com lists forthcoming volumes and authors for the NICOT and NICNT.)
The esteemed NIC is now integrated in the powerful Libronix Digital Library System. This significantly increases the value of both.
Andrew David Naselli
Andy Naselli is assistant professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Bethlehem College and Seminary in Minneapolis and administrator of Themelios.
Other Articles in this Issue
Bearing Sword in the State, Turning Cheek in the Church: A Reformed Two-Kingdoms Interpretation of Matthew 5:38–42
Among the many biblical passages that provoke controversial questions about Christian non-violence and cooperation with the sword-bearing state, perhaps none presses the issue as sharply as Matt 5:38–42...