I’m excited. In a geeky kind of way. The website bestcommentaries.com, which is a helpful resource in and of itself, also has a page discussing forthcoming commentaries. There are some errors and absences on the page: for example, Walter Brueggemann is writing the two volume NCBC on the Psalms with my teacher, Bill Bellinger, and not with Patrick Miller as the site notes. Also, it doesn’t mention that my other teacher, James Nogalski, is slated to write the NICOT commentary on a segment of the Twelve (I’m sure Roy can tell me which books exactly). But regardless, it is a valuable site for those nerds among us who love commentaries.
My attention was naturally drawn to the volumes on Genesis. I was very pleased to see that many of the main series, such as the Old Testament Library (OTL) and Anchor Bible (AB), were being rewritten. These are in desperate need of being updated; the Speiser volume in the current AB series is so beholden to the Documentary Hypothesis it is almost unusable by modern standards. Von Rad’s OTL volume is surely dated, but still helpful in various aspects and has stood the test of time much better than Speiser. Anyways, here are the ones that caught my eye:
*Ronald Hendel (Berkeley), two volumes (Gen 1-11, 12-50), Anchor Bible.
He has told me he is still a few years away from completing the first volume on the Primeval History. Knowing Hendel’s work elsewhere, this should be a very fine, balanced contribution! Check out his The Epic of the Patriarch if interested in his work. Or almost any issue of BAR. Top notch.
*David Petersen (Emory), Old Testament Library.
Petersen has disclosed to me that he has a good amount of the Abraham material written and is currently working on the Primeval History. Jacob, he said, “awaits.” And if his closing note to me that Genesis is a “book” and not a random compilation of various sources stringed together is any indication, then this will be a very fine commentary indeed.
*Kathleen O’Connor (Columbia), Smyth & Helwys.
No projected end-date, though she did express interest in using various parts of my dissertation possibly in the commentary. Oh yeah! Having worked on the S&H commentary on the Psalms with Bill Bellinger, I can attest to the amount of work this series entails. It is, though, well worth it; the images and sidebars contribute very much to the final product.
The website also lists the Hermeneia commentary (Fortress) as being written by the esteemed Richard Clifford, S.J., though in a recent correspondence I had with him he told me that unfortunately he has had to give up the project due to a taxing schedule. As far as he knows, and I know, the volume has not been reassigned.
According to my discussions with each of those I list above, none projects to have the volume done by the time my dissertation is done (i.e., Spring 2010). Each has also expressed interest in both my article and larger dissertation project, for which I am thankful. How cool would it be to be cited by these modern giants of the field in these seminal series? Too cool! I can hope!
Honorable Mention (or, I’m interested to check it out, but not salivating over it like I am those above!).
Erhard Blum, Historical Commentary on the Old TestamentTheodore Hiebert, Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries