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Unread 21st February 2014, 05:35 PM
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Studying Greek, NT Hermeneutics, Ptolemy

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Should I pay 6-21% more than in print for laptop Edition of technical academic NTC?

EDIT: advice on the academic technical NT commentary set that is not a dedicated language resource, still welcome until tomorrow Monday Feb. 24. 2014!
EDIT2: I'm now doing a new calculation of the cost a page for just the 8 volumes I really want need and would use and which are not dated, they are: Mk (2 vols.), 1 Cor, Gal, Col, Philem, Jas, Jude
Total pages: 4,040
Cost as printed matter $354 = 8 a page. Cost such as specified above if buying the electronic Edition: 11 a page - meaning if I would use those volumes only!
Buying just the above volumes as hardback including shipping would be 21% cheaper than the electronic Edition if I would compromise and buy both Mk 1-8 and Jas as paperback.
Cost for all above 8 volumes as hardback: 6.2% cheaper than the electronic Edition of the whole set and price for hardbacks including shipping: $422 = 10 a page.
So the above calculation means it's a difficult choice!
Regarding the language resource set I'm not doing a new calculation.
EDIT3: related: there's an upgrade set: ... it has for example archaeology. It costs 6 a page if using all the volumes.

There are two offers. One is for a 27-volume New Testament commentary set (in which there's duplicate coverage of one of the books of the New Testament, so You could rather view it as a 26-volume set), the other is a 6-volume language resource which mostly covers syntax of and offers guidance for deciding between competing semantic analyses for a few books of the New Testament.

I'll start with the commentaries as I have more to say about them.

What do You think of mid-20th century (1960's) up to 1980's commentaries on books of the New Testament such as Jn, 1-2 Cor, 1 Jn? How many $ a volume or a page would You value well-known and somewhat frequently cited works on those books of the Bible, if they are academic but have transliterated Greek?

Do You think that they only show the scholarly views of the time when they were written, or do they have any more value than that?

The rest of the set is a little newer, from the 90's and 00's. Very few of the volumes are less than 10 years old.

The most interesting volumes in it, are: Mk (from 2002-2009, 2 vols., by a Jew), 1 Cor (from 2008 by a Catholic), 2 Cor, Gal (2004), Col, Philem (from 2000 by a Catholic), Jas (from 2005 by a Catholic), Jude (1994). The only one of these volumes which I think is old, is 2 Cor. So that's 9 volumes.
I have particularly insufficient coverage of 2 Cor 8-13, Gal, Col, Philem.

I looked at which volumes and parts would be interesting, and calculated that the average cost is 5.1 a page if I include 4 more volumes from the set in the calculation. That may sound somewhat little, but I think it's somewhat much as some of the volumes have ~700-900 pages. I'm not sure I would need that thick commentaries. Of course they are electronic books, so they don't use up additional physical space other than having to carry around the laptop. The set used to cost a lot more until competition came.

Some say that You should make an effort not using commentaries that are older than 10-15 years. In reality that is very hard, as new commentary sets are usually sold as bundles, sets, in Bible Study software and it often takes a very long time before the bundles get broken up. In this particular case You can't buy individual volumes from the set in any Bible Study software, and they also approximately an equal amount of money as printed matter. The newest commentaries also tend to cost a lot so it's often questionable whether they are worth the money from start.

With the softwares I have, I can put the transliterated Greek into non-transliterated Greek i.e. with the Greek alphabet which I'm able to read. Because of the differing formats it however requires some copy-paste work.

These commentaries have received good reviews and most of the volumes I'm interested in are recommended. Only two of the volumes are really bad: Matthew and Apocalypse (Revelation). I don't care about Apocalypse and I have OK commentaries on Matthew that cover many aspects.

If I compare the price to something which I have since before (I have these two, so my question is not about them):
  • I have a somewhat equivalent set (considering scholarly level, altough it has non-transliterated Greek and more tagging which are a bit more expensive to produce) which was ~25% cheaper than this one that I'm considering but at an average a little older, averaging about 10 years older. Several of the volumes are however a bit shorter than in the academic (historical-critical) New Testament set which is on sale which this thread is about.
  • https://www.logos.com/product/16976/...gospel-of-john cost me $40.46 = 4.2 a page. I'm sure they paid the author of this one less. I have the introduction-volume to go with it.
  • The Gospel of John by Frederick Dale Bruner cost me $47.44 including shipping from the U.S. as printed matter. That's 3.6 a page. This resource is not equivalent as it must have cost a lot less to produce - look at the reviews on amazon and You'll see why: this resource is exactly 2 years old but presents the interpretations of many previous generations. It gives some of the interpretations of the two equivalent volumes in the New Testament commentary set I'm considering.

A bonus is that with the set I could see the context of the citations.

If You have time to read and understand a bit of technicalities, go to this review of what is perhaps the best and most recent volume in this NT set: (pdf-file): http://www.bookreviews.org/pdf/7102_7716.pdf.

Or would the New Interpreter's Bible 12-volume set be a better purchase? It's under development, source: New interpreters bible - 12 volume.... - Feature or Module Request - Accordance Forums. It covers the whole Bible, including Deuterocanonicals, except 4 Ezra.
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Regarding the language resource, I don't know much about it and it's hard to find written reviews of it, there's just people giving it 4-5 stars. I'm wondering if I'll be able to utilize it after having read 2 years of Greek at 50% of full-time pace. That may sound like a lot of tuition but actually some of that will be studying the basics and then one year later rehearsing them for one semester.
This resource is only a few years old and costs 11 a page for the parts I would use.
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If questions arise, I'll just edit this OP adding more details. I'm only asking because offers on these two sets are unlikely to come more times. I welcome input about the price. Look at what commentaries You have and what they cost You a page, for a comparison, as I don't have much more price comparisons to offer.
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EDIT: MY DECISIONS REGARDING BOTH SETS:
  • Regarding the academic technical set, I will today, Sunday Feb. 23. calculate whether I could get the 8 most desired volumes in hardcover (except for Philemon in paperback) for $410-15% (fourhundredten minus fifteen percent), including shipping to over here (probably from the U.K.). I will have to think hard which 8 volumes but I already decided yesterday that I will skip the Gospel of Jn -volumes. If I can get them in print that cheap, I won't buy anything now and skip the offer for the set in a Bible Study software. If they cost more than that I'll buy the set in the Bible Study software tomorrow Monday Feb. 24. unless I get more reactions from people saying I shouldn't buy it (I talked about these offers today, Sunday, at Church and they were against, yesterday someone PM:ed me on the Bible Study software site being more positive to buying this set than New Interpreter's Bible (12 vols.))
    If I go with paper I will for years be taking recommendations regarding which exact volumes are the best, also probably posting such questions on Bible Study software sites even though I will then by on paper. I mean if that's the route to choose tomorrow Monday!
  • I won't jump on the offer for the language resource set but instead get individual electronic volumes from it (not in the same software as the academic technical commentary which is not a dedicated language resource) when I need to and no earlier than that. The only thing I'll be missing is that then I can never get the Ephesians volume.
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Also, I want to add that there's a sale on the best commentary on 2 Cor 1-7, from a completely different set, throughout Feb. 2014, $44.95 - but You should know a bit of Greek or grammar to use it: A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, Vol. 1

Previously edited by Unix; 22nd February 2014 at 10:40 PM local time. Reason: The most interesting volumes, Add question whether I should buy the New Interpreter's Bible instead, Sale on 2 Cor 1-7
Previously edited by Unix; 23rd February 2014 at 5:51 PM local time. Reason: How I will decide; Review of one of the volumes
Previously edited by Unix; 23rd February 2014 at 7:49 PM local time. Reason: new calculation of AYB cost

Last edited by Unix; 3rd March 2014 at 09:32 AM. Reason: Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library Upgrade
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