New Testament and It’s World is perhaps too big. What i mean is that it’s just … in this internet age, it seems like repetition and recapitulation is the standard means of communicating. A big issue for me with NTaIW is that he’s constantly interjecting, let’s say, “valuation” and interpretation into the historic narrative, and i won’t say ramble, but paragraph after paragraph of ‘this is what the ancient Israelites believed culturally and socially’ really pads out the text.
This has always been an issue with Christianity since the beginning. There’s enormous interest in the OT as being ‘fulfilled’ in the NT, i mean quite literally, as that’s what the Gospels assert, but once the Temple is gone, Judaism for Christianity holds no interest. But since that culture is gone, many Christian scholars seem happy to tell the Jewish world what the Jewish world actually believed, since there’s no one left to disagree with them.
IE, New Testament is quite scholarly but is ultimately theological rather than historical. There’s still quite a lot of interest there, and it’s a great printing. But NT Wright cranks out like 5 books a year or something crazy, and each one of these books is like a million pages long. TBH, that level of output means that there’s a lot of, let’s not say ‘filler’, but, a lot of words that get spilled.
I’ve also gotten the Word of Fire Volume 1 leather edition. It’s hard not to be impressed by the high quality of the printing. But it’s kind of a sermon on wheels, so to speak; it’s almost useless as a study bible. There are multiple, multiple instances where there is only a few lines of ‘bible’ on one side of the page, and the rest of the pages are filled with commentary by Bishop Barron and other historic commentators. Because the text used for Bishop Barron is actually larger (larger font, wider spacing) than the Biblical text, it does sort of ‘ping’ a bit, something feels a bit off about that, like getting a Bible with Tammy Fay Baker’s face on the cover or something. There’s this sense of reading a YouTube lecture, of him stopping mid-passage and going “Ok, i’m going to pause here a moment. Let’s think about what we just read!”. With all the pop culture references and broader pan-religious commentary, it does feel a little bit like an Internet Lecture for Internet Kids, so to speak, and not the typical dusty Biblical commentary. Whether this is successful or not - sometimes Barron seems profound, sometimes seems to gloss over complex issues without really resolving them - I can’t imagine re-reading the Bible using this format. So it’s hard to justify the price, imo, despite the great print. I would have preferred a more conventional left hand side is text, right hand side is commentary setup.
WOF Volume 3 just became available, btw. But again, I think the cost of these is tough - getting the whole Christian Bible in this format will be something like 12,000 pages and probably about $1,200 to $2,000 dollars, if it were ever completed. They’re almost kind of want to be left around in a “steal this book” sort of way or passed around. But it’s one of the highest quality bindings i’ve seen in a new print.