Thursday, May 24, 2012

On the Importance of Bibliography: A Thought on the EEC

One of the most critical components in any commentary or any piece of scholarly literature for that matter, is the choosing of one's conversation partners. We have all heard that it is annoying to pick up a commentary only to find that it is just another commentary on other commentaries, with the idea implied that the author has no original thoughts of his/her own and is simply regurgitating the interpretative agendas of those who have come before. Many of us have also experienced the frustration of seeing some works marginalized and/or ignored in scholarly works without explanation. I'm sure commentators deal with this frustration most acutely, as one cannot possibly read all that is out there, and by necessity must be selective.

It has brought me great satisfaction then, to take a glimpse of Seth Ethorn's volume, Philemon, in the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary (EEC) series. I notice that he includes the important works of my friend and mentor, John Byron in his bibliography. Call this a bias on my part, but whenever I see a work on slavery in the ancient world, John Byron's name should be included, period! Well done, Seth! You have passed my random, bibliographic test!

See here for exhibit A:

(Click on to enlarge.)

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