This reference section has been listed last for a reason. Commentaries are designed to help the
student out after proper study has been done, and are never to take the place of your own
personal time in the Word. They should be used with caution and discretion, for they are simply
the thoughts and biases of ordinary men and women.
However, commentaries can prove to be extremely helpful for the student to gain cultural, grammatical,
and historical insights into the text. It can also be helpful to see other’s views that challenge us and
cause us to think about our own conclusions. We would do well to heed the following:
"The community is a check against my personal distortions" (Parker J.
Palmer’s, To Know As We Are Known: Education As A Spiritual Journey, p. 18).
"There is always a need to check our interpretations over-against those of
others, including our own earlier interpretations" (From Fowl and Jones’ book, Reading in
Communion, p. 30).
"Once we acknowledge the plurality of interpretive interests, we need not
treat alternative interpretations as failed attempts to discover the meaning of a text. One of the
residual benefits of this is to rehabilitate the history of the exegesis of Scripture. While we need
not always agree with the readings of such interpreters as Origen, Aquinas, Teresa of Avila, or
Luther, discerning and critically reflecting on their interpretive interests can help to clarify
and enrich our own readings" (Fowl and Jones, Reading in Communion, p. 16).
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