OT/Apocrypha Anchor-Yale Bible Commentary in Accordance

The Anchor-Yale Bible Commentary (AYBC) is highly respected across faith traditions and theological fault lines. It appeals to a broader range of scholars and students than perhaps any other biblical commentary. Since the early 1960s, the series has sought to make the highest level of biblical scholarship accessible to all interested readers. John J. Collins, the current general editor, describes the series this way,

Its approach is grounded in exact translation of the ancient languages and an appreciation of the historical and cultural context in which the biblical books were written supplemented by insights from modern methods, such as sociological and literary criticism.

Accordance has the entire series on sale this week, and in this post I want to give you a feel for what it looks like to turn to AYBC for help.

AYBC open in Accordance underneath the Hebrew text with a lexicon and the text browser to the side
AYBC open in Accordance underneath the Hebrew text with a lexicon and the text browser to the side

Let’s take a look at three volumes: one of the oldest OT volumes (Speiser on Genesis), one of the newest (Dozeman on Joshua), and my favorite volume from the Apocrypha (Goldstein on 2 Maccabees).

A detailed list of the available volumes can be found here.

If you are interested in the NT volumes, check out this post.

Speiser, Genesis (1964)

Though this volume was first published almost sixty years ago, it is still a go-to commentary on Genesis. In fact, in reading Robert Alter’s notes and translations of the Hebrew Bible I was struck by how often he cited and referred to Speiser. I think he cites this commentary more than any other in his notes on Genesis.

Speiser, Genesis
Speiser, Genesis

I picked chapter 44 at random to give you a feel for what a section of the commentary looks like. The first section is Speiser’s translation and notes on the translation.

Speiser, Translation
Speiser, Translation

The next section is his verse-by-verse commentary. It’s so nice to be able to click the verse reference and see the ancient versions right next to the commentary. Even though this helpful comment about a Septuagint addition is made on verse four, the addition is actually in verse 5:

Speiser, Notes
Speiser, Notes

Speiser’s commentary on this passage closes with a comment section, wrapping up his observations. The first portion is mostly source critical observations.

Speiser, Comment
Speiser, Comment

These comments, however, lead to comment on the narrative flow and character development.

Speiser, Comments
Speiser, Comments

Dozeman, Joshua 1–12 (2015)

Dozeman, Joshua 1–12
Dozeman, Joshua 1–12

Dozeman’s volume provides a helpful introduction including an overview of the book and sections on composition, textual criticism, central themes, and reception history.

Dozeman, Introduction
Dozeman, Introduction

The next major section provides Dozeman’s translation of all twelve chapters covered in the volume with his section headings.

Dozeman, Translation
Dozeman, Translation

We then move to the commentary proper, which starts with a section overview.

Dozeman, Section Overview
Dozeman, Section Overview

The overview closes with a helpful outline of the section:

Dozeman, Section Outline
Dozeman, Section Outline

The first 18 verses are broken into two parts (vv 1–9 and 10–18). The next section discusses each section in detail beginning with a repetition of the translation for convenience.

The Notes section follows with ten pages of commentary on these 18 verses.

Dozeman, Notes
Dozeman, Notes

Dozeman offers a 13-page discussion of the composition of Joshua 1. First, we find a 5-page overview of the history of research.

Dozeman, Composition, History of Research
Dozeman, Composition, History of Research

Dozeman builds on the history of research with his own concluding observations on composition.

Dozeman, Composition
Dozeman, Composition

The final section consists of 11 pages of commentary offering concluding and summarizing observations as he walks back through each section of chapter 1.

Dozeman, Closing Comments
Dozeman, Closing Comments

Goldstein, 2 Maccabees (1974)

The text of 2 Maccabees is composed in the most sophisticated Greek found in the LXX, NT, and Apocrypha. Goldstein commentary is a helpful guide to the historical and literary background.

Goldstein, 2 Maccabees
Goldstein, 2 Maccabees

Let’s take a look at his section on chapter 9, the death of Antiochus IV. Goldstein follows a much simpler format beginning with his translation followed by twenty-nine pages of verse-by-verse commentary.

Goldstein, Translation
Goldstein, Translation

Goldstein’s thirty pages on chapter 9 help readers especially with the historical and literary context.

Golstein, Notes
Golstein, Notes

A detailed list of OT and Apocrypha volumes included in the Accordance bundle can be found here.

Conclusion

The Anchor-Yale Bible Commentary is a first-rate commentary beneficial to all students and scholars looking for insight into scripture’s historical, social, and literary dimensions. I hope this post gives you a better feel for what the series has to offer and what it looks like to read these volumes in Accordance. Accordance is the best way way to access AYBC, and with their current sale you can pick up the series for nearly 50% off.

Accordance has an awesome payment plan system, as well. They charge a one-time $5 payment plan fee and allow you to spread out the your payments interest-free for up to a year.

Finally, take a look at the Yale University Press website for these volumes and enjoy the gorgeous cover art.

If you are interested in the NT volumes, check out this post.