Eugene Peterson just validated my love for commentaries:
“Among those for whom Scripture is a passion, reading commentaries has always seemed to me analogous to the gathering of football fans in the local bar after the game, replaying in endless detail the game they have just watched, arguing (maybe even fighting) over observations and opinion, and lacing the discourse with gossip about the players. The level of knowledge evident in these boozy colloquies is impressive. These fans have watched the game fro years; the players are household names to them; they know the fine print in the rulebook and pick up every nuance on the field. And they care immensely about what happens in the game. Their seemingly endless commentary is evidence of how much they care. Like them, I relish in a commentary not bare information but conversation with knowledgeable and experienced friends, probing, observing, questioning the biblical text. Absorbed by this plot that stretches grandly from Genesis to Revelation, captured by the messianic presence that in death and resurrection saves us one and all–there is so much to notice, so much to talk over.” (Eat This Book, p. 54)
I’ll try not to gloat.
Seriously, though, anyone who says things like “boozy colloquies” when talking about exegeting the Scriptures gets my vote as an extraordinary writer. Not that anyone’s counting, of course.
Most people know Peterson from his Message Bible translation, which is a good place to know him from. But he has so much more to offer from those who stop there. To me, he seems like a grandpa-figure–someone who you want to be around simply because he has so much wisdom to offer in a way that you can tell that life has worn away the sharp edges.
Currently listening to: Majesty by IHOP-KC.