The Anchor Yale Bible Commentary series is a highly academic, wide-reaching resource. Boasting 92 volumes, spanning the Old Testament, New Testament, and Deuterocanon, it also covers a wide range of Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish traditions. Then, to expand even further, the series contains contributions from scholars all over the world.

Now, it’s your turn to take a look inside this acclaimed commentary set!

The Editor of the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary

When a commentary series aims to include voices from many traditions and cultures, it isn’t an easy to summarize what you should expect. However, looking at the general editor’s beliefs and tone can express the tone of a series.

Dr. John J. Collins is both the general editor of the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary Series and Holmes Professor of Old Testament Criticism and Interpretation at Yale Divinity School.

He is a native of Ireland and a practicing Roman Catholic. Also, Collins holds a B.A. and M.A. from the University College Dublin, a Ph.D. from Harvard University, and a D. LITT (Hon) University College Dublin. Then, in 2019, he received the Burkitt Medal from the British Academy, in recognition of special service to Biblical Studies.

Specifically, Collins is most fascinated with the subjects of apocalypticism, wisdom, and Hellenistic Judaism. You can hear a bit more about his interests in this interview with Yale Divinity.

The Content of the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary

Here are some examples of the different kinds of content you’ll find inside the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary Series.

Dictionary and Glossary

Dictionaries and glossaries are incredibly useful for academic resources. You’ll find definitions of some key vocabulary here. Below is a screenshot from the glossary, located at the end of the table of contents. However, there is another way to access this information.

Anchor Yale Bible NT Glossary

At the top of the table of contents, you are able to search the commentary’s dictionary. If you don’t find what you need, remember that you can select a word and use the lookup or dictionary features. Either way, learning about new terms is easy with this digital version of the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary.

Anchor Yale Dictionary

Maps

Who doesn’t love a good map? The image below comes from the commentary on Mark. We love how this map is not only in the text, but also accessible in the table of contents. If you’re wondering if there is a map for a specific section of Scripture, you can quickly find out.

Maps Anchor Yale

Remember, tapping on maps make them full-screen for easy viewing. Also, you can zoom in and out as you normally would on your device.

Charts

Charts are another easy-to-find resource. Select the list of figures from the table of contents to see all your charts in one place. There are so many useful charts included in this series! You’ll find the information well-organized and easy to take in. Check out some examples below.

List of figures olive tree app
Chart Yale commentary

Translations

Another unique feature of the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary series is the inclusion of their own translation. At the beginning of each volume, the entire translation is made available to you. Then, the translation is again made accessible before each section of notes.

Anchor Yale bible commentary translation

With this digital format, it will be incredibly easy for you to compare Anchor Yale’s translation to your other preferred translations — even the original Greek and Hebrew.

Learn how to use the Resource Guide and Parallel tab to get the most of your study in the Olive Tree Bible App.

Introductory Material

A great commentary set will contain in-depth introductions, and this one does not disappoint. First, take a look at the contents of the introduction for Mark.

commentary bible introductory material

Believe or not, there are even more subheadings available under what you see here. There is no shortage of information!

Here is an excerpt from the introduction to Mark. We chose these paragraphs from “The Place of Mark in Christian Life and Thought” > “Mark in the History of Religions”.

AN EXCERPT FROM ANCHOR YALE BIBLE COMMENTARY ON MARK 1-8

The first thing to be said about Mark’s Gospel is that it is an eclectic writing. As we have already seen, some of its descriptions of Jesus as a miracle worker correspond to tales that were told not only about Old Testament prophets and Palestinian rabbis but also about wonder-workers in the larger Hellenistic world. Other motifs, such as several involved in the story of John the Baptist’s execution, seem to be borrowed from the folklore of Greco-Roman paganism, and some of the Markan Jesus’ proverbial wisdom and instructions to his disciples are akin to snippets of popular Hellenistic philosophy (see the NOTES on “The strong don’t need a doctor, but the sick” in 2:17, on “staff” and “provision bag” in 6:8, and on “two tunics” in 6:9, and the COMMENT on 6:14–16 and on 6:21–28).

Even if, as has been argued above, Mark was a native of Palestine, that does not mean that he (and Jesus before him) were untouched by Hellenistic influences, since first-century Palestine was Hellenized to a significant extent (see Hengel, Judaism); and if Mark subsequently became a member of a Syrian Christian community, he would have been exposed to such influences even more. And even if, as I shall argue below, he was an apocalyptic thinker, that still does not remove him from the Hellenistic realm, since apocalypticism itself was a general phenomenon in the Greco-Roman world (see Hellholm, Apocalypticism).

Joel Marcus

Notes and Comments

Now for the part you’ve come to expect: commentary. The Anchor Yale Bible Commentary series offers both verse-by-verse and passage-by-passage commentary. To delineate between the two, they call the verse-by-verse commentary “notes”.

Notes and comments commentary
Anchor Yale bible commentary notes
comment from the Anchor Yale bible commentary

Appendices

Lastly, you will find supplemental material at the end of the table of contents. Below is an article on the scribes and the pharisees, taken from the Mark appendices.

appendix the scribes and the pharisees

Learn More About the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary Series

Anchor Yale bible commentary 92 vols

While we’ve gone rather in-depth on the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary series, there is more to uncover! Head on over to our website to see what volumes are included, the authors involved, and any potential discounts.

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