The International Critical Commentary has more than 100 years under its belt. Many of the original volumes are openly available online.1
The International Critical Commentary continues to be kept alive with the publication of new editions to take account of more recent scholarship.
Of course, these more recent volumes are now the touchstones for the series. But the original volumes remain a treasure trove of critical exegetical insight from previous generations that shouldn’t be ignored.
In its first iteration, the International Critical Commentary took its point of departure from several excellent German commentaries of the period—by figures like De Wette, Meyer, Keil, and Delitzsch.2
The International Critical Commentary wanted to do for English-speaking audiences what these prior series had done for German-speaking ones. In particular, the commentary’s goal was to “be abreast of modern biblical scholarship, and in a measure lead its van” [i.e., vanguard].
Structure and Scope
The commentary’s of each biblical book begins with an introduction that discusses the state of scholarship on that book. When helpful, this discussion includes treatment of the book’s history of interpretation.
The commentary aimed to serve “students and clergyman” of varying levels of expertise. So it routinely includes technical details but separates them from more general material. But instead of practical or homiletical notes, the series’s volumes chiefly focus on matters of history, archaeology, and biblical theology.
Most or all of the original International Critical Commentary volumes are now in the public domain, scanned, and openly available online.
If you’d like to start accessing the scholarship they contain, just enter your name and email below. I’ll then email you a one-page summary with the exact links to where you can get each volume I’ve come across so you don’t have to spend time hunting for them.
Happy reading and researching!
- For bringing to my attention the availability of several volumes from this series, I’m grateful to Randall Bailey. ↩
- For the background material on the International Critical Commentary, I am drawing particularly on the Editors’ Preface that appeared during the series’ supervision by C. A. Briggs, S. R. Driver, and Alfred Plummer. ↩