How in the world does one write a commentary? Pretty soon I will begin work in earnest on the Galatians commentary in the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary series published by Logos Bble Software. Because of the breadth of information covered in biblical commentaries, this is shaping up to be a daunting task. There are important exegetical and hermeneutical considerations to work through at every turn. My thoughts have ranged over a wide terrain, from the esoteric to the mundane. At what point in this process should I begin referencing other commentaries? What is the best word processing software for the job? In what form should I maintain my notes? Should I start on the introductory issues first or the exegesis proper? What's the best way to take advantage of the hermeneutical spiral? etc. etc. If I had already started writing, I could probably have a chapter done by now! At this point I have only settled upon a broad plan of attack, separated into pre-writing, writing, and post-writing tasks. Pre-writing includes reading the book through multiple times in Greek and English, diagramming and clausal layouts of the Greek text, and a general exegetical outline. Writing includes the introductory material and exegesis proper of the units delineated in the exegetical outline. Post-writing includes continued refinement of the individual sections, as well as proofing and editing. Throughout the process I plan to read continually on Galatians and Pauline theology, focusing on commentaries, journal articles, and specialized monographs.
I'm glad to have you along for this journey. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, I'd love to interact over them with you in the comments.