Every period of church history exhibits a different set of strengths and weaknesses. Human nature being what it is, we tend to prize what we have going for us while remaining ignorant of our deficiencies.
This is the great value of old commentaries for today's Bible students. Although the old books reveal the weaknesses of their time, they also contain its strengths. That's why I love these words from David Steinmetz:
The principle value of precritical exegesis is that it is not modern exegesis; it is alien, strange, sometimes even, from our perspective, comic and fantastical. Precisely because it is strange, it provides a constant stimulus to modern interpreters, offering exegetical suggestions they would never think of themselves or find in any recent book, forcing them again and again to a rereading and re-evaluation of the text. Interpreters who immerse themselves, however, not only in the text but in these alien approaches to the text may find in time that they have learned to see, with eyes not their own, sights they could scarcely have imagined and to hear, with ears not their own, voices too soft for their own ears to detect.
--in "John Calvin on Isaiah 6," Interpretation 36 (1982), p. 170.
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Speaking of old books, I got to go to the noon meeting of the Downtown Lion's Club yesterday. One of my friends, Trent Sisemore, was the keynote speaker. He talked about the history of the English Bible and brought along several examples from his personal collection, including a 1611 copy of the King James Version. Trent gave a really good speech. Afterwards, I got the chance to look through some of those Bibles. Fascinating.