For over one hundred years, the International Critical Commentary series has held a special place among works on the Bible. It has sought to bring together all the relevant aids to exegesis—linguistic and textual no less than archaeological, historical, literary and theological—with a level of comprehension and quality of scholarship unmatched by any other series.
No attempt has been made to secure a uniform theological or critical approach to the biblical text: contributors have been invited for their scholarly distinction, not for their adherence to any one school of thought.
The depth of analysis found in the International Critical Commentary (ICC) Series has yet to be surpassed in any commentary collection. One of the best features of this series is the extensive amount of background information given in each volume's introduction, where all of the analysis is provided before the actual commentary begins. Each volume packs more information into the introduction than you will often find in the body of most commentaries! Also consider that with the electronic versions of each volume, you will never need to leaf through the hundreds of pages in each volume searching for the passage you are studying.
WHEN in 1896 I began work upon the Epistle to the Galatians with definite reference to the preparation of this Commentary, it was with a clear conviction that if I was to make any appreciable contribution to the understanding of the epistle, it would be by confining myself to a few of the several lines of study which an interpreter might properly and profitably undertake. I decided not to attempt an exhaustive study of the history of the interpretation of the epistle, or of the rabbinic writings and method of exegesis. Convinced that, despite all that had been done in the study of the vocabulary of the New Testament, much remained still to be done, and strongly inclined to expect that such study would aid materially in the recovery of the primary elements of the thought of the apostle Paul, persuaded also that such lexicographical work would prepare the way for a clearer perception of the course of thought of the epistle, I determined, while not wholly neglecting other lines of study, to give my chief attention, first, to a fresh historical study of the vocabulary of the letter, and then to an endeavour to trace its course of thought with exactness and to state it with clearness.
“Paul enjoins them to continue to govern their conduct by the inward impulse of the Spirit, and emphatically assures them that so doing they will not yield to the power within them that makes for evil.” (Page 298)
“He proclaimed to them Jesus Christ and him crucified, preaching that men could through faith in Jesus the Christ escape from the present evil age and attain the approval of God apart from works of law (3:1, 2).” (Page liii)
“The acceptance of circumcision is, under the circumstances then existing in the Galatian churches, the acceptance of the principle of legalism, the committal of the Galatians to a relation to God wholly determined by conformity to statutes and leaving no place for Christ or the development of spiritual life through faith in him and spiritual fellowship with him.” (Page 272)
“Theodoret in his commentaries on those epistles, viz. the heavenly bodies, which the Galatians worshipped before their conversion and to which they would be doing reverence again if they should adopt the Jewish observance of days and weeks and months.” (Page 515)
Ernest DeWitt Burton (1856–1925) graduated from Denison University in 1876, then from Rochester Theological Seminary in 1882. His studies also carried him to Germany at Leipzig and Berlin. Burton taught at the seminaries in Rochester and Newton before becoming head of the department of New Testament Literature and Interpretation at the University of Chicago—where he was president from 1923–1925.