Anvil Journal’s Archive

Anvil Journal serves as the official archive site for the print copies of Anvil Journal (1984-2011). Over the last few weeks I have revisited the project and re-contacted authors for their permissions. As a result many of the gaps have now been filled. If you are an Anvil author and your article is not on-line, or if you know who owns the rights to the works of a deceased author, please get in touch with me.

Anvil is now owned and published by the Church Mission Society.

A Word of Encouragement from South Africa

South African FlagI have had a great deal of positive feedback to my last post announcing the launch of a new project to produce an Open Source Commentary Survey. A number of scholars have responded offering to write a survey of commentaries on a book, or group of books of the Bible. Today I also received the following e-mail, which is reproduced here by permission:

My name is Basil Dwyer

I live in a place called Matatiele in South Africa which is a small village in amongst the Drakensberg Mountains.

I have lived in this place for about 35 years, practising as an attorney.

I have also for the same number of years been a local preacher in the Methodist Church and have lead bible studies amongst the town folk and local farmers.

Access to Theological libraries is non – existent and the purchase of Theological books is prohibitive due to the very poor state of our exchange rate.

Your website is therefore literally a Godsend.

If it would be useful to you I would be happy to be part of your survey. Let me know.


Basil Dwyer

I cannot say how encouraging it is to know that the websites are reaching their intended audience around the globe and that they are making a difference for the Gospel. It is sobering to realise the difficulties that people in South Africa have in getting access to printed academic theological material, and this is mirrored in many other countries around the globe. I would also like to express my thanks to Basil and also to those who through their support make running the websites possible.

Commentary Survey for Public Domain Commentaries

New Testament Commentary Survey by D.A. CarsonDon Carson’s excellent New Testament Commentary Survey fulfils a very specific and valuable purpose: it evaluates modern commentaries and allows readers who have access to books to choose the best ones for them.

For Bible teachers in the Majority World, such surveys may be of less value. The commentaries recommended, even if they were available in their country, would cost far more than the average person could afford. Older commentaries, that are now in the public domain, are poorly covered (though understandably so, given the book’s purpose), often being dismissed with phrases like “The key insights have been incorporated into more recent works…”.

Given that the primary purpose of Theology on the Web is to provide good biblically-based resources for the Majority World and those without access to physical books, I want to find a way around this problem – with your help.

How You Can Help

I want to upload (on a survey of public domain biblical commentaries. This survey would identify the strengths and weaknesses of each. It would then rank them as suitable for (a) the general reader; (b) for ministers, or (c) for scholars.  Once the survey is completed I would ensure that the best commentaries are all available via

I am therefore seeking a number of contributors who would agree to evaluate commentaries on a biblical book, or group of books e.g. the Pastoral Epistles or the Minor Prophets.

Please let me know if you are interested in contributing to this Project by e-mailing me at [email protected] Please feel free to make comments and suggestions below. If you are not sure which commentaries might be in the Public Domain, I can help you to narrow down your list.

This Project was initially proposed on the Theology on the Web Facebook Group. I am grateful for the Group’s feedback, which has enabled me to refine its parameters.