JB Phillips on commentaries
We aim simply to help people to lead a Christian life in this puzzling and anxiety-torn modern world. Thus if we believe in the unique inspiration of the New Testament documents, the commentator is, so to speak, taking the reader by the hand and pointing out (a) the meaning and significance of each particular passage in its historic setting, and (b) what the passage means to the disciple of Christ today.
…I cannot believe that the average intelligent modern reader is much concerned about the continually changing battle-ground of ascribing authorship for this or that passage. He is not interested in ‘proto-Luke’, ‘Ur-Mark’, the mysterious and elusive ‘Q’ or the various ‘Johns’, though they may have to be briefly mentioned. But he is deeply interested in the historic reliability of what he reads and in what it means or could mean to him today.From the preface to EH Robertson’s 1973 commentary on 1 & 2 Corinthians