Review: Genesis: A New Commentary

51um8ezgqjl-_sx322_bo1204203200_Few things should be more exciting to contemporary readers of the Bible than a previously unpublished work by Meredith G. Kline. Kline was an influential American Old Testament scholar and a formative voice of Covenant theology within the Reformed tradition. Kline received a ThB and a ThM from Westminster Theological Seminary, and a PhD from Dropsie University. With a teaching career that stretched over five decades and a list of publications that is equally as impressive, it is hard to imagine exactly how far the influence of Kline has reached. Nevertheless, Genesis: A New Commentary, edited by Kline’s grandson, Jonathan G. Kline, is yet another shining reminder of a legacy that sought nothing more than to illuminate the Savior through an unquenchable passion for the Old Testament Scriptures.

Genesis: A New Commentary is in many ways a brief, more distilled companion commentary to Kline’s well-known magnum opus Kingdom Prologue: Genesis Foundations for a Covenantal Worldview. It contains roughly 150 pages of content, large font, and a spacious verse-by-verse format that is easy to follow. For a commentary on Genesis it’s small, and thus, some may deem it as insignificant because of its size. But, as they say, “never judge a book by its cover.”

Three things should be noted here. First, those familiar with Kline’s work will be well aware of his unusual ability to pack sizable amounts of information into just a few sentences. This commentary on Genesis likely displays Kline’s ability more consistently than many of his other writings. Second, for the busy pastor or teacher, the brevity of this commentary will actually yield more fruit than some of the larger and more technical works. This is not to discourage the use of larger and more detailed commentaries. In fact, the opposite is true. However, Kline’s keenness and sensitivity to the larger covenantal picture is beyond the scope of most commentaries, and to get that in such a small and readable package guarantees many years of fruitful reflection. Lastly, the editor has also provided footnotes with references to relevant articles and books written by Kline to further illuminate difficult or important themes in the commentary. This welcomed addition to the commentary allows the reader to explore the depths of Kline’s insight, which often times is established on a more detailed treatment elsewhere.

Those who have enjoyed and benefited from the writing and teaching ministry of Meredith G. Kline are no doubt rejoicing at the publication of this significant little commentary. Kline’s insights are rich and thought provoking, and while many readers may differ with him at points (I am thinking specifically here about his understanding of the initial chapters of Genesis and his Reformed/Covenantal presuppositions), his breadth of understanding is truly breathtaking and worthy of engagement. As mentioned above, Genesis: A New Commentary by Meredith G. Kline guarantees many years of fruitful reflection. My appreciation goes out to Hendrickson Publishers and Kline’s grandson, Jonathan G, Kline, for making this important work available to the public. It should be on the shelf of every serious student of Genesis.

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Review: I, II, & III John (NTL)

3791899Judith M. Lieu is Lady Margaret’s Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge in England. Lieu is the current President of the Society of New Testament Studies, as well as the University Gender Equality Champion with special responsibility for Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Lieu is the author of numerous books and the Editor of the journal of New Testament Studies.

I, II, & III John: A Commentary is a classic example of the New Testament Library series. The commentary begins with an introduction that covers all three Johannine Epistles and tackles the standard introductory matters with clarity. Lieu is well aligned with the current critical consensus concerning the date and authorship of the epistles, and thus concludes no compositional relationship with the author of the Fourth Gospel.

The commentary proper stands in the top rank of critical commentaries on the Johannine Epistles. Lieu is judicious in her interaction with the text and appears to be well-acquainted with the peripheral issues. Two features deserve mention here. First and foremost, like the other volumes in the NTL series, Lieu provides the reader with an original translation and textual notes. I have stated this many times before and I will state it again, I have continually found this to be one of the most helpful features of the NTL series, and Lieu does not disappoint. Second, the exegetical handling of the text is brief, pointed, and full (336 pp.). Lieu demonstrates a keen awareness of the theological issues and firmly ground them in the text of the Johannine epistles. That said, more discussion surrounding textual issues would have been welcomed.

There is no shortage in sight when it comes to choosing a commentary on the Johannine Epistles, and I, II, & III John: A Commentary by Judith M. Lieu is an option well worth discovering. Lieu is both clear and to-the-point in her exegesis, and her presentation is helpfully critical in an approach will compliment other available options. While I don’t see this volume superseding Marshall (1978), Smalley (1984), or Kruse (2000) in usefulness, I do see it being positioned as one of the better, more recent examinations of the Johannine Epistles from a critical perspective. It comes highly recommended!

Review: Theology of Work Commentary Series

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-9-41-23-pmWe spend more time working than all other activities combined. Work is an essential component of daily life and paramount to our identity as individuals created in the image of God. Still, there appear to be few things more problematic to reconcile with the Christian life than work. Why is there such a vast chasm standing between work and faith? How should faith and work connect and be nurtured within the Christian life? What does the Bible say about work and how should it influence and shape the way Christians work? These are the sort of questions that have motivated the existence of the Theology of Work Project, and propelled the development of a truly unique and valuable collaborative effort.

Theology of Work Bible Commentary is the shared fruit of both seasoned biblical scholarship and professional insight. Some of the more noteworthy contributors include Daniel I. Block, Duane A. Garrett, Jonathan T. Pennington, Bruce Waltke, and more. Still, the most unique aspect of this commentary is discovered in the wider roster of individuals involved. The Theology of Work Project brought together a team of leading executives from various professions, ministry leaders, and biblical scholars, and then tasked them with the responsibility of exploring the whole Bible and building a bridge between the workplace and the Christian life. The result was a one of a kind commentary that systematically pointed the reader towards the joy and responsibility of work as worship to God.

There is much to be praised about the Theology of Work Bible Commentary. It is both scholarly and in-depth while being accessible and immediately applicable to readers of all backgrounds. In fact, the practical nature of this commentary is the most praiseworthy feature to be enjoyed by all readers—in particular for the working pastors and the ordinary working Christians. The editorial team has done the readers a tremendous service by removing layers of scholarly jargon without compromising the scholarship within, and thus producing a commentary that is useful for all with a substance that will last. Each section of the commentary is easily digestible and examined within larger units of the biblical book.

I was shocked to discover how much the Bible had to say about the nature and function of ordinary work. It is true that work consumes the majority of our daily lives, and yet, our faith is the foundation from which we are called to operate therein. In other words, work and faith are not mutually exclusive, but rather should be understood as a unified framework with which we are to view the world. That is, our faith demonstrates itself most clearly in the work we do! The overarching heartbeat of this reality is traceable from Genesis to Revelation, but the Theology of Work Bible Commentary offers more than an explanation of this truth. The reader will discover clear and practical examples of how a proper theology of work can function to bridge a gap that is far too often avoided.

Theology of Work Bible Commentary is a unique resource that provides valuable insight and practical guidance into the function and role of work in the Christian life. From Genesis to Revelation, the reader will be encouraged and empowered to both embrace and rejoice in the God-given responsibility of work. Human beings have been commissioned by God to exercise dominion over the earth, and to be fruitful and multiply. God has commanded those created in his image to operate as people with a clear and identifiable theology of work. It should be deeply ingrained into the very fabric of our being. This is a whole Bible commentary that will quickly turn that command into reality as the readers’ eyes are opened to the significance of work as a mode of worship and service in the Christian life. This is a must have series for every pastor looking to encourage his congregation to live beyond Sunday. It comes highly recommended!!

 

I received a review copy of this series in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Review: Ephesians (EGGNT)

27777748Benjamin L. Merkle is Associate Professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Apart from writing numerous published articles, Merkle has authored several books and co-authored the recently released and highly acclaimed Going Deeper with New Testament Greek: A Intermediate Study of the Grammar, Syntax, and Exegesis of the New Testament (with Andreas J. Köstenberger and Robert L. Plummer). Still, most recently, Merkle has contributed the newest volume to the growing and increasingly useful Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament (EGGNT) series.

This volume on Ephesians, much like the existing EGGNT volumes, is structured to optimize the reader’s understanding of the Greek text and facilitate a deeper recognition of the various nuances therein. Merkle begins with a brief introduction to the epistle that helpfully establishes the primry building blocks of the letter. However, while those interested in a fuller treatment of introductory issues will need to look elsewhere, Merkle offers enough information to get the reader properly acquainted with the epistle. I was especially surprised and appreciative of Merkle’s conversation surrounding the original recipients of the letter. Those who are familiar with the letter to the Ephesians should know the debate about the recipients and the textual variant in 1:1. Merkle affirms “in Ephesus” as the original reading for the recipients and provides some valid textual reasons for doing such.

The organization of the volume is arranged around a phrase-by-phrase analysis of the Greek text. Merkle provides extensive conversation concerning grammar, syntax, word usage, textual variants, and almost anything else exegetically significant to the text. The content requires a working knowledge of Greek, but Merkle is clear and careful when communicating technical concepts. Another useful feature of this volume is the Greek sentence diagraming that is offered at the beginning of each major section of text. This is helpful for quickly visualizing how the text joints together to establish Paul’s point. Each major section likewise concludes with a “For Further Study” section that takes various themes unearthed in the section and provides the reader with a bibliography for additional investigation. Lastly, Merkle has provided recommended preaching outlines that allow the reader to work from the text established in the volume to the sermon preached in the pulpit.

There is much to be praised about this volume. First, and probably foremost, Merkle is very well acquainted with the letter to the Ephesians and his sensitivity to the broader academic conversation concerning textual issues and grammatical debate is noticeable. Second, I found Merkle to be extremely thoughtful in his explanation of difficult concepts. He is clearly aware of his primary audience and knows that a variegated knowledge of the Greek language is found therein. This is beneficial for the pastors or students who are less frequently working out of the Greek text but have some formal training or exposure. Third, the scope of this volume’s content is impressive given its small footprint. Merkle has crammed a lot of relevant and useful information into a small package. In fact, I am confident to say that if you pair this volume with any of the recommended commentaries, you will be well equipped to preach or teach through the letter of Ephesians with excellence.

Ephesians: Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament by Benjamin L. Merkle is an exciting addition to an already exhilarating series. Merkle’s contribution fits extremely well with the quality and caliber that the EGGNT series has already produced, and I think that any serious student of the Bible would be ill-equipped without it. If you have been looking for a resource that will guide you through the depths of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, then look no further, because this will continually be your first stop on that journey. It comes highly recommended!

 

I received a review copy of this books in exchange for and honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Reveiw: Mark (NTL)

1246889M. Eugene Boring is I. Wylie Briscoe Professor Emeritus of New Testament at Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University. Boring is an accomplished New Testament scholar and the author of numerous books, including, An Introduction to the New Testament: History, Literature, Theology (WJK, 2012), Revelation: A commentary for Teaching and Preaching (WJK, 2011), The People’s New Testament Commentary (with Fred B. Craddock; WJK, 2010), The Continuing Voice of Jesus: Christian Prophecy and the Gospel Tradition (WJK, 1991), as well as Mark (WJK, 2006) and I & II Thessalonians (WJK, 2015) from the highly acclaimed New Testament Library series—the former of which being the focus of the present review.

Mark: A Commentary opens with a fairly healthy bibliography and introduction to orient the reader towards the intended direction. Boring covers all the standard introductory matters the reader would expect (i.e. authorship, date, provenance, purpose, genre, text and transmission, etc.), however, most of the technical details have been delegated to the footnotes, resulting in a much briefer introduction than some would expect. The organization of the commentary will be familiar for those acquainted with the New Testament Library series. Boring includes within each section the translation and translation notes, and the commentary proper, which tends to begin with an examination of the unit before the translation and then the verse or multiple verse-units.

Boring’s approach to the Gospel of Mark as a whole is quite unique. For Boring, the Second Gospel is primarily shaped by the creative storytelling of the Evangelist rather than history. In other words, for Boring, the author of Mark is far more concerned with presenting a portrait of Jesus that will resonate with his community than recounting the life events of a historical figure. Thus, a chasm exists between the Markan and Historical Jesus. Of course, the keen reader will recognize that some level of such characterized presentation of Jesus is inevitable for the Gospel writers, indeed for any New Testament writer, but such does not necessarily require a divorce from the Jesus of history. Still, despite the reluctance that some may have to his approach, it is clear that there is much insight to be gained if sifted with the appropriate balance.

The reader will appreciate the attention to detail offered in this volume. Boring has clearly done his homework and does the reader a service by allocating much of the technical details to the bottom of the page. Indeed, Boring properly utilizes the footnotes throughout the volume, and the attentive reader will do well in mining such riches. The translation notes are also full of important information. Interestingly, however, Boring follows the reading of Codex Bezae in 1:41, explaining, “Most MSS read . . . ‘having compassion’ and the reading is followed by most English translations . . . Most commentators, however, regard . . . ‘having become angry’ as original” (p. 70). This is simply not the case, as even his preceding statement attests. The former reading is found in virtually all English translations, critical editions of the Greek New Testament, and extant manuscript support for the Second Gospel.

M. Eugene Boring is a respected New Testament scholar who has consistently provided well-researched and well-written academic work for a broad ranging audience. Mark: A Commentary is no different. Boring offers a unique approach to the conversation that is certain to complement other Mark commentaries on the market. Moreover, the translation and translation notes Boring has provided are indispensable for any serious study of the Second Gospel, and his bibliography is thorough as always. In sum, if you are looking for a commentary on the Gospel of Mark that is both readable and informative, this is a volume you will enjoy and use often. Still, as has been briefly noted above, the emphasis that is taken therein may be cause enough for some readers to reconsider.  

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Review: Ephesians (EEC)

29597964S. M. Baugh is Professor of New Testament at Westminster Seminary California. Baugh has earned both a M.A.R. and MDiv from Westminster Seminary California and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine. He is a minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and is actively engaged in preaching and teaching. Baugh has written essays and articles for various publications, and he is the author of A First John Reader: Intermediate Greek Reading Notes and Grammar (P&R, 1999) and New Testament Greek Primer, 3rd edition (P&R, 2012). Most recently, Baugh released a mammoth commentary on Ephesians in the highly acclaimed and quickly growing Evangelical Exegetical Commentary series published by Lexham Press.

Ephesians is a powerhouse of exegetical insight and reflection. Baugh seems to leave no interpretive stone unturned, and his interaction therein displays decades of seasoned consideration on both primary and secondary literature. The introduction alone is approximately 50-pages in length and includes a healthy and up-to-date bibliography, as well as the standard introductory material that the reader would expect from a commentary of this caliber. Although it must be said outright that Baugh does little if anything “standard” in this commentary. From beginning to end, it would not be a stretch to conclude that even the most learned of readers will walk away from Baugh’s interaction with a wealth of exegetical and interpretive insights.

One of the most apparent benefits of this commentary is the organization and presentation of the content. This really works well with Baugh’s interaction with the text. Each of the major sections begins with a brief introduction to the unit of text, followed by an outline, the original text, textual notes, translation, commentary, biblical theology comments, application and devotional implications, and a selected bibliography. Also, the reader will occasionally meet an additional exegetical comments section, where Baugh seeks to provide additional comments on various themes in the letter (i.e. magic, faith in/of Christ, etc.). One of the most helpful features of Baugh’s work is the amount of information provided in the original text and textual notes sections. Baugh does well in assisting the reader in the task of establishing the text before he carefully guides them on an exegetical tour towards a very practical end.

Ephesians: Evangelical Exegetical Commentary by S. M. Baugh is undoubtedly one of the best, if not the best technical commentary on Ephesians available today. Baugh has offered far more than a reworking of his predecessors. This volume is carefully researched and judiciously presented for maximum usability. There is an assumed knowledge of the original languages that is required, but even those with limited knowledge will benefit greatly. Baugh has effectively blended academic rigor with practical exposition—a feat that could only be accomplished after decades of reflection and interaction. If you are looking for a commentary that will make you think and evaluate the available landscape of ideas before guiding you through the outcomes therein, this is a volume that you cannot ignore. It will quickly become the first off of your bookshelf!

 

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Review: High Definition Commentary: James

28279999Steven E. Runge currently serves as Scholar-in-Residence at Logos Bible Software. Runge has a Master of Theological Studies degree in Biblical Languages from Trinity Western Seminary in Langley, B.C., Canada, and a Doctor of Literature degree in Biblical Languages from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. He is the author or editor of a number of books related to Greek discourse analysis, including Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament: A Practical Introduction for Teaching and Exegesis, Discourse Studies & Biblical Interpretation: A Festschrift in Honor of Stephen H. Levinsohn (editor), Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament (general editor), and the High Definition Commentary series of which three volumes have been published—Philippians, Romans, and most recently, James.

High Definition Commentary: James is a unique commentary experience that will position itself well alongside other commentaries, such as James (EEC) by William Varner or The Letter of James (PNTC) by Douglas Moo. Both the size and content of this volume display that it was not intended to be a replacement commentary for those mentioned above. Rather, Runge has provided an excellent supplemental commentary that guides the reader through the trenches of a rigorous discourse analysis of the Greek text. Still, the reader with no prior exposure to such analysis will be happy to find that this volume is extremely accessible notwithstanding the complexity of the preceding sentence. Runge has truly done the reader a service by distilling the fruit of such analysis and presenting it within a clear and digestible package—a package that will bolster the readers understanding of the text without bogging them down in details.

The commentary itself is very readable and overflowing with practical insight for pastors and teachers. This is likewise true with the other volumes in the High Definition Commentary series. The commentary lacks a traditional introduction that some readers may expect. However, Runge does provide some introductory material in his opening treatment of James 1:1-11. Nevertheless, the real benefit of this volume is the way that Runge guides the reader through the text of James with a unified approach to his overall thought process. This is unique in that the reader is able to see the clear shifts in James’ argument as he moves from thought to thought, but also see the unity therein—something that is lacking in some of the other approaches taken towards this book. This, accompanied by the numerous graphics included, will be particularly helpful for those seeking to teach or study the book cover-to-cover.

High Definition Commentary: James by Steven E. Runge is a commentary that I wouldn’t want to be without. Runge is clear and articulate in his presentation of the discourse analysis of the Greek text, and thus very readable for those approaching the book of James—maybe even for the first time. Moreover, the inclusion of the graphics allows the pastor or teacher to more easily digest and display the overall message of the book to his hearers—providing a visual point of reference to better communicate the information therein. In short, if you are preparing to teach or preach through the book of James, or even simply looking for a more holistic understanding of the text, this is a commentary that will make your efforts worthwhile. Highly recommended!

 

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Review: Genesis (SGBC)

26309267The Story of God Bible Commentary is an exciting and practical commentary series that seeks to explain the biblical text in light of the grand story of the biblical narrative. The editors and contributors for this series are top-tier scholars with seasoned insight and experience into the world of biblical interpretation and proclamation—making this series an attractive addition to the minister’s library. Most recently, Genesis by Tremper Longman III, also the Old Testament general editor, adds a long awaited volume to this quickly growing series. Longman is certainly no stranger to the writing of sizable and useful commentaries on the Old Testament, and this volume is anything but an exception to that rule.

Longman begins with a brief introduction where he orients the reader towards the issues related to authorship and date, canonicity, genre, structure, historical background within the Ancient Near Eastern world, and the theological message of Genesis past and present. I found the introduction to be rather concise, but Longman is succinct in his treatment and does well for the given space and targeted audience. As the commentary proper opens the reader is guided passage-by-passage through three major sections: (1) LISTEN to the Story—includes the NIV translation with additional references to encourage the reader to hear the story within its broader biblical context, (2) EXPLAIN the Story—explores and illuminates each passage within its canonical and historical setting, and (3) LIVE the Story—reflects how each passage can be lived today and includes contemporary stories and illustration to aid teachers, preachers, and beyond.

One of the most rewarding and beneficial aspects of this commentary, especially given the target audience, is Longman’s near-encyclopedic understanding of the Ancient Near Eastern world. As Longman guides the reader through the Book of Genesis, it is not uncommon for him to quickly delve into various avenues of Ancient Near Eastern background and literature. Longman does an incredible service to the reader by making this information accessible and easy to digest. Still, while I found Longman to be helpful across the board within the different sections of the commentary, it is clear that his strengths are primarily designated to explanation rather than application. He does fairly well in both, but if consistency has anything to say about it, the former clearly outweighs the latter. Lastly, it should be said that Longman is not going to align with most conservative readers by way of his understanding and explanation of text—especially in the earlier chapters of Genesis. He is undoubtedly more sensitive to a figurative and critical reading of the book than a literal historical reading. Should this bring concern? Maybe, for some. But I wouldn’t allow such to deviate potential buyers from purchasing this commentary. If anything, it will do well to promote critical thinking and engagement with those who the reader disagrees, and we all know this world could use a little more of that!

The Story of God Bible Commentary: Genesis by Tremper Longman III is both practical and engaging. Longman has a keen ability to turn technical ideas into everyday concepts of understanding and application. Moreover, Longman is nothing short of a seasoned Old Testament scholar and he possesses a wealth of knowledge and experience in the matters of the Ancient Near Eastern world. I can almost predict with absolute certainty that the reader will catch himself in dispute with Longman more than once, but such should not be a reason to forgo this volume, it should be a reason to engage therein. If you are looking for a practical and accessible commentary on the Book of Genesis that will keep you on your toes, this is a commentary that you cannot afford to overlook. It comes highly recommended!

 

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Review: Romans (SGBC)

27263087The Story of God Bible Commentary is an exciting and practical commentary series that seeks to explain the biblical text in light of the grand story of the biblical narrative. The editors and contributors for this series are top-tier scholars with seasoned insight and experience into the world of biblical interpretation and proclamation—making this series an attractive addition to the minister’s library. Most recently, Romans by Michael F. Bird, adds a much anticipated and sizable volume to this growing series.

Bird opens the volume with a brief introduction. Attention is directed towards the standard introductory material, but it is curated in such a way as to position it within the overall theme of the series. As the commentary proper opens the reader is guided passage-by-passage through three major sections: (1) LISTEN to the Story—includes the NIV translation with additional references to encourage the reader to hear the story within its broader biblical context, (2) EXPLAIN the Story—explores and illuminates each passage within its canonical and historical setting, and (3) LIVE the Story—reflects how each passage can be lived today and includes contemporary stories and illustration to aid teachers, preachers, and beyond.

Despite the possibility of some foreseen theological and interpretive disagreements, I think the reader will find the commentary itself to be extremely useful. Bird is well-informed in regards to the contemporary theological conversations that surround the Book of Romans, and his writing style is fresh and engaging. I found the “Live the Story” section to be helpful, but it was a bit inconsistent in this respect—meaning some passages are better than others. Where I found Bird to really shine was the “Explain the Story” section. Bird is consistently helpful here, and his clever illustrations and humorous wit keep the reader engaged throughout. Theologically, I found Bird to be significantly more sensitive to the issues surrounding the New Perspective on Paul than myself, and I presume the same will be true for other readers as well. Still, his interaction was well worth reading. The reader will sense an unusual acquaintance with Bird while reading his commentary, and I found that his conversational tone really bolstered his intentions therein.

Commentaries on the Book of Romans are almost more plentiful than the sand of the sea. Do we really need to add another commentary to the already mountainous pile? Is there anything worth unearthing that hasn’t already seen the sun? These are good and appropriate questions to ask. But a sufficient answer isn’t as easy as it may seem. The Story of God Bible Commentary: Romans by Michael F. Bird is a unique contribution that offers a unified presentation of one of the most important Pauline epistles within the grand scope of the biblical narrative. Bird is well-informed and easy to read, and any lack of distinctive interpretive contribution is made up for in his keen ability to keep sight of the whole amid the details. Moreover, Bird does well in distilling the technical jargon that plagues much of the preexisting mountain of Romans material into a practical package that almost anyone can enjoy and understand. Do you need another commentary on Romans? I don’t know. But you certainly need this one!

 

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.