2 Helpful Commentaries in the IVPNT Series

I haven’t reviewed any volumes in this series, so I have two books here that I have heard good things about and here’s my review:

Romans by Grant Osborne

I looked forward to reviewing this book. I’d heard several complementary things said about it, but I wanted to see for myself. Just like is advertised about the IVPNT series, this book is aimed at the church instead of the seminary. There’s plenty of scholarly information given, but great care is taken in the accessibility of the presentation. Pastors, Sunday School teachers, and anyone doing in-depth studies will benefit from using this book. The author, Grant Osborne, is also the editor of this series and produced a well thought out volume here himself.

The Introduction given here on Romans is short, but is not superficial. In discussing authorship, he agrees with the scholarly consensus that it was written by Paul somewhere between A.D. 54 and 58. He does not believe that Peter or Paul founded the church at Rome, but that it originated when Claudius expelled the Jews and Christians and A.D. 49 during a time of conflict between the Jews and Christians. In his section, Genre, Purposes and Themes of the Letter, he succinctly summarizes what has been thought about the point the book of Romans is trying to make. He feels that Paul saw the church at Rome as the ideal sending church to reach that area much too far from Antioch. He states that Paul is not writing a systematic theology in the book of Romans, but that questions raised required much theological discussion.

After an interesting outline, Osborne is off and running on the commentary itself by page 27. I found his commentary at once thoughtful and helpful. I had read some Calvinistic reviewers say that he was the fairest writer against their position out there, and his respectful tone is clearly evident. In fact, he faithfully shares their arguments and then raises some great ones of his own that might be difficult for them to answer.

This book will give you much help while providing deep reflection for your studies without some of the more esoteric discussions that major exegetical commentaries can at times drown in. I highly recommend this volume.

I received this book free from the publisher. 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.

1-2 Thessalonians by G. K. Beale

Scholar G.K. Beale fulfills the designs of the IVPNT series and writes for preachers, teachers, and Bible students rather than scholars. That is not to say that there isn’t careful scholarship behind what he says, but that great care is given in being accessible for readers.

In his Introduction of the Thessalonian letters he explains the historical context of Paul establishing churches at Thessalonica around A.D. 49 or 50. While he feels it’s hard to explain “the exact composition of the Thessalonian congregation”, he is much more certain about why he feels Paul wrote the epistle. Paul defends his apostleship in order that they may follow the Christian teaching he shares. With that apostleship defended, he can branch out into other areas where they are struggling as Christians.

He explains in a few paragraphs the scholarly debate on the sequence of First and Second Thessalonians. He even provides what strikes me as the silly arguments of scholars who think Second Thessalonians should come first. He follows the traditional viewpoint. When he discusses the theological context of these letters, he rightly sees the eschatological emphasis that is given. Both here and in the commentary proper, your evaluation of this commentary will likely be influenced by your own prophetic viewpoint. Frankly, I do not subscribe to Mr. Beale’s viewpoint, but I don’t want to review the work based on agreement with myself. The truth is, there was still much insight to be gained by reading here. His opinion that the “last days” encompasses all the New Testament age, and not only the last few years of it, is one that I agree with. Beale loves to write on the prophetic parts of New Testament and I always gain something from him even if I find much to disagree with.

The commentary itself is quite helpful. Before I received my copy for review, I had read where some other reviewers said this work didn’t live up to other volumes in the series, but I personally don’t see how that could be true. Again, you may disagree with him on the prophetic passages, but at least he will give me something to think about and you will be a better Bible student for it. This book is worth having.

I received this book free from the publisher. 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.

One thought on “2 Helpful Commentaries in the IVPNT Series

  1. Pingback: Bible Commentaries | The Reagan Review

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