The young Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation (BTCP) series continues its impressive start with this fine volume on Romans by scholar David Peterson. When I saw that Mr. Peterson was scheduled to produce this commentary on Romans, I fully anticipated an excellent volume because of his track record in producing a top-flight commentary on the Book of Acts in the Pillar New Testament Commentary series. Though this series may not go as deep on the exegetical level, it creates its own niche by carefully probing biblical theology with competent exegetical work behind it. Mr. Peterson has proven himself adept at both types of commentary. In other words, he has succeeded with this BTCP volume on the Book of Romans.
The learning that Mr. Peterson brings to the table is clear in the Introduction he writes on the Book of Romans for this volume. Although this series required that he summarize more on introductory matters, the research behind what he says is obvious. He begins by discussing the character of Romans and dives immediately into the epistolary framework of the book. This approach requires deeply probing what Paul was doing at this point of his ministry. The next section is on structure and argument. He agrees with those who see four main divisions in the argument Paul presents. He finally arrives at a new approach that he presents in four literary factors: alternation, refrain, progression/digression, and recursion. Next, he tackles purpose and puts Jews and Roman Christianity in its proper context along with Paul’s mission. He ends with a discussion of continuing relevance for the Book of Romans and an outline of the book.
There’s another introductory chapter that discusses biblical and theological themes found in the Book of Romans. This chapter effectively draws out in accordance with the aims of this series what will be developed throughout the commentary itself. In my view, there’s much to glean in this section to greatly enrich one’s understanding of Romans.
The commentary itself begins with the text, a discussion of context, another of structure, followed by verse by verse commentary. That is followed by a section entitled “bridge” that ties the discussion together and makes some helpful conclusions.
All the volumes in this series so far have been of high quality, and snagging Mr. Peterson for the Romans volume is something of a coup for the editors. It raises the stature of this series. This volume will be appreciated by pastors and I recommend it.
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.