2 Great Motyer Commentaries!

Here are two wonderful commentaries by Motyer:

  1. The Message of Philippians

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This commentary by the late J. A. Motyer in the Bible Speaks Today (BST) series is a reminder of what a commentary should be. Though he describes lots of trees, he never fails to present the forest. I even got the feeling as I read this book, and it’s a feeling too often missing in many commentaries, that the author here believed God wrote the book. He seemed in awe of Philippians. Christ was magnified throughout.

In the Introduction, the author did not run straight to the theme of joy as most do. In fact, he opened with: “Philippians is a joyful letter, but its undercurrent is a sober realization that time is running out.” It made sense to me! He described the setbacks Paul was facing here in his second missionary journey. He further gave a good view of Philippi as Paul’s first European church. He well highlighted unity, the coming day of the Lord, and the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ as the three keys to understanding the book. More than referencing other scholars, he referenced other scriptures. That probably tells you more than anything what kind of commentary this is, but I believe we all need some of this type.

The commentary itself was outstanding. I will always pull out Motyer even if there’s only time to glance at a few volumes. He may have been an Old Testament expert, but reading here you would assume the New Testament was his field.

There’s a chance this volume may be replaced as the BST series updates volumes from time to time. Since this author has passed away, I want to encourage the publisher to slide this volume over and print it as a classic. It’s a warm volume, so I give it the warmest recommendation.

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.

2. The Message of James

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Here’s another of the great commentaries by the late J. A. Motyer in the Bible Speaks Today (BST) series. In my view, it’s as top-notch as the one on Philippians. The author had written a smaller book several years ago on James but rewrote it in its entirety to produce this commentary. It’s not as scholarly or exegetical as many commentaries, but he captures James’s message better than most.

The Introduction is quite perceptive. Though he doesn’t talk about structure per se, he gives some great insights on how the book is designed. He sees the themes of conflict, holiness or a Christian lifestyle, the recovery of the local church, concern to meet the needs of others, and our tongue. He shreds a few of the strange scholarly trends that somehow has reached ascendancy and brings us back to basic conservative conclusions. It’s good stuff!

The commentary is outstanding at getting to the heart of what James is talking about. It would be a mistake to not add this inexpensive commentary to your collection.

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.

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