Reader Appeal: Pastors, Bible teachers Genre: Commentary FBSN Rating: B+ It seems strange that asking a theologian to write a Bible commentary would be considered, well, strange. But in the “academic silo” world we live in, the fact is that theologians don’t typically write commentaries. Professors of biblical studies write commentaries, while theologians write, […]
Reader Appeal: Pastors, Teachers, Seminary Students
FBSN Rating: A
The risk with Christian history and theology is that voices from our shared past are often drowned out by the voices of today’s popular thought leaders and megachurch pastors. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with listening to modern theologians. It’s just that sometimes we overemphasize to current at the expense of the past.
In Reformation Commentary on Scripture, New Testament III: Luke, editor Beth Kreitzer aims to expand our view beyond just today.
This commentary series, according to general editor Timothy George, “seeks to introduce its readers to the depth and richness of exegetical ferment that defined the Reformation Era.” In other words, Kreitzer’s Luke collects the wisdom of pastors, teachers, priests, and leaders of the Reformation and places it in reader-friendly segments that cover every major passage of the good doctor’s gospel. The sheer scope of that task is daunting to say the least, and all the more impressive because the finished work is both insightful and accessible for even the novice Bible Study Nerd.
Kreitzer has collected excerpts of sermons, commentaries, treatises, and confessions from the foremost theologians of the 16th century, translated many into English, and organized them into easy-to-follow commentary that takes us from Luke 1:1 all the way to Luke 24:53. This includes several schools of exegesis from medieval times, including Biblical humanism, the Wittenberg school, Strasbourg-Basel tradition, Anabaptist thought, Genevan reformers, the Zurich group, and more. It also includes biblical insights from well-known Reformers like Martin Luther, John Calvin, William Tyndale, and Huldrych Zwingli, as well as lesser-known thinkers like Lancelot Ridley, Johann Gerhard, Katharina Schütz Zell, and others. The result is fascinating, like a glimpse of both the past and the future. These people literally changed the world with their thinking, and it’s sometimes exhilarating to follow their chains of thought in reference to specific passages from Luke—and to see how that might apply to us today and tomorrow.
In addition to the Reformers’ commentary, Kreitzer offers helpful background on the history of the Reformation and biographical sketches of its major influences, both people and documents. Subject and Scripture indexes round out the tools provided for the reader.
In all, this is a well-researched, surprisingly interesting, unique commentary on the gospel of Luke. It’s a worthy volume to add to the shelves of any pastor, teacher, or Bible Study Nerd.
Reformation Commentary on Scripture, New Testament III: Luke edited by Beth Kreitzer
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