Three great new commentaries out in the New Covenant Commentary Series:
Believing that the needs of beleaguered Christian communities in turbulent times would be best met by resourcing the life of Jesus, Mark wrote a Gospel that was at once plain and subtle, fast-paced and yet profound. The essence of being a follower of Jesus was therefore clarified, so that such communities might differentiate the essential from the trivial and be fortified in their testimony to the one, true gospel. This commentary attempts to expound the artistry of Mark in achieving all this in its original setting, by focusing on the larger picture of themes and thrusts, paragraphs and plot, but without dodging important issues of interpretation. Following in the footsteps of this groundbreaking Gospel, this commentary also attempts to bridge the horizons of the then and the now, and show how it may still be a powerful resource for being a disciple of Jesus today. Sermonic suggestions are offered where appropriate, so that harried pastors may find a quick and effective way of sharing Mark with their congregations.
In this highly readable and engaging commentary on the Gospel of Luke, Diane Chen introduces her readers to the particularities of the world of Jesus, steeped in Jewish history and convictions yet threatened by Roman power and hegemony. In story after story, Chen brings to focus the diligence of a faithful historian, the artistry of a masterful storyteller, and the courage of an insightful theologian behind this well-loved Gospel. In it Luke presents God’s plan of salvation in the birth and death, word and deed, and identity and mission of Jesus of Nazareth–a plan that is unapologetically counterintuitive: the proud is humbled and the lowly is lifted up; the ostracized is embraced and the religious elite is rejected. Modern readers will receive more than a lucid explanation of the biblical text; they will be challenged to find their own place in Jesus’ story, one that encourages self-reflection and necessitates a personal response.
This compact commentary on 1 Corinthians is both readable and full of insights that will engage students, ministers, and scholars alike. The Apostle Paul writes to a relatively new church in which members are failing to maintain solidarity with other members. They struggle to find their unique place in Roman society as Gentile followers of Jewish leaders that proclaim Christ as Lord. Their many problems include competition over leadership and social prestige, sexual impropriety, household conflicts, idol foods, table fellowship, protocols on gender and the use of spiritual gifts, and confusion about death, immortality, and Christ’s return. Oropeza addresses Paul’s response to these and other issues as he engages ancient biblical, Jewish, and Greco-Roman sources along with recent scholarship. This is a must-read for those who want to understand the Corinthian situation and Paul’s response in a new way.