Joel Green, Editor NICNT

Eerdmans today announced that Joel Green, professor at Fuller and editor par excellence, will be the successor to Gordon Fee as editor of the leading commentary series, the New International Commentary on the New Testament. Eerdmans has made, in my mind, a perfect decision in Joel Green. More on this below. First … a little context, and I have to say that when I saw this announcement today it led me into a reverie of how important this series has been to me.

When I was a college student in Grand Rapids (at Cornerstone University) I visited The Bookstore at Eerdmans — get this — 3-4x a week on my way to school. And I can’t tell you how many conversations I had with the good folks at Eerdmans, but for a poor student on a miniscule book budget, Eerdmans was the place for me. Why? They sold damaged books at 90% discount and I literally prayed for damaged goods when it came to three kinds of books: Kittel’s TDNT, major new theological books (I paid $2.50 for Ladd the day it arrived), and my favorite — the NICNT.

At the time the NICNT was edited by FF Bruce, and I remember when Gordon Fee’s 1 Corinthians came out with a spine that had the author of the previous 1 Corinthians (Geldenhuys), and all I could think of was “damaged goods.” Sure enough, I got Fee at a big discount. My original copy had a black marker through the name.

Over my career the NICNT has played a significant role and is my favorite series. In fact, it was a highlight of my career when I got a letter from FF Bruce inviting me to write the Matthew commentary, and it was a downer when I finally wrote the editor (then Gordon Fee) and confessed that I would never finish the thing … and then they gave it to Dick France and it was finally completed. So I was incredibly relieved when Gordon asked me to do James, and I managed to get the thing done. After finishing James Gordon asked me to do Colossians and Philemon, to which I agreed. So, I’m slated now to work for the third editor: Joel Green.

In my estimation, the editor of this series forms a statement of significance among scholars, and this means now a singular scholar of my generation. I think of so many professors of my age, evangelical, and I think of folks like Craig Blomberg, Marianne Meye Thompson, Craig Evans, Ben Witherington, Darrell Bock, Craig Keener … I could go on … but none of us stands even up to the shoulders of Joel when it comes to editorial competence and connectivity. Joel knows everyone; has edited all kinds of stuff; and is a master of this stuff.

Editors, as you know, make an influence on the basis of their decisions. I’m confident Joel will select the right people for the volumes that need to be written, and this series will sustain itself over the years as the leading New Testament commentary series — a combination of academic excellence and pastoral usefulness.

Well done, Jon Pott, and congratulations to Joel Green.

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  • Thanks, Scot. You’re the best. / Joel

  • rjs

    Great … Now I’m looking forward to Colossians and Philemon.

  • On one hand, it’s a time to celebrate… and on another, I’m sad to hear that Fee isn’t the editor anymore. Fee has been a HUGE influence in my life and I think he is equally one of the nicest scholars I have ever met. So gentle and yet so passionate!

    So, while I can appreciate the joy of the new announcement, the primary feeling I have right now is one of sorrow… which is probably weird…

  • Super! Can’t wait till I finally get the James commentary. And so glad you get to do Colossians, Scot! Congrats to Joel Green.

  • Yours will be a nice complement to Jimmy Dunn’s NIGTC that sits on my NT shelves. Can’t wait…for it to come out and subsequently become damaged so *I* can get it on my weekly journey to the Bookstore at seconds-discount…along with your new James one 😉


  • As a poor seminary student I also frequent Eerdmans regularly – I was just there this afternoon! My son – 3 yrs old – also loves to visit the store with me.

  • Luke

    Joel’s commentary on Luke’s Gospel is, in my opinion, the best out there. It blends literary sensitivity and theological insight (without getting bogged down in word studies and historical details) as well as any commentary I’ve seen. The only question I have for Joel now is, when in the world is your Acts commentary going to come out??? I’ve been expecting it for 10 years now!

  • wow! where is that kind of bookstore when we need them, now! I checked out Archives at Fuller, but the competition was fierce. 😀 I’ve really appreciated the quality of the NICNT commentaries.

  • Mick Porter

    I love Fee’s 1 Corinthians and I seriously love Green’s Luke – now totally looking forward to your Colossians/Philemon!

  • Pretty much all of my NICNT volumes come from that same shelf, with bindings upside-down, mis-labeled, bruised edges, etc. That former location had the greatest stuff packed into the smallest space!

  • Kelly

    Had Dr. Green for exegesis of 1 Peter and James at Asbury. One of my favorite profs. Thrilled for him to have this opportunity.

  • Clay Knick

    Splendid news. And he’s a United Methodist like me!

  • mason

    I had Dr. Green for Acts..when is that commentary coming out? I have waited 12 years for it!!! Seriously, this is a great choice. I have found Dr. Green longsuffering as he had to put up with students constantly picking his brain at Solomon’s Porch every morning. Dr. Green was always so kind to suffer ignorance joyfully. Best of luck Dr. Green. I hated to see you leave Asbury, but Fuller is the better for it and perhaps now even the Kingdom!!

  • Alan K

    Gordon Fee — an exegete with the skill of Lightfoot and the fervor of a Pentecostal. Simply a great man.

  • Bob Smallman

    During my first “tour” at Trinity (“in the good old days”) the bookstore sold to students for cost + 10%. So, for example, my copy of Bruce’s (original) NICNT on Acts cost me all of $4.65!

    I, too, have made it a point to keep up on the NICNT volumes and can’t tell you how much I appreciate your contribution of James to the series. The previous two had been so disappointing — so much so that I gave both away.

    I was thinking the other day of the “embarrassment of riches” that we’re able to enjoy today with all the commentaries, compared to my student days in the late ’60s. I’m preaching through Acts now and can consult Bock, Witherington, Peterson, Stott, and Marshall — on top of Bruce (not to mention my favorite prof, Richard Longenecker, in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary). Amazing! In 1970 the best I had on Ephesians were Foulkes and Hendriksen. Now the shelf goes on and on. What a great heritage of scholars this generation has given us!

  • Chris

    Why is the NICNT having editions redone when 2 Peter and Jude are not available currently? I’m excited about Scot’s new James, but if one is already available can’t we get a 2 Peter and Jude first?

  • Sean

    So, any advice for a poor seminary student in the northeast (read: in a place where no scholarly christian books are available in person) who could really benefit from damaged books or otherwise discounted books?

    Sometimes Amazon doesn’t cut it.

  • The NICNT is my favorite commentary series too. So glad to see how it continues to evolve.

  • Chris, the II Peter and Jude volume is dependent on the scholar producing it. The series doesn’t need to stop scheduling other scholars to handle volumes in need of replacement or revision just because that particular author isn’t done with his volume.

    I’m guessing this means Ephesians has been (or will be) assigned to someone as well, since Bruce’s volume contained all three books.

  • I agree with you Scot – a great decision and if Joel’s Acts is half as good as his Luke it will be well worth waiting for.

    This Sunday I finish a series on James – one of two reasons we studied it was I wanted to use your new commentary (the other was we needed to hear the message(s)!) and I’ve really enjoyed using it.

    I’m convinced that as a global church we need to pray for able and godly people who have writing and editorial skills to help us better understand the Scriptures so that we can be better disciples of Jesus and witnesses to the Gospel. Will keep you in our prayers for your present asignment – please drop little bits of information into the blog about how it’s going and what your prayer needs for it are.
    Bessings on you all!

  • Gordon Fee has been probably close to the most influential thinker in my life. Being Pentecostal it was also amazing to see a Pentecostal thinker really step up (we have not always been credited with thinking 🙂 ) He had the guts to challenge everyone’s perception of alot of things. It is great now that Green will step up and congrats on your further involvement in NICT.


  • Craig Blomberg

    A minor point: Joel will actually be the fourth editor. Ned Stonehouse was the first.

  • Stuff like this makes me proud to work at Fuller! Congrats to Dr. Green!

  • Steve

    I have been going to Eerdmans in Grand Rapids for over 25 years and appreciated all the discounted books I have been able to purchase. It is great to hear that you doing Colossians, I look forward to it.