More information on Eerdmans’ Commentaries for Christian Formation Series

More information on Eerdmans’ Commentaries for Christian Formation Series August 11, 2020

I have already posted some basic information about Eerdmans’ latest commentary series (coming 2021, launching with NT Wright on Galatians). I have now received additional details from Eerdmans including the lineup so far (with the plans to acquire more writers and volumes).

Planned Contributors (so far)

Here is the list of scholars who have confirmed contracts for the series:

Wright, N. T. (Galatians)

Campbell, Douglas A. (Romans)

Richter, Sandra L. (Deuteronomy)

Peeler, Amy (Hebrews)

Legaspi, Michael C. (Job)

Works, Carla Swafford (1 Corinthians)

Lyons-Pardue, Kara J. (The Gospel of Mark)

Klink, Edward W., III (Mickey) (The Gospel of John)

 

More Series Information

The Commentaries for Christian Formation series serves a central purpose of the Word of God for the people of God: faith formation. Some series focus on exegesis, some on preaching, some on teaching, and some on application. This new series integrates all these aims, serving the church by showing how sound theological exegesis can underwrite preaching and teaching, which in turn forms believers in the faith. 

Although we encourage all believers to pick up Scripture and read it, we do not assume that the work of Scripture happens easily or well without the guidance of others. The basis of this guidance is the Holy Spirit who leads believers into all truth (John 16:13) and calls to mind the words and deeds of Jesus (John 13:26). One way the Spirit accomplishes this work is through the work of dedicated commentators. Along with the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8, we recognize that it is often hard to understand Scripture without someone to teach us. Thus, these commentaries play the role of Philip in Acts, explaining texts in ways that make the church’s gospel manifest to expectant readers. Each volume aims to help its readers enter into conversation with the church’s canonical heritage, especially its two-testament Scripture and the ecumenical creeds. Further, a theological commentary must consider the various ways in which Scripture performs in worship, catechesis, mission, and devotion to cultivate theological understanding and holy living within and for readers’ cultural settings. If a commentary cannot help Christians negotiate a faithful path through life and deepen their love for God and all their neighbors, it is not clear that it is truly a theological commentary.

Given these commitments, we take both parts of the term “theological commentary” seriously. The authors of these commentaries strive to keep theological concerns and ecclesial practices, broadly conceived, in the forefront of their interpretive work, paying attention to the ways Scripture shapes and is shaped by theology. Many recent commentaries distinguish historically informed exegetical work from the theological, moral, and pastoral concerns that animate the imaginations of most commentary readers. This bifurcation reflects a pattern typically found in today’s seminaries, where Scripture is taught separately from the theological disciplines. We are eager to avoid the modern tendency to compartmentalize the tasks of exegesis and theological reflection. Theology is not the result of exegesis; nor is it one discrete element that is separable from exegesis carried on by other means. Rather, exegesis is itself a way of doing theology.

Thinking this way does not limit the questions and concerns believers might bring to scriptural interpretation: we do not require or expect a specified interpretive method from the commentators in this series. What unites these volumes is a shared conviction that interpreting Scripture is not an end in itself. Faithful belief, prayer, and practice, deeper love of God and neighbor: these are ends of scriptural interpretation for Christians. The volumes in Commentaries for Christian Formation interpret Scripture in ways aimed at ordering readers’ lives and worship in imitation of Christ, informing their understanding of God, and animating their participation in the church’s global mission with a deepened sense of calling.

 

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