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The Letter to the Romans: A Short Commentary 

The Letter to the Romans: A Short Commentary  November 30, 2021
Frederick Dale Bruner has just released a new book. It’s called The Letter to the Romans: A Short Commentary.

I’m not familiar with Bruner, but I found his commentary interesting. Namely, because it’s an extremely concise interpretation of Romans, which is rare for scholars. He also interacts with other interpreters of Romans from different centuries. Scholars and non-scholars alike. If you teach Romans, you’ll want to add this to your library along with other commentaries on Paul’s masterpiece. You won’t agree with everything, but it’s always good to get the various views of different scholars on the New Testament. So I’ve found.

This is from the publisher:

In the wake of his widely appreciated commentaries on the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of John, noted theologian and exegete Frederick Dale Bruner turns his attention to Paul’s letter to the Romans. In this concise commentary, he relays his findings on what he calls the “Fifth Gospel” and its central claim that “through the Father’s love, Jesus’s passion, and the Spirit’s application of this passionate love, human beings can have a perfectly right relationship with God—by simple faith in His Christ.”

As he did in his commentaries on Matthew and John, Bruner engages historical interpreters from the patristic period to the present—including Augustine, Chrysostom, Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin—while also offering his own lucid translation of the text and relevant pastoral applications. The result is a holistic understanding of the book of Romans informed not only by one scholar’s lifetime of ministry, teaching, and learning, but also by the full depth and breadth of church tradition.

Table of Contents

Romans 1: Paul’s Introduction: Our Deep Need for the Gospel Good News

Romans 2:1–3:20: The Righteous Judgment of God on All Human Sin

Romans Chapter 3:21–31: God’s Good News in Classic Compactness: Because of Christ’s Perfectly Sacrificial Work, a Perfectly Right Relationship with God Is Received by Simple Faith

Romans 4: Simple Faith in God’s Gracious Word: The Even Ancient Way to the Right Relation with God

Romans 5: Our New Gospel Privileges and the Old Roots of Our Relation with God

Romans 6: Sanctification’s Presence

Romans 7: Sanctification’s Presence and Absence

Romans 8: Sanctification’s Key: Believers in Jesus Christ Have God’s Holy Spirit within Their Lives

Romans 9:1–29: God’s Election of Israel

Romans 9:30–10:21: Israel’s Initial Unbelief in God’s Plan of Righteousness by Simple Faith

Romans 11: The Mystery of Israel and the Church

Romans 12: The Practical Ethic of the Gospel, Part 1

Romans 13: The Practical Ethic of the Gospel, Part 2

Romans 14:1–15:13: How Believers Can Deal with Certain Differences among Themselves

Romans Chapters 15:14–16:27: Paul’s Letter Conclusions

Endorsements:

“As a trusted interpreter of the great teaching gospels of the church—Matthew and John—Dale Bruner now treats readers to the theological manifesto of the church—what can rightly be called ‘the Fifth Gospel’—Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. Matthew and John present deep pictures about the Very Good News; Paul offers deep sentences. In unpacking 1:16–17, the heart of Paul’s message can be seen as offering ‘a Perfectly Right Relationship from and with the very God—and this relationship is received by simple faith.’ Citing some of the most memorable and salient comments from key interpreters over the centuries, this short commentary will be of particular value for preachers and interpreters today.”
— Paul N. Anderson
George Fox University

“In this short commentary Bruner offers a clear, accessible interpretation of Paul’s account of our deep need of the Gospel and God’s loving provision in Christ. Illumined by a rich array of commentators throughout history, ample biblical cross references, and in language that grabs the heart, Bruner focuses on God’s offer of salvation as sheer gift. Mercifully free of jargon and arcane scholarly debate, but filled with contemporary allusions, the book is perfect for small Bible studies or adult education classes.”

— William A. Dyrness
Fuller Theological Seminary

“This commentary on the premier exposition of the gospel comes from one of America’s premier expositors of the gospel. Dale Bruner’s translation of Romans is fresh and clever, his exposition of Romans is disarmingly straightforward and insightful, and his personal testimonies at key passages illustrate the relevance of Romans for modern readers. This is not a solo commentary on Romans, however, for Bruner enlists testimonies from the Gospels and the confessions of the church to complement Paul’s liberating message, and throughout the commentary he introduces readers to the best insights of the best commentators on what he calls ‘the Fifth Gospel.’”
— James R. Edwards
Whitworth University

“Bruner’s two massive treatments of Matthew and John are treasured in the church as reliable, inspiring, comprehensive studies. After a decade of further study, Bruner has done it again. This shorter study of Romans—which Bruner calls the Fifth Gospel—is once more a lucid, well-informed explanation of Paul’s premier letter. Good commentaries explain the text in its original form, provide theological insight into the text’s meaning and value, and then help us make use of the text for our living today. Bruner gets high marks in all three in a casual, personal format that is the hallmark of all his writing.”

— Gary M. Burge
Calvin Theological Seminary

“Bruner at his best! A richly theological commentary, full of unique personal reflections and choice quotations drawn from commentators throughout church history, this little book will delight and inspire you and whet your appetite for a deeper study of Romans. Written by a master teacher who takes the Bible seriously and writes engagingly, with an eye to issues faced by believers today, this book will be of real help to pastors, teachers, and all who long to understand the heart of the Bible. Nobody makes the gospel sing like Bruner!”
— Roger Mohrlang
Whitworth University

 

 

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