Charles Spurgeon once observed, “Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens
and deepens with our years.”
No one better understands that truth than the preacher who spends years digging
deep into the truths of God’s Word. With the Bible as the source of our proclamation,
we will never lack for a meaningful message to share with God’s people.
That is why those who preach are always seeking to better understand and interpret
the truths of God’s Word through preaching. That means continuing to seek out
those resources which will make us more able expositors.
why for many years, Preaching magazine
has taken time at the end of each year to recognize the Bibles and Bible reference
tools that have become available in recent months. We know it is vital that
preachers be able to deal accurately with the text in the process of driving
home its meaning.
In most recent years, we have been able to discuss a recently-released translation
of the Scripture, such as the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) or the
English Standard Version (ESV). This year, however, no such new release is available.
That does not mean, though, that publishers haven’t been busy releasing additional
editions of their existing translations in a variety of covers and approaches.
For example, Broadman & Holman issued The
Minister’s Bible earlier this year, containing the HCSB text in
a volume adapted to the needs of ministers. The single column format with wide
margins is certainly a benefit for preaching and making marginal notes. I also
like the two ribbon markers instead of the traditional one. The volume also
contains 54 pages of material designed to assist ministers dealing with a variety
of pastoral needs, from weddings and funerals to counseling and visitation.
course, we are often seeking Bibles that aren’t aimed at our ministerial responsibilities.
If you’ve got kids in the family, there are a variety of Bibles available which
offer features and resources aimed at the younger crowd. For example, Tommy
Nelson publishers (the children’s division of Thomas Nelson) offers John
MacArthur’s A Faith to Grow on Bible and Max
Lucado’s Hermie & Friends Bible, both targeted at kids ages
7-11. One thing I appreciate about both volumes is that they don’t try to decorate
every page with “cutesy” features; most of it is the text of scripture. Both
include some helpful teaching tools for kids. The MacArthur edition seems targeted
at the older end of the age range, while I suspect the Lucado/Hermie version
is going to be more of a hit with younger children because of the cartoon “bug”
art. But either one will offer helpful resources for children as they begin
to grow in God’s Word.
Of the publishing of commentaries there is no end – or so it seems. Actually,
contemporary pastors are blessed with a wealth of exegetical and interpretative
resources for the study of Scripture.
year we welcome new additions to some of the outstanding commentary series being
developed. For example, one of the series we have praised year after year is
the Ancient Christian Commentary in Scripture (InterVarsity), for which
Thomas Oden serves as general editor. The ACCS – which is more than half-way
to its ultimately goal of 28-volumes – is a patristic commentary which
draws on seven centuries of early Christian writers, compiled so as to allow
us to explore scripture through the eyes of the early church fathers. This year
saw three new volumes of ACCS released: Hebrews
(NT Vol. X), edited by Eric M. Heen and Philip D.W. Krey, Joshua,
Judges, Ruth, 1-2 Samuel (OT Vol. IV), edited by John R. Franke,
Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon (OT Vol. IX), edited by J. Robert
Wright. The contemporary biblical expositor will profit greatly from the opportunity
to counsel with our brothers of long ago, gaining intriguing insights into the
meaning of scripture.
excellent series is the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
(ECNT), and there are three new releases in this series in 2005: John
by Andreas J. Köstenberger, Philippians
(2nd edition) by Moises Sílva, and 1
Peter by Karen H. Jobes. The volumes in this series are written
by outstanding evangelical scholars, yet are written in a style that makes them
accessible to most pastors and teachers. This is an excellent series for preachers
who wish to take advantage of the best in recent evangelical scholarship in
their sermon preparation.
as Baker is helping us with outstanding New Testament scholarship, Eerdmans
is providing a superb Old Testament series through The New International
Commentary on the Old Testament (NICOT). The most recent release in this
series is Bruce Waltke’s two volume series on Proverbs.
Walter Kaiser says that it is “destined to become the outstanding commentary
on this book of the Bible,” which is testimony enough for me. Waltke offers
helpful insights that emphasize the ongoing relevance of this book for contemporary
those seeking a more intense level of study – and who are comfortable with
use of biblical languages – the New International Greek Testament Commentary
(NIGTC) from Eerdmans is a splendid resource. This year saw the release of a
new volume, The
Second Epistle to the Corinthians by Murray J. Harris. Harris’s
insights allow us to engage with the teachings of this Pauline letter in an
even more profound way.
Interpretation series from Westminster John Knox continues to be a popular
series with many preachers. Written primarily by scholars from the mainline
traditions, the series is written primarily to be an aid to preaching and teaching
in the church, though still informed by recent scholarship. The final volume
of this series was released this year: Song
of Songs by Robert W. Jenson.
of the Song of Songs, that biblical book is the subject in the first volume
of a new series, the Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms,
edited by Tremper Longman III. Song
of Songs is written by Richard S. Hess, and provides helpful exegetical
and interpretive insights for the preacher or teacher.
we noted in last year’s survey, if you look up the word “massive” in the dictionary,
you’re likely to find a picture of the Concordia Commentary series (from
Concordia Publishing House). These commentaries are written by outstanding Lutheran
scholars, and offer a comprehensive treatment of their selected books. The most
recent release in that series is Joshua
by Adolph L. Harstad. Harstad provides more than 900 pages of insights relating
to the book of Joshua, including much that will be helpful to the preaching
preacher or teacher looking for a one-volume commentary will want to consider
a newly-released work, The
MacArthur Bible Commentary (Thomas Nelson) by John MacArthur. Those
who enjoy MacArthur’s solid biblical expositions in the pulpit will likewise
benefit from the brief but useful comments provided in this helpful volume.
work of interest to pastors – particulary those with a dispensational and
premillenial perspective – will be Behold
the King: A Study of Matthew (Kregel) by Stanley D. Toussaint of
Dallas Seminary. Originally published in 1980, it has been re-released for a
new generation of pastors and students.
Duduit is Editor of Preaching magazine and President of American Ministry
Resources. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit his website