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During the month of March, Eerdmans has some great deals on several volumes of the Socio-Rhetorical Commentaries series. These commentaries are mostly by Ben Witherington III, Matthew is by Craig Keener and Hebrews is by David deSilva. Unfortunately, Witherington’s excellent socio-rhetorical commentary on The Acts of the Apostles is not part of this sale (and does not appear to have been published as a Kindle book). If you do not have a Kindle, you can read the books with the Kindle App on your iOS or Android device on with the Amazon Kindle web app.

What is a “socio-rhetorical” commentary? In these commentaries, Witherington pays careful attention to the cultural background (historical and social) and brings this background to bear on the text. This means there are many references to both Jewish and Greco-Roman sources which illustrate aspects of the text. But these are also exegetical commentaries. Witherington comments on the Greek text and deals with lexical and syntactical matters as expected in an exegetical commentary. the “rhetorical” aspect of the commentary traces the writer’s rhetorical strategy and technique, often drawing comparisons (or contrasts) with the standard Greek rhetorical handbooks (for example, Cicero, Quintilian, Theon, Hermogenes, and Aphthonius).

Although I prefer real books to digital (and Logos books to Kindle), these commentaries are worth buying at $4.99 (the price of one of those fancy coffees you like so much). The sale runs through March 31, 2018.

Socio-Rhetorical Commentaries $4.99 each for Kindle

Other Books by Ben Witherington for Kindle

Zondervan is offering the 42 volumes of the NIV Application commentary for $4.99 each for a limited time. Starting on November 7, you can purchase any volume of this series in an eBook format for only $4.99.

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This series features the work of many world-class scholars who have contributed major commentaries on a book. For example, Douglas Moo, who wrote a major commentary in the NICNT series, contributes the NIVAC volume on Romans. It is possible many busy pastors and teachers who do not have the time to wade through all of the exegetical intricacies of Moo’s 1000+ page commentary on Romans will find his comments on Romans in this series more accessible.Image result for NIVAC genesis

Each section of the commentary begins with as section entitled “original meaning.” Here the author provides a narrative commentary on the text. In most cases the commentary reflects the author’s work in the original although there is little reference to Hebrew or Greek. I would characterize this as an exposition of the text rather than exegesis.

After the exposition, the commentary has a short section entitled “bridging contexts.” Since the world of the Bible is different than our world, the authors attempt to set scripture in context of the first century and then provide some analogy to a modern situation. In Scot McKnight’s commentary on Galatians, for example, he describes the challenge of the Judaizers to Paul’s ministry, then draws an analogy the challenge faced of strict fundamentalists today.

Image result for NIVAC galatiansFollowing this section, the author’s offer some application of the text to contemporary Christian life or church practice. This “contemporary significance” is often very personal, McKnight’s comments on fundamentalism are draw from his own experience. These sections will help a pastor or teacher apply the text, but will also be encouraging to general readers.

In fact, the NIV Application series is designed to be an accessible commentary for general readers. Any volume of the series would make a good companion volume to supplement a layperson’s reading of a biblical book. There are footnotes pointing to other literature for readers who want to read the technical, scholarly details and the bibliography will point readers to other more extensive commentaries.

Each commentary is only $4.99 in an eBook format (Amazon/Kindle, Barnes & Noble/Nook; CBD/eBooks; iTunes/iBooks). There are several bundles collecting several NIVAC volumes, starting at $17.99 (Pentateuch, Historical Books, Wisdom Books, Major Prophets, Minor Prophets, Gospels and Acts, Pauline Epistles, General Epistles and Revelation).

The sale ends on November 13, 2016 (Sunday) at 11:59pm ET.

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Christian Theology

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