You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Commentary’ tag.

I have been a Logos user since the middle 1990s. My first purchase was shipped on four floppy discs and I have continued to upgrade and add on to my Logos Library over the years. I appreciate the good folks in Logos Marketing sending me a copy of Logos 8 early to use for this review. In addition, you can save 25% on any upgrades to Logos 8 and pick five free books when you upgrade to Logos 8. Follow the link and used the code READINGACTS8.

To be honest, it was not early enough! There are so many new and important features in the new version it would take several weeks of dedicated time to explore them completely. Consider this review my “first impressions.”

The first thing I notice when launching the new Logos 8 is improved speed. The new fonts are sharp and readable, windows seemed to open quickly. There are some speed claims on the Logos website, I have no way to verify them other than the eye-test. Compared to Logos 7, this new version is lightning fast!

The Logos homepage has been completely revamped. I must admit I rarely used the homepage in previous versions of Logos, preferring to launch to my personalized layout of books. The new homepage has a customizable dashboard allowing the user to add content from their library such as devotional material, reading plans, Logos educational courses, lectionaries and prayer lists. As with previous verses, there are a number of items pushed into a section called “explore.” These might be hints as trying out some feature of Logos (“try a work flow….start now!), a sample from a book you already own, links to Logos Bible Study blog, training videos, etc. But there also a number of temptations to purchase additional books for your library. These are links to community pricing resources (usually a good deal if you participate early) or new books in the Logos Library.

One of the coolest new features is called Workflow. When you launch a new Workflow, you will be prompted to select a text or topic to study. There are different flows for different types of study. There are Bible passage and exegesis workflows, but also people, places, and theology topics. The Workflow tab will walk you through a series of steps in a personal study of the passage, making notes for each step in the process. Each step utilizes various tools of the Logos library. For example, the first step is to read the passage marking the text with highlighters and making notes. The second step is to read the passage in other translations using the Translation Comparison tool. The third step is to identify the people in the passage. I chose Exodus 16, so this step contained links to Moses, Aaron and the Israelites in various resources. This will be a very attractive feature for people who want to do personal Bible study but need some guiding questions to focus their study.

Logos Notes have also been upgraded in this new version. I will confess I have not used the Notes feature, primarily because I did not care for how the notes were stored. I rarely was able to find what I wanted to find later. Notes are now stored in an Evernote-like collection. For example, all my notes on Galatians are collected into one directory. One thing which surprised me was a notebook with 1000+ highlights I have made in books over the years. All my old notes were converted without any trouble, including notes I made 7 years ago when I was reviewing Logos 4.5.

Logos 8 Notes

Logos 8 Notes

Notes can be filtered by several categories. For example, all the highlights and notes I made while reading the Pillar New Testament Commentary on Thessalonians are filed together under resource>Thessalonians (PNTC), but also under Bible Book>1 Thessalonians or 2 Thessalonians. If I make highlights and notes in several resources on 1 Thessalonians, these will be gathered in one place. The filters can be stacked, so Bible Book>1 Thessalonians>resource lets me see all the notes and highlights I made from individual commentaries. All notes and highlights can be quickly searched. If you take notes as you read a book, considered tagging the notes with topics to make better use of the search feature.

For me, I prefer to read books through the Logos app on my iPad. Notes and highlights I make there are stored in the same notes system the desktop version of Logos 8. This means if I am sitting in a coffee shop reading and making notes on my iPad, those notes will be organized and ready form me when I return to my office. One feature I would like Logos to consider is exporting a Notes collection to a Word file. For example, I might use the filter tool to narrow notes to the book of John, search the topic of festivals, and end up with a series of notes drawn from various resources. If those notes could be combined and exported to a Word file for editing, the Notes tool would be even more valuable. (Maybe that feature is already there and I am missing it.)

Canvas is a new feature which reminds me of a large cork board for organizing notes. Think about just about any detective show, the detective collects pictures and notes and makes connections between various clues. Canvas is a way to take information from various tools within the Logos eco-system and lay them out into a visual diagram. To be honest, this looks like an excellent tool for visual learners and has so many complicated features I have not had time to explore it sufficiently for this review.

The Library Tool has been updated. I usually find my books by hitting ctrl-L and opening a floating window, entering the name of the book in the search line. The new Library window has a filter in the sidebar. This is the same system used to filter notes, although there are more categories available. Maybe the filter was always there and I never noticed it, but the Logos 8 library window now sorts by subject, topic and author, but also series. I can now sort out all the Library of New Testament Studies volumes. These filters can be stacked, Library of New Testament Studies and Paul, or Hermenia and Q theory. One serious frustration is the sub-categories are not alphabetical and I do not see an easy way to scan through the categories to find what I want. The new filter sidebar has a “new today,” “new last seven days,” etc. This replaces the update notice on the home page in Logos 7.

Logos 8 Workflow

Logos 8 Workflow

The Passage and Exegetical guides are excellent tools to jumpstart a Bible study. Select the tool from the guides menu and enter a passage. This can be a single verse or a section. This will generate a tab with links to all the resources you own on that particular verse, including commentaries, journal articles, parallel passages, and cross-reference tools. Logos 8 now generates a list of “important passages” and “important words” for your passage. For example, I entered John 3:16 and the guide identifies all the nouns and verbs as important, but did not list any of the words which are not very important for exegesis (and, but, the, etc.). The guide also includes links to various media you may have in your library, such as graphs and timelines. One extremely valuable tool in the passage guide is a list of allusions in other ancient literature. If you have the apostolic or church fathers installed, the guide generates links to the books which quote or allude to your verse. I was quite surprised to see links to New Testament apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, and the Nag Hammadi literature. The passage guide concludes with allusions to the verse in systematic theologies and confessional documents as well as sermons in your collection (as well as those shared in the Faithlife by contemporary pastors). This guide will even find hymns that relate to your passage!

The Word Study Guide has been the main tool I use when preparing lessons. Right click on a Greek or Hebrew, make sure the lemma is selected and then pick the Word Study Guide. This will generate a tab with links to any lexicons and word study books you own. There is a helpful section listing words with similar roots. I ran a Word Study Guide on δοῦλος, root section included the verb δουλεύω and the noun σύνδουλος along with several other less frequent words lexically related words. These words are clickable and a Word Study tab will for the new word. The guide also generates a chart detailing the way that particular word is rendered in your preferred translation. If you are working on a Greek work the Word Study tool will generate a chart of how the Hebrew words translated with your word in the LXX. Although the Word Study Guide does not create a concordance style list, it will offer a few example uses of the word in different grammatical uses (subject, object, etc.). The new Word Study guide also generates “clause participation” in the preferred translation, although I am not sure this is useful information. The final section of the Word Study is one of the more important. The Guide will search for your word in the LXX, apostolic fathers, New Testament apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Josephus, Philo and Greek Classics (if you have the Greek versions in your library).

New in Logos 8 is a Theology Guide. Launch the guide from the Guides menu and enter a theological topic. I entered justification, and a tab was generated including the Lexham Survey of Theology, This resource includes charts, key New Testament text on justification and several shorter articles on the Nature of Justification and the timing of Justification, etc. Each article has a Recommended Resources section with clickable links; if the resources is unlocked you will be taken to that resource, otherwise Logos will offer a chance to purchase the book. In this case, I owned Berkof’s Systematic Theology so clicking the guide took me right to his discussion of justification. But when I clicked on the recommended Perspectives Old and New on Paul by Stephen Westerholm I was given the opportunity to buy the resource.

In most of the guides and workflows Logos will suggest “Important Words” or “Important passages.” It is not clear now these texts are generated, but at first glance they seem to be useful lists of actually important words and passages. Sometimes automatically generated lists include less that helpful suggestions, this is not the case with this new tool.

Conclusion. There is plenty more to explore in Logos 8. This new version of Logos is a major upgrade, if you are using an older version this is a great time to considered upgrading. Use the code READINGACTS8 at checkout to save 25% on upgrades to Logos 8 and pick five free books.

 

Preaching and Teaching the Last ThingsLogos Bible Software “Free book of the Month” for September 2018 is Walt Kaiser’s Preaching and Teaching the Last Things: Old Testament Eschatology for the Life of the Church (Baker Academic 2011). Walter C. Kaiser Jr. is distinguished professor emeritus of Old Testament and president emeritus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Kaiser has contributed more than 40 books on both Old and New Testament exegesis and theology, including standard textbooks on OT Introduction, OT Theology and OT Ethics. He has been a prolific writer and speaker, check out the list of his publications.

Darrell Bock blurbed this book saying, “What can we know about eschatology from Scripture, especially the Old Testament? Walter Kaiser’s Preaching and Teaching the Last Things shows us that we can know quite a lot. This is a helpful work for those who wonder how to preach or teach about the end with balance and clarity.

Logos usually offers one or two similar books “almost free” books in the same series as the free book of the month. This month you can add Kaiser’s Preaching and Teaching from the Old Testament: A Guide for the Church for only $2.99 and his Toward an Exegetical Theology: Biblical Exegesis for Preaching and Teaching for another $3.99. That’s a mere $7 for three excellent books on teaching and preaching by one of the most influential scholars of the last fifty years. I would much prefer to have the physical copy of a book, but the Logos system makes these books easy to read, the iOS app is easily the best reading app available. Any notes or highlights made while reading in the app appear in the desktop version and vice versa.

Logos is also running a giveaway during the month of September: Baker Academic Theological Interpretation Collection (18 volumes, $399 value). There are several ways to enter the giveaway, so enter early and often.

This offer is for September 2018 only, so get the free (and almost free) books for your Logos Library before the end of the month.

 

Joshua Commentary by Gordon McConville and Stephen Williams, Two Horizons Commentary The Logos Bible Software “Free book of the Month” for August 2018 is the Joshua volume in the Two Horizons Commentary by Gordon McConville and Stephen Williams (Eerdmans, 2010).

The Two Horizons series is an good example of the methods of theological interpretation of Scripture. In this case, McConville (Professor of Old Testament Theology in the University of Gloucestershire) provides exegesis and Williams (professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological College, Belfast) provides the theological reflection. McConville has contributed a commentary on Deuteronomy (AOT; IVP Academic, 2002) and was an editor for the Dictionary of Old Testament: Prophets (IVP Academic, 2012). Stephen Williams’s The Shadow of the Antichrist: Nietzsche’s Critique of Christianity won a Christianity Today Book Award in 2006.

After the exegesis section of the commentary, Williams contributes several sections under the heading of “Theology of Joshua.” Here he comments on The Question of the Land; The Question of Genocide; Idolatry; Covenant, and God of Miracle and Mystery. He also has a section entitled “Reading Joshua Today” which includes The Question of History, The God of Joshua, God as Personal, God of Power, The Character of God, and Divine Lordship. McConville offers his own section on “Joshua and Biblical Theology.” Although he deals with the problem violence in the book, his section reads more like a traditional biblical theology, setting Joshua into a canonical context. What is unique in this Two Horizons commentary (as far as I can recall) is two sections of response by each co-author. This reflects the scholarly discussions between the two authors during the production of the commentary.

I have reviewed several volumes of the Two Horizons series, and have two more reviews in preparation. For comments on the style of these commentaries, see any of the following reviews:

Logos usually offers two more “almost free” books in the same series as the free book of the month. During the month of August you can also add Joel Green’s 1 Peter commentary in the THCNT (Eerdmans, 2007) series for $1.99. For another $4.99, add Robin Parry’s commentary on Lamentations (Eerdmans, 2010). I can recommend all three volumes as worthy additions to your Logos library, especially for a mere $7.  These books will be available on any Logos platform you are using. I find the the iOS Logos app in the iPad is the best reading app available (real footnotes, note-takeing tools which sync with the desktop version, etc.)

Logos is also running a giveaway during the month of August, and it is a good one this time. They are giving away the a set of fifteen volumes in the Pillar New Testament Commentary from Eerdmans ($529 value). There are several ways to enter the giveaway,

So head over to the Logos Free Book of the Month page, grab the free (and almost free) books for your Logos Library before the end of March.

 

For July 2018, Logos Bible Software is offering one of their Mobile Courses as their “Free Book of the Month.”  Craig Evans, The Reliability of New Testament Manuscripts (Mobile Ed: NT308). If you have not used a Logos Mobile Course, this is your chance to sample a good one.For $9.99 you can add Mark Strauss, “Introducing Bible Translations” and for $19.99, you can add the three hour course by Craig Keener, “Critical Issues in the Synoptic Gospels.”

Craig Evans, The Reliability of New Testament Manuscripts, Logos Bible Software

The courses are set up like college classes. There is a syllabus with course description, course outcomes and a final exam. The outcomes for The Reliability of New Testament Manuscripts are:

Upon successful completion you should be able to:

• Detail the number of pre-Gutenberg NT manuscripts we have and describe their quality
• Explain how the NT manuscript record compares to that of other ancient works
• Describe practices of ancient scribes and scholars that contributed to the longevity and quality of NT manuscripts
• Describe the preservation of the NT in ancient translations and commentaries
• Discuss how the various forms of historical attestation demonstrate the reliability of the NT text

This free Mobile Course is considered a “one hour course” based on the content (about an hour of video content). This course has eleven segments. A segment will have a short video lecture from Evans as well as a transcript of that lecture. Following the transcript there are several links to “Suggested Reading” and other resources Logos offers. These are not bibliographies, but links to books you your Logos Library such as the Lexham Bible Dictionary. Naturally Logos would be glad to sell you these books if you do not already own them! One advantage reading the transcript is key terms are linked to definitions and Scripture references are tagged. Floating over P87 in a transcript, for example, will open a small window giving the basic info on the papyri drawn from Philip Wesley Comfort and David P. Barrett, The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 2001).

Occasionally a lecture segment is a ScreenCast video demonstrating how to use Logos. For example, “Exploring Ancient Manuscripts and Resources” coaches the user on how to download and use the Perseus collection and the Duke Databank of Documentary Papyri. “Accessing and Navigating the Textual Apparatus” demonstrates how users who own the UBS fourth edition in Logos can examine the textual apparatus. These are not narrated by Evans but are useful tutorials for using the potential of the Logos system (as well as advertisements for upgrading Logos to include more features and resources). This is a feature of all Logos Mobile courses and Logos intends to update courses to include additional resource “in the future for no extra charge.”

This month the Logos giveaway is a four-course bundle: Text of the Bible Bundle. In addition to Evans, the bundle includes Mark L. Strauss, Introducing Bible Translations (also available for $9.99 this month), Michael S. Heiser, How We Got the Old Testament and How We Got the New Testament (also by Heiser). This is another eleven hours of video content, so enter early and often to win this bundle. They are also running a 40% off sale on some huge Mobile Ed packages during July.

Be sure to get these resources before the end of July 2018 when the offer expires.

Logos Bible Software is offering Roland Murphy’s Word Biblical Commentary on Ecclesiastes (1992) for free during the month of June, and you can add John Durham’s Exodus commentary (1087) for $1.99 and G. R. Beasley Murray’s John (Second Edition, 1999) for $9.99. This means for a mere $12 you can add three major commentaries to you Logos library (well over $100 if purchased at Amazon, although much less for the savvy shopper who knows how to navigate a used bookstore).

Murphy was the George Washington Ivey Professor of Biblical Studies at Duke University for many years and was  co-editor of both the Jerome Biblical Commentary and the (New) Jerome Biblical Commentary. His Ecclesiastes commentary is excellent and will be a fine addition to a Logos library.

The Word Biblical Commentary series are serious exegetical commentaries. Each unit begins with a short bibliography including monographs and peer-reviewed journals (including German and French sources). These are often a great place for students to start a research project, although they are only complete up to the publication of the volume. The authors focus on the original languages and deal with technical details of translation and technical variations via footnotes on a new translation of each section.  Following the translation is a section entitled Form/Structure/Setting. In some of the the earlier commentaries this section included something like source or form criticism, but usually the literary structure of the Hebrew or Greek is in view. Following this section is the commentary proper, proceeding verse by verse with attention to the original text (which is included without transliteration). Each unit concludes with a brief section entitled explanation, although the content of this unit varies from volume to volume.

The Word Biblical Commentary series was originally published by Word Books (Waco, Texas) in 1983. The first few volumes are all still very valuable: Trent Butler on Joshua; Ralph Klein on 1 Samuel; Leslie Allen on Psalms; Gerald F. Hawthorne on Philippians; Richard J. Bauckham (2 Peter & Jude. The series was purchased by Thomas Nelson, but after HarperCollins acquired both Thomas Nelson and Zondervan, the series was moved to Zondervan. The series is nearly complete, with Steven J. Walton’s Acts commentary and Andrew D. Clarke on 1 Corinthians still listed as “forthcoming.”

As typically happens with an aging commentary series, Zondervan is revising or replacing some earlier volumes. Ralph Martin’s Second Corinthians commentary was revised by a few of his students by adding a few additional sections (conveniently marked with gray pages; see my review here); Trent Butler completely revised his Joshua commentary, adding a second volume with extremely detailed geographical notes on the second half of Joshua. You can read my review here, originally published in Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament 5.1 (2016).

One serious advantage to the Logos format of this commentary is that all the Logos features are available. This includes searching English, Hebrew and Greek words, fuzzy searches, etc. By right-clicking a Hebrew word, the user can open their Hebrew lexicon of choice, right-clicking an English word opens up many options, including searching the user’s entire library, or limiting that search to a preferred Bible dictionary. A used can hover over abbreviations and a popup will identify the source, if it is a resource in the Logos library then it is clickable. References to other parts of the commentary are hyperlinks (so, “see notes” will go right to the section to which the author refers. All scripture reference are links as well, so the user can hover over the link and read the verse, to click to go to the preferred translation. Perhaps the most useful tool is how Logos cites sources. If the used copies a chuck of text and pastes it into a word processor, Logos will create a footnote citing the source in the user’s preferred format. I usually paste as plain text then edit the citation myself so it conforms to the format I prefer. What is important here is these digital books have real page numbers so they can be cited as if you have the real book in your desk. To me, this is a critically important feature. Nothing is more frustrating than students trying to cite a Kindle book in a research paper (in fact, just don’t try, find a real copy of the book and cite it properly).

As with most Logos resources, all resources are available on any Logos platform. I usually work with Logos on my desktop computer, but I can also read the books using my iPad and the Logos Bible App. All notes and highlights are synced with the user’s Faithlife account so I can read, make a few notes on a book, then pick up those notes on my desktop when I return to the office and incorporate them into whatever document I am working on at the time. If the user downloads the book to their device, footnotes appear at the bottom of the page (like a real book). Unfortunately, Logos removed the real page numbers from the iOS app, this is a major step backward (although I hear the page numbers will be restored in the future).

Logos usually does a giveaway with these free and almost free books, so this month they are giving away the Zondervan Theology Collection (7 volumes, $155.99 value).

Be sure to get these books before the end of June 2018 when the offer expires.

The Logos Bible Software “Free book of the Month” for April 2018 is Four Views on the Warning Passages in Hebrews, edited by Herbert Bateman IV (Kregel, 2007). Like most “four views” books, this volume contains essays explaining the warning passages in Hebrews 6 and Hebrews 10. If you are unaware of the controversial nature of these passages, see these two posts on Hebrews 6.  In this volume, Grant R. Osborne represents a Classical Arminian view, Buist M. Fanning, a Classical Reformed view, Gareth Lee Cockerill a Wesleyan Arminian view and Randall C. Gleason a Moderate Reformed view. Each writer offers an essay and the other three offer brief responses. Hebrews scholar George H. Guthrie concludes the book with a final response. When students ask me about Hebrews 6 and 10, this volume is my “go to” text to balance the two major approaches (Calvinism and Arminianism).

As Logos usually does, they are offering two “almost free” books as well. For only $1.99 you can add Lars Kierspel, Charts on the Life, Letters, and Theology of Paul (Kregel, 2012). When I reviewed this book in 2012 I said:

As with other books in this series, Kierspel has a paragraph on text explaining each chart in the final section. This 44-page section is important to read since it is here that he gives bibliography for the data he includes. In some cases these are mini-introductions to controversial topics (like Pauline chronology, for example). The book has an extensive 31 page bibliography. Like other books in this series, there a staggering amount of information presented in these charts. While I question the usefulness of some of the charts for classroom use, the book is a worth while investment for those who teach the Pauline letters in church or classroom.

For $9.99 you can add one more Kregel publication, Robert Chisholm’s Commentary on Judges and Ruth. I also reviewed this commentary a few years ago, saying:

Chisholm’s commentary on Judges and Ruth is an excellent exposition of the text from a conservative scholar. For the most part he assumes the historicity of the text and ignores any discussion of potential sources or anachronisms. He specifically eschews these methods in the introduction (p. 15), characterizing these as “creative scholarly conjecture” (p. 30).  He considers revisions of Noth’s Deuteronomisitc History to be a “debate going around in circles” (55). His exposition of the text is based on the assumption the book was intended to be read as a literary whole.

There is less historical background material in this commentary than might be expected. Major commentaries on Old Testament books can become bloated with material accessible in other resources (Bible Dictionaries for example). Since his interests are literary and theological, there is no need to offer descriptions of geographical locations or comments on archaeology (or the lack thereof) as background to the stories.

I would recommend the book to pastors and teachers who are preparing sermons on the often overlooked book of Judges.  Chisholm’s exposition is easy to read and provides excellent illumination of the text for the purpose of serving the Church today.

Three great books form Kregel Academic for a mere $13 total. More, until April 30 you can enter (several times) to win the five volume set of Kregel Charts of the Bible and Theology. Since Logos Basic is now free, there is really no excuse for not adding these excellent books to your Logos library.

The Logos Bible Software “Free book of the Month” for March 2018 is from P&R Publishing, Anthony T. Selvaggio, From Bondage to Liberty: The Gospel According to Moses. The book is part of P&R’s The Gospel According to the Old Testament series. The series includes twenty volumes tracing the theme of salvation in a diverse assortment of Old Testament characters. Moses, Abraham, and Joseph seem like obvious characters for a series like this, but there are also volumes on Judges, Jonah, and even Nahum. Selvaggio an ordained minister, a lawyer, an author, a lecturer, and a visiting professor at Ottawa Theological Hall in Ottawa, Canada.

For $1.99 more you can add Christopher W. Morgan’s A Theology of James: Wisdom for God’s People in the Explorations in Biblical Theology (P&R, 2010).  Morgan is dean of the School of Christian Ministries at California Baptist University in Riverside, California. The Explorations series “focus on applying God’s truth to life” by tracing doctrines through the Bible. The series is written for “college students, seminarians, pastors, and thoughtful lay readers.” About this volume, Thomas Schreiner said “Morgan reminds us in this wonderfully lucid, practical, and faithful rendition of James’s theology that James’s teaching is not only in accord with the gospel, but fundamental to the gospel.”

The third P&R book offered in this promotion is the Reformed Expository Commentary on Acts by Derek W.H. Thomas. Thomas is minister of preaching and teaching at First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, South Carolina and distinguished visiting professor of systematic and historical theology at Reformed Theological Seminary. This commentary is only $4.99 for the month of March.

Logos is also running a giveaway during the month of March. You can enter to win A Theology of Lordship (4 vols.) by John Frame

So head over to the Logos Free Book of the Month page, grab the free (and almost free) books for your Logos Library before the end of March.

 

The Logos Bible Software “Free book of the Month” for February 2018 is John Stott, The Message of the Sermon on the Mount (InterVarsity, 1978). John Stott was one of the major evangelical voices  in the twentieth century. David Brooks of the New York Times once described Stott as a kind of “pope of evangelicalism.”

Brooks said this in 2004 to distance evangelicalism from ” the made-for-TV, Elmer Gantry-style blowhards” who the media calls “evangelicals.” He concludes his essay by saying “you can’t understand this rising global movement [evangelicalism] if you don’t meet its authentic representatives. Not Falwell, but Stott.”

Stott edited the New Testament volumes of the Bible Speaks Today series and wrote several of the commentaries. These are light, devotional commentaries which are aimed at the layperson either a small group setting or a personal reading. There are occasional references to the Greek and a few references to other scholarship. Pastors will enjoy reading this series as well as they prepare to preach and teach Scripture. For only $1.99 more, you can add Stott’s The Message of Ephesians in the same Bible Speaks Today series. Logos is also offering the Michael Wilcock’s two-volume Psalms commentary (2001) in the same series for $4.99.

You can also enter to win a seven-volume Stott Collection from Logos. These offers are only good through February. so head over Logos’s Free Book of the Month site ASAP and get these free (or almost free) resources.

Eerdmans has a monthly “Commentary Club sale” and this month they are featuring three commentaries in the Two Horizons series. Although this series is an example of the methods of the Theological Interpretation of Scripture, there is usually a blend of traditional exegesis and theological interpretation. I have reviewed several volumes (James McKeown, RuthLindsay Wilson, JobErnest C. Lucas, Proverbs;  Andy Johnson, 1 & 2 Thessalonians) and purchased a few more. Each of these commentaries include lengthy theological essays drawn from the exegesis of the book. These are far more detailed than an “excursus” are worth the price of the book alone.

If you do not mind reading on a Kindle (or Kindle app on a tablet), these are a great deal. Robert W. Wall and Richard B. Steele’s commentary on 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus is only $1.99.  I reviewed this commentary soon after it was published in 2012.

After the exegesis of each book, Wall provides a “rule of faith” reading based on five categories drawn from Tertullian’s “Theological Grammar.” The five categories are: Creator God, Christ Jesus as Lord, Community of the Spirit, Christian Existence and Discipleship, and Consummation in a New Creation. With his exegesis in mind, Wall reads back through each Pastoral Epistle with these five areas in mind, creating a kind of mini-theology for each book. He gathers all the data from the letter on each element and provides a running theological commentary for the book. For 1 Timothy, this is nearly 50 pages!

An additional feature of this commentary are three “case studies” written by Richard B. Steele, Wall’s colleague at Seattle Pacific University. These short sections are applications of each Pastoral letter to a particular historical situation. Steele discusses 1 Timothy’s view of leadership in “John Wesley and Early Methodist Societies,” 2 Timothy in “John William Fletcher: John Wesley’s Designated Successor” and Titus in “Phoebe Palmer and the Wesleyan Holiness Movement.” Given then theological commitments of Wall and Steele, the content of these articles are obviously interested in Wesleyan applications.

Gordon McConville and Stephen Williams commentary on Joshua is $2.99 and Psalms by Geoffrey W. Grogan is $3.99. I did not review these two commentaries, but I do own a copy of Grogan’s book and find it a very useful one-volume commentary on Psalms.

These affordable prices for Kindle versions of the Two Horizons commentaries run  through February 28th, 2018.

The first Logos Bible Software “Free book of the Month” for 2018 is Todd Wilson’s Galatians: Gospel-rooted Living. This 2013 commentary is in the Preaching the Word series from Crossway Books. Todd Wilson is has a PhD from Cambridge University and serves as the senior pastor of Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park, Illinois. Wilson recently edited Becoming a Pastor Theologian: New Possibilities for Church Leadership (IVP Academic 2016). I happened to attend his paper on Galatians at the 2017 ETS meeting in Providence and found it very stimulating, so I am looking forward to this commentary.

Michael Bird blurbed the book:

“Todd Wilson has written a deeply pastoral and theologically competent commentary on Galatians that is an exemplary effort at Biblical exposition. There are some doozy passages in Galatians, especially on the Law, and Wilson provides a plain explanation and then shows readers how these texts relate to modern Christian living. A wonderful synergy of homiletical energy and honest exegesis.”

For only $1.99 more, you can add Ray Ortlund Jr.’s Proverbs:Wisdom that Works (2012) in the same Preaching the Word series.  Graeme Goldsworthy said “The strength of Ray Ortlund’s study of Proverbs is its Christ-centeredness. The wisdom of Proverbs loses none of its practical value, but rather is given its ultimate fulfillment as an expression of the wisdom of Christ.”

Logos is also offering Martyn Lloyd-Jones’s Acts 1-8 for $9.99. The Lloyd-Jones commentary was originally in six volumes, so Logos will add six separate resources to your library; that works out to $1.67ish per volume.

The giveaway this month is the Crossway D.A. Carson Collection (7 vols.,  $105.99 value). There are several ways to get chances to win this collection, visit the Logos Free Book of the Month for details. The free books (and almost free) books are only available through January 2018.

Follow Reading Acts on WordPress.com

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,154 other followers

My book Jesus the Bridegroom is now available from Amazon in paperback or Kindle


Christian Theology

%d bloggers like this: