Stephen Westerholm, Romans: Text, Readers, and the History of Interpretation

Westerholm, Stephen. Romans: Text, Readers, and the History of Interpretation. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2022. ix+413 pp. Hb; $49.99  Link to Eerdmans

Rather than a commentary on Romans, this new volume by Stephen Westerholm in on the reception history of Romans. He is writing the Romans volume for Illuminations commentary series. (I reviewed Amy Erickson’s Jonah commentary in this series here.) This book is not a commentary on Romans, rather it is a commentary on the reception of Romans by later readers. Westerholm surveys commentaries from Lutheran, Calvinist, Wesleyan, Armenian perspectives many well-known but others quite obscure.

Westerholm RomansThe first section (pages 1-40) deals with the text of Romans as a witness to the earliest reception of Romans. He begins with a detailed description of papyrus 46, the earliest papyri copy of the book of Romans as an example of an early reception of the letter. Papyrus 46 dates to around A.D. 200 and was produced by a “blundering and not always attentive scribe,” to cite Michael Holmes (5). The codex contains 52 sheets folded to produce 104 leaves, 208 total pages. Only 86 pages survive (56 are in the Chester Beatty library and 30 are at the University of Michigan). The text was probably prepared for public reading. Westerholm suggests “his patron should have demanded a refund” (7). There are many variant readings comma often unintentional and easily recognized period. But there are some attempts at improvement that are unique to this manuscript. An early reader actively and thoughtfully engaged with the content of the text being read. “In limited but real ways, liberty was taken with the text of the epistle” (9). for example, the scribe had little use for Paul’s rhetorical repetitions, in Romans 8:17 he deliberately eliminated a redundancy. Occasionally the copiest substituted “what Paul might have said” for “what he appears to have written.” For example, when quoting Isaiah 9:27, the scribe replaces Paul’s word for remnant with a synonym because that is what is found in the Septuagint. Occasionally the text is simplified. Westerholm suggests this list of changes is “underwhelming” (12), but his point is that there are many different readings and not all these minor variants are accidental. “The word of the Lord (or of his apostle) is not tied to a particular wording” (12).

The second section (pages 41-76) is entitled “Readers” and interacts with how the “Paul within Judaism” scholarship reads Romans. The section begins with a short sketch on what can be known about the Roman church before Paul wrote his letter (following Peter Lampe, From Paul to Valentinius). Westerholm then introduces the so-called radical new perspective on Paul. Essentially, this view states that Paul did not convert from Judaism to Christianity and continued to live as a Jew for the rest of his life.

Romans has been wrongfully universalized; it addresses a specific situation in the Roman church. For “Paul within Judaism” scholars, Romans deals with the problem of how Gentile sinners become righteous, enjoy salvation, and become the people of God. Paul’s solution, according to this view, is that Gentiles are made right by faith in Christ, but Jews were already right with God because of God’s covenant with Israel. Paul is positive towards the Law, but the Law was only given to the Jews. Gentiles were never intended to keep the Law, so Paul essentially tells them the distinctively Jewish practices do not apply to them.

Westerholm thinks “Paul within Judaism” scholars are correct in denying that Paul in any of his letters denounces Judaism, but after his encounter with the risen Jesus Paul rethought the place of the Law ion God’s plan. The Law is hold, good, and righteous, but it paid out a path to righteousness humans are neither able nor inclined to take. The Law is weak to alter human capacities and dispositions since humans are sinners. Therefore, Westerholm concludes, righteousness can only be found apart from the Law.

As for the purpose of the letter, Westerholm surveys the usual suggestions, but ultimately suggests an unfavorable view of Paul’s theology may have reached Rome before Paul. Paul therefore presents his theology and calls on Jews and Gentiles to live in a single community of faith (73).

The bulk of this book is a survey of interpreters beginning with the Patristic Period, with short chapters on Origen, “Antiochene Interpreters” (John Chrysostom, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret of Cyrus), and Early Latin Interpreters (Ambrosiaster, Pelagius, Augustine).  For the Medieval Period, Westerholm focuses on Peter Abelard and Thomas Aquinas. For the Sixteenth century, Calvin and Luther are the main lights, but Westerholm includes John Colet and Desiderius Erasmus, and Philip Melanchthon. He concludes with comments on several English translations of Romans (Wyclif, Tyndale, the Geneva Bible, The Rheims New Testament and the King James Version).

The Modern Period begins in the 1600s with Philipp Jakob Spener, Matthew Poole, Richard Baxter, John Locke. Augustin Calmet, Cotton Mather, Robert Witham, and John Gill. He surveys several Arminian interpreters before covering nineteenth century interpreters John Taylor, Heinrich Meyer, Henry Alford, Benjamin Jowett, and John William Colenso. The final chapter is devoted to Karl Barth, perhaps the only writer that might be considered contemporary. In the introduction Westerholm specifically sets aside recent commentaries in this survey.

Westerholm concludes the book with an appendix on the popular Romans commentary by British writer D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones who preached 372 sermons on Romans which were edited and published in fourteen volumes. I. H. Marshall said “if we ask who has been the most influential interpreter of Romans in the church in the twentieth century, one strong candidate is David Martyn Lloyd-Jones. You don’t hear about him in academic circles. Quite simply, he was the finest preacher and expositor of Romans in the evangelical wing of the church, and John Calvin and Martin Luther will have been the major influences on him. He did not always get it right, but of the breadth of his influence in the U.K. there can be no doubt” (351). Although he was not a great exegete, Westerholm describes Lloyd-Jones as “theological controlled preaching,” so the bulk of the chapter is devoted to describing how Lloyd-Jones develops key theological themes like justification and sanctification.

Conclusion. Westerholm’s book is a kind of pre-commentary on Romans, focusing on how a wide range of people in different theological traditions throughout the history of the church have read the Book of Romans. As a result, the book is more theological than exegetical, as a book on reception history must be. Someone might object their favorite ancient commentator was overlooked, but Westerholm provides clear summaries of the major interpreters of Paul’s letter.


NB: Thanks to Eerdmans for kindly providing me with a review copy of this book. This did not influence my thoughts regarding the work.


Michael J. Gorman, Romans: A Theological and Pastoral Commentary

Gorman, Michael J. Romans: A Theological and Pastoral Commentary. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2022. xxiii+325 pp. Hb; $39.99.   Link to Eerdmans  

Gorman explains in his preface that the subtitle to his new Romans commentary, “a theological and pastoral commentary,” means he engages Romans as Christian Scripture. His goal is to consider the spiritual and practical application of Paul’s theology as presented in Romans in a contemporary Christian context. This does not imply Gorman ignores Paul’s message to the original audience because Paul is a pastoral theologian. In fact, he states several times in the book, “if John is the Gospel of Life, Romans is the epistle of life” (50).

Gorman, Romans commentaryThe book has two introductory chapters. First, Introducing Paul (3-20) draws heavily on Gorman’s Apostle of the Crucified Lord (second edition; Eerdmans, 2016, reviewed here). Gorman surveys various approaches to Paul (the New Perspective on Paul, narrative- intertextual approaches, anti-imperial, apocalyptic, etc.  Gorman identifies himself as a participationist, which is not at all surprising if anyone has read his earlier work on Paul. See, for example, Becoming the Gospel: Paul, Participation, and Mission (Eerdmans, 2016, reviewed here). Paul emphasizes the believer’s status as “in Christ (Romans 6:11; 8;1; 12:5) as opposed to “in Adam.” Faith transfers one from being “outside Christ” to being “inside Christ,” that is, inside his body, the ekklesia. The chapter includes a brief sketch of Paul’s life and a survey of Paul’s theology.

Second, Introducing Romans (21-56) covers the usual things expected in an introduction to Romans. For the most part, Gorman does not stray far from the consensus on issues of date and provenance. Regarding the circumstances which led to the writing of the letter, there are several issues on Paul’s mind, but the key is that the gentiles have developed an independent spirit, even a spiritual superiority complex. He suggests Romans could be considered an extended commentary on 2 Corinthians 5: 14- 21. He is clear: the gospel is not a set of propositions, but a dynamic, life-changing force in the world. It is “the power of God for salvation” (30). For Gorman, Romans is a letter about Spirit-enabled participation and transformation in Christ, and thus in the mission of God in the world.

Unlike many recent commentaries on Romans, Gorman does not interact much with other scholarship. As he explains, “this commentary comments on the text, not on other commentaries” (xviii). He intentionally treats the English text using the NRSV (although with comparison to other modern translations and occasionally his own).

Gorman divides Romans into several major units:

  • 1:1–17 Opening and Theme: The Gospel of God’s Son, Power, and Justice for the Salvation of All
  • 1:18–4:25 God’s Faithful, Merciful, and Just Response to Human Sin
  • 5:1–8:39 The Character of Justification by Faith: Righteousness and Reconciliation; Liberation and Life
  • 9:1–11:36 God’s Faithfulness and Mercy and the Future of Israel
  • 12:1–15:13 Faithful Living before the Faithful God: Cruciform Holiness and Hospitality
  • 15:14–33 Paul’s Mission and God’s Plan
  • 16:1–27 Closing

Each major section is further divided into “discourse units.” Gorman’s commentary is not exegetical nor word-for-word (it is not that kind of commentary). Certainly, he has done the exegesis and read the secondary literature, but that is all in the background. Instead, he discusses the theological and practical ramifications of the text. Gorman grounds his commentary in Paul’s concerns and draws out the implication for Christian spiritual growth in a contemporary context.

Let me offer one example based on his commentary on Romans 13:1-7. First, he entitles this unit “a nonrevolutionary but subversive community.” He briefly sketches the situation of the house churches in Rome. Opposition to the believers arose during synagogue disputes, resulting in Claudius’s expulsion of Jews from Rome. This was a political act designed to break up a potential political threat. Jewish messianic expectation was anti-oppressor and therefore anti-Roman, since Rome was the ultimate oppressor of God’s people. Although Romans 13 is often labeled conservative, even pro-Roman (especially compared to Revelation 13), Gorman points out that the gospel Paul proclaims is inherently anti-imperial: Jesus and Caesar cannot both rule the universe. This means “the gospel Paul proclaims cannot in any way a spouse blind nationalism, hyper patriotism, or an uncritical stance toward political authorities” (254). Although he does not name names at this point in the book, Gorman applies this to the use of Romans 13:1-7 by then attorney general Jeff Sessions and White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders in the context of separating children and parents at the border. “Rather than being a blanket call to obedience and allegiance, which is reserved for God alone, Romans 13:1-7—when read in context—actually supports Christian opposition to many laws and practices. The Christian is free from the tyranny of obedience to political figures and entities but obligated to love and to work for the common good, even when doing so is an act of disobedience” (257).

Gorman supplements the commentary with helpful charts. For example, in order to illustrate the close connection between justification and sanctification, Gorman compares Galatians 2:15-21 (justification) and Romans 6:1-7:6 (baptism). “Justification is like baptism, and vice versa. More precisely, justification and baptism are two sides of the one coin of entrance into Christ and his body through dying and rising with him… it is difficult to imagine a more appropriate image for thoroughgoing participation than the liquid metaphor of immersion” (167-68). He summarizes the people in Romans 16 in a chart. (Phoebe is a gentile woman who is almost certainly the letter bearer and quite probably its interpreter. Junia is a female, prominent apostle).

The first two chapters and each major unit of the commentary conclude with reflections and questions. These are divided into two categories: “spiritual, pastoral, and theological reflections, and “questions for those who read, teach, and preach.” None of these are softball questions! The questions should tease out additional implications from the text and take the reader to an application beyond Paul’s original context. A surprising example is the use of Romans 14-15 to discuss a Christian approach to eating. Gorman asks the reader to consider a justice dimension to food production and food consumption. Gorman sees both as having a spiritual dimension. For those teaching Romans in a classroom, these questions would make for excellent student papers. For those preaching Romans in a local church, these questions are hints for pastoral applications which will resonate with people as they grapple with the text of Romans.

Following these questions for reflection is “for further reading.” In the introductory chapters, these are divided into “highly accessible commentaries and books,” midlevel commentaries and books,” and “technical commentaries and books.” These bibliographies will be helpful for students who wish to work more deeply on the book of Romans.

Conclusion. Gorman’s commentary on Romans is a pleasure to read and will serve pastors and teachers well as they prepare to present Paul’s dense theology to their congregations. If you are planning to preach through the book of Romans, buy this commentary.


NB: Thanks to Eerdmans for kindly providing me with a review copy of this book. This did not influence my thoughts regarding the work.

Aaron Sherwood, Romans: A Structural, Thematic, and Exegetical Commentary

Sherwood Aaron. Romans: A Structural, Thematic, and Exegetical Commentary. Bellingham, Wash.: Lexham Press, 2020. xv+949 pp.; Hb.; $54.99. Link to Lexham Press

In the introduction to this new commentary on Romans, Aaron Sherwood states his goal is an accessible commentary that avoids atomistic approaches, one that “notes the trees but focus on the forest… the investigation especially looks at how Paul uses the letter structure to help convey his message. This approach allows Paul to set the theological priorities of Romans, ensuring that modern readers take Paul’s own meaning and theology from his discussion” (p. 1). Sherwood previously published a revision of his 2010 Ph.D. dissertation supervised by John Barclay, Paul and the Restoration of Humanity in Light of Ancient Jewish Traditions (Ancient Judaism and early Christianity 82; Brill, 2013) and The Word of God Has Not Failed: Paul’s Use of the Old Testament in Romans 9 (Lexham 2015).

Sherwood RomansIn the 91-page introduction to the book focuses more upon the overall shape and message of Romans. Sherwood offers three reasons Paul wrote the book of Romans. First, Paul wants to establish a warm relationship with his audience (1:1-15; 15:14-33). Second, Paul wants to care for his audience pastorally (12:1-15:13). Third, Paul must defend himself against a negative reputation that has preceded him to the Roman churches. So 1:16-11:36 is Paul’s apology for his gospel. Paul’s goal in this large section of the letter is to ensure that nothing prevents his pastoral care from being effective nor hinders his mission to Spain. What is unusual in this commentary is Sherwood’s view that the main body of the letter is 12:1-15:13 rather than the eleven-chapter theological section. Scholars often wonder why Paul wrote such a detailed theological treatise to churches he had not yet visited.

Sherman observes that scholars generally agree on most critical introductory issues for the book of Romans. Paul wrote the letter from Corinth in the winter of AD 56-57. The audience is a combination of Jews and non-Jews who were committed to Israel’s scriptural heritage. Paul wrote to numerous house churches, which were healthy, although they were facing a few challenges. Scholars are equally unanimous interview that Phoebe carried Paul’s letter to Rome and was the initial reader of the letter (p. 778). He agrees with Esther Ng’s conclusion that Phoebe was not the leader of a congregation, Paul’s patron, nor his serving helper. She worked as the provider of hospitality and a supporting member of Paul’s missionary organization.

Regarding the theology of Romans, Sherwood argues the main point of the book is the Gospel and the Christ-event which inaugurated God’s Kingdom on earth, so that believers are as eschatologically restored. Israel is located in Jesus, so those who trust in Jesus are Israel (p. 42). All believers are quote God’s “humanity of Israel,” so they ought to live out their relationship with Jesus and their identity as Jesus’s disciples (ethics, pastoral care). Since God’s goal in the Christ event his eschatological restoration of humanity, missions is God’s vehicle for working with God to provide salvation for unreached people.

With respect to Christology, Sherwood detects a (proto)Trinitarianism in Romans. Jesus is God’s Messiah, but the Father, Son and Holy Spirit share unique divine identity of Israel’s God. Soteriology saturates the book of Romans. He coins the term “righteousization,” which is more or less equivalent to the more common theological word “justification.” This term appears consistently throughout the commentary where one would expect the word justification. Believers are righteousized by entering into a trust relationship with God in Christ. In Romans, “the process of righteousization (or justification) seems to follow a certain algorithm:

  • Believers believe in the report of the Christ event.
  • At the same time, believers trust God’s declaration of who Christ is and what he accomplished, as well as what God accomplished through him.
  • Also at the same time, believers are in a trusting personal relationship with Jesus, and with God in Jesus.
  • Then, with the above three elements in place, God gifts believers with the removal of sin and guilt against himself.
  • God also gifts them with a transformation of their identity, by which their character emulates God’s own divine character (p. 60).

Sherwood observes that soteriology is relatively distant from the center of Paul’s theology in the book of Romans. “It is profound, but it is less substantial than is typically assumed” (p. 62). For example, Paul’s limited references to soteriology in Romans do not show God’s grace is inherently irresistible, nor does Sherwood find any idea of imputed righteousness in the book. Rather than imputed righteousness, “righteousizing is transformational” (p. 61).

This rejection of imputed righteousness is associated with a New Perspective on Paul, but Sherwood is not a representative of this view. He thinks the New Perspective provides two helpful correctives to the traditional view of Paul. First, Romans does not focus on the tension between grace and works (or Law), and second, Second Temple Judaism was not a legalistic religion. However, Sherwood thinks the New Perspective reduces Paul’s theology to its sociological dimension, something he calls “an unsound methodological emphasis” (p. 67). Sherwood takes the “works of the law” (ἔργων νόμου) in Romans 3:20 as the whole law rather than limiting the phrase to the boundary markers (such as circumcision, food taboos and Sabbath). In fact, Sherwood translates ἔργων νόμου as Torah rather than “works of the law.” He says this phrase means “the Jewish commonplace of Torah observance, in the sense of having a lifestyle, identity, and devotion to righteousness that is characterized by habitually living in faithfulness to the Torah” (p. 227). He includes a lengthy digression on the use of the phrase “works of the law” in 4QMMT. He concludes the similarity between Romans 3:20 and 4QMMT is “rather incidental” and 4QMMT “should not be allowed to distract from a proper understanding of Paul’s message” (p. 234). This discussion is somewhat disappointing since the primary source he cites in this section is a 1994 Biblical Archaeology Review magazine article by Martin Abegg rather than the two major articles on Paul and 4QMMT by James Dunn or N. T. Wright.

Given Sherwood’s previous work on Paul’s use of Scripture in Romans 9, it is not surprising he devotes a large section of his introduction to Paul’s use of scripture. He provides two charts of Paul’s citations of the Hebrew Bible, one in canonical order in a second in order of appearance in Romans. Sometimes Paul’s use of Scripture is described as a midrash, although it is certainly not exegesis. Sherwood points out Paul has already done his exegesis and is now using cited Scripture in a “faithful, contextually determined meaning of that scripture in a way that serves his communicative strategy” (p. 74). He suggests Paul uses references to Scripture in a way analogous to a modern academic. Paul makes his theological point and then offers a “footnote of authorities” to support his point (p. 77). He argues Romans was not written from the perspective of New Testament studies, “Paul’s use of Scripture requires an interpretation that comes out of Old Testament studies” (p. 77).

The introduction concludes with helpful a ten-page glossary of key terms.

In the body of the commentary itself, individual units begin with Sherwood, his own translation. This is followed by a paragraph highlighting key idea of the pericope with the thesis statement for the unit set out in bold type. He then outlines the structure of the unit by means of a syntactical display of the English text. Although there are some comments on the structure, he avoids technical rhetorical terms. “Analysis and Interpretation” is a phrase-by-phrase commentary on the English text. There is no Greek in the commentary’s body, and it is rare in the footnotes. Occasionally he refers to textual critical issues in the footnotes, but this is not the focus of the commentary. There are references to contemporary scholarship in the footnotes, but in the main text Sherwood provides a readable and accessible commentary on Paul’s key ideas uncluttered by scholarly debate. As he stressed in the introduction, his commentary is selective and non-comprehensive. Each unit concludes with a summary and theological reflection. These reflections focus on the unit itself rather than larger ideas of Pauline or canonical theology.

In addition to the commentary Sherwood provides several short digressions throughout the commentary. These deal with controversial issues such as homosexuality in Romans 1 (155-57), imputed righteousness (269-71), and Paul’s view of empire (p. 673-76). Following the commentary are seven substantial excurses on controversial theological topics commonly addressed in a Romans commentary.

  • Natural Theology and the Identity of the Accused in Romans 1:18-32
  • Interplay between Romans 3:27-8:17 and Galatians 3:1-4:7
  • Salvation, Redemption, Deliverance, and Atonement in Romans
  • The “I” In Romans7
  • Divine Foreknowledge and Predestination in Romans 8:28-30
  • The Salvation of “All Israel” In Romans 11:25-27
  • The Disputed Originality of Romans 16

These excurses are substantial (over fifty pages total). By separating them from their context in the main commentary, Sherwood achieves his goal of an accessible and readable commentary since the average reader is not prepared for a protracted discussion of the “I” in Romans 7. Sherwood argues Paul’s speaker in Chapter 7 is “a representative Jew who is both convicted of his obligation to obey Torah perfectly and is perfectly appalled by his inability to do so” (p. 629). Regarding predestination and Election in Romans 8:28-30, Sherwood avoids both Reformed and Arminian positions, stating that his exegesis is compatible with either position (which is probably not going to make either side very happy). Regarding the originality of Romans 16, he states clearly “all things considered, there are no compelling let alone sound reasons for rejecting the originality of Romans 16:1-23” (p. 851).

He does not think that “all Israel” in Romans 11:25- 27 refers to future salvation of unbelieving Jews (p. 841). In his view, the best reading of this passage is that Paul is making a positive statement about God’s process of reconstituting his people, come what may. “All Israel” therefore “refers to God’s corporate Christocentric people” (p. 846) and that a reading of Romans 11:25-32 “with an expectation of ethnic Jews’ salvation would be a mistake” (p. 847).

Conclusion. Sherwood achieves his goal of providing an accessible commentary that sheds light on Paul’s Letter to the Romans. He avoids tedious comparisons of views from other major commentaries, although he is certainly informed by them. Nor he does not get bogged down in exegetical details which distract the commentator from Paul’s overarching theological themes.


NB: Thanks to Lexham Press for kindly providing me with a review copy of this book. This did not influence my thoughts regarding the work.


Logos Free Book of the Month for February 2021 – Joel Green, 1 Peter (Two Horizons Commentary)

Joel Green 1 Peter Two Horizons CommentaryLogos partners with Eerdmans for an epic Free Book of the Month promotion for February 2021. The free book is Joel Green’s two Horizon’s commentary on 1 Peter. The Two Horizons series uses the methods of Theological Interpretation of Scripture. Each commentary starts with a traditional exegetical commentary followed by a series of essays on theological issues arising from the exegesis. I have reviewed several of the Two Horizons commentaries over the years, see this review of Scott Spencer’s Luke volume (there is an index of all the Two Horizon commentaries reviewed). Geoffrey Grogan’s Psalms commentary in the series is only $2.99, both are excellent additions to your library.

There are two Pillar Commentaries offer at significant discounts, Robert Yarbrough’s The Letters to Timothy and Titus (read my review here) and a pre-order of the second edition of Douglas Moo’s James commentary. A pre-order is a great way to save on new resources. Logos measures interest in new resources by taking pre-orders, but you will not be charged until the book ships.

There are also two New International Commentaries offered this month, Robert Mounce’s excellent commentary on Revelation and Bruce Waltke’s Proverbs 1-15. Although a little more expensive than the rest, these are both excellent exegetical commentaries and worthy addition to your library.

  • Joel B. Green, 1 Peter (The Two Horizons New Testament Commentary), Free!
  • Juan I. Alfaro, Justice and Loyalty: A Commentary on the Book of Micah (International Theological Commentary series), 99 cents
  • Geoffrey Grogan Psalms (The Two Horizons Old Testament Commentary) $2.99
  • Robert Yarbrough, The Letters to Timothy and Titus (Pillar New Testament Commentary), $3.99
  • Gordon Fee and Robert Hubbard, eds., The Eerdmans Companion to the Bible, $5.99
  • Walter Brueggemann, A Commentary on Jeremiah: Exile and Homecoming, $7.99
  • Robert H. Mounce, The Book of Revelation (The New International Commentary on the New Testament), $9.99
  • Bruce Waltke, The Book of Proverbs, Chapters 1–15 (The New International Commentary on the Old Testament), $14.99
  • Pre-Order Douglas J. Moo, The Letter of James, 2nd ed. (Pillar New Testament Commentary), $19.99

Pitre, New Covenant JewUsually Logos does “Another Free Book” promo mid-month, but this month they posted it early. (HT to Ruben De Rus for pointing this out to me!) Get a free copy of John Pilch, A Cultural Handbook to the Bible. This book was the 2000 Catholic Press Association Award Winner. From the blurb, “For those who seek to understand the Bible as a document from the ancient Mediterranean world and communicate it to people in other cultures, The Cultural Dictionary of the Bible is an ideal tool.” On deep discount is Brant Pitre’s excellent study on Jesus and the Last Supper (his chapter on the Last Supper and the Messianic Banquet has some really good footnotes). I reviewed Pitre, Barber, and Kincaid, Paul, a New Covenant Jew: Rethinking Pauline Theology here.

Here are the other discounted resources from Eerdmans on the “Another Free Book” page.

  • Frank Matera, God’s Saving Grace: A Pauline Theology, $3.99
  • J. Patout Burns Jr., Romans: Interpreted by Early Christian Commentators (The Church’s Bible), $5.99
  • Brant Pitre, Jesus and the Last Supper, $7.99
  • Pitre, Barber, and Kincaid, Paul, a New Covenant Jew: Rethinking Pauline Theology, $9.99
  • Oliva Blanchette, Maurice Blondel: A Philosophical Life, $9.99

If you do not have Logos 9 yet, you can get the Logos 9 Fundamentals or the (free) Basic Edition and begin reading these books right away. Right now First-time Logos users save 50% on the Fundamentals bundle, only $49.95. By following that link you can also choose five additional resources for free. Logos Basic is the free version of Logos Bible Software and has limited free resources, but you do get the Lexham Bible Dictionary and can use the basic edition to add the free and discounted resources listed above.

These free and discounted commentaries are only available through February 2021.





Logos Free Book of the Month for January 2021 – J. V. Fesko, Galatians (Lectio Continua Expository Commentary)

Logos Bible Software is offering a nice collection of Reformed resources as part of their Free Book of the Month promotion for January 2021. These books are published by respected Reformed publishers P&R and Reformation Heritage.

You can add the Lectio Continua Expository Commentaries (LCEC) on Galatians by J. V. Fesko for free for the month of January. Fesko is a well-known writer in the Reformed community, current he is Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, Mississippi. He has a blog, although it has not been updated since April 2020.

This series is edited by Joel R. Beeke and Jon D. Payne and published by Tolle Lege Press and Reformation Heritage, Grand Rapids, Michigan. The series seeks to recover solid biblical preaching in the church, to Provide a guide for uninterrupted, systematic, expository proclamation of God’s Word and to communicate the context, meaning, gravity, and application of God’s inerrant Word. If you are unfamiliar with the Lectio Continua Commentaries, here is a video trailer for series.

In addition to this free resource, there are an additional eight books on deep discount through the end of January:

  • Herman Ridderbos, Redemptive History and the New Testament Scriptures (P&R, 1998), 99 cents. Ridderbos stresses that the foundation for the canon lies in the history of redemption itself, wherein Christ gave distinctive authority to his apostles. 
  • J. V. Fesko, Songs of a Suffering King: The Grand Christ Hymn of Psalms 1–8 (Reformation Heritage, 2014), $1.99. This commentary hopes “to awaken the Church to the majesty, beauty, and splendor of Psalms through a devotional exploration of Psalms 1–8, a “grand Christ hymn,” in which David, as the suffering king, prefigures the King of kings, Jesus Christ.
  • Ian Duguid, Living in the Gap between Promise and Reality: The Gospel According to Abraham (Gospel according to the Old Testament series; P&R 2014), $2.99. Duguid pulls the reader into the dramatic unfolding of the story of Abraham as a significant stage in the larger story of salvation.
  • Matthew Barrett, Salvation by Grace: The Case for Effectual Calling and Regeneration (P&R, 2013), $3.99. “Barrett also provides a helpful evaluation of both the Arminian position and contemporary attempts to chart a middle course between Calvinistic and Arminian systems.”
  • The Christian’s Reasonable Service, Volume 1: God, Man, and Christ, $5.99. First published in 1700, The Christian’s Reasonable Service (De Redelijke Godsdienst) ran through 20 Dutch editions in the eighteenth century alone.
  • The Works of William Perkins, Volume 1, (Reformation Heritage, 2014), $7.99. This is the first of a projected 10-volume set edited by J. Stephen Yuille. This volume contains three treatise: A Digest or Harmony of the Books of the Old and New Testament; The Combat between Christ and the Devil Displayed. Expounding Matthew 4:1–11; A Godly and Learned Exposition upon Christ’s Sermon in the Mount.
  • Richard Phillips, John, 2 vols. (Reformed Expository Commentary, P&R 2014), $9.99. J. I. Packer described this series as “well researched and well reasoned, practical and pastoral, shrewd, solid, and searching.”

If you were looking to load up on Reformed Resources, now is the time to head over to the Logos Free Book of the Month page. These free and nearly free books are only available through January 2021.