Tag Archives: Book Review

Introducing the Reformation Commentary on Scripture

26 Sep

Here is a new commentary series from IVP Academic that I am just getting into. The farther I get the more excited I become. These are some incredible volumes worthy of your attention. Below is an overview of the what and why of this new series. I also hope to follow up with a detailed feature overview (really nice!) and then reviews of particular volumes at some point.

What is the Reformation Commentary on Scripture?

The Reformation Commentary on Scripture (RCS) is a twenty-eight volume series of exegetical comment covering the entire Bible and gathered from the writings of sixteenth-century preachers, scholars and reformers. It gives you access to a wealth of Reformation-era commentary on Scripture that is largely unknown and for the most part unavailable in English. While the giants of the era, such as Luther and Calvin, will be presented, you will also be introduced to a host of figures with whom you might be unfamiliar, yet who contributed to the Reformation in important ways. In doing so, the RCS demonstrates both the unity and diversity of thought that characterized this vital period in the history of the Church.

With this series you have centralized access to treasure that very few can gather for themselves. The series introduces you to the great diversity that constituted the Reformation, with comments on scripture by representatives of the multitudinous traditions that originated in the era, from Lutherans, Reformed, Anglican and Anabaptists to radical reformers and even reform-minded Catholics, who all shared a commitment to the faithful exposition of Scripture.

Why do we need this new commentary series?

The Reformation Commentary on Scripture provides a crucial link between the contemporary church and the great cloud of exegetes that is the historical church. The salient insight, rhetorical power and consensual exegesis of the tradition of the Reformation are here made available as a powerful tool for the church of the twenty-first century. Like never before, believers can feel they are a part of a genuine tradition of renewal as they faithfully approach the text of Scripture.

A few of it’s goals are to:

  • Renew contemporary biblical interpretation through exposure to Reformation-era biblical interpretation;
  • Renew contemporary preaching through exposure to the biblical insights of the Reformation writers;
  • Contribute to a deeper understanding of the Reformation and the breadth of perspectives represented within it;
  • Advance Christian scholarship in the fields of historical, biblical, theological and pastoral studies.

Overview of Projected Volumes:

Projected Old Testament Volumes (13)

  • Genesis 1-11, edited by John Thompson
  • Genesis 12-50, edited by Mickey Mattox
  • Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, edited by Randy Blacketer
  • Joshua, Judges, Ruth, edited by N. Scott Amos
  • 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles edited by Derek Cooper
  • Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job edited by David Hogg
  • Psalms 1-72, edited by Herman Selderhuis
  • Psalms 73-150, edited by Herman Selderhuis
  • Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs edited by David Fink
  • Isaiah, edited by Steven McKinion
  • Jeremiah, Lamentations, edited by Jeffery Tyler
  • Ezekiel, Daniel, edited by Carl Beckwith
  • Minor Prophets, edited by Sujin Pak

Projected New Testament Volumes (15)

  • Matthew, edited by Jason Lee
  • Mark, edited by Edwin Woodruff Tait
  • Luke, edited by Beth Kreitzer
  • John 1-12, edited by Craig Farmer
  • John 13-21, edited by Christopher B. Brown
  • Acts, edited by Esther Chung-Kim
  • Romans 1-8, edited by Gwenfair Walters Adams
  • Romans 9-16, edited by Philip Krey and Peter Krey
  • 1 & 2 Corinthians, edited by Scott Manetsch
  • Galatians, Ephesians, edited by Gerald Bray
  • Philippians, Colossians, edited by Graham Tomlin
  • 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon (editor not yet assigned)
  • Hebrews, James, edited by Ron Rittgers
  • 1 & 2 Peter, 1-3 John, Jude, edited by Steven Harmon
  • Revelation, edited by Rodney Petersen

How Can I Start a Collection?

Purchase them individually as they are released. (Genesis 1-11, Galatians, Ephesians, & Ezekiel, Daniel are available now.) WTS | Amazon

Subscribe to the series with IVP and receive each new volume automatically at around 40% off for $29.99. (Cheaper than Amazon.) Also, receive the first volume for only $9.99 and Reading Scripture with the Reformers by Timothy George for free!

Book Review: ‘Charity and It’s Fruits’ by Jonathan Edwards

20 Aug

Crossway Books recently published a good-looking new version of Jonathan Edwards book: “Charity and It’s Fruits” edited by Kyle Strobel.

To help you get a feel for this book allow me answer the following questions for you:

1. What is ‘Charity and It’s Fruits’ about?

In 1738 Jonathan Edwards preached a series of fifteen sermons expositing 1 Corinthians 13. These sermons provided a “theological account of love and virtue” and were never published in Edwards lifetime. It is a work that takes a long look at the glorious love passage in 1 Corinthians 13 and examines and exposits each verse with each sermon ending with words of application.

2. Why should I read ‘Charity and It’s Fruits’?

First, to have your soul refreshed in the love of God towards you and His power for you to now live a life of love in light of His love.

Second, as this work is, according to the editor, “one of the best entry points into Jonathan Edward’s theology… an intricate tapestry of Edwards’s spiritual, theological, and exegetical insights, exposing readers to a much broader picture of his work.” It is a great opportunity to read one of America’s preeminent theologians and wrestle with his theological and practical reflections.

3. Why should I read this version of ‘Charity and It’s Fruits’?

First, according to the editor: “It was not until 1852, nearly one hundred years after Edwards’s death, that the sermons were first published. The 1852 edition of the sermons was edited by Tyron Edwards, Edwards’s great-great-grandson, and was the standard version used in every other edition of Charity and It’s Fruits until Yale published a new edition in 1989. This new edition went back to sermons copied directly from Edwards’s own sermon booklets. When they are compared with the Tyron Edwards edition, it becomes clear that Tyron took much liberty in editing Edwards’s material. Unfortunately, this new edition is still often unread by the general public because it is bound together with Edwards’s other ethical writings in a volume that is nearly eight hundred pages long. For the first time, I provide those interested in Edwards the unedited version of this work in its own volume.”

Second, this particular version of ‘Charity and It’s Fruits’ is far more than a pamphlet of photo-copies of the original manuscripts and it is certainly not any type of abridgment or restatement. It includes a detailed introduction giving an overview of Jonathan Edwards theology to help the reader grasp the larger body of thought behind this work. Then it ends with a conclusion considering how one might appropriate this work.

It also includes over 150 explanatory notes within the text addressing difficult concepts throughout the text as well as definitions to arcane terminology to help the modern reader. It even will list relevant quotes from Edward’s other writings as well as appropriate.

All in all this is a great new version of an old classic. For a sampling of quotes from the book I have and will continue to post them here at The Old Guys. You can view them all in one place at this link.

Pick this book up and embark on a meditation of that most glorious theme of God’s disposition toward us in Jesus Christ and the most essential element of our lives as Christians: Love.

If you are thinking about purchasing the book please consider doing so through any of the following links and help support The Old Guys website:

WTS | Amazon | Crossway

Disclosure: This book was received for free as part of a blog reviewer program, however I was in no way obligated to review it either positively or negatively.