Review: ESV Expository Commentary Series

Crossway recently released the first three volumes in their ESV Expository Commentary: Volume VII — Daniel-Malachi, Volume XI — Ephesians-Philemon, and Volume XII — Hebrews-Revelation.

Appearance

The set is well-made, a delight to hold, and attractive. The paper is thick and easy to read from. The ribbon marker is a nice touch. The Smyth-sewn binding seems like it will hold up to long-term use.

Scholarship

The set is edited by Iain M. Duguid, James M. Hamilton, and Jay Skylar. Among the authors are many trustworthy scholars, whose work I’ve come to trust.


WTS Books is offering the volumes on sale at a significant discount (bit.ly/ESVCommentary).


Series Goals

The aim of the series is “to help the church understand and apply the overarching storyline of the Bible.” The preface states that “each contributor has been asked to provide commentary that is:

exegetically sound—self-consciously submissive to the flow of thought and lines of reasoning discernible in the biblical text;

robustly biblical-theological—reading the Bible as diverse yet bearing an overarching unity, narrating a single storyline of redemption culminating in Christ;

globally aware—aimed as much as possible at a global audience, in line with Crossway’s mission to provide the Bible and theologically responsible resources to as many people around the world as possible;

broadly reformed—standing in the historical stream of the Reformation, affirming that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, taught in Scripture alone, for God’s glory alone; holding high a big God with big grace for big sinners;

doctrinally conversant—fluent in theological discourse; drawing appropriate brief connections to matters of historical or current theological importance;

pastorally useful—transparently and reverently “sitting under the text”; avoiding lengthy grammatical/syntactical discussions;

application-minded—building brief but consistent bridges into contemporary living in both Western and non-Western contexts (being aware of the globally diverse contexts toward which these volumes are aimed)

efficient in expression—economical in its use of words; not a word-by-word analysis but a crisply moving exposition.


Thanks to Crossway’s generosity, I’m giving away three sets of the published volumes in October. Find details on the giveaway page.


Personal Impression

My perusal indicates the series achieved the goals outlined in the preface. I found the commentaries to be readable and easy to follow. They avoid overly academic issues without avoiding important doctrinal and interpretive issues. They apply the Scripture on a general level while avoiding unnecessary cultural restraints. Best of all, they practice biblical theology. The authors do not divorce the book studied from the whole of Scripture. They interpret each book within the storyline of the Bible. This equips readers to interpret all of Scripture by using these volumes.

If I have one disappointment in this series, it is the lack of female contributors. I share Crossway’s complementarian perspective. However, I do not think the inclusion of female scholars would violate the principles of complementarianism. I hope to see conservative female scholars contribute to future volumes.

Recommendation

I recommend this set both for pastors and households. It is a reliable go-to resource for the average church member. Collecting this set is a worthwhile investment in the home. I would love to see children and adolescents pull this down from the shelf at home to answer questions about the Bible.


Crossway provided me with a complimentary set to review on this blog. This donation does not influence my review.

#TweetLikeJesus: Social Media in the New Heaven and New Earth

This is the final post in a multipart series—#TweetLikeJesus: Social Media to the Glory of God. For background on the approach taken, see the first post, “Social Media to the Glory of God.”

Already and Not Yet

Life today is a mixture of the already and the not yet. Christ is already reigning—and he is working in and through us. So, we see glimpses of the Kingdom of God in the good done in social media.

But the kingdom is not year here in its fullness. People are still dead in their trespasses and sins, “following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air…children of wrath”—and it shows it their social media use. We, as Christians, still struggle against our flesh and its sinful inclinations—and it shows in our social media use. Continue reading “#TweetLikeJesus: Social Media in the New Heaven and New Earth”

#TweetLikeJesus: Social Media in the Church

This is the sixth post in a multipart series—#TweetLikeJesus: Social Media to the Glory of God.  For background on the approach taken, see the first post, “Social Media to the Glory of God.”

Human Purpose in the Church

For our purpose, we can look back to the description of Jesus we found in Philippians 2. In the broader context, Paul writes (2:3-16): Continue reading “#TweetLikeJesus: Social Media in the Church”

#TweetLikeJesus: Social Media in the Life of Jesus (Part 2)

This post is the fifth in a multipart series—#TweetLikeJesus: Social Media to the Glory of God. For background on the approach taken, see the first post — “Social Media to the Glory of God.”

Communication in the Life of Jesus

In the previous post, we saw that Jesus is the perfect image of God. He perfectly represents his Father to the world.

We see this in the way Jesus communicates. He says in John 12:49, “For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak.” What he says is what God says. With his words, Jesus: Continue reading “#TweetLikeJesus: Social Media in the Life of Jesus (Part 2)”

#TweetLikeJesus: Social Media in the Life of Jesus (Part 1)

 

This is the fourth post in a multipart series—#TweetLikeJesus: Social Media to the Glory of God. For background on the approach taken, see the first post, “Social Media to the Glory of God.”

After the Fall

After humans fell into sin, God not only pronounced a curse, he proclaimed a promise. In Genesis 3:15, he said to the serpent:

I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.

The offspring of the women—a man—would go to war with the serpent. The serpent would injure this man (bruise his heel). But the man would prevail and destroy the serpent, crushing his head.

The rest of the Old Testament is the story of waiting for this promised champion to appear.  Israel’s history is a several-thousand-year wait until an angel appeared to a young virgin and her fiancé. The angel announced Mary was pregnant by the Holy Spirit with the Son of God. They are to name this God-Man “Jesus,” because “he will save his people from their sin” and reign forever (Matthew 1:21; Luke 1:31-33). Continue reading “#TweetLikeJesus: Social Media in the Life of Jesus (Part 1)”

#TweetLikeJesus: Social Media in the Fall

This is the third post in a multipart series—#TweetLikeJesus: Social Media to the Glory of God. For background on the approach taken, see the first post — “Social Media to the Glory of God.”

The Fall

When we refer to “the Fall,” we don’t mean autumn. We refer to the moment at which the first humans rebelled against God, and sin and death entered the world. This event is recorded in Genesis 3. Continue reading “#TweetLikeJesus: Social Media in the Fall”

#TweetLikeJesus: Social Media in Creation

This is the second post in a multipart series—#TweetLikeJesus: Social Media to the Glory of God. For background on the approach taken, see the first post — “Social Media to the Glory of God.”

The most important question to ask about social media is not “What is Social Media?” or “What should I do or not do on social media?” or questions about platforms and reach and engagement. The most important question is “What is a human being?” How we answer that determines how we live in every area of life. Continue reading “#TweetLikeJesus: Social Media in Creation”

#TweetLikeJesus: Social Media to the Glory of God

The Navigators invited me to lead a breakout session at their Main Event conference in Ames, Iowa on October 6, 2018. They asked me to help college students think through the subject of social media use. This series of posts contains the material I presented. They develop a biblical theology of social media moving from Genesis through Revelation. Continue reading “#TweetLikeJesus: Social Media to the Glory of God”