Thursday 1 October 2009

New Covenant Commentary Series

Last week I took delivery of the inaugural volumes in a new commentary series, written by the two editors of the series, Michael F. Bird and Craig S. Keener:

Michael F. Bird, Colossians and Philemon: A New Covenant Commentary, New Covenant Commentary Series (Eugene: Cascade, 2009), xiv + 177pp., ISBN 9781606081310.

Craig S. Keener, Romans: A New Covenant Commentary, New Covenant Commentary Series (Eugene: Cascade, 2009), xxv + 268pp., ISBN 9781606081563.

I have already started to read the one on Colossians and Philemon, and I’m very impressed with what I’ve found. The blurb on the back says that the commentary combines ‘exegetical insight, rhetorical analysis, theological exposition, and practical application all in one short volume’. My first thought was, ‘What? All that – in 177 pages?’ Actually, it might be right.

The series itself is designed ‘for ministers and students who require a commentary that interacts with the text and context of each New Testament book and pays specific attention to the impact of the text upon the faith and praxis of contemporary faith communities’.

It claims a number of distinguishing features:

• The contributors come from diverse backgrounds, denominationally and from around the world, with an international set of writers drawn from every continent (except Antarctica), supporting its intention ‘to engage in the task of biblical interpretation and theological reflection from the perspective of the global church’.

• The commentaries deal with larger units of the text rather than provide a verse-by-verse treatment, seeking to interpret the ‘story’ in the text.

• The series aims to reflect on how the New Testament ‘impacts the life, faith, ministry, and witness of the New Covenant Community today’, sometimes by offering comments in a ‘Fusing the Horizons’ section, providing windows into community formation (‘how the text shapes the mission and character of the believing community’) and ministerial formation (‘how the text shapes the ministry of Christian leaders’).

I look forward to seeing how the series develops.


Brett Jordan said...

Penguin seems to have the monopoly on Antarctica contributors...

Antony said...