Item description for NBBC, Romans 1-8: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition (New Beacon Bible Commentary) by William M. Greathouse & George Lyons...
Overview Engaging perceptive, and academically thorough, the NEW Beacon Bible Commentary will advance your understanding and deepen your appreciation for the message and meaning of each book of the Bible. Written by notable Wesleyan experts, this indispensable resource will help you unlock the truths of Scripture and assemble a greater awareness for the timeless wisdom and purpose of God's Word. Each volume features: Convenient Introductory Material Clear Verse-By-Verse Explanations Comprehensive Annotation Helpful Sidebars An Expanded Bibliography
Publishers Description The New Beacon Bible Commentary is an engaging, indispensable reference tool to aid individuals in every walk of life in the study and meditation of God's Word. Written from the Wesleyan theological perspective, it offers insight and perceptive scholarship to help you unlock the deeper truths of Scripture and garner an awareness of the history, culture, and context attributed to each book of study. Readable, relevant, and academically thorough, it offers scholars, pastors, and laity a new standard for understanding and interpreting the Bible in the 21st century.Each volume features: Completely New Scholarship from notable experts in the Wesleyan traditionConvenient Introductory Material for each book of the Bible including information on authorship, date, history, audience, sociological/cultural issues, purpose, literary features, theological themes, hermeneutical issues, and moreClear Verse-by-Verse Explanations, which offer a contemporary, Wesleyan-based understanding derived from the passage's original languageComprehensive Annotation divided into three sections, which cover background elements behind the text; verse-by-verse details and meanings found in the text; and significance, relevance, intertextuality, and application from the textHelpful Sidebars, which provide deeper insight into theological issues, word meanings, archeological connections, historical relevance, cultural customs, and moreExpanded Bibliography for further study of historical elements, additional interpretations, and theological themesOf Romans, Martin Luther wrote: This letter is the principal part of the New Testament and the purest Gospel, which surely deserves the honor that a Christian man should not merely know it by heart word for word, but that he should be occupied with it daily as the daily bread of his soul. For it can never be read too often or too well.
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Studio: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.85" Width: 6.67" Height: 0.72" Weight: 1.05 lbs.
Release Date May 1, 2008
Publisher BEACON HILL PRESS #29
Series New Beacon Bible Commentary
ISBN 0834123622 ISBN13 9780834123625
Availability 0 units.
More About William M. Greathouse & George Lyons
William M. Greathouse has served his denomination as a pastor, professor, college president, seminary president, and general superintendent. Concurrently with these leadership roles, he found time for a writing ministry of books and articles contributing to the literature of Wesleyan-Arminianism.
William M. Greathouse currently resides in Mount Juliet, in the state of Tennessee.
William M. Greathouse has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about NBBC, Romans 1-8: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition (New Beacon Bible Commentary)?
work of both great value and beauty Apr 18, 2008
William M. Greathouse and George Lyons: Romans A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition
The Epistle to the Romans has always been considered an central book of the NT cannon. It is the Apostle Paul's ambassadorial and theological letter to a church he did not establish and had not visited at the time. The Churches in Rome underwent a great upheaval, first in the expulsion of the Jews by Claudius and later by persecution against Christians by pagan Rome. Despite the problems facing these churches, their faith was renowned and Paul wished to visit to share with them his spiritual gifts, help spread the gospel and prepare for a mission to Spain.
Throughout the history of the Church, the theological material in Romans has been the stuff of dogma and controversy. From the early church fathers, through Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Wesley and now modern scholars, the interpretation of Romans has been both rewarding and full of pitfalls. The dogmatic debates were central to the schism of the Christian Church and resulted in long-standing, less than graceful, polarity. Superimposed upon the basic doctrinal disagreements were the post-enlightenment liberalism of the 19th and early 20th century and the contributions and controversies surrounding historical, literary, linguistic and social criticism that continues to our day.
The global theological shift over many decades has been from Luther's simul Justus et peccator to the Wesleyan Christus victor. The former concentrated on the utter sinfulness of man (the first part of the great dialog between Paul and his imaginary Jewish debater) whereas the latter emphasizes Christ's total victory over sin and death as mortifying both once and for all (the second half of the debate). Both are true but focus on a different part of the salvation story. The true situation for Christians today, as well as in the early church period, can be found in the "now but not yet" dialectic in which believers are justified and being sanctified in this sinful world and in corrupt bodies and who are awaiting perfection in final glorification. The church as a corporate body of believers, likewise finds itself living this dialectic.
Modern critical scholarship has made important contributions to our understanding of Romans. Four are worth mentioning. These include 1) a better knowledge of Roman history and culture, especially the shame/honor basis of their society; 2) a better understanding of Jewish religion and culture, especially by the scholars E.P. Sanders (covenantal nomism), Bruce Chilton and Jacob Neusner, 3) A better understanding of Old Testament theology and exegesis which has shed new light on Paul's use of the OT in his letters which in turn has enlightened our understanding of Romans, and 4) contributions from extra-canonical literature of the inter-testamental period and first century A.C.E. which sheds light on contemporary Jewish thought in which Paul's "Jewish" theology and heritage was shaped.
What we have learned from these contributions is 1) that grace abounds in the OT and is the basis of Israel's Heilsgeschichte (Salvation history), 2) Israel's self understanding of its Heilsgeschichte and 3) the importance of both individual and corporate election, responsibility, and participation in the covenantal nomism of the Judaism(s) of the Second Temple period. All these have had a profound effect on recent Romans scholarship.
There are numerous works on Romans that span the genres of critical and exegetical commentaries, pastoral expositions, philosophical theology and individual dogmatic issues. Many are very technical and highlight in detail the entire debate whereas others are inspirational. It is within this milieu that a most welcome and important new commentary on Romans by William M. Greathouse and George Lyons has appeared. It is a two volume set that is most reasonably priced. The authors have achieved a remarkable synthesis of centuries of Romans scholarship, incorporated the best of what higher criticism has produced, and created a most readable, enjoyable, profound and informative commentary that can be read by laymen and scholars alike.
The book is broken down into sections based upon a natural reading of Paul's argumentation. Each section is divided into three parts: 1) Behind the Text, 2) In the Text and 3) From the Text. The first part gives an overview and background explanation of the section in question explaining clearly what Paul is about to say, the sitz in lieben, and issues surrounding Paul's purpose and chosen rhetoric. The second section is a verse by verse commentary. The text incorporates analysis of the Greek as well as providing for the reader the depth of meaning lying within the text that may be lost in some translations. The authors seamlessly incorporate their linguistic and exegetical expertise to bring the text to life. The technical issues are treated in such a way as to not detract from the interpretation but to enliven and enhance it. The third section places what the text teaches in the context of 1) classic theological issues such as doctrine, historical developments and controversies, 2) inter-textual interpretation of Paul's use of the OT and his approach on these issues in his other letters, 3) exploration of important contributions from archeology, history and culture and 4) significant contributions from other scholars and important church figures. There are also numerous side-bars examining important issues in depth.
As a whole, the commentary is written beautifully, reads extremely well and captures the entire spectrum of the huge corpus of literature in concise, well organized and understandable language. Rather than present all the technicalities and overburden the reader with the minute details of the controversies, the authors have gathered analyzed and interpreted this for us and present in a fair and balanced manner the current understanding of Romans scholars for all to appreciate and understand. A generous bibliography and excerpts from the writings of leading Romans scholars points the reader toward the sources used in creation of the text. By adopting this method, the focus is not on the academia surrounding each issue but a synthesis of the whole, how past and current scholarship has contributed to our understanding of the text and the theology therein. The authors have interpreted and represented these works accurately and brought to the fore their significance. In short, the authors transform the academic endeavors into a work that has true evangelical meaning.
I am impressed by several areas of the book. The general overview of Romans was so well written, concise and accurate as to awe inspiring. It was evidently written by a mature scholar who is intimate with the text on many levels. I also feel that the author's focus of Jewish culture, religion and contemporary thought in late antiquity reflects the current state of the art in this most difficult field of study. It gives insight into the mind of Paul by addressing the important questions of what shared beliefs and background Paul and his readers had in common. The focus on the theology of the OT as used in the NT is critical as Paul exegetes numerous OT passages, stringing them in sequence (a traditional Rabbinic and Jewish method) to make his points. A clear understanding of how Paul understood the OT is critical to understanding the text and his arguments. Finally, the authors bring to the fore a very important understanding of God's grace as represented in the OT and NT as being one grace that operates in His greater purpose in Heilsgeschichte. This, in addition to the inseparable self-understanding of Paul and his Jewish and Christian contemporaries of individual election within corporate election through grace and not merit (works/law) provides a sound basis for addressing the great issues of justification, foreknowledge, predestination, election, salvation, sanctification, sin, grace, etc.
Just as Adam is an individual and corporate head of fallen man, we are sinful because we sin and are part of a race under the bondage and dominion of sin. In Christ, as our individual and corporate head, we are liberated from the bondage and dominion of sin such that we need no longer sin and we are free, individually and corporately, to serve God. Sander's covenantal nomism, Neusner's corporate community of believers in Torah and Paul's community of believers in Christ all have in common that individual salvation occurs in the context of faithful membership in the corporate body which was created of God's will and manner of salvation. In Romans, God's desire in the Heilsgeschichte was the creation of a new community of faith, under the corporate head of Christ, with whom God has a true relationship of saints who are justified and sanctified made possible through the atoning sacrifice of the Cross. In the OT, this community was corporate Israel. In the NT, membership is open to all through faith and obedience.
Space does not permit a full examination of this commentary. It has so much to commend it. It is written intimately such as the reader may imagine himself examining Romans sitting at the table with his teacher and guide.
This spirit-inspired yet scholarly work was written not by men who desire to master the text through external examination but by prayerful scholars who have submitted to the text as the Word of God (= Son of God per Barth) and speak to the reader through words and the instruction of the Holy Spirit. It is a work of both great value and beauty.
It is a work of both great value and beauty. I highly recommend it and have already made it a gift to ones I care for in the Lord.