“Now a Jew named Apollos, a native Alexandrian, an eloquent man who was competent in the use of the Scriptures, arrived in Ephesus. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately about Jesus, although he knew only John’s baptism.” (Acts 18:24-25, CSB)
Luke describes Apollos with high praise. Apollos is both eloquent and competent in his understanding of the Scriptures—which at this time would have only referred to the Old Testament. Moreover, Apollos knows how to apply this understanding of the Scriptures to the events he has witnessed in his time. As history has shown with various forms of interpretation and commentaries over the last two millennia, this is not always an easy task.
In fact, from a historical perspective, we live in an unparalleled age where one can find all sorts of specialized commentaries on the Bible that might focus on a particular angle of the original language, cultural and historical background, literary devices, or hermeneutical issues. We have commentaries that emphasize, theology, preaching and teaching aspects of a biblical passage, or the application of these truths. What we often lack is something that will bring all of these various dynamics together. Simply put, sometimes we need an Apollos—someone who understands both the ancient biblical text and the contemporary age and mindset of those who read and hear it now.
The Apollos Old Testament Commentary (AOTC), from InterVarsity Press, seeks to do just this. As stated in the editor’s preface, “This series seeks to … [keep] one foot firmly planted in the universe of the original text and the other in that of the target audience, which is preachers, teachers and students of the Bible.” Further, “What we intend, therefore, is to provide not only tools of excellence for the academy, but also tools of function for the pulpit.”
To do this, the editors sought out modern-day “Apolloses” who were competent in their understanding of both the Old Testament and modern audiences as well as having the ability to accurately communicate these truths. The AOTC is edited by David W. Baker and Gordon J. Wenham. Though not yet complete, these ten volumes are currently available and being released for Accordance today:
Exodus: T. Desmond Alexander
Leviticus: Nobuyoshi Kiuchi
Deuteronomy: J. G. McConville
Joshua: Pekka M. A. Pitkänen
Ruth: L. Daniel Hawk
1 & 2 Samuel: David G. Firth
1 & 2 Kings: Lissa M. Wray Beal
Ecclesiastes & Song of Songs: Daniel C. Fredericks & Daniel J. Estes
Daniel: Ernest C. Lucas
Haggai, Zechariah & Malachi: Anthony R. Peterson
Each volume contains a detailed introduction of a biblical book, covering historical-critical and background information. Each pericope contains the author’s own translation, followed by notes on the text, a section on form and structure, commentary, and explanation. Although grammatical issues may be on the technical side for some readers without a strong background in biblical languages, Hebrew and Greek tend to be transliterated to make this content accessible to a wider audience.
With the goal of this series attempting to cover so much, one might assume that the AOTC could not be overly-detailed. Consider, however, that the Exodus volume alone is over 700 pages in print (which makes it even more convenient in Accordance!). While the goals for this series are ambitious, it is definitely not hurried in its presentation.
Although all content is contained in one module, in the screenshot below, I’ve duplicated the commentary’s tab four additional times so as to display excerpts of the various sections on Exodus 13:17-22 at the same time. Hopefully, this will give Accordance users unfamiliar with the AOTC series a demonstration of what it attempts to cover. Click/tap the image for a larger view.
The Apollos Old Testament Commentary is available as an entire set or individually by volumes. Introductory discounts are available for a limited time.
Apollos OT Commentary (10 Volumes)
List Price $440
Regular Price $349
Individual Volumes are also available:
- Exodus (Regular Price $39.90)
- Leviticus (Regular Price $39.90)
- Deuteronomy (Regular Price $39.90)
- Joshua (Regular Price $39.90)
- Ruth (Regular Price $24.90)
- 1 & 2 Samuel (Regular Price $44.90)
- 1 & 2 Kings (Regular Price $39.90)
- Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs (Regular Price $39.90)
- Daniel (Regular Price $39.90)
- Haggai, Zechariah & Malachi (Regular Price $39.90)