Why another commentary series? The editors of the IVP New Testament Commentary Series offer an explanation in the general preface to the series:
The simplest answer is that no other series has yet achieved what we had in mind—a series to and from the church, that seeks to move from the text to its contemporary relevance and application. No other series offers the unique combination of solid, biblical exposition and helpful explanatory notes in the same user-friendly format. No other series has tapped the unique blend of scholars and pastors who share both a passion for faithful exegesis and a deep concern for the church.
Using the New International Version as its base text (not included), the IVP New Testament Commentary Series presents content in an innovative manner. According to the publisher’s description, “A unique format allows the main commentary to focus on the vital message of the New Testament for today’s church, while bottom-of-the-page notes include valuable scholarly information….”
Having this content in Accordance allows the reader the flexibility of customized study. The main commentary has been separated from the notes into two separate modules. Both will scroll in parallel with any translation of the Bible. However, if the reader wants to temporarily hide the more technical notes, he or she can simply not display the notes module for the time being. Or content can be arranged in whatever manner is most helpful to the reader’s study habits.
The Accordance team has carefully analyzed the text of the IVP New Testament Commentary and has tagged content according to the following categories: Reference, Titles, English Content, Scripture, Greek Content, Hebrew Content, Transliteration, Manuscripts, Bibliography, Authors, and Page Numbers. This allows the reader to search this title for very specific kinds of content. Moreover, other works of literature have been hyperlinked, such as the works of Eusebius shown in the Instant Details of the screenshot above. If the brief glimpse of an external title is not enough, clicking on the hyperlink will open it in a new window.
Through technology, high-speed travel, and instantaneous global communication, our planet is shrinking, figuratively speaking. Those of us in the West cannot presume that the way we look at the Christian faith is a singular, and therefore solely correct, outlook. In fact, the “center” of the Christian world has shifted in recent decades from the northern to the southern hemisphere. Christianity has always held greatest power when believers stood in unity as opposed to allowing differences to divide them, so it’s important for us to listen to other voices in the worldwide church and not just our own.
The concept described above is the impetus for the Global Dictionary of Theology, edited by William A. Dyrness and Veli-Matti Kãrkkãin. As described in the Introduction, this work “was conceived to provide a general overview of theological reflection and practice throughout the world.”
Like any dictionary of theology, this volume contains articles on a variety of subjects. Unlike other dictionaries, the articles often take the form of a conversation in which contributors from diverse backgrounds offer their own perspectives on particular subjects. While this dictionary can be used like any other—looking up a subject as the need arises—I personally found it refreshing simply to read through some of the subjects, enjoying the back and forth of perspectives while simultaneously broadening my own worldview.
The Global Dictionary of Theology has nearly 200 contributors from all around the world and from many different expressions of the Christian faith. The Accordance team has carefully analyzed the text and tagged content according to the following search fields: Titles, English Content, Scripture, Hebrew Content, Transliteration, Bibliography, Authors, and Page Numbers. Therefore, not only can the reader look up topics alphabetically, but content can also be accessed by specific type.
It seems that most believers can agree that God created the cosmos, but after that numerous opinions diverge from one another. Any book written on Christian origins, especially as it pertains to Genesis 1, inevitably has the potential for controversy and even debate. John Walton’s Lost World of Genesis One is not immune to any of this, but he does attempt to sidestep much of the same kind of debate of the last two centuries in regard to the biblical account of creation vs. modern perspectives of origins and offer what he hopes to be a helpful perspective.
Taking seriously the Ancient Near Eastern context of the Genesis creation account, Walton lays out his position through a set of 18 propositions (which I have tried to display in the browser for the title in the screenshot below). Thus, Walton is proposing
…a reading of Genesis that I believe to be faithful to the context of the original audience and author, and one that preserves and enhances the theological vitality of this text. Along the way is opportunity to discuss numerous areas of controversy for Christians, including relating Genesis to modern science, especially evolution. Intelligent Design and creationism will be considered in light of the proposal, and I make some comments about the debate concerning public education [pp. 5-6].
Click on the image above for a larger view of the Lost World of Genesis One.
Not all readers will agree with everything Walton proposes, but most will agree he tries to be evenhanded to those with whom he might disagree as well as faithful to the Bible as he understands it. The Accordance team has carefully analyzed the text of The Lost World of Genesis One and tagged the content according to the following search fields: Titles, English Content, Scripture, Hebrew Content, Transliteration, Bibliography, and Page Numbers.
At 66 chapters, Isaiah is the second longest book of the Bible. Commentaries on this immense ancient work abound, including multivolume treatments focusing solely on Isaiah’s content in exclusion to other books of the Bible. Unfortunately, often commentaries help us close in on passages—chapters and verses—without necessarily understanding the big picture of a biblical book—without understanding the diverse themes that may run through it.
Moreover, the Old Testament prophets sometimes seem to be the most foreign kind of literature in the Bible when compared with that of the modern world. In the Introduction to his extensive Theology of the Book of Isaiah, John Goldingay quotes Martin Luther in regard to the prophets in general:
[They] have a queer way of talking, like people who, instead of proceeding in an orderly manner, ramble off from one thing to the next, so that you cannot make head or tail of them.”
Goldingay’s goal is to get us beyond this common sentiment to a greater understanding of the prophet Isaiah’s timeless message. His goal is to bring out the theology expressed in different sections of Isaiah and then “articulate the theology of the book called Isaiah as a whole…” [p. 11].
To do this Goldingay’s treatment of Isaiah’s theology is broken into two parts. In the first part, he presents a theological commentary of Isaiah in the order we have received it. From this analysis, he narrows these theological ideas into 13 separate theological themes which he explores in great detail (see the accompanying screenshot for a list in the book’s browser).
Click on the image above for a larger view of the Theology of the Book of Isaiah.
Goldingay provides his own translation of the Hebrew text behind Isaiah, but all references to Hebrew words are transliterated, opening up the accessibility of this work to a wider audience. The Accordance team has carefully analyzed Goldingay’s Theology of the Book of Isaiah and categorized content according to the following fields: Titles, English Content, Scripture, Transliteration, and Page Numbers.