From Publishers Weekly
This significant commentary kicks off the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible series, which will eventually grow to a library of 40 volumes. Unlike other commentaries that are written mostly by biblical scholars, these books will be penned by theologians interested in what the Bible has to say about enduring theological questions; as series editor R.R. Reno puts it, the series "was born out of the conviction that dogma clarifies rather than obscures." Pelikan's contribution, for example, is less about the socioeconomic conditions that informed Paul's missionary journeys than it is about systematic theology, Christian doctrine and the formation of the early church. Pelikan asks big questions: what is sin? what were the earliest creeds? what is the nature of apostleship? He is sensitive to nuances of Greek but not obsessed by them. As such, this book will be helpful to preachers and, to a lesser extent, general readers who are sometimes flummoxed by more specialized and technical biblical commentaries. (Jan.)
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This series of biblical commentaries was born out of the conviction that dogma clarifies rather than obscures. The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible advances upon the assumption that the Nicene tradition, in all its diversity and controversy, provides the proper basis for the interpretation of the Bible as Christian Scripture. God the Father Almighty, who sends his only begotten Son to die for us and for our salvation and who raises the crucified Son in the power of the Holy Spirit so that the baptized may be joined in one body--faith in this God with this vocation of love for the world is the lens through which to view the heterogeneity and particularity of the biblical texts.
The commentators in this series were chosen because of their knowledge of and expertise in using the Christian doctrinal tradition. They are qualified by virtue of the doctrinal formation of the mental habits, for it is the conceit of this series of biblical commentaries that theological training in the Nicene tradition prepares one for biblical interpretation, and thus it is to theologians and not biblical scholars that we have turned.
The Nicene tradition does not provide a set formula for the solution of exegetical problems. The great tradition of Christian doctrine was not transcribed, bound in folio, and issued in an official, critical edition. As Augustine observed, commenting on Jer. 31:33, "The creed is learned by listening; it is written, not on stone tablets nor on any material, but on the heart." This is why Irenaeus is able to appeal to the rule of faith more than a century before the first ecumenical council, and this is why we need not itemize the contents of the Nicene tradition in order to appeal to its potency and role in the work of interpretation.
R. R. Reno, General Editor