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Galatians, Ephesians (Reformation Commentary on Scripture) Hardcover – October 9, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


"Like the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, the Reformation Commentary on Scripture does a masterful job of offering excellent selections from well-known and not-so-well-known exegetes. The editor's introductory survey is, by itself, worth the price of the book. It is easy to forget that there were more hands, hearts and minds involved in the Reformation than Luther and Calvin. Furthermore, encounters even with these figures are often limited to familiar quotes on familiar topics. However, the Reformation Commentary helps us to recognize the breadth and depth of exegetical interests and skill that fueled and continue to fuel faithful meditation on God's Word. I heartily recommend this series as a tremendous resource not only for ministry but for personal edification." (Michael S. Horton, J. G. Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary, California)

"Why was this not done before? The publication of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture should be greeted with enthusiasm by every believing Christian--but especially by those who will preach and teach the Word of God. This commentary series brings the very best of the Reformation heritage to the task of exegesis and exposition, and each volume in this series represents a veritable feast that takes us back to the sixteenth century to enrich the preaching and teaching of God's Word in our own time." (R. Albert Mohler Jr., president, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)

"The Reformers discerned rightly what the church desperately needed in the sixteenth century--the bold proclamation of the Word based on careful study of the sacred Scriptures. We need not only to hear that same call again for our own day, but also to learn from the Reformation how to do it. This commentary series is a godsend!" (Richard J. Mouw, president, Fuller Theological Seminary)

"Protestant reformers were fundamentally exegetes as much as theologians, yet (except for figures like Luther and Calvin) their commentaries and sermons have been neglected because these writings are not available in modern editions or languages. That makes this new series of Reformation Commentary on Scripture most welcome as a way to provide access to some of the wealth of biblical exposition of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The editor’s introduction explains the nature of the sources and the selection process; the intended audience of modern pastors and students of the Bible has led to a focus on theological and practical comments. Although it will be of use to students of the Reformation, this series is far from being an esoteric study of largely forgotten voices; this collection of reforming comments, comprehending every verse and provided with topical headings, will serve contemporary pastors and preachers very well." (Elsie Anne McKee, Archibald Alexander Professor of Reformation Studies and the History of Worship, Princeton Theological Seminary)

"Discerning the true significance of movements in theology requires acquaintance with their biblical exegesis. This is supremely so with the Reformation, which was essentially a biblical revival. The Reformation Commentary on Scripture will fill a yawning gap, just as the Ancient Christian Commentary did before it, and the first volume gets the series off to a fine start, whetting the appetite for more. Most heartily do I welcome and commend this long overdue project." (J. I. Packer, Board of Governors Professor of Theology, Regent College)

"The format of this volume makes it eminently usable either for extended reading or for single reference for devotional or scholarly purpose." (James L. Boyce, Lutheran Quarterly, Volume XXVII (2013))

"The Reformation Commentary on Scripture is a major publishing event--for those with historical interest in the founding convictions of Protestantism, but even more for those who care about understanding the Bible. As with IVP Academic's earlier Ancient Christian Commentary, this effort brings flesh and blood to 'the communion of saints' by letting believers of our day look over the shoulders of giants from the past. By connecting the past with the present, and by doing so with the Bible at the center, the editors of this series perform a great service for the church. The series deserves the widest possible support." (Mark A. Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History, University of Notre Dame)

"I strongly endorse the Reformation Commentary on Scripture. Introducing how the Bible was interpreted during the age of the Reformation, these volumes will not only renew contemporary preaching but they will also help us understand more fully how reading and meditating on Scripture can, in fact, change our lives!" (Lois Malcolm, associate professor of systematic theology, Luther Seminary)

"The Reformation Commentary on Scripture series promises to be an 'open sesame' to the biblical exegesis, exposition and application of the Bible that was the hallmark of the Reformation. While comparisons can be odious, the difference between Reformation commentary and exposition and much that both preceded and followed it is laid bare in these pages: whereas others write about the Bible from the outside, Reformation exposition carries with it the atmosphere of men who spoke and wrote from inside the Bible, experiencing the power of biblical teaching even as they expounded it. . . . This grand project sets before scholars, pastors, teachers, students and growing Christians an experience that can only be likened to stumbling into a group Bible study only to discover that your fellow participants include some of the most significant Christians of the Reformation and post-Reformation (for that matter, of any) era. Here the Word of God is explained in a variety of accents: German, Swiss, French, Dutch, English, Scottish and more. Each one vibrates with a thrilling sense of the living nature of God's Word and its power to transform individuals, churches and even whole communities. Here is a series to anticipate, enjoy and treasure." (Sinclair Ferguson, senior minister, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, South Carolina)

"Today more than ever, the Christian past is the church's future. InterVarsity Press has already brought the voice of the ancients to our ears. Now, in the Reformation Commentary on Scripture, we hear a timely word from the first Protestants as well." (Bryan Litfin, Associate Professor of Theology, Moody Bible Institute)

"Gerald Bray has done the church a great service in preparing this commentary, as have IVP, Timothy George, and all those associated with the RCS project. I hope that this volume will be widely used and that readers will be enthused by the short selections to read more widely and deeply in the biblical interpretation of the Reformation. We look forward eagerly to further volumes in this series." (Alistair I. Wilson, Haddington House Journal 2013)

"Galatians, Ephesians includes in-depth but accessible introductions by world-class Reformation scholars to Reformation interpretations of each book in the Bible." (CBA Retailers + Resources, November 2011)

"For those who preach and teach Scripture in the church, the Reformation Commentary on Scripture is a significant publishing event. Pastors and other church leaders will find delightful surprises, challenging enigmas and edifying insights in this series, as many Reformational voices are newly translated into English. The lively conversation in these pages can ignite today's pastoral imagination for fresh and faithful expositions of Scripture." (J. Todd Billings, Associate Professor of Reformed Theology, Western Theological Seminary)

"Since Gerhard Ebeling's pioneering work on Luther's exegesis seventy years ago, the history of biblical interpretation has occupied many Reformation scholars and become a vital part of study of the period. The Reformation Commentary on Scripture provides fresh materials for students of Reformation-era biblical interpretation and for twenty-first-century preachers to mine the rich stores of insights from leading Reformers of the sixteenth century into both the text of Scripture itself and its application in sixteenth-century contexts. This series will strengthen our understanding of the period of the Reformation and enable us to apply its insights to our own days and its challenges to the church." (Robert Kolb, Mission Professor of Systematic Theology and director of the Institute for Mission Studies, Concordia Theological Seminary)

"This volume of the RCS project is an invaluable source for pastors and the historically/biblically interested that provides unparalleled access not only to commentaries of the leading Protestant Reformers but also to a host of nowadays unknown commentaters. The RCS is sure to enhance and enliven contemporary exegesis. With its wide scope, the collection will enrich our understanding of the variety of Reformation thought and biblical exegesis." (Sigrun Haude, associate professor of Reformation and early modern European history, University of Cincinnati)

"This series provides an excellent introduction to the history of biblical exegesis in the Reformation period. The introductions are accurate, clear and informative and the passages intelligently chosen to give the reader a good idea of methods deployed and issues at stake. It puts precritical exegesis in its context and so presents it in its correct light. Highly recommended as reference book, course book and general reading for students and all interested lay and clerical readers." (Irena Backus, professor, Institut d'histoire de la Réformation, Université de Genève)

"I am delighted to see the Reformation Commentary on Scripture. The editors of this series have done us all a service by gleaning from these rich fields of biblical reflection. May God use this new life for these old words to give him glory and to build his church." (Mark Dever, senior pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, and director of Ministries)

"There is no telling the benefits to emerge from the publication of this magnificent Reformation Commentary on Scripture series! Now exegetical and theological treasures from Reformation era commentators will be at our fingertips, providing new insights from old sources to give light for the present and future. This series is a gift to scholars and to the church; a wonderful resource to enhance our study of the written Word of God for generations to come!" (Donald K. McKim, executive editor of theology and reference, Westminster/John Knox Press)

"The multivolume Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture is a valuable resource for those who wish to know how the Fathers interpreted a passage of Scripture but who lack the time or the opportunity to search through the many individual works. This new Reformation Commentary on Scripture will do the same for the Reformers and is to be warmly welcomed. It will provide much easier access to the exegetical treasures of the Reformation and will hopefully encourage readers to go back to some of the original works themselves." (Anthony N. S. Lane, Professor of Historical Theology and director of research, London School of Theology)

"Monumental and magisterial, the Reformation Commentary on Scripture, edited by Timothy George, is a remarkably bold and visionary undertaking. Bringing together a wealth of resources, these volumes will provide historians, theologians, biblical scholars, pastors and students with a fresh look at the exegetical insights of those who shaped and influenced the sixteenth-century Reformation. With this marvelous publication, InterVarsity Press has reached yet another plateau of excellence. We pray that this superb series will be used of God to strengthen both church and academy." (David S. Dockery, president, Union University)

"I intend to use this book a lot. My lectures, sermons, PowerPoints, and private devotions will be enriched because of it. I would recommend, if you cannot afford it, sell something on eBay and buy it, you won't regret it! This is a precious volume and deserves the widest readership from the person in the pew to the pastor in the pulpit. I cannot wait for the next volume!" (Martin Williams, Vox Reformata, 2012)

"The Reformation Scripture principle set the entirety of Christian life and thought under the governance of the divine Word, and pressed the church to renew its exegetical labors. This series promises to place before the contemporary church the fruit of those labors, and so to exemplify life under the Word." (John Webster, Chair of Systematic Theology, University of Aberdeen)

"The Reformation was ignited by a fresh reading of Scripture. In this series of commentaries, we contemporary interpreters are allowed to feel some of the excitement, surprise and wonder of our spiritual forebears. Luther, Calvin and their fellow revolutionaries were masterful interpreters of the Word. Now, in this remarkable series, some of our very best Reformation scholars open up the riches of the Reformation's reading of the Scripture." (William H. Willimon, bishop of the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church)

About the Author

Gerald L. Bray (Ph.D., La Sorbonne) is a professor at Beeson Divinity School of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, and director of research at Latimer Trust. He has written and edited a number of books on different theological subjects. A priest of the Church of England, Bray has also edited the post-Reformation Anglican canons.


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Product Details

  • Series: Reformation Commentary on Scripture
  • Hardcover: 446 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic (October 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830829733
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830829736
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,067,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Bouma on October 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Imagine that you and I and some friends are invited to a dinner party. We don't know any specific details other than the other invited guests are heavy hitters in biblical and theological circles. Since we love the Bible and theology and a good discussion of both--especially when there's good food and even better drink involved--we clear the calendar and make plans for our own little night of the Inklings.

When we arrive we are greeted with the smells of delicacies and sounds of drink-infused discussion. As we make our way deeper into the large Victorian-era home our eyes can hardly believe the sight before us: around a massive dining table are seated all of the well-known and not-so-well-known thinkers, preachers, theologians, scholars, and revolutionaries from the Protestant Reformation. There's Theodore Beza, the French reformed pastor and professor who succeeded John Calvin as leader of the French Reformed ecclesial communities. There's the Dominican friar turned Reformer Martin Bucer. In the corner is the famed Martin Luther nursing a third (or perhaps fifth?) German Doppelbock. Dutch humanist and scholar Desiderius Erasmus is getting the evil eye from Luther across the room. Of course John Calvin is in a heated debate with Jacobus Arminius over predestination and divine foreknowledge. And then there's the company of not-as-well-knowns: Rudolf Gwalther, Jean Diodati, Georg Maior, Wolfgang Musculus, Kasper Olevianus, and several others.

This is quite the party. And you're invited!

That's what IVP's new Reformation Commentary on Scripture series is like.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jacob Sweeney on October 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Evangelicals have been suffering from an identity crisis. I believe we have lost a sense of connection to the past. That loss of connection has left us immature and ill-equipped to address concerns and conflicts that face us. Edmund Burke has said that "those who don't know history are destined to repeat it". History has many lessons to teach us. But we can only learn those lessons if we are willing to listen to voices past.

Fortunately for us the Reformation Commentary on Scripture has published its inaugural volume. Editor Gerald Bray and General Editor Timothy George have given a great gift to contemporary Christians with this volume. It is appropriate that the first volume in a series focusing on the Reformation and the Reformers would be on Galatians.

There are many strengths that I would like to highlight:

First, this volume (and series) brings together a wealth of resources. This is not just a collection of Luther's comments on Galatians, or John Calvin's or Zwingli's. In fact those men are included, but so are many, many others - Erasmus, Williams Perkins, among mant others. Their comments on Scripture are insightful and extremely helpful. Without this volume their insight would be lost to but a few - and those probably only scholars of history. They are all brought together in one binding for the pastor, professor or educated lay-men to explore.

Second, it reads like a normal commentary. That may seem obvious, but imagine the frustration you would experience if each reformer's commentary was in a section of its own. It would be cumbersome to flip between Luther, Calvin, Erasmus, Perkins, Musculus and Gwalther. Instead, each is integrated under the appropriate passage. Thus they are all accessible quickly and intuitively.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jamie J. on January 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I received this first volume in what is likely to be an outstanding series. Reading the comments of the great leaders of the Reformation on the subjects addressed by the Apostle Paul, is a deeply profound, religious experience. Unlike contemporary theologians, whose views of the gospel message are often intermixed with humanistic, New Age, or various political ideologies, the Reformers re-introduce the reader to the true meaning of the text. Reading this book is slow, because the content is so very profound.

It should be noted that the comments of the Reformers are culled sometimes from lectures or sermons on the same theme as well as specific biblical teachings from that era. This series will not have the form-critical or textual analysis typical of modern commentaries. Speculative theories regarding authorship, sources, possible editorial glosses are absent, thankfully! The focus is on the theological meaning.

This series will nourish the reader with a spiritual feast! This alone sets this series apart for the preacher, student of historical theology, or those simply wanting to grow deeper in their faith and understanding of Protestant spirituality. I am looking forward to the the next edition in this series, definitely!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Clint Walker VINE VOICE on November 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
For the last several years, Intervarsity Press has published a set of Bible commentaries that have won critical acclaim. This wonderful series is the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. In this set of commentaries, the editors of each volume bring together the best of the Church Fathers and other leaders of the early church.

Now, Intervarsity Press has begun the project of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture, which is a Bible commentary that highlights the best of the Reformation scholarship on Scriptural interpretation. Going through the whole Bible, each volume will highlight what the Reformers said about a particular passage or text on Scripture.

This is very exciting, because the Reformation brought about a revolution in Scriptural interpretation and insight. Much of the most significant theological work ever done was done during the Reformation era, especially if one is a Protestant Christian. And since the Reformation happened soon after the development of the printing press, writing of theology during the Reformation era was more plenteous that at any point before.

I just received a review copy of the first volume in the set from Intervarsity Press. It is a commentary on the Biblical books of Galatians and Ephesians. I could not be more impressed.

First of all, both the series introduction and the introduction to this specific volume are wonderful to read. Each could stand alone as both enjoyable reading and impressive scholarship apart from the commentary. I particularly enjoyed George bringing attention to the fact that good scholarship and pastoral ministry were not separate ventures in the Reformation Era.
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