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Luke (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible) Hardcover – May 1, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"Always attentive to the text and sensitive to the historical background, especially the Old Testament, David Lyle Jeffrey opens the reader's eyes to the literary artistry, spiritual drama, and theological depth of Luke's portrait of Jesus's life, teaching, death, and resurrection. Drawing deeply from the wellspring of the church's living tradition, Jeffrey's commentary allows us to hear anew the voice of the Evangelist as it's been born by the Holy Spirit down through the ages into our own life and time. Beautifully written, this volume will prove equally valuable for study or contemplation, preaching or prayer. Truly one of the exemplary works in this popular series."
--Scott Hahn, St. Vincent Seminary/Franciscan University of Steubenville

"Brazos commentaries assert that in the interpretation of scripture 'dogma clarifies rather than obscures'--a controversial pudding, which critics sometimes deem underwhelming in the proof. David Jeffrey's fresh take on this genre mounts an energetic rebuttal: he brings to bear a lifetime's treasury of literary learning in the Christian tradition, deployed with outstanding sensitivity to the gospel's texture and to the life-giving witness of its faithful readers through the ages. With its exciting, theologically vibrant range of reference across twenty centuries of interpretation, this is a terrific contribution. No commentary of this kind can hope to cross every exegete's 't' or to dot every dogmatician's 'i'. But Jeffrey on Luke brings the evangelist to life for us on a brilliant exegetical and theological tour of attentive gospel interpretation down the ages. It's a gem. Take and read!"
--Markus Bockmuehl, Keble College, University of Oxford

"Drawing on a rich pallet of historic Christian reflection, Jeffrey provides an exposition of Luke that invites one into a spiritually rich engagement with this Gospel. In Jeffrey's hands the giants of the past, the wider context of scripture, and key features of the text itself direct our focus to the Jesus to whom Luke bears testimony."
--John Nolland, Trinity College Bristol

"A work of such literary beauty and theological bounty as Luke's Gospel demands an interpreter steeped in the thick literary and theological heritage of Christian thought. In this lively and learned commentary, distinguished humanities scholar David Lyle Jeffrey clears the bar with room to spare. An invaluable resource for understanding and proclaiming Luke's good news."
--F. Scott Spencer, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond

From the Back Cover

The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible enlists leading theologians to read and interpret scripture creedally for the twenty-first century, just as the church fathers, the Reformers, and other orthodox Christians did for their times and places. Luke, like each commentary in the series, is designed to serve the church and demonstrate the continuing intellectual and practical viability of theological interpretation of the Bible.

"Could it be that God intends us to read Luke's Gospel for spiritual nourishment? If so, there could hardly be a better guide than David Lyle Jeffrey. This commentary is vintage Jeffrey, with his winning prose, literary sensitivity, and unmatched familiarity with Christian spiritual guides of the past--from Chrysostom and Bede to Aquinas and the medieval Franciscans--and the most notable exegetes and theologians writing today. Jeffrey also attends to the insights that can be gleaned from the great Christian poets whom he knows so well. The connection between learning about Jesus and loving Jesus is on full display in this beautiful work."
--Matthew Levering, University of Dayton

"Only a genuine 'lover of God' can reflect on Luke's Gospel with the kind of eloquent beauty that David Lyle Jeffrey displays in this commentary. Drawing on a wide range of earlier 'lovers of God' throughout the centuries--commentators, painters, and poets--this book is living testimony that reading in line with faithful readers throughout the centuries makes us enter more deeply into Luke's portrayal of the beauty of divine redemption."
--Hans Boersma, Regent College

"It is sheer delight to encounter David Lyle Jeffrey's beautiful, soaring prose about Luke, the most beautiful book ever written. With both 'polish and secular eloquence'--to echo Thomas Aquinas's characterization of the third evangelist--Jeffrey 'opens up' the rich subtleties and intricate ironies of Luke's elucidation of why Jesus of Nazareth matters. Seldom do we find such thick theological description presented in such artistically textured speech. Learn from a master and never be the same again!"
--David P. Moessner, University of Dubuque/University of Pretoria

General editor: R. R. Reno (Creighton University)
Series editors: Robert W. Jenson (Center of Theological Inquiry)
Robert Louis Wilken (University of Virginia)
Ephraim Radner (Wycliffe College, University of Toronto)
Michael Root (Catholic University of America)
George Sumner (Wycliffe College, University of Toronto)

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Product Details

  • Series: Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Brazos Press (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587431416
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587431418
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #795,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Stuart Dunn TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I am always on the lookout for more commentaries. I have a core four in commentary series that I rely on, but I am always on the look out for more. Recently I have been introduced to Brazos Theological Commentary. Unlike the commentaries above, Brazos commentaries are not written strictly by Catholics or strictly by Orthodox or strictly by Protestants. I'm not sure how I feel about this, but I am willing to give the series a shot on a book-by-book basis. Today, I will be reviewing their commentary on Luke.

The Brazos commentary on Luke by David Lyle Jeffrey is one of the more recent volumes in this series, but the first one I have had the chance to study and read. I must admit that I have never heard of Dr. Jeffrey, and it was the endorsements of Scott Hahn and Matthew Levering that sold me on this being a worthwhile volume in a series, with which I am unfamiliar. It turns out that Dr. Jeffrey "is known as a medievalist and as a scholar of biblical tradition in Western Literature and art." He is also a professor or literature and humanities at Baylor. This shows in the way he approaches his commentary on Luke.

The first thing I noticed about this commentary is the format. Almost every commentary I own, has the Scriptural text at the top of the page or in a block quote before the commentary. This one does not, so you will need a Bible to reference specific passages when studying with this book.. Dr. Jeffrey opts for three versions of the Bible - King James (KJV), New King James (NKJV), and Revised Standard (RSV). I'm not a fan of the first two, but that's a personal preference. The second thing I noticed was that unlike other commentaries, this isn't a verse-by-verse commentary. I have mixed feelings on this. On the one hand, I'm used to the verse-by-verse format.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Buying commentaries is a hazard of the job of preparing sermons. From that experience I have a generalization. Commentaries come in three strains: 1) those written for laymen and women which sadly tend to be insipid, 2) those written for academics which also tend to be insipid for completely different reasons and 3) those written by the author for his or her best student. Within a couple of pages you know what you have. The first two strains fail for similar reasons, neither respects the reader. Bluntly put, the commentary written today for the laity assumes that reader is an idiot. Unfortunately by adopting that pose they fail to actually teach anything. The academic commentary is not written for the larger reader. The larger reader is a necessary capitalist means compared to the true ends of career advancement and arguing small academic points to a small inner audience. Only the last strain is worth the time. The writer who has something large to say about a subject they love and is saying it to someone they respect and hope to influence.

The Brazos series of commentaries would have seemed to be the perfect place to have found that. It sets out unapologetically as a doctrinal and theological commentary. What that really means is adopting the presuppositions of the church and not the academy. You will not find within that framework detailed discussions about "what really happened" in miracle accounts. Nor would you necessarily find 80 page analyses about why the book was actually written by a "Lukan Community" in the 3rd century instead of by someone named Luke who happened to be the traveling companion of St. Paul. Nor a bunch of other non-sense driven by materialist presuppositions ashamed of the gospel. The series does not give its pinch of salt to academic deities.
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Format: Hardcover
There is much to like in this Bible commentary from Brazos Press on the Gospel of Luke written by David Lyle Jeffrey. Depending on the reader's perspective and expectation, Bible commentaries can be very "hit or miss" when it comes to reviews. I think it helps (it helps me) to have an understanding that there is no definitive or "one size fits all" commentary. While I expected this volume to be a solid work of interpretation, I was pleasantly surprised with the level of deep theology calling on the wisdom of the ancient church as well as the melding of some of the most brilliant contemporary theologians expressed in such conversational prose.

The premise of the Brazos Theological Commentary is to "read and interpret Scripture creedally for the twenty-first century, just as the church fathers, the Reformers, and other orthodox Christians did for their times and places." This premise makes this series unique in that it does not attempt to be completely exegetical or expository in nature, nor is it purely the playground for the seminarian and/or academic. I have already used the word "conversational" to describe the writing style, but I think a more accurate assessment might be to say that the book reads as though I were listening to a lecture. I read a lot of theological works and I did not find this the least bit intimidating to read or "stuffy" in my ability to understand.

The book is well documented with footnotes and bibliography. As I have mentioned, for a smallish book, as far as commentaries go, Jeffrey has included a staggering amount of references spanning all two-thousand years of the Church history.
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