Since a commentary is a fundamental tool for the expositor or teacher who seeks to interpret and apply Scripture in the church or classroom, the NAC focuses on communicating the theological structure and content of each biblical book. The writers seek to illuminate both the historical meaning and contemporary significance of Holy Scripture.
In its attempt to make a unique contribution to the Christian community, the NAC focuses on two concerns. First, the commentary emphasizes how each section of a book fits together so that the reader becomes aware of the theological unity of each book and of Scripture as a whole. The writers, however, remain aware of the Bible’s inherently rich variety. Second, the NAC is produced with the conviction that the Bible primarily belongs to the church. We believe that scholarship and the academy provide an indispensable foundation for biblical understanding and the service of Christ, but the editors and authors of this series have attempted to communicate the findings of their research in a manner that will build up the whole body of Christ. Thus, the commentary concentrates on theological exegesis, while providing practical, applicable exposition.
“Jehoshaphat’s first response was fear, an appropriate response in the circumstances. Jahaziel later counseled, ‘Do not fear’ (v. 17), counsel that occurs 365 times in the Bible, enough for each day’s quota of fearful situations.42 Jehoshaphat’s second response was (literally) to ‘give his face to seek Yahweh.’ In fact, the two verbs ‘feared and gave’ begin the verse in Hebrew almost as one verb. Jehoshaphat knew how to deal with fear. Seeking the Lord is stressed here with two synonyms, the first (dāraš) translated ‘inquire’ and the other (biqqēš) translated ‘seek’ (see comments at 14:4). In this emergency situation Judah expressed their serious need for divine help by fasting.” (Page 293)
“The whole incident reminds us that even our enthusiasm for God can cause us to forget the holiness of God and the need to fear him. Doing what we believe to be God’s will in a way that violates God’s Word is wrong and displeases God.” (Page 129)
“At any rate, the Samuel passage suggests that the sinful designs of Satan and David were used by the Lord as agents of his wrath.” (Page 161)
“Even if there was a disparity in the forces, with the Lord fighting for Israel they were assured of success. The substance of the oracle is restated in v. 17 with a quotation from Exod 14:13. The God who had parted the Red Sea had not changed in hundreds of years, and he is still the same today (cf. Isa 52:10; Zech 9:9). The assurance of God’s presence was more than a theological statement; it was to be a source of strength.” (Page 294)
The late John A. Thompson was the first director of the Australian Institute of Archaeology in Melbourne. While in Melbourne, he lectured in the School of Middle Eastern Studies at the University, and was lecturer in Old Testament studies in the Baptist Theological College of New South Wales. Making a special study of biblical archaeology, Thompson engaged in field work with ASOR at Roman Jericho and at Dibon in Transjordan. He held degrees from the University of Queensland and the University of Melbourne in science, the arts, and divinity. His doctorate came from the University of Cambridge, UK, in Oriental Studies. He authored The Bible and Archaeology as well as the volume on 1st & 2nd Chronicles that is part of The New American Commentary (31 vols.).