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.
“First, it was important that the people understand who they were, where they originated, and what their God intended for them in the years to come.” (Page 26)
“Deuteronomy, as will be demonstrated hereafter, is not a second law but an amplification and advancement of the covenant text first articulated to Moses and Israel at Sinai nearly forty years earlier.” (Page 22)
“The legislation here neither commands nor condones divorce in general but only regulates its practice for ancient Israel” (Page 316)
“Then in strongly evangelical terms Moses equated faithful compliance with the covenant to righteousness (v. 25). The word used here is ṣĕdāqâ, the very one applied to Abraham as a result of his having believed in the Lord (Gen 15:6).109 Later Judaism wrongly concluded that covenant keeping was the basis for righteousness rather than an expression of faithful devotion. But true covenant keeping in the final analysis is a matter of faith, not merely of works and ritual. Thus the central feature of the covenant stipulations is their providing a vehicle by which genuine saving faith might be displayed (cf. Deut 24:13; Hab 2:4; Rom 1:17; 4:1–5; Gal 3:6–7).” (Page 175)
“Moses continues his exposition of the content of the covenant principles by focusing on the Lord as the source of all blessing, both past and future.131 He begins this new section by calling attention to the need to base all belief and behavior on the covenant relationship, one reduced here to the single word ‘command’ (miṣwâ, v. 1).” (Page 185)
Eugene Merrill (1934– ) is an Old Testament scholar who currently serves as distinguished professor of Old Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. He has also taught at Bob Jones University, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Berkshire Christian College. Merrill served as the president of the Evangelical Theological Society in 2010 and has been involved in international Christian ministry in Europe, Asia, and the Near East.
Merrill attended Bob Jones University where he earned his BA, MA in Bible, and PhD in Old Testament interpretation. He also earned an MA in Jewish studies at New York University, MPhil and PhD in Middle East languages and culture at Columbia University, and completed research at Tyndale House in Cambridge.
Merrill has published several books and contributed to many collaborative projects. His works include An Historical Survey of the Old Testament, 2nd ed., Kingdom of Priests: A History of Old Testament Israel, 2nd ed., Haggai, Zechariah & Malachi: An Exegetical Commentary, and The New American Commentary: Deuteronomy.