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.
“At the moment of his deepest despair and as he recalled his bitter affliction, a remarkable transition in his attitude took place. His hopelessness expressed in vv. 18–20 turned to hope as he remembered the Lord.” (Page 473)
“First, the role of the prophet in ancient Israel was ‘to nurture, nourish, and evoke a consciousness and perception alternative to the consciousness and perception of the dominant culture around us.’” (Page 35)
“The unbroken mood of despair was displaced by a beautiful affirmation of hope in spite of suffering (cf. Job 1:21; Hab 3:17–18; Rom 5:3; 1 Pet 4:12–13). The basis for renewed hope is God’s ‘great love.’ The Hebrew word hesed, sometimes translated as ‘covenant love’ or ‘loyal love,’ is a word that has the basic meaning of loyalty or faithfulness, especially as related to the covenant initiated by God; the word involves obligations to family, friends, and the community.8 Another basis of hope is God’s unfailing ‘compassions’ (raḥămîm; from a word related to the womb, it describes the tender, caring love of a mother), which are experienced in a fresh and new way every day.” (Page 473)
“Lamentations 3:25–27 reveals some qualities of genuine faith: (1) belief in God’s goodness to those who trust in him; (2) confidently and without complaint waiting for God’s help; and (3) willingness to accept hardship and testing, knowing that they strengthen faith. Those who truly trust in the Lord do not complain or despair even when in trouble (cf. Pss 34:9; 86:5; Isa 30:15; Matt 11:28–30). Those who learn in youth10 to bear suffering are better prepared for the hardships that may come in old age.” (Page 474)