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Believers Church Bible Commentary (24 vols.)
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Overview

The Believers Church Bible Commentary Series is published for all who seek more fully to understand the original message of Scripture and its meaning for today. These commentaries, informed by recent scholarship, are detailed, yet accessible. They are written for lay leaders, teachers, pastors, college and seminary students, and all those searching the Bible for truth and life. The series is based on the conviction that God is still speaking to all who will listen, and that the Holy Spirit makes the Word a living and authoritative guide for all who want to know and do God’s will.

The Believers Church Bible Commentary is a cooperative project of Brethren in Christ Church, Brethren Church, Church of the Brethren, Mennonite Brethren Church, and Mennonite Church. The writers place each section of Scripture in the perspective of the whole Bible and bring it into conversation with the past and present experience of God’s people in the world.

Each volume illuminates the Scriptures by providing historical and cultural background, explaining theological, sociological, and ethical meanings, and making “the rough places plain” throughout. Critical issues are also addressed and explained with the lay leader in mind.

Overall Outline

The commentaries are organized into sections according to the major divisions of the text. Each section is comprised of five parts in order to provide a balance of exegesis, theological reflection, and life appropriation:

  • An introductory Preview
  • A summary Outline of the section
  • Explanatory Notes
  • Text in Biblical Context
  • Text in the Life of the Church

The two focused articles at the end of each chapter, “The Text in Biblical Context” and “The Text in the Life of the Church,” are unique features of this series. Especially in the latter, Believers Church perspectives come through clearly. These include believers baptism, commitment to the Rule of Christ (Matthew 18:15–20) as part of the meaning of church membership, belief in the power of love in all relationships, and a willingness to follow the way of the cross of Christ.

There are comprehensive outlines, biographical aids, helpful charts, indexes, maps, glossaries, and essays on points that need further development.

The BCBC series represents the Anabaptist Believers Church tradition as a key perspective for interpretation.

Individual Titles

Genesis

  • Author: Eugene F. Roop
  • Publisher: Herald Press
  • Publication Date: 1987
  • Pages: 350

Eugene F. Roop focuses on the rich story line that traces the development of a community of faith in Genesis. He explores the important theological motifs of the book and their implications for our lives today. These themes include creation, disaster and reaction, promise and fulfillment, and infertility and blessing. This commentary grew out of the study of Genesis in the congregational and seminary community. It is intended to promote and enhance study in those settings.

Eugene F. Roop is president of Bethany Theological Seminary, Richmond, Indiana, and Wieand Professor of Biblical Studies there. He has served as a pastor in the Church of the Brethren and is author of several books.

Exodus

  • Author: Waldemar Janzen
  • Publisher: Herald Press
  • Publication Date: 2000
  • Pages: 480

Waldemar Janzen (Mennonite Church) offers a fresh approach to the book of Exodus. The liberation from Egypt is a prelude to Israel’s unique calling to model before the nations a new life of service under God. Exodus portrays how God, through his servant Moses, wages a dramatic battle with Egypt’s mighty ruler for the release of enslaved Israel.

After wresting Israel from Pharaoh’s enslavement, God fights for the soul of his doubting and resistant people. Even after Israel’s covenant commitment to be God’s “priestly kingdom and holy nation,” Israel breaks away again.

God’s grace wrests Israel away once more, this time from captivity to its own doubts, fears, and self-centeredness. In the last chapters, Exodus portrays a people focused in faith on the imageless presence of God in its midst.

Overall, Janzen’s commentary on Exodus offers lucid and balanced guidance for reading Exodus, a book that is so central to the thought and witness of Christian faith.

Review of Biblical Literature

Janzen’s sensitivity to the theological texture and narrative drama of Exodus, coupled with his engaging, personal style of presentation, makes his commentary eminently useful as a source of theological reflection for pastors and lay people of all faith traditions.

William P. Brown, Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Virginia

Waldemar Janzen is Professor Emeritus of Old Testament and German, and continues to teach on a part-time basis. Among Janzen’s published works are Mourning Cry and Woe Oracle, Still in the Image: Essays in Old Testament Theology and Anthropology, Old Testament Ethics: A Paradigmatic Approach, and many articles and chapters in scholarly as well as popular publications.

Judges

  • Author: Terry L. Brensinger
  • Publisher: Herald Press
  • Publication Date: 1999
  • Pages: 252

Terry L. Brensinger explains the ups and downs of the Israelites during the period of the Judges. By tracing developments under each judge, he shows how Israel’s condition deteriorates to near-total chaos. The book of Judges begins with depictions of Israel’s obedience and faithfulness but ends with disunited and leaderless tribes. The people tend to take their focus away from serving the Lord. Instead, they follow other gods, seek false security, and do what is right in their own eyes.

By exploring the circumstances behind this decline, Brensinger provides practical applications for such contemporary issues as religious unfaithfulness, the nature of community, the roles and responsibilities of leaders, and war and violence.

Brensinger addresses an ecumenical audience from the perspective of a believers church in a reciprocal relationship with the Bible. He deals with problems of violence and war, while holding to the biblical mandate of peace. With pastoral and scholarly background, Brensinger provides all the basics one expects. He identifies with the faith of the biblical writer, who struggles with the vision of Moses and reaches toward the great prophets and Jesus.

—Millard C. Lind, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Indiana

Terry L. Brensinger serves as professor of biblical studies and chair of the biblical studies, religion, and philosophy department at Messiah College, Grantham, Pennsylvania. Before he began teaching at Messiah in 1985, he pastored churches in Columbia, Kentucky, and in New York City. 1992–93, he served as visiting professor of biblical studies at Daystar University in Nairobi, Kenya. 1992–93, he was a scholar in residence at the Ecumenical Institute (Tantur) in Jerusalem.

Ruth, Jonah, Esther

  • Author: Eugene F. Roop
  • Publisher: Herald Press
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Pages: 298

Eugene F. Roop focuses on three of the Bible’s most compelling short stories, Ruth, Jonah, and Esther. He draws attention to distinctive narrative characteristics of these three magnificent dramas. Such scrutiny opens new vistas of interpretation that can undergird the faith, life, and neighborly relations of the church.

Each narrative features intense interaction among the characters and, in the case of Jonah, with God. As we enter the world of these struggles and events, Roop hopes we will experience in the narratives something of their sorrow and laughter, hope and faithful loyalty, and grasp of God’s mercy and grace.

The strength of the Anabaptist hermeneutic is its sensitivity to the human elements of the biblical text and the practical implications of the biblical message for believers today. In both regards, Eugene Roop’s work on Ruth, Jonah and Esther is outstanding. Combining the best of recent scholarship with a high regard for the authority of Scripture, Roop makes us all grateful that these three short books have been preserved in the canon for our inspiration and edification.

Daniel I. Block, Gunther H. Knoedler Professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College

Eugene F. Roop is president of Bethany Theological Seminary, Richmond, Indiana, and Wieand Professor of Biblical Studies there. He has served as a pastor in the Church of the Brethren and is author of several books.

Psalms

  • Author: James H. Waltner
  • Publisher: Herald Press
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Pages: 838

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The influence of the book of Psalms is immense, both in terms of the worship of God’s people and in the spiritual experience of countless individuals. James H. Waltner aims to help readers find their way through Psalms, encounter God, and be led into obedience and praise.

James Waltner’s immense study of the Psalms merits close attention and wide use. It is a commentary that is well informed on critical issues but, more importantly, is alive and alert to theological, pastoral concerns. Waltner reads the Psalms in and for the church, and makes connections that will serve the pastoral, liturgical, devotional life of the church. We can be grateful for this important contribution.

Walter Brueggemann, William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary

Like the Psalms themselves, Waltner’s commentary should inspire a deeper learning of God’s ways and a deeper devotion to the God who listens. Quite readable and clear, Waltner’s style keeps the reader’s interest and provides the reader with a deep respect for the sublime poetry of the Psalms.

—Craig Boyles, professor of religious studies, Trinity Western University

James H. Waltner served as a pastor for 38 years in Mennonite congregations in Kansas, California, Illinois and Indiana. With specific interests in biblical studies, he has taught courses in the Psalms at Bethel College, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, and Bible lectures.

Ecclesiastes

  • Author: Douglas Miller
  • Publisher: Herald Press
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 300

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In this volume, Doug Miller respects the pastoral and theological contribution of Ecclesiastes, without muting its critique of simplistic and comfortable approaches to the life of faith. It is particularly useful for Christians who need a fresh look at the insights of this ancient sage in an era of uncertain identity, the flux of worldviews, and the elusiveness of truth.

This is a superb volume . . . Douglas Miller enables us to see how tremendously appropriate Ecclesiastes is for our times.

—Marva J. Dawn, author of Being Well When We’re Ill

A gift to the church and a wonderful guide for anyone reading Ecclesiastes . . . pastors and students should have this book in their libraries.

Ray Van Leeuwen, professor of biblical studies, Eastern University

A journey through Ecclesiastes with Miller’s helpful insights is well worth the trip!

—Steven Schweitzer, academic dean and associate professor of Old Testament, Bethany Theological Seminary

Miller’s commentary invites us to include the writer of Ecclesiastes as a trustworthy companion through the twists and turns of our journey of life.

—Lydia Neufeld Harder, Toronto School of Theology

This commentary is a must read for the believer who faces fear and uncertainty in a quest for a deeper faith.

—Bob Neff, former general secretary of the Church of the Brethren

Douglas B. Miller is professor of biblical and religious studies at Tabor College, Hillsboro, Kansas, and has published articles in church and scholarly periodicals as well as in collections of essays. His previous books include Symbol and Rhetoric in Ecclesiastes and An Akkadian Handbook. Miller served as general editor of Direction journal for ten years. He is currently the Old Testament editor for the Believers Church Bible Commentary series. He is a graduate of Oral Roberts University (BA), Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary (M.Div.), and Princeton Theological Seminary (PhD in Old Testament).

Proverbs

  • Author: John W. Miller
  • Publisher: Herald Press
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Pages: 351

This volume is unique for its detailed uncovering of evidence for two editions of Proverbs, a first in the time of Solomon and a second in support of King Hezekiah’s historic religious reforms. In light of this, previously puzzling features of the book’s design, purpose and message are clarified and the book’s relevance for its time and ours greatly enhanced.

John W. Miller’s commentary is a superb piece of work because of its detailed treatment of nearly every proverb, and his careful placement of the development and purpose of the book in the reign of King Hezekiah in the 8th century as a second edition.

—Lawrence Boadt, former editor, Paulist Press

Here is solid scholarship with certain unpopular twists and interpretations. In place of a pedantic verse by verse approach, this thematic treatment of Proverbs provides a surprisingly contemporary manual on some critical issues of Christian discipleship. Miller offers very helpful pastoral insights for the 21st-century preacher.

—James M. Lapp, Franconia Mennonite Conference

John W. Miller is professor emeritus at Conrad Grebel University College, an affiliate of the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. He is the author of numerous books, including Jesus at Thirty, Calling God “Father” and most recently, How the Bible Came to Be.

Isaiah

  • Author: Ivan Friesen
  • Publisher: Herald Press
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 480

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Ivan Friesen explores how the interpretation of the book of Isaiah is carried out and lived out today in faith communities where the Bible is the bedrock of faith and life. Such an interpretation combines the concerns of pastoral care with the distress and uncertainty of prophetic action.

The commentary groups the 66 chapters of Isaiah into six distinct but continuous parts. Each part may be explored as one might explore the room of a house. The furnishings (themes) in each room are different, but the decor (structure) of the house combines to lend to the book an overall unity of purpose. The architecture of the book as a whole has distinct features that include words of judgment as well as words of promise announcing a new day dawning. In this new day dawning, there are strong elements of a messianic hope.

Ivan D. Friesen’s commentary is a most valuable resource. It makes no apology for its firm location in the Anabaptist tradition and its author has taken seriously various types of feedback from the Christian community. The book is a delight to read and is strongly recommended for pastors, church leaders, and anyone wishing to engage with the prophetic tradition in a way that makes for peace and for the ethical living without which communities cannot be built or sustained.

—Patricia M. McDonald, lecturer in New Testament, Ushaw College

Few things are more thrilling to a reader than authors who know their subject so intimately that they seem to inhabit the world they write about. This is the case with Ivan Friesen’s commentary on Isaiah. Friesen’s portrayal of the mind of the prophet is truly insightful. Friesen’s insights into the text are written in such simple and rhythmic prose that they make the Word of God come to life for any serious reader.

—John D. Rempel, professor of theology and Anabaptist studies, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary

Ivan Friesen’s commentary portrays so beautifully Isaiah’s astonishing vision of just peace—a vision that encompasses not only the people of Israel, but all the nations and, indeed, all creation. Friesen’s commentary is a powerful call to the church today to embrace and embody the ancient message of Isaiah to practice justice and pursue peace. My hope is that readers will take this call to heart.

—Esther Epp-Tiessen, Mennonite Central Committee Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Ivan D. Friesen writes the Isaiah commentary out of his North American Mennonite church context. He has served as a pastor in North Carolina and South Dakota.

Jeremiah

  • Author: Elmer A. Martens
  • Publisher: Herald Press
  • Publication Date: 1986
  • Pages: 326

Elmer A. Martens explores the message and insights of Jeremiah for today. In Jeremiah, God disciplines people and punishes them. Yet there is also forgiveness and the promise of a New Covenant. This ancient book is strangely relevant to our generation.

The more we learn about the stressful times in which Jeremiah lived, about the passionate prophet himself, and about the arrangement of the book that bears his name, the more forceful the message becomes.

Elmer A. Martens is a member of the Mennonite Brethren Church and has taught Old Testament at Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary in Fresno, California, since 1970. He served as its president for nearly a decade.

Ezekiel

  • Author: Millard C. Lind
  • Publisher: Herald Press
  • Publication Date: 1996
  • Pages: 398

Millard C. Lind has taught the book of Ezekiel for thirty years in seminary and in the church. He skillfully opens the prophet’s message about God’s presence, covenant, victorious rule, concern for the nations, and cleansing for worship and obedience. The “wheel” and “dry bones” are not just for entertainment. This actor, singer, and instrumentalist is prophesying to a battered people who need the word of the Lord for survival and mission.

God has called Ezekiel to be a sentinel for his people, to warn them of pending danger. They must not look back to unjust Jerusalem nor join a revolt against Babylon. Instead, they are to turn and live by God’s law, even in a foreign land. After judging the nations and Jerusalem, God will restore Israel to a renewed land. The people will be given a new heart and spirit—a resurrection. God will defeat international terror and organize Israel as a new temple community, with the Lord in their midst. Then all will now that God leads world history, not by militarists, but through a people serving as a moral exemplar for the nations.

Clear, concise, critically responsible, and informed by a deeply felt pastoral concern. Lind writes from a free-church perspective and helps to bring alive the prophet’s message of judgment and salvation for readers of different backgrounds who are trying to make Christian community a reality in their own lives.

Joseph Blenkinsopp, John A. O’Brien Professor of Biblical Studies, University of Notre Dame

Millard C. Lind is professor emeritus of Old Testament at the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, where he has taught the book of Ezekiel over a period of thirty years. He has served as a pastor, writer of adult Sunday school Bible studies, editor of a community-family magazine, participant in Bible conferences and teaching missions throughout the United States, Canada, Israel, Egypt, Great Britain, and Europe. He has written books such as Yahweh Is a Warrior; Monotheism, Power, Justice; and published articles in scholarly and church magazines.

Daniel

  • Author: Paul M. Lederach
  • Publisher: Herald Press
  • Publication Date: 1994
  • Pages: 326

Paul M. Lederach (Mennonite Church) sees in Daniel a persistent call to endurance and loyalty to God, even while believers suffer for their faith, pray for deliverance, and speak truth to kings. God’s reign is ever present and moving to fullness in God’s own way. Although ruling beasts may rampage for a while, God is sovereign over history and cuts their time short.

This Old Testament apocalyptic book interprets ancient history through signs and symbols. It predicts a future in which martyrs are raised to everlasting life and share in the triumph of God’s kingdom, which shall fill the whole earth.

Paul M. Lederach received a BA from Goshen College, a ThB from Goshen Biblical Seminary, an MRE from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a DEd from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has written many books published by Herald Press, such as Reshaping the Teaching Ministry, Mennonite Youth, Teaching in the Congregation, and A Third Way.

Hosea, Amos

  • Author: Allen R. Guenther
  • Publisher: Herald Press
  • Publication Date: 1998
  • Pages: 434

Allen R. Guenther brings an evangelical Believers Church perspective to the study of two eighth-century BC prophets. He explores theological and practical implications of their message, which he applies to the contemporary church.

This work compares Israel’s distinctive religion, influenced by Baal-worshiping Phoenician neighbors, with faith in Judah. In his own marriage, Hosea dramatizes God’s redeeming love. Amos’s exposure of shallow piety and injustice brings him into confrontation with the official priest at Bethel. For both prophets, the Lord’s judgment is to lead on to repentance and restoration.

By highlighting Hosea’s rich metaphors, Guenther portrays the emotional dynamics of God’s deep hatred of his people’s sin and even deeper desire for renewed covenant relationships. God’s people failed to know God and act with integrity. Yet each major message ends with hope because of God’s unfailing love. With equal clarity, Guenther probes how Amos uncovers the hypocrisy of Israel’s worship, the unjust way they treat others, and their deceptive trust in God’s protection. He shows the same problems today.

Gary V. Smith, Bethel Theological Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota

Allen R. Guenther is professor of Old Testament at the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary, Fresno, California, where he has taught since 1981. From 1967 to 1970 and 1975 to 1981, he taught at Mennonite Brethren Bible College and College of Arts at Winnipeg. He pastored a new congregation in Lethbridge, Alberta from 1963 to 1965 and an inner-city congregation in Toronto from 1971 to 1973.

Matthew

  • Author: Richard B. Gardner
  • Publisher: Herald Press
  • Publication Date: 1991
  • Pages: 448

Richard B. Gardner invites readers to explore the dramatic story of Jesus which Matthew tells. He connects that story to the first-century world of its author and early readers. The commentary then shows how Matthew has shaped the church and still speaks to the life of the Christian community.

Gardner probes each section for its meaning in the wider biblical context and in the life of the church. Thus readers are prepared to wrestle with Jesus’ gospel and mission, starting small, but for all nations. Ends with essays, an extensive bibliography, and a list of select resources.

Richard B. Gardner is an associate professor of New Testament at Bethany Theological Seminary in Oak Brook, Illinois. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he directs several cooperatively sponsored programs of field-based ministry education for the Church of the Brethren. Among the author’s published materials are numerous contributions to curriculum resources, including the International Lesson Annual, New Ventures in Bible Study and A Guide for Biblical Studies. He has also written for the periodicals Messenger and Brethren Life and Thought and contributed articles to the Brethren Encyclopedia. He currently serves as president of the Brethren Journal Association and is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and the Chicago Society of Biblical Research.

Mark

  • Author: Timothy J. Geddert
  • Publisher: Herald Press
  • Publication Date: 2001
  • Pages: 456

Timothy J. Geddert views Mark as a profound theologian and accomplished writer, not a mere compiler of traditions. Mark’s text provokes careful reflection on its subtle and challenging message of hope and its call to faithfully follow Jesus on the way.

Mark’s Gospel speaks plainly, yet sometimes in riddles, of God as revealed in Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, the Son of God. Mark presents God’s reign, its present hiddenness and future glory, and its surprising way of coming. Mark is also about Jesus and his followers crossing barriers to pass God’s grace on to those formerly excluded. Mark’s resurrection message is open-ended. Readers supply their own ending, not just in words, but by following their resurrected Lord.

Includes essays on themes useful for teaching, preaching, and Bible study. It also includes bibliographies, charts, maps, and an index of ancient sources.

I warmly recommend Geddert’s commentary. It expresses outstanding scholarship with utter simplicity and clarity. A superb guide, explaining Mark in its first-century setting and interpreting its meaning for today.

I. Howard Marshall, University of Aberdeen, Scotland

Timothy J. Geddert is professor of New Testament at Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary and adjunct professor at the Theologischer Seminar Bienenberg in Listal, Switzerland. He has worked as a church planter, pastor, and teacher in many countries, including Canada, the United States, and Germany.

Acts

  • Author: Chalmer E. Faw
  • Publisher: Herald Press
  • Publication Date: 1993
  • Pages: 336

Chalmer E. Faw brings Acts to life for our day. He blends thorough biblical scholarship with wisdom from extensive and varied experience in missionary work and Bible teaching. His careful exposition of the book of Acts is supplemented with literary and theological discussion.

The key word in Acts is witness for Jesus Christ, from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth. God’s Spirit anoints the church at Pentecost, leads believers in handling conflicts between converts new and old, and empowers Christians to overcome false beliefs and magic. In Acts, Luke tells this dramatic story with subtle humor.

Chalmer E. Faw is a member of the Church of the Brethren and has served as a missionary in Nigeria and as a New Testament professor at Bethany Theological Seminary, Oak Brook, Illinois.

Romans

  • Author: John E. Toews
  • Publisher: Herald Press
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Pages: 464

This commentary on Romans is a rich gift to the contemporary church, its lay leaders, pastors, and scholars. John E. Toews gives new eyes for readers to see what the central message of Romans really is.

I have waited a long time for this commentary! For over a generation, scholars have been challenging the tradition interpretation of Romans based on Martin Luther’s emphasis on justification by faith. But until now, few commentaries have thoroughly embraced the emerging paradigm, which seeks to read Romans in its original historical and social context. Even less has percolated into the life of the church at large. John Toews’ commentary fills that gap.

—Reta Halteman Finger, Messiah College, Grantham, Pennsylvania

At the center of every movement toward church renewal has been the rediscovery of Romans. Just after the World War, Karl Barth wrote a commentary on Romans which renewed church life. In the believers’ church the book of Romans has always held a central place. John Toews makes it possible for all thinking Christians to understand Romans. That ’strange warming of the heart,’ renewal of the mind, empowering of the will, and obedience faith all come together in this book. The interpreters of the believers’ church have come of age.

William Klassen, University of Waterloo, Ontario

John E. Toews has served on the faculty of Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary in Fresno, California, (1980-93) and as president of Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario (1996-2002).

2 Corinthians

  • Author: V. George Shillington
  • Publisher: Herald Press
  • Publication Date: 1998
  • Pages: 312

V. George Shillington sees this letter as Paul’s personal testimony about his ministry of reconciliation among the Corinthian Christians (chapters 1-9) and his ministry in defending the truth of the gospel (chapters 10-13). The thread that ties the two parts together is Paul’s conviction on pastoral ministry under the banner of Christ. Paul insists that ministry is to be borne in affliction like that of Christ crucified. In raising the crucified Messiah out of the old creation, God has inaugurated a new creation, in which believers already participate. The only boast allowed is in the Lord, not in one’s own achievements or elevated experiences.

In structure and style, this commentary successfully bridges the gap between biblical scholarship and church life and witness. Keenly sensitive to the precarious relationship between Paul and the Corinthians, Shillington unpacks the arguments in this difficult letter with creative insight and careful exegesis. A very helpful resource!

—William S. Campbell, reader in Biblical Studies, University of Wales Trinity Saint David

V. George Shillington has served as professor of biblical studies and theology at Concord College (Winnipeg) since 1981 and has lectured in other institutions, including Harvard University, Trinity College (Dublin), and New College (Edinburgh). He is well-known in congregations for his enthusiastic biblical sermons. He is the author or editor of several other books and numerous articles and book reviews.

Ephesians

  • Author: Thomas R. Yoder Neufeld
  • Publisher: Herald Press
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Pages: 424

Ephesians presents readers with a volatile mix of assurance, exhilarating worship, and forceful exhortation—a bracing challenge to today’s church. The letter convinces Thomas R. Yoder Neufeld that the grace-gift of faithfulness leads to worship. Power, peace, and new creation are gifts of grace equipping the church to participate in God’s reconciling embrace.

This commentary guides readers to a life-changing encounter with Ephesians, probing interpretations, refreshing Christian teaching, and calling everyone to “walk” accordingly, with a song in heart and throat.

Gives penetrating challenges to Anabaptist and mainline pastors and laity. Yoder Neufeld’s deep love for Ephesians is evident throughout. His writing on the much-debated Household Code is the best I’ve seen. He takes the armor in Ephesians 6 as positive action to powerfully equip the church for waging God’s justice and peace.

—Marva J. Dawn, teaching fellow in spiritual theology, Regent College, Vancouver

Explores lofty confessional peaks and rich fields of practical application. Deftly handles even difficult passages, blending careful scholarship with a gospel interpretation that is provocative, fresh, and trustworthy. Encounter with God’s boundless grace leads individuals and the church to become agents of salvation, peacemaking, and hope.

—J. Nelson Kraybill, president, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Indiana

Thomas R. Yoder Neufeld received his BA from the University of Manitoba and his MDiv and ThD from Harvard University Divinity School. He is professor of religious and theological studies at Conrad Grebel College.

Colossians, Philemon

  • Author: Ernest D. Martin
  • Publisher: Herald Press
  • Publication Date: 1993
  • Pages: 344

Ernest D. Martin takes Bible students into the rich text of the letter to the church at Colossae and the highly personal letter to Philemon. Martin draws on his experience as pastor, teacher, and writer to engage the reader in the complexities of the text. All the while, he focuses on a Christ-centered biblical theology and the amazingly revelant pastoral concerns that shaped these letters.

In commenting on Colossians, Martin highlights a wholistic Christology in contrast to the past and present perversions of the gospel. In the section on Philemon, he draws attention to the social implications of the koinonia of faith for the servants of Jesus Christ.

Ernest D. Martin received his BA, MA, and PhD from Ambassador College (now University). He wrote several other works including Preparing for Church Membership: Leader’s Guide, Experiencing Christ in the Church, Off to a Good Start, and Jeremiah: A Study Guide. He also wrote numerous Sunday school lessons for Herald Adult Studies/Adult Bible Study Guide and adult teacher sections for Builder.

1 and 2 Thessalonians

  • Author: Jacob W. Elias
  • Publisher: Herald Press
  • Publication Date: 1995
  • Pages: 400

Jacob W. Elias invites us to listen in while Paul and his missionary companions encourage and warn believers in ancient Thessalonica. Elias shows Paul dealing pastorally with everyday concerns of church life while reminding his converts about the big picture. What God has done through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ will yet be brought to glorious completion. The church has an active role to play in God’s redemptive mission in the world.

Today, apocalyptic biblical texts are often ignored or misused. But Elias tells how the gospel proclaimed to the Thessalonians undergirds the nurture of churches marked by faith, love, and hope.

Elias’s technique of ‘listening in’ on the conversation between Paul and the Thessalonian congregation is innovative, effective, and engaging. Students and pastors seeking a fair presentation of various sides of the scholarly debate will be rewarded, and the believers church movement will find much here to sustain its efforts.

Robert Jewett, Harry R. Kendall Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Elias has done an impressive job of remaining faithful to the text while making 1 and 2 Thessalonians accessible to pastors, teachers, and lay Christians. I recommend Elias’s commentary.

—Reta Halteman Finger, professor emeritus of New Testament, Messiah College

Jacob W. Elias studied at the University of Saskatchewan, and graduated in 1968 from Mennonite Biblical Seminary. He began pastoral ministry at Mountainview Mennonite Church, Vancouver, and in 1978 earned a ThD in New Testament from the Toronto School of Theology. He has been teaching at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary since 1977.

1–2 Timothy, Titus

  • Author: Paul M. Zehr
  • Publisher: Herald Press
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 406

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In this volume, author Paul M. Zehr explores Paul’s instructions to Timothy and Titus in light of recent scholarship, applying Christian theology and ethics to the political, philosophical, religious, and cultural issues that early Christians faced as the church reached out in mission in Ephesus and on the island of Crete.

Additionally, Zehr also shows how the themes in 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus have been interpreted and applied in the history of the church, especially the Believers Church. His interpretive process includes both a vertical reading of each book separately and a horizontal reading of the themes found in all three letters.

This is a remarkably readable commentary on the Pastoral Epistles. It successfully and perhaps uniquely provides sound exegesis at a level that is adequate for the preacher; sets the theological themes in their wider biblical contexts; and surveys the history of the interpretation and influence of the letters, particularly in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. I warmly commend this attractive presentation, which should greatly encourage and assist exposition of these fascinating letters.

I. Howard Marshall, University of Aberdeen, Scotland

This commentary by Paul Zehr provides helpful guidance to interpret important but difficult passages in a contemporary Anabaptist manner. Zehr is alert to current ecumenical and evangelical scholarship on the pastorals, to the historical and cultural contexts reflected in these books, to the difficult issues of authorship, and to the energy of these letters for the well-being of healthy church leadership.

—John A. Esau, former Mennonite pastor and denominational administrator

With careful scholarship and a Christ-centered hermeneutic, Paul Zehr has given to the church an insightful guide in understanding the Pastoral Epistles. He seeks to work carefully with the cultural background of these scriptures, their context in the larger Scripture, and in applications to our setting. He does not back away from engaging the difficult issues that have divided groups but calls us to follow Paul’s example of contextualizing applications.

Myron S. Augsburger, president and professor emeritus of Eastern Mennonite University

Paul M. Zehr graduated from Eastern Mennonite College in 1962 and from Eastern Mennonite Seminary in 1965. After seminary, Paul pastored the First Mennonite Church of St. Petersburg, Florida from 1965 to 1973. Following this eight-year experience of pastoring an urban church, he attended Princeton Theological Seminary where he earned his ThM in Biblical Studies in 1975. In 1980 he was ordained bishop and supervised pastors in five congregations for 25 years. In 1987 he graduated from The Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a DMin.

1-2 Peter, Jude

  • Authors: Erland Waltner and J. Daryl Charles
  • Publisher: Herald Press
  • Publication Date: 1987
  • Pages: 350

Erland Waltner explains how 1 Peter applies Jesus’ teaching on loving the enemy to the life situation of scattered Christians in Asia Minor. Peter empowers believers to be communities of hope, not retaliating for the abuse they suffer, but bearing witness of their Lord by word, lifestyle, and doing good.

J. Daryl Charles shows how 2 Peter and Jude are relevant since the church still faces ethical compromises and pastoral dilemmas. Their apocalyptic imagery stresses that the concerns of Christian faithfulness and faith are absolutely crucial. The church needs such moral exhortation.

Combines scholarly approaches to these neglected books with clear exposition and timely application. Use of Anabaptist sources will appeal to a wide audence: preachers, students, and church folk. We applaud the volume heartily.

Ralph P. Martin, distinguished scholar in residence, Fuller Theological Seminary

Solid biblical exposition in a reader-friendly format. Offers careful and deatiled anaylsis of these books in clear, accessible language. Quotes Anabaptists working out understandings of faith under intense suffering. Valuable for pastors, Sunday school teachers, and serious students.

—Dorothy Jean Weaver, professor of New Testament, Eastern Mennonite Seminary

J. Daryl Charles has contributed to periodicals such as First Things, Social Justice Review, Regeneration Quarterly, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, and Bulletin for Biblical Research, plus journals of New Testament study. He writes on issues of faith and culture, Christian ethics, ecumenism, and the contemporary relevance of the general epistles for the Christian community.

Erland Waltner earned his STB from Biblical Seminary in New York and his ThM and ThD from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He also did further study at Temple University, Princeton Theological Seminary, and Cambridge University. He served as president emeritus of Mennonite Biblical Seminary.

1, 2, 3 John

  • Author: J. E. McDermond
  • Publisher: Herald Press
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 344

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Written during a time of church schism that has left Christians confused and questioning their status before God, the author of 1, 2, 3 John argues that the Christian life has two fundamental markers: acceptance of Jesus Christ’s role in God’s plan of salvation, and the need to practice love in interactions with other believers. In his commentary, J. E. McDermond shows that that these two crucial concepts are as relevant and important today as they were back then.

McDermond is well informed on traditional and contemporary evaluations of the letters, well aware of their weaknesses, and well able to draw on their strengths. This is a commentary to use with confidence.

James D. G. Dunn, Emeritus Lightfoot Professor of Divinity, Durham University

This commentary takes on difficult questions of how these New Testament books spoke to their first-century context and what contemporary Christians should make of their advice. McDermond refuses to get hooked by traditional dualistic interpretations, instead reading the Johannine correspondence as basic theology and functional ethics intertwined.

—Nancy R. Heisey, professor of biblical studies, Eastern Mennonite University

A highly readable, insightful, and skillfully analytical exploration of these vital epistles. The themes of Christology, relationship of faith to life, faith and love in action, sin and forgiveness, are handled with wisdom and sensitivity, with good attention to how these epistles have been understood and applied throughout the church’s history.

—Gary Knarr, pastor, First Mennonite Church, Kitchener, Ontario

McDermond weaves the Gospel of John throughout his analysis, providing an additional degree of comprehensiveness and cohesion. After reading this commentary, one feels one knows Johannine thought more thoroughly overall.

Lynn H. Cohick, associate professor of New Testament, Wheaton College

J. E. McDermond graduated from Messiah College in 1976, Mennonite Biblical Seminary in 1979 (MDiv), University of Durham in 1989 (MLitt), and Pittsburg Theological Seminary in 1998 (DMin). He is the professor of Christian ministry and spirituality at Messiah College and has also taught in England and Kenya.

Revelation

  • Author: John R. Yeatts
  • Publisher: Herald Press
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Pages: 524

The message of Revelation speaks to Christians for all times, and historically has especially encouraged persecuted groups. Today Christians in many parts of the world are also at opposition to the worldview of the time. Revelation gives strength to those who are oppressed, and John R. Yeatts’ commentary attends to themes of martyrdom, suffering, service in the world, hope, the triumph of Christ, and the role of the church in bearing witness to the triumphant Christ. The commentary includes clear biblical commentary, relationships between various portions of Scripture, and applications drawn from the Anabaptist tradition and the larger Christian community.

This commentary is both a helpful guide to the content of Revelation and a challenge to contemporary Christians to live out the nonviolent faith of Revelation’s central figure—Jesus Christ.

—Nancy R. Heisey, professor of biblical studies, Eastern Mennonite University

John R. Yeatts is on the faculty of Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania, currently teaching psychology and religion in the School of the Humanities. Yeatts began his professional life in pastoral and denominational ministry, serving the Brethren in Christ denomination as Christian education staff.

Product Details

  • Title: Believers Church Bible Commentary(24 vols.)
  • Series: Believers Church Bible Commentary (BCBC)
  • Publisher: Herald Press
  • Volumes: 24
  • Pages: 9,641