This commentary series is established on the presupposition that the theological character of the New Testament documents calls for exegesis that is sensitive to theological themes as well as to the details of the historical, linguistic, and textual context. Such thorough exegetical work lies at the heart of these volumes, which contain detailed verse-by-verse commentary preceded by general comments on each section and subsection of the text.
An important aim of the NIGTC authors is to interact with the wealth of significant New Testament research published in recent articles and monographs. In this connection the authors make their own scholarly contributions to the ongoing study of the biblical text.
The text on which these commentaries are based is the UBS Greek New Testament, edited by Kurt Aland and others. While engaging the major questions of text and interpretation at a scholarly level, the authors keep in mind the needs of the beginning student of Greek as well as the pastor or layperson who may have studied the language at some time but does not now use it on a regular basis.
In this acclaimed commentary—the first in the English language on the Greek text of Luke since those of J. M. Creed in 1930 and H. K. Luce in 1933—renowned New Testament scholar I. Howard Marshall calls special attention to the theological message of Luke the Evangelist. His primary purpose is to exegete the text as it was written by Luke, so that the distinctiveness of Luke's Gospel may be seen.
While basing his commentary on the UBS Greek New Testament, Marshall also refers to many variant readings that are significant in this study. He provides information on the meaning of the Greek words used by Luke and shows which words and constructions occur frequently and are therefore characteristic of his style. It is by this meticulous analysis of the Greek that Luke's theological intentions can be objectively determined.
Widely considered to be one of the best commentaries on Luke currently available, Marshall's work provides the tools needed for the scholarly study of this Gospel—meeting in particular the needs of students of the Greek text—describes the contemporary state of Lucan research, and makes its own important contributions to the understanding of Luke.
“If the glory of God in heaven is revealed in the coming of his Son, the effect for men on earth is summed up in εἰρήνη (1:79). Here, however, more than the cessation of strife is meant, and the word is used to indicate the full sum of the blessings associated with the coming of the Messiah (Is. 9:5f.; Mi. 5:4). He brings a new situation of peace between God and men in which his blessings can be communicated to them; εἰρήνη is thus tantamount to σωτηρία (W. Foerster, TDNT II, 413; Grundmann, 84f.).” (Page 112)
“If the parable teaches that the character of God is such that men do not need to nag at him to obtain their requests, at the same time it is an encouragement to go on praying despite all contrary appearances because God is sure to answer. Persistent, rather than importunate prayer is the point.” (Page 463)
“The story begins with the action of the Roman Emperor in holding a census, as a result of which Mary and Joseph found themselves in Bethlehem. The census thus serves an important function in the development of the story, but at the same time it serves to place the birth of Jesus in the context of world history and to show that the fiat of an earthly ruler can be utilised in the will of God to bring his more important purposes to fruition.” (Pages 97–98)
“The fact is that any encouragement to go on praying must necessarily be based on an assurance that God answers prayer. The point of the parable is clearly not: Go on praying because God will eventually respond to importunity; rather it is: Go on praying because God responds graciously to the needs of his children.” (Page 462)
I. Howard Marshall's splendid work takes its place as the best commentary on the Gospel of Luke in English.... His careful, sane scholarship and his respect for biblical authority provide a model for evangelical scholarship, indeed for scholars generally, in the study of the Synoptic Gospels.
This is without question the best commentary in English on the Greek text of Luke. It is a major invasion into a mine-infested area by a major British scholar. An astonishing achievement...It puts Marshall firmly among the forefront of world scholars on St. Luke.
Students of the Greek text will indeed find this volume indispensable...It stands alone in the field as a compendium of accessible current research on Luke's usage of Greek.