The NIV Application Commentary (NIVAC) series shows you how to bring the Word’s ancient message into our postmodern context. It explains what the Bible meant and how it speaks so powerfully today. It treats all the elements of traditional exegesis, and its authors bridge the gap between the Bible’s world and the world of today, between the original context and the contemporary context by focusing on both the timely and the timeless aspects of the text.
The NIV Application Commentary discusses the Bible in a way that engages contemporary life and culture. Most Bible commentaries take us on a one-way trip from our world to the world of the Bible. But they leave us there, assuming that we can somehow make the return journey on our own. They focus on the original meaning of the passage but don’t discuss its contemporary application. The information they offer is valuable—but the job is only half done. The NIV Application Commentary series helps bring both halves of the interpretive task together. The tools, ideas, and insights contained in this bundle will help you communicate God’s Word and understand the Bible in the context of contemporary culture. The exegetical, literary, and grammatical summaries will benefit anyone wanting to dig deeper into God’s Word.
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The NIV Application Commentary series doesn’t fool around. It gets right down to business, bringing this ancient and powerful Word of God into the present so that it can be heard and delivered with all the freshness of a new day, with all the immediacy of a friend’s embrace.
—Eugene H. Peterson, professor emeritus of spiritual theology, Regent College
It is encouraging to find a commentary that is not only biblically trustworthy but also contemporary in its application. The NIV Application Commentary will prove to be a helpful tool in the pastor’s sermon preparation. I use it and recommend it.
—Charles F. Stanley, founder and president, In Touch Ministries
The NIV Application Commentary series promises to be of very great service to all who preach and teach the Word of God.
—J. I. Packer,, Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology, Regent College
This series promises to become an indispensable tool for every pastor and teacher who seeks to make the Bible’s timeless message speak to this generation.
—Billy Graham, American evangelist
The NIV Application Commentary is an outstanding resource for pastors and anyone else who is serious about developing “doers of the Word.”
—Rick Warren, pastor, Saddleback Valley Community Church
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—Howard G. Hendricks, professor, Dallas Theological Seminary
The NIV Application Commentary will be a great help for leaders who want to understand what the Bible means, how it applies, and what they should do in response.
—Stuart Briscoe, pastor, Elmbrook Church
This is the pulpit commentary for the twenty-first century.
—George K. Brushaber, former president, Bethel College and Seminary
The NIV Application Commentary builds bridges that make the Bible come alive with meaning for contemporary life.
—Warren W. Wiersbe, general director, Back to the Bible
The NIV Application Commentary meets the urgent need for an exhaustive and authoritative commentary based on the New International Version. This series will soon be found in libraries and studies throughout the evangelical community.
—D. James Kennedy, founder, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church
The NIV Application Commentary series helps pastors and other Bible teachers with one of the most neglected elements in good preaching—accurate, useful application. Most commentaries tell you a few things that are helpful and much that you do not need to know. By dealing with the original meaning and contemporary significance of each passage, the NIV Application Commentary series promises to be helpful all the way around.
—James Montgomery Boice, former pastor, Tenth Presbyterian Church
Here, at last, is a commentary that makes the proper circuit from the biblical world to Main Street. The NIV Application Commentary is a magnificent gift to the church!
—R. Kent Hughes, senior pastor emeritus, College Church, Wheaton, IL
This series dares to go where few scholars have gone before—into the real world of biblical application faced by pastors and teachers every day. This is everything a good commentary series should be.
—Leith Anderson, president, National Association of Evangelicals
Here at last is a commentary which is not only academically well informed but which helps the contemporary reader hear God’s Word and consider its implications: scholarship in the service of the Church.
—Arthur Rowe, tutor in New Testament and world religions, Spurgeon’s College
With the Logos edition you'll have the tools, ideas, and insights from the NIV Application Commentary (NIVAC) series—helping you to use these volumes more efficiently for research and sermon preparation, allowing you to reap the maximum benefit. Whether you are performing Bible word studies, preparing a sermon, or researching and writing a paper, Logos Bible Software gives you the tools you need to use your entire Logos digital library effectively and efficiently. The NIV Application Commentary (NIVAC) series will help preachers communicate God’s Word and understand the Gospel in the context of contemporary culture, and the exegetical, literary, and grammatical summaries will benefit scholars and students of the Bible. What’s more, with Logos, Scripture passages are linked to Greek and Hebrew texts, along with English translations, and the powerful search tools provide instant access to the information you need for research projects, sermon preparation, and personal study.
The Bible begins and ends with a revelation of God that gives redemption its basis. From the first verse of Genesis, the book of origins, we encounter a God of personality, character, purpose, and activity. Only in the light of what he shows us of himself as the creator of our world and the interactor with human history does the salvation story assume its proper context. Genesis sets things in order: God first, then humankind.
In the words of Genesis’ general editor, “Especially after the Tower of Babel it became evident that people had forgotten who God was. They needed reminding. The moves God made were essentially concerned with putting himself in front of the world’s peoples.” Today, perhaps more than ever, we need God to put himself in front of us, to remind us who he is.
With characteristic creativity and uncommon depth, John H. Walton demonstrates the timeless relevance of Genesis. Revealing the links between Genesis and our own times, Dr. Walton shows how this mysterious, often baffling book filled with obscure peoples and practices reveals truth to guide our twenty-first-century lives.
John H. Walton (PhD, Hebrew Union College) is a professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College Graduate School. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including Chronological and Background Charts of the Old Testament, Ancient Israelite Literature in Its Cultural Context, Covenant: God’s Purpose, God’s Plan, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament, and A Survey of the Old Testament.
Peter E. Enns’ commentary on Exodus helps readers learn how the message of Exodus can have the same powerful impact today that it did when it was first written.
Peter E. Enns is a Reformed evangelical Christian and a biblical scholar. A frequent contributor to journals and encyclopedias, he is the author of several books, including Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament.
The books of Leviticus and Numbers spell out God’s legal requirements for ancient Israel. But that was over three millennia ago. Now that we’re under a new covenant of grace, how do strange laws and obscure, seemingly trifling details regarding everything from temple sacrifice to household mold have any bearing on us today? If the Law was perfectly fulfilled in Jesus, why bother studying arcane regulations that no longer apply?
Because they do apply. Their original contexts may have disappeared, but the principles behind them are replete with relevance. Moreover, in our individualistic and selfish culture, they restore to us a God’s-eye vision that extends beyond ourselves to the church as community.
Exploring the links between the Bible and our own times, Roy Gane helps readers learn how the messages of Leviticus and Numbers can have the same powerful impact today that they did when they were first written.
Roy Gane (PhD, University of California, Berkeley) is a professor of Hebrew Bible and ancient Near Eastern languages at the Theological Seminary of Andrews University. He is author of a number of scholarly articles and several books, including God’s Faulty Heroes, Altar Call, Ritual Dynamic Structure, and Cult and Character: Purification Offerings, Day of Atonement, and Theodicy, as well as the Leviticus portion of the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary on the Old Testament.
The theological significance of Deuteronomy cannot be overestimated. Few books in the Bible proclaim such a relevant word of grace and gospel to the church today. At its heart, Deuteronomy records the covenantal relationship between God and his people. God graciously has chosen Israel as his covenant partner and has demonstrated his covenantal commitment to them. Moses challenges the Israelites to respond by declaring that Yahweh alone is their God and by demonstrating unwavering loyalty and total love for him through obedience.
Daniel Block highlights the unity between the God depicted in Deuteronomy and Jesus Christ. Christians who understand the covenantal character of God and who live under the grace of Christ will resist the temptation to retreat into interior and subjective understandings of the life of faith so common in Western Christianity.
Daniel I. Block received his PhD from the University of Liverpool, and is the Gunther H. Knoedler Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College. He is the author of The New Ammerican Commentary: Judges, Ruth, and was a speaker at the Pastorum Live 2012 Conference.
Reading Joshua can bring up serious, troubling questions about God’s attitude toward his people, questions with no easy answer. Robert L. Hubbard Jr.’s commentary aims to translate the book of Joshua, with its ancient cultural form, in such a way that it freely speaks about the life of faith today. The book of Joshua tells how biblical Israel navigated a major historical transition early in its national life. The book shows that the one guiding these changes is Israel’s God, Yahweh, through his chosen servant, Joshua.
The introductory sections set the scene for entering the book of Joshua and the ancient world about which it reports. Joshua helps readers learn how the message of Joshua can have the same powerful impact today that it did when it was first written.
Robert L. Hubbard Jr. (PhD, Claremont Graduate School) is a professor of Biblical literature at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL. He also taught at Denver Seminary and served as a chaplain on active duty in the United States Navy and in the United States Naval Reserve. Hubbard is author of The Book of Ruth: New International Commentary on the Old Testament, which received the Christianity Today Critics Choice Award as the best commentary of 1989, and he coauthored Introduction to Biblical Interpretation with William Klein and Craig Blomberg.
The concept of judgment is at odds with today’s culture, which considers it a sin to suggest there is such a thing as sin. Perhaps that is partly because we have seen all too clearly the fallibility of those who judge. What many of us long for is not judgment, but righteousness and deliverance from oppression. That is why the books of Judges and Ruth are so relevant today. Judges reveals a God who employs very human deliverers but refuses to gloss over their sins and the consequences of those sins, and Ruth demonstrates the far-reaching impact of a righteous character. Exploring the links between the Bible and our own times, K. Lawson Younger Jr. shares literary perspectives on the books of Judges and Ruth that reveal ageless truths for our twenty-first-century lives.
K. Lawson Younger Jr. (PhD, University of Sheffield) is a professor of Old Testament, Semitic languages, and ancient Near Eastern history at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL. He is the author, associate editor, and coeditor of several books, and has contributed to numerous collections of essays, dictionaries, and periodicals.
Why do the books of Samuel pack such broad appeal? Taken together as a single narrative, they certainly offer something for everyone: kings and prophets, great battles and greater heroes, action and romance, loyalty and betrayal, the mundane and the miraculous. In Samuel, we meet Saul, David, Goliath, Jonathan, Bathsheba, the witch of Endor, and other unforgettable characters. And we encounter ourselves. For while the culture and conditions of Israel under its first kings are vastly different from our own, the basic issues of humans in relation to God, the Great King, have not changed. Sin, repentance, forgiveness, adversity, prayer, faith, and the promises of God—these continue to play out in our lives today.
Exploring the links between the Bible and our own times, Bill T. Arnold shares perspectives on 1 and 2 Samuel that reveal ageless truths for our twenty-first-century lives.
Bill T. Arnold (PhD, Hebrew Union College) is the director of Hebrew studies and a professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He is the author of Encountering the Book of Genesis and coauthor of Encountering the Old Testament and A Guide to Biblical Hebrew Syntax.
Readers of 1 and 2 Kings commonly approach these books as a straightforward chronology of post-Davidic Israel: the inauguration of Solomon’s reign, the division of the kingdom following his death, and Israel’s and Judah’s ensuing kings, conflicts, captivities, and overarching spiritual decline.
In reality, the books of the Kings fall into the collection known as the former Prophets, and their true story and underlying theme center on such striking personalities as Nathan, Elijah, Elisha, and other divinely appointed spokesmen. It is God’s interaction with his people by way of his prophets and their kings—his pleadings, his warnings, and the fulfillment of his words—that comes across again and again with forcefulness and clarity. God speaks; now will his people hear, believe, and respond?
The question is as relevant for us today as it was for the ancient Israelites. Bridging the centuries, August Konkel connects past context to contemporary circumstances, helping us grasp the meaning and significance of 1 and 2 Kings and take to heart their message for us today.
A. H. Konkel is the president of Providence College and Seminary in Otterburne, Manitoba. He earned his PhD from Westminster Theological Seminary in 1987. He served as a translator for the book of Job in the New Living Translation, and completed a commentary on Job for the Cornerstone Biblical Commentary. He was a contributor to the New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis.
The Chronicles are more than a history of ancient Israel under the ascent and rule of the Davidic dynasty. They are a story whose grand theme is hope. Great battles are fought, heroes and tyrants vie for power, Israel splits into rival kingdoms, and the soul of God’s holy nation oscillates between faithlessness and revival. Yet above this tossing sea of human events, God’s covenant promises reign untroubled and supreme. 1 and 2 Chronicles are a narrative steeped in the best and worst of the human heart, but they are also a revelation of Yahweh at work, forwarding his purposes in the midst of fallible people. God has a plan to which he is committed.
God redirects our vision from our circumstances in this turbulent world to the surety of his kingdom, and to himself as our source of confidence and peace. Exploring the links between the Bible and our own times, Andrew E. Hill shares perspectives on 1 and 2 Chronicles that reveal ageless truths for our twenty-first-century lives.
Andrew E. Hill (PhD, University of Michigan) is a professor of Old Testament studies at Wheaton College in IL. He is the coauthor with John Walton of A Survey of the Old Testament and the author of Malachi in the Anchor Yale Bible commentary series. His articles have appeared in such scholarly publications as Hebrew Annual Review, Journal of Biblical Literature, and Vetus Testamentum.
Queen Esther faced and helped avert the potential genocide of her people. She rose to the pinnacle of political power without any of the advantages of aristocratic birth, well-placed friends, inherited wealth, or social prestige.
Yet Esther’s real story is not found in political intrigue or superior management ideals. It is that God is at the center of it, despite the fact that God is not mentioned anywhere in the book. The great lesson to be learned is that God keeps his promises.
This commentary shows how the book of Esther is the perfect guidance for us when we find ourselves in a situation where right and wrong are not so clearly defined and every choice we have seems to be a troubling mixture of good and bad. It is perfect inspiration for us when we find ourselves in situations we never sought, never planned for, and don’t think we have the gifts to succeed at.
Karen H. Jobes is Gerald F. Hawthorne Professor of New Testament Greek and Exegesis at Wheaton College. She is the author of many articles and several books, including Letters to the Church: A Survey of Hebrews and the General Epistles and 1 Peter in the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament.
The title character of the book of Job suffers terribly, but we should not mistakenly think that this book is just about Job. It is about all of us, and ultimately about God.
Many have thought that the book simply restates the perennial questions that plague humankind in a world full of suffering. But often our questions are too limited, and we must learn to ask better questions so that we might find more significant answers. The book of Job answers our original questions obliquely, letting these answers prompt deeper questions, and leading us to discover the wealth that the book has to offer.
A lot of people assume that the book of Job deals with the question of why righteous people suffer. Instead, John Walton suggests that the book is about the nature of righteousness—not the nature of suffering. As we learn to deepen our questions, God will transform how we think about his work in the world and about our responses in times of suffering.
John H. Walton received his PhD from Hebrew Union College and is professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College Graduate School. Before teaching at Wheaton, Walton taught at Moody Bible Institute for 20 years. He is the author or co-author of several books, including Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary: Old Testament, Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament, and A Survey of the Old Testament. He was also a speaker at the Pastorum Live 2012 Conference.
Perhaps more clearly than any other part of the biblical canon, the Psalms are human words directed to God. Yet, through the Holy Spirit, these honest, sometimes brutal words return to us as the Word of God. Their agonies and exaltations reflect more than the human condition in which they were created. Within the context of the canonical Psalter, they become the source of divine guidance, challenge, confrontation, and comfort. However, it is possible to misapply them. How can we use the Psalms in a way that faithfully connects God’s meaning in them and his intentions for them with our circumstances today?
Drawing on over 20 years of study in the book of Psalms, Gerald H. Wilson reveals the links between the Bible and our present times. While he considers each psalm in itself, Wilson also goes much further, examining whole groups of psalms and, ultimately, the entire Psalter, its purpose, and its use from the days of Hebrew temple worship onward through church history. In so doing, Wilson opens our eyes to ageless truths for our twenty-first-century lives.
Gerald H. Wilson (PhD, Yale University) was a professor of Old Testament and Biblical Hebrew at Azusa Pacific University. He wrote The Editing of the Hebrew Psalter, and he has written numerous articles for journals, encyclopedias, and reviews.
Wisdom can certainly help you acquire wealth, influence people, or succeed at your career, yet it involves more than knowledge alone. It’s also a matter of understanding God’s perspectives in applying what you know and having the character to act accordingly. That is why true wisdom—the kind that begins with fear of the Lord—frequently runs counter to what our culture values and applauds. This is the wisdom the book of Proverbs teaches.
Proverbs deals with the relationship between heaven and earth on a practical level that covers the broad swath of human activity. We could all use more wisdom in our lives; the book of Proverbs was designed to guide us into it. Proverbs is far from monolithic. It has multiple authors and employs diverse styles. But its goal remains simple: to equip us for living in a way that succeeds first and foremost in God’s eyes. Exploring the links between the Bible and our own times, Paul Koptak shares perspectives on Proverbs that reveal ageless truths for our twenty-first-century lives.
Paul E. Koptak (PhD, Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary/Northwestern University) is Paul and Bernice Brandel Professor of Communication and Biblical Interpretation at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL.
Iain Provan’s commentary sets out to wrestle honestly with all the challenges of reading Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs—the challenges of reading the texts in themselves and the challenges of reading them as intrinsic parts of Christian Scripture. In the course of the exploration, these books are seen to be deeply relevant in what they have to say both to the contemporary church and the contemporary culture.
Revealing the links between the Scriptures and our own times, Ian Provan shows how the wisdom books of Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs speak to us today with relevance and conviction.
Iain Provan (PhD, Cambridge University) is Marshall Sheppard Professor of Biblical Studies at Regent College and an ordained minister of the Church of Scotland. He is the author of commentaries on Lamentations and on 1 and 2 Kings.
Isaiah wrestles with the realities of people who are not convicted by the truth but actually hardened by it, as well as with a God whose actions sometimes seem unintelligible, or even worse, absent. Yet Isaiah penetrates beyond these experiences to an even greater reality. Isaiah sees God’s rule over history and his capacity to take the worst of human actions and use it for good. He declares the truth that, even in the darkest hours, the Holy One of Israel is infinitely trustworthy.
John N. Oswalt is a research professor of Old Testament at Wesley Biblical Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. He is the author of numerous articles and several books, including Called to be Holy: A Biblical Perspective.
The books of Jeremiah and Lamentations cannot be separated from the political conditions of ancient Judah. Beginning with the righteous king Josiah, who ushered in a time of glorious but brief religious reform, Jeremiah reflects the close tie between spiritual and political prosperity and disaster, between the actions and heart of Judah and her kings and their fortunes as a nation.
While few of us today have any firsthand understanding of what it means to live in a theocracy, the central theme of Jeremiah and Lamentations remains clear and still holds true: God first, politics second. The words, prayers, and poems of “the weeping prophet” serve to realign us with God’s priorities, turning us from evil and encouraging us to pursue God and his ways. With emotion and spiritual depth, these prophetic writings beckon us toward a spiritual integrity that can still affect the course of individuals and nations today.
J. Andrew Dearman is a professor of Old Testament and the academic dean at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Austin, Texas. He has worked on archaeological projects in Israel and Jordan. He is the author of Property Rights in the Eighth-Century, Prophets, and Religion and Culture in Ancient Israel.
Properly understood, this mysterious book, with its obscure images, offers profound comfort to us today. Filled with both an indictment of sin and promise for God’s people, it can help us to live, like the ancient Israelites during the Babylonian captivity, as exiles in the foreign country of this world, with endurance and hope. Ezekiel helps readers learn how the message of Ezekiel can have the same powerful impact today that it did when it was first written.
Iain M. Duguid is a professor of religion at Grove City College in Grove City Pennsylvania and the author of Ezekiel and the Leaders of Israel.
This volume looks at the book of Daniel, revealing that God, not a human king, is ultimately in control—an appropriate message for today’s world of moral decline and political upheaval. This book will help readers bridge the gap between the sixth century BC and the present day.
Tremper Longman III (PhD, Yale University) is the Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies and the chair of the religious studies department at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, where he lives with his wife, Alice. The Old Testament editor for the revised Expositor’s Bible Commentary, he has authored many articles and books on the Psalms and other Bible Studies.
Scratch beneath the surface of today’s culture and you’ll find we’re not so different from ancient Israel. True, our sophistication, mobility, and technology eclipse anything the Israelites could have imagined. Our worship is far different, to say nothing of our language and customs. Yet if the prophets Hosea, Amos, and Micah were to visit us today, we might be shocked to see how little their messages would differ from the ones they delivered 2,800 years ago.
For human hearts are still the same—and so is God. Injustice, oppression, and political corruption anger him as much as ever. Apostasy still grieves him. His judgment of sin remains as fierce as his love is strong. And the hope God extends to those who turn toward him is as brilliant now as at any time in history.
Revealing the links between Israel in the eighth century BC and our modern world, Gary V. Smith shows how the prophetic writings of Hosea, Amos, and Micah speak to us today with relevance and conviction.
Gary Smith is a professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has written numerous articles, reviews, translations, and books on the Old Testament.
These three short, prophetic Old Testament books each contain a dual message. On one hand are messages of impending judgment—for all peoples on the Day of the Lord, for an enemy of Israel, and for Israel herself. On the other hand are messages of great hope—of the pouring out of God’s Spirit, of restoration and renewal, and of a coming Messiah.
Placing judgment and hope together in such a manner may seem paradoxical to a contemporary mindset. But the complete message of these prophets gives a fuller picture of God, who despises and rightly judges sin and rebellion, but who also lovingly invites people to return to him so that he might bestow his wonderful grace and blessings. It is a message no less timely today than when these books were first written, and David W. Baker skillfully bridges the centuries in helping believers today understand and apply it.
David W. Baker is a professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages at Ashland Theological Seminary.
The prophetic books of Jonah, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah are brief but powerful. They comfort us with the assurance that, when nothing in this life makes sense, God is still in control. They toughen our faith in the face of the world’s ugly realities. And they reveal the complexities of humans in relation to God. Jonah ran from his divine commission. Habakkuk questioned God concerning his ways. Repenting under Jonah’s message, the city of Nineveh ultimately backslid and reaped the doom prophesied by Nahum. And Zephaniah’s remnant depicts a faith that remains faithful. We needn’t look too hard to find our own world and concerns mirrored in these books.
Exploring the links between the Bible and our own times, James Bruckner shares perspectives on four of the Minor Prophets that reveal their enduring relevance for our twenty-first century lives.
James Bruckner (PhD, Luther Seminary) is an associate professor of Old Testament at North Park Theological Seminary and the author of Implied Law in the Abraham Narrative: A Literary and Theological Analysis. He teaches a course on wilderness and Lake Superior–area faith.
Mark J. Boda’s commentary on Haggai and Zechariah helps readers learn how the message of these two prophets, who challenged and encouraged the people of God after the return from Babylon, can have the same powerful impact on the community of faith today.
The books of Haggai and Zechariah represent a golden period in Old Testament history, but they are often overlooked. These two minor prophets speak a major message to the church today. It is one that calls us, as a community of faith, to the priority of God’s house, and inspires us with glimpses of its future glory.
Exploring the links between the Bible and our own times, Mark J. Boda shares perspectives on Haggai and Zechariah that reveal their enduring relevance for our twenty-first-century lives.
Mark J. Boda is a professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario. An ordained minister, he enjoys regular preaching opportunities across Canada. He is the author of Praying the Tradition and the editor of a collection of scholarly essays on Zechariah 9–14, Bringing Out the Treasure.
The importance of the Gospel of Matthew in church history cannot be overstated. For Jewish readers, it affirmed the Messiahship of Jesus, referring consistently to the Scriptures to establish his credentials. For Gentile disciples, it provided powerful and dramatic support of their inclusion in God’s kingdom. The cross of Christ had removed the division between Jew and non-Jew, and through Matthew’s writings, we see Israel’s God drawing the entire world to himself through Jesus.
“The Gospel according to Matthew . . . was the most widely read and frequently used of any of the four Gospels in the formative years of the church,” writes Michael Wilkins. In this volume of the NIV Application Commentary, Wilkins explains Matthew’s broad appeal not only to his ancient readers, but also to us today. Exploring the links between the Bible and our own times, Wilkins shares perspectives on Matthew’s Gospel that reveal its enduring relevance for our twenty-first century lives.
Michael J. Wilkins (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is the dean of the faculty and a professor of New Testament language and literature at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, and the author of several books.
When it comes to living the Christian life, beginnings are better than endings. That may be one of the most important lessons that the Gospel of Mark, by its very structure, teaches us.
Looking at life in terms of endings often leads to discontent, neuroses, and despair. We always want to win more, make more, and succeed more. More is an insatiable taskmaster.
But the Gospel of Mark says the better way is to focus on beginnings. It gives answers; it gives meaning to suffering; it restores hope as the queen of virtues.
Mark displays Jesus Christ as the New Beginning, giving us all the chance to start over again at any time. The Gospel of Mark starts abruptly and really has no ending, showing that Jesus makes it possible for the story of God, working in human history and in the church, to go on and on.
David Garland (PhD, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is William B. Hinson Professor of Christian Scriptures and the associate dean for academic affairs at George W. Truett Seminary, Baylor University. He is the New Testament editor for the revised Expositor’s Bible Commentary and the author of various books and commentaries in the NIV Application Commentary and the article on Mark in the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary. He and his wife, Diana, reside in Waco, Texas.
Today’s world is more fragmented than ever. Diversity often becomes the rallying cry for what is in truth separatism and alienation. The multiplied voices of disunity clamor with increasing volume—yet they are nothing new. It was on a fractured planet that Jesus Christ lived and ministered, and it is on this same planet, two thousand years later, that he continues to unite and heal the fault lines of shattered humanity.
This is the message of Luke’s Gospel. It is a Gospel that crosses the borders between Jews and Gentiles, bringing together the unlikely and the disenfranchised under the brotherhood and lordship of one King, Christ. With carefully researched detail, Luke the historian presents an account of Jesus that is filled with meaning and promise for the entire world. It proclaims wholeness and restoration of humanity’s broken heart through inclusion into God’s kingdom.
Exploring the links between the Bible and our own times, Darrell L. Bock shares perspectives on the Gospel of Luke that reveal its enduring relevance for our twenty-first century lives.
Darrell L. Bock (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is a professor of New Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary.
The Gospel of John’s story is the foundation of Christianity’s distinctive teachings. It provides all the elements necessary to see the full picture of the person and work of Jesus: a human Christ to redeem us, a divine Christ to reveal God’s nature, and a powerful, Spirit-filled Christ to help us lead holy lives. John shows these aspects in a mysterious, literate way that beguiles and reveals as it pulls us deeper and deeper into the mystery of who God is.
This commentary unveils, in today’s terminology, the deeply satisfying portrait of Christ painted in the Gospel of John.
Gary M. Burge (PhD, King’s College, Aberdeen University) is a professor of New Testament in the Department of Biblical and Theological Studies at Wheaton College and Graduate School. Gary has authored a number of books, including commentaries on John and the letters of John in the NIV Application Commentary series. He also specializes in the Middle East, its churches, and its history in the Hellenistic period. His most recent book is Whose Land? Whose Promise?, which received a number of awards from national journals.
The very name “Book of Acts” implies that Christianity is anything but passive. Making a quick and continuous connection between faith and action, the first-century church grew from a handful of Jewish believers into a movement that, sweeping far beyond the confines of Judea, set the entire Roman Empire ablaze with faith.
Faith and action: that inseparable link is a golden thread running through Acts, and it should weave through our own lives as well. While the world today is very different from what it was 2,000 years ago, one thing hasn’t changed: God’s heart for lost people. As long as he continues to act on their behalf, he will call us to play an integral part in his deeds. Acts lifts us up out of the armchair and spurs us to kingdom action, trusting that God will be with us as surely as he was with Peter, Paul, John, and the infant church.
Exploring the links between the Bible and our own times, Ajith Fernando shares perspectives on the book of Acts that reveal its enduring relevance for our twenty-first century lives.
Ajith Fernando is national director of Youth for Christ in Sri Lanka and a Bible expositor with a worldwide ministry. He studied at Asbury Theological Seminary and Fuller Seminary, and he presently leads the English-language minatory in Colombo. He is active in Colombo Theological Seminary as chairman of the academic affairs committee.
Our culture does not encourage thoughtful reflection on truth. Yet living the Gospel in a postmodern culture demands that Christians understand and internalize the truth about God and his plan for the world. Paul’s letter to the Romans remains one of the most important expressions of Christian truth ever written. Its message forces us to evaluate who we are, who God is, and what our place in this world ought to be. Going beyond the usual commentary, this volume brings the meaning of Paul’s great letter into the twenty-first century. Douglas Moo comments on the text and then explores issues in Paul’s culture and in ours that help us understand the ultimate meaning of each paragraph. A final section suggests ways in which the eternal theology of Romans can be understood and lived out in our modern culture.
Douglas Moo is the Blanchard Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College. He holds a PhD from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. His work centers on understanding the text of the New Testament and its application today.
Although separated by nearly two thousand years of history, there are many similarities between the church in Corinth and the world of today. The Corinthian church was frayed by factions that threatened to tear it apart. Paul had to handle strong differences of opinion among the Christians on such topics as marriage, lawsuits, meat sacrificed to idols, worship, and Christian doctrine. Similarly, the world today—and all too often the church as well—is in danger of a terminal fragmentation, a new tribalism.
In the course of his commentary on this magnificent letter, Craig L. Blomberg details the issues Paul raises and provides expert analysis of each of them. In each case, the world’s wisdoms—human reason, unbridled freedom, litigation, no-fault divorce are modern equivalents—are contrasted with the values of God-given wisdom: purity, forgiveness, reconciliation, and mutual faithfulness. In this volume, discover not only the original meaning of 1 Corinthians, but also how Paul’s message can speak powerfully today.
Craig L. Blomberg is the distinguished professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary. He holds a PhD from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. He is the author, coauthor, or coeditor of 14 books and more than 80 articles in journals or multiauthor works. A recurring topic of interest in his writings is the historical reliability of the Scriptures. Craig lives with his wife and two daughters in Centennial, Colorado.
Scott J. Hafemann’s commentary helps readers learn how the message of 2 Corinthians can have the same powerful impact today that it did when it was first written. This volume is part of a series that explains the Bible’s message by placing it in a modern context. This edition gives insight into both the author of the letter, Paul, and most strikingly, what the 2 Corinthians says about God.
Scott J. Hafemann serves on the Gordon-Conwell faculty as the Mary French Rockefeller Professor of New Testament. Previously, he was the Gerald F. Hawthorne Professor of New Testament Greek and Exegesis at Wheaton College.
Scot McKnight’s commentary on Galatians shows readers how to bring an ancient message into a modern context. Discover not only the original meaning of Galatians, but also how the message of Galatians can speak powerfully today.
[McKnight’s commentary on Galatians] takes exegesis seriously and still has space left for considerations of what the text is saying in today’s world.
—John Wilderspin, First Lobo Baptist Church, Lobo, Ontario, in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Scot McKnight (PhD, Nottingham) is Karl A. Olsson professor of religious studies at North Park College, Chicago, Illinois. In addition to the volume on Galatians as part of the NIV Application Commentary series, he is author of numerous books and articles and editor of Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels.
Paul’s letter to the Ephesians shines with the brilliant reality of what being a Christian really means. We are far more than forgiven—we have been changed. Not just the way we live, but the very source and nature of our lives is different. In Christ, we are new creations, righteous, fit for fellowship with God, and even now seated “with him in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 2:6).
But what practical implications does this radical transformation have for us? In what ways does living in God’s grace affect our daily conduct? In Ephesians, Paul connects our identity in Christ to our lifestyles. We are God’s workmanship, he says; let us live out who we are. Whether the setting is the home, the church, or the marketplace, our lives ought to reflect our union with Christ.
Exploring the links between the Bible and our own times, Klyne Snodgrass shares perspectives on the book of Ephesians that reveal its enduring relevance for our twenty-first century lives.
Klyne Snodgrass (PhD, University of St. Andrews) is a professor of biblical literature and holder of the Paul W. Brandel Chair of New Testament Studies at North Park Theological Seminary.
Sprinkled with cherished and memorable verses, Paul’s letter to the Philippians is for many a favorite book of the Bible. Written from prison, it serves as Paul’s missionary report and thank-you to a faithful church, as well as a warm pastoral exhortation to make the advancement of the Gospel their top priority. Paul models joy in the midst of suffering, warns against dangerous false teaching, and calls for Christian unity grounded in the example of the Lord Jesus.
In a day often marked by selfish ambition, spiritual laziness, disunity, and joyless living, Philippians contains an eminently practical message for contemporary Christians. Exploring the links between the Bible and our own times, Frank Thielman skillfully draws out the timeless truths of this loving letter in a lucid and powerful way.
Frank Thielman (PhD, Duke University) is the Presbyterian professor of divinity at Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, in Birmingham, Alabama.
This volume in the NIV Application Commentary series discusses the meaning of the text of Colossians and Philemon in its biblical context and then applies it to contemporary situations. Discover how Colossians and Philemon can have the same powerful impact today that they did when Paul first wrote them.
David Garland (PhD, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is William B. Hinson Professor of Christian Scriptures and the associate dean for academic affairs at George W. Truett Seminary, Baylor University. He is the New Testament editor for the revised Expositor’s Bible Commentary and the author of various books and commentaries, including Mark in the NIV Application Commentary series and the article on Mark in the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary. He and his wife, Diana, reside in Waco, Texas.
Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians address fundamental questions about death, about Christ’s return, and about the nature of holy living. This volume in the NIV Application Commentary series helps readers learn how Paul’s message to the Thessalonians can have the same powerful and transformative impact today that they did when first written.
Michael W. Holmes (PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary) is a professor of biblical studies and early Christianity at Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota.
In the volume on 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus, Walter Liefeld reveals the context and meanings of Paul’s letters to two leaders in the early Christian church. He explores the present-day implications of these epistles and helps the reader accurately apply the principles they contain to contemporary issues.
Walter L. Liefeld, a distinguished professor emeritus of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, is the author of Luke in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary series.
In Scot McKnight’s commentary on 1 Peter, learn not only what Peter said to his audience in the first century, but also how what he taught can be applied today in this volume of the NIV Application Commentary series.
Scot McKnight (PhD, Nottingham) is the Karl A. Olsson professor of religious studies at North Park College in Chicago, Illinois. He is author of Galatians in the NIV Application Commentary series and editor of Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels.
The apostles Peter and Jude wouldn’t have made good postmodernists. They insist that there is such a thing as absolute, nonnegotiable truth, as well as error and deception. They speak of false doctrines and those who teach them as if they actually believe that eternity hangs in the balance and that God, far from shrugging his shoulders like a good relativist, takes the matters of truth and spiritual authority very seriously.
Today the fiery, unapologetic language of 2 Peter and Jude can open our eyes to stark spiritual realities. Like few other apostolic writings, these two letters shake us awake to the vital necessity of embracing the true Gospel and transmitting it undistorted. The message is as countercultural as possible and profoundly timely.
Douglas Moo is the Blanchard Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College. He holds a PhD from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. His work centers on understanding the text of the New Testament and its application today.
The letters of John speak words of encouragement and reproach to the grave concerns of the early church, yet they reveal a God who not only loves his people, but wants them to experience life abundantly. Gary M. Burge’s commentary on the letters of John focuses on understanding the significance of John’s letters when he wrote them and conveys the power they still have today.
Gary M. Burge (PhD, King’s College, Aberdeen University) is a professor of New Testament in the Department of Biblical and Theological Studies at Wheaton College and Graduate School. Gary has authored a number of books, including commentaries on John and the letters of John in the NIV Application Commentary Series. He also specializes in the Middle East, its churches, and its Hellenistic history. His most recent book is Whose Land? Whose Promise?, which received a number of awards from national journals.
Hebrews covers diverse topics, from Christ’s priesthood to the faith of prominent biblical figures. In this commentary on Hebrews, Guthrie brings the diversity of themes in Hebrews together and shows how Hebrews is not only theologically significant, but also relevant today.
George H. Guthrie (PhD, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) serves as the Benjamin W. Perry Professor of Bible at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. A specialist in New Testament and Greek, he is the author of numerous articles and four books.
Straight to the point, practical, affirming, convicting—that’s the book of James. In it, we see a picture of early Christians wrestling to apply the teachings of Jesus to their everyday lives. And we see a community plagued by divisiveness and hypocrisy, with an emphasis on wealth and status. James pulls no punches addressing these issues, calling for a faith that shows itself in moral actions: in speech, in interpersonal relationships, in economic and social justice. He also lays out a theology of the redemptive value of suffering.
In our day, when the behavior and attitudes of professed Christians are often not much different from the surrounding culture, in our society of great wealth, and in our culture that abhors suffering, the challenging message of James is greatly needed. Exploring the links between the Bible and our own times, David Nystrom shares perspectives on the book of James that reveal its enduring relevance for our twenty-first century lives.
David Nystrom has been at William Jessup University for two years. He is an adjunct professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary and at Western Seminary. He is married to Kristina and they have one daughter, Annika, who is nine years old. Dave is also the author of The History of Christianity.
The book of Revelation can be intimidating to encounter and daunting to apply. Yet in this commentary on Revelation, Craig S. Keener reveals the transitions, structure, and benefits of learning to read the Bible in context. Keener helps readers understand apocalyptic literature not only for its own sake, but also for the benefit of the church and for practical application in the lives of ordinary Christians.
Craig S. Keener (PhD, Duke University) is a professor of biblical studies at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Charles C.G. Miller