Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation – Commentary on Romans. David G. Peterson. General Editors, T. Desmond Alexander, Andreas J. Kostenberger, and Thomas R. Schreiner. Nashville, B&H Academic, 2017. 616 pp. $39.99. Purchase from Amazon for less or for Kindle for under $10.
As they are released, I am reviewing The Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation series and continue to find the series extremely valuable.
According to bhacademicblog.com:
The major contribution of each volume, however, is a thorough discussion of the most important themes of the biblical book in relation to the canon as a whole. This format allows each contributor to ground Biblical Theology, as is proper, in an appropriate appraisal of the relevant historical and literary features of a particular book in Scripture while at the same time focusing on its major theological contribution to the entire Christian canon in the context of the larger salvation-historical metanarrative of Scripture. Within this overall format, there will be room for each individual contributor to explore the major themes of his or her particular corpus in the way he or she sees most appropriate for the material under consideration.
Thus, the summary is simply a commentary on the book of Romans seeking to place the book in its historical and cultural context. Specific to the series, however, the authors and editors strive to place the book in the theology of the Bible as a whole.
Romans is an enigmatic book for many as it was used largely of the Lord to launch what later became known as the Protestant Reformation when Luther sought to understand the importance of “the righteous shall live by faith,” a quote from Habakkuk 2:4. It is also enigmatic in the current debate concerning Calvinism and Arminianism (I am using terms loosely that most will understand though there is much baggage for each).
Peterson’s even-handed approach allows the Book of Romans to speak for itself as he wrestles with the Greek text while relying on the Christian Standard Bible recently published by B&H for his English translation. He offers explanations that help the student of Scripture to peel away the layers of Scripture in order to dig down deep and plumb the depths of Paul’s most magnificent writing on the Christian faith.
Perhaps of more assistance to today’s reader is Peterson avoids the thorny conversations throughout history that have bogged Christians down. For example, He merely deals with the text in Romans 7 without entering into the debate of whether Paul is talking about himself as a Christian or before he was a Christian. He merely allows the text to speak for itself in all of its intricate details. And for that, I find that this commentary on Romans is a breath of fresh air.
This series continues to impress. This particular volume on Romans is, in my estimation, now the best commentary to begin one’s deeper study on this book as it seeks to wrestle with the text instead of also offering historical understandings. (Not that those are not important!) I highly commend this series, but of the three volumes published to date, I believe this volume on Romans stands above them all.