Book Review: Brazos Theological Commentary—Luke
Author: David Lyle Jeffrey
Publisher: BrazosPress ISBN: 9781587431418
There is much to like in this Bible commentary from Brazos Press on the Gospel of Luke written by David Lyle Jeffrey. Depending on the reader’s perspective and expectation, Bible commentaries can be very “hit or miss” when it comes to reviews. I think it helps (it helps me) to have an understanding that there is no definitive or “one size fits all” commentary. While I expected this volume to be a solid work of interpretation, I was pleasantly surprised with the level of deep theology calling on the wisdom of the ancient church as well as the melding of some of the most brilliant contemporary theologians expressed in such conversational prose.
The premise of the Brazos Theological Commentary is to “read and interpret Scripture creedally for the twenty-first century, just as the church fathers, the Reformers, and other orthodox Christians did for their times and places.” This premise makes this series unique in that it does not attempt to be completely exegetical or expository in nature, nor is it purely the playground for the seminarian and/or academic. I have already used the word “conversational” to describe the writing style, but I think a more accurate assessment might be to say that the book reads as though I were listening to a lecture. I read a lot of theological works and I did not find this the least bit intimidating to read or “stuffy” in my ability to understand.
The book is well documented with footnotes and bibliography. As I have mentioned, for a smallish book, as far as commentaries go, Jeffrey has included a staggering amount of references spanning all two-thousand years of the Church history. A reader who is unfamiliar with the writings of the church fathers and other influential persons in the shaping of the Church, will be treated to a feast of introductions… Ambrose, Augustine, Athanasius, Bonaventure, Calvin, Chrysostom, John Calvin, Clement and Cyril of Alexandria, Eusebius, Jerome, Josephus, Martin Luther, Origen, Philo, Aquinas, and John Wesley are just a few of the notable names the reader will learn from and this listing includes none of the many, many contemporary scholars.
I think Brazos has produced a winner with this commentary on the Gospel of Luke. I do not believe that it is a “one only” resource for the deep study of this gospel, but it might be a great place to start and with its impressive resource list, it might be the gateway to very rich studies. I highly recommend.