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writing things down…

New Covenant Commentary Series

I am currently working with the files for the first two volumes in the New Covenant Commentary Series.  The series description reads:

The New Covenant Commentary Series (NCCS) is designed for ministers and students who require a commentary that interacts with the text and context of each New Testament book and pays specific attention to the impact of the text upon the faith and praxis of contemporary faith communities.

The NCCS has a number of distinguishing features. First, the contributors come from a diverse array of backgrounds in regards to their Christian denominations and countries of origin. Unlike many commentary series that tout themselves as international the NCCS can truly boast of a genuinely international cast of contributors with authors drawn from every continent of the world (except Antarctica) including countries such as the United States, Puerto Rico, Australia, the United Kingdom, Kenya, India, Singapore, and Korea. We intend the NCCS to engage in the task of biblical interpretation and theological reflection from the perspective of the global church. Second, the volumes in this series are not verse-by-verse commentaries, but they focus on larger units of text in order to explicate and interpret the story in the text as opposed to some often atomistic approaches. Third, a further aim of these volumes is to provide an occasion for authors to reflect on how the New Testament impacts the life, faith, ministry, and witness of the New Covenant Community today. This occurs periodically under the heading of “Fusing the Horizons and Forming the Community.” Here authors provide windows into community formation (how the text shapes the mission and character of the believing community) and ministerial formation (how the text shapes the ministry of Christian leaders).

It is our hope that these volumes will represent serious engagements with the New Testament writings, done in the context of faith, in service of the church, and for the glorification of God.

Series Editors:
Michael F. Bird (Highland Theological College, Dingwall, Scotland)
Craig Keener (Palmer Seminary, Philadelphia, USA)

Titles in this series:
Colossians/Philemon by Michael F. Bird
Romans by Craig Keener

Forthcoming titles (in order of projected publication):
Ephesians by Lynn Cohick
James by Pablo Jimenez
1–3 John by Sam Ngewa
Revelation by Gordon Fee
John by Jey Kanagaraj
Pastoral Epistles by Aida Besancon-Spencer
Mark by Kim Huat Tan
Acts by Youngmo Cho
Luke by Jeannine Brown
2 Peter and Jude by Andrew Mbuvi
Matthew by Joel Willits
1 Peter by Eric Greaux
1–2 Thessalonians by David Garland
Philippians by Linda Belleville
Hebrews by Tom Thatcher
Galatians by Brian Vickers
1 Corinthians by Bruce Winter
2 Corinthians by David deSilva

Bird’s and Keener’s volumes should be available by the end of the summer. Here’s a little taste from the early pages of both.

What begs for transformation in many cases is our ecclesiology. Why is the church so diverse, and is this a good thing? After all, diversity breeds difference, debate, and even division. Would not a uniform, homogenous, almost clone-like church be better for unity? Yet the body of Christ has an indelible and irreducible plurality built into it. The church is one body with many parts complete with a unity in diversity. Experiencing the power of forgiveness and being made part of the renewed Israel is a saving event that crosses racial, geographical, and cultural boundaries. Christians have a shared identity in Jesus Christ, they are part of a renewed Adamic race, they have accepted the call to come into Abraham’s family of the faithful, they are forgiven of their wicked and godless ways, and they seek to cultivate the virtues of faith, hope, and love as well. That which unites them is infinitely stronger than anything that might divide them from one another. (Bird)

Whatever else “faith” means for Paul, it is not a human work, whether physical or (as sometimes in Protestantism) mental in nature (Rom 3:27–28; 4:5; 9:32; Gal 2:16; 3:2, 5). It involves dependence on God’s righteousness. This means not a Kierkegaardian “leap into the dark” (reacting to the Kantian consignment of faith to the category of subjectivity), but embracing truth in the gospel (in contrast to the false ideologies of the world; cf. Rom 1:18–23, 28). We should note, however, that just as “righteousness” involves transformation, so the term pistis includes the sense of “faithfulness”—loyalty and allegiance—and not simply an intellectual acknowledgement. Genuine dependence on Christ invites genuine loyalty to him, not simply reciting a statement about him as if nothing is truly at stake. (Keener)

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