The forthcoming volume will be a continuation of the Hard Sayings series that began in 1983 with the publication of The Hard Sayings of Jesus by F. F. Bruce, which was then followed by Hard Sayings of Paul by Manfred Brauch in 1989. The most well-known volume, Hard Sayings of the Bible by Walter C. Kaiser Jr., Peter H. Davids, F. F. Bruce, and Manfred Brauch, was published in 1996. The Hard Saying books eventually became one of the first dynamic features of the IVP website with a rotating banner that linked to the “Hard Saying of the Day.” This daily feature is still active and continues to draw readers decades later.
“The Hard Sayings books were an important set of foundation blocks in IVP’s long history of Bible reference books connecting top-notch scholarship with felt needs of a wider readership of Christians,” said Jon Boyd, IVP’s academic editorial director. “The original books still have their place (and some remain in print), but this ‘reboot’ forty years on will bring both the questions and the scholarship solidly up to date. Professors Gupta and Peeler have deep knowledge of what’s needed to do the project justice in both the academy and the church. We are grateful to them for their passion for refreshing an IVP classic.”
Gupta (PhD, New Testament, University of Durham) is a professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary. His books include Tell Her Story and Worship That Makes Sense to Paul, and he’s written Bible commentaries and over a dozen academic articles in theological journals. He is also coeditor of the Dictionary of Paul and His Letters (Second Edition).
Peeler is the Kenneth T. Wessner Chair of Biblical Studies at Wheaton College and a priest in the Episcopal Church (USA). Author most recently of Women and the Gender of God (Eerdmans, 2022) and the Hebrews commentary in the Commentaries for Christian Formation series (Eerdmans, 2024), she continues to research and teach on these topics and others across the New Testament.
With Gupta and Peeler as series editors of Hard Sayings of the New Testament, they will feature contributions by nearly twenty contributors. “What sets this apart from a commentary or other reference work is that each section is focused on a ‘hard saying’ or tricky passage, so it’s going after common felt needs of readers more than what each scholar thinks is important,” Boyd said.
Gupta said, “I remember purchasing Hard Sayings of the Bible when I was in seminary, twenty years ago. It was an invaluable resource for Bible study. The opportunity to produce a new version for a new generation is a dream come true. Curious Bible readers today are asking some new and different questions about the Bible; Dr. Peeler and I are excited to bring together a team of experts to engage those meaningful questions.”