Reformation Commentary on Scripture

Reformation Commentary on Scripture

General Editor Timothy George

The Reformation Commentary on Scripture (RCS) provides a crucial link between the contemporary church and the great cloud of witnesses that is the historical church. The biblical insights and rhetorical power of the tradition of the Reformation are here made available as a powerful tool for the church of the twenty-first century. Like never before, believers can feel they are a part of a genuine tradition of renewal as they faithfully approach the Scriptures.

In each RCS volume you will find the biblical text in English, from the English Standard Version (ESV), alongside the insights of the leaders of the Reformation. Hear from landmark figures such as Luther and Calvin, as well as lesser-known commentators such as Peter Martyr Vermigli, Johannes Oecolampadius, Martin Bucer, Johannes Brenz, Caspar Cruciger, Giovanni Diodati, and Kaspar Olevianus. The series introduces you to the great diversity that constituted the Reformation, with commentary from Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican, Anabaptist and even reform-minded Catholic thinkers, who all shared a commitment to the faithful exposition of Scripture.

Each volume is designed to facilitate a rich research experience for preachers and teachers, and contains a unique introduction written by the volume editor, providing a reliable guide to the history of the period, the unique reception of the canon of Scripture and an orientation to the thinkers featured in the volume. Many of these texts are being published in English for the first time, and volumes also contain biographies of figures from the Reformation era, adding an essential reference for students of church history.

"This commentary series brings the very best of the Reformation heritage to the task of exegesis and exposition, and each volume in this series represents a veritable feast that takes us back to the sixteenth century to enrich the preaching and teaching of God's Word in our own time."

—R. Albert Mohler Jr., president, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"There is no telling the benefits to emerge from the publication of this magnificent Reformation Commentary on Scripture series! Now exegetical and theological treasures from Reformation-era commentators will be at our fingertips, providing new insights from old sources to give light for the present and future. This series is a gift to scholars and to the church; a wonderful resource to enhance our study of the written Word of God for generations to come!"

Donald K. McKim, executive editor of theology and reference, Westminster/John Knox Press

"The Reformation Commentary on Scripture is a major publishing event—for those with historical interest in the founding convictions of Protestantism, but even more for those who care about understanding the Bible. As with IVP Academic's earlier Ancient Christian Commentary, this effort brings flesh and blood to 'the communion of saints' by letting believers of our day look over the shoulders of giants from the past. By connecting the past with the present, and by doing so with the Bible at the center, the editors of this series perform a great service for the church. The series deserves the widest possible support."

Mark A. Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History Emeritus, University of Notre Dame

"The Reformation Scripture principle set the entirety of Christian life and thought under the governance of the divine Word, and pressed the church to renew its exegetical labors. This series promises to place before the contemporary church the fruit of those labors, and so to exemplify life under the Word."

John Webster, professor of theology, University of St Andrews

"Since Gerhard Ebeling's pioneering work on Luther's exegesis seventy years ago, the history of biblical interpretation has occupied many Reformation scholars and become a vital part of study of the period. The Reformation Commentary on Scripture provides fresh materials for students of Reformation-era biblical interpretation and for twenty-first-century preachers to mine the rich stores of insights from leading Reformers of the sixteenth century into both the text of Scripture itself and its application in sixteenth-century contexts. This series will strengthen our understanding of the period of the Reformation and enable us to apply its insights to our own days and its challenges to the church."

Robert Kolb, professor emeritus, Concordia Theological Seminary

"Discerning the true significance of movements in theology requires acquaintance with their biblical exegesis. This is supremely so with the Reformation, which was essentially a biblical revival. The Reformation Commentary on Scripture will fill a yawning gap, just as the Ancient Christian Commentary did before it, and the first volume gets the series off to a fine start, whetting the appetite for more. Most heartily do I welcome and commend this long overdue project."

J. I. Packer, Retired Board of Governors Professor of Theology, Regent College

"For those who preach and teach Scripture in the church, the Reformation Commentary on Scripture is a significant publishing event. Pastors and other church leaders will find delightful surprises, challenging enigmas and edifying insights in this series, as many Reformational voices are newly translated into English. The lively conversation in these pages can ignite today's pastoral imagination for fresh and faithful expositions of Scripture."

J. Todd Billings, Gordon H. Girod Research Professor of Reformed Theology, Western Theological Seminary

"Monumental and magisterial, the Reformation Commentary on Scripture, edited by Timothy George, is a remarkably bold and visionary undertaking. Bringing together a wealth of resources, these volumes will provide historians, theologians, biblical scholars, pastors and students with a fresh look at the exegetical insights of those who shaped and influenced the sixteenth-century Reformation. With this marvelous publication, InterVarsity Press has reached yet another plateau of excellence. We pray that this superb series will be used of God to strengthen both church and academy."

David S. Dockery, president, Union University

"The multivolume Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture is a valuable resource for those who wish to know how the fathers interpreted a passage of Scripture but who lack the time or the opportunity to search through the many individual works. This new Reformation Commentary on Scripture will do the same for the Reformers and is to be warmly welcomed. It will provide much easier access to the exegetical treasures of the Reformation and will hopefully encourage readers to go back to some of the original works themselves."

Anthony N. S. Lane, Professor of Historical Theology and director of research, London School of Theology

"The Reformers discerned rightly what the church desperately needed in the sixteenth century--the bold proclamation of the Word based on careful study of the sacred Scriptures. We need not only to hear that same call again for our own day, but also to learn from the Reformation how to do it. This commentary series is a godsend!"

Richard J. Mouw, professor of faith and public life and former president, Fuller Theological Seminary

"Protestant reformers were fundamentally exegetes as much as theologians, yet (except for figures like Luther and Calvin) their commentaries and sermons have been neglected because these writings are not available in modern editions or languages. That makes this new series of Reformation Commentary on Scripture most welcome as a way to provide access to some of the wealth of biblical exposition of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The editor?s introduction explains the nature of the sources and the selection process; the intended audience of modern pastors and students of the Bible has led to a focus on theological and practical comments. Although it will be of use to students of the Reformation, this series is far from being an esoteric study of largely forgotten voices; this collection of reforming comments, comprehending every verse and provided with topical headings, will serve contemporary pastors and preachers very well."

Elsie Anne McKee, Archibald Alexander Professor of Reformation Studies and the History of Worship, Princeton Theological Seminary

"Why was this not done before? The publication of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture should be greeted with enthusiasm by every believing Christian--but especially by those who will preach and teach the Word of God. This commentary series brings the very best of the Reformation heritage to the task of exegesis and exposition, and each volume in this series represents a veritable feast that takes us back to the sixteenth century to enrich the preaching and teaching of God's Word in our own time."

R. Albert Mohler Jr., president, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"The Reformation was ignited by a fresh reading of Scripture. In this series of commentaries, we contemporary interpreters are allowed to feel some of the excitement, surprise and wonder of our spiritual forebears. Luther, Calvin and their fellow revolutionaries were masterful interpreters of the Word. Now, in this remarkable series, some of our very best Reformation scholars open up the riches of the Reformation's reading of the Scripture."

William H. Willimon, professor of the practice of Christian ministry, Duke Divinity School

"The Reformation Commentary on Scripture series promises to be an 'open sesame' to the biblical exegesis, exposition and application of the Bible that was the hallmark of the Reformation. While comparisons can be odious, the difference between Reformation commentary and exposition and much that both preceded and followed it is laid bare in these pages: whereas others write about the Bible from the outside, Reformation exposition carries with it the atmosphere of men who spoke and wrote from inside the Bible, experiencing the power of biblical teaching even as they expounded it. . . . This grand project sets before scholars, pastors, teachers, students and growing Christians an experience that can only be likened to stumbling into a group Bible study only to discover that your fellow participants include some of the most significant Christians of the Reformation and post-Reformation (for that matter, of any) era. Here the Word of God is explained in a variety of accents: German, Swiss, French, Dutch, English, Scottish and more. Each one vibrates with a thrilling sense of the living nature of God's Word and its power to transform individuals, churches and even whole communities. Here is a series to anticipate, enjoy and treasure."

Sinclair Ferguson, senior minister, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, South Carolina

"I am delighted to see the Reformation Commentary on Scripture. The editors of this series have done us all a service by gleaning from these rich fields of biblical reflection. May God use this new life for these old words to give him glory and to build his church."

Mark Dever, senior pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, and president of Ministries

"This series provides an excellent introduction to the history of biblical exegesis in the Reformation period. The introductions are accurate, clear and informative and the passages intelligently chosen to give the reader a good idea of methods deployed and issues at stake. It puts precritical exegesis in its context and so presents it in its correct light. Highly recommended as reference book, course book and general reading for students and all interested lay and clerical readers."

Irena Backus, professeure ordinaire, Institut d'histoire de la Réformation, Université de Genève

"I strongly endorse the Reformation Commentary on Scripture. Introducing how the Bible was interpreted during the age of the Reformation, these volumes will not only renew contemporary preaching but they will also help us understand more fully how reading and meditating on Scripture can, in fact, change our lives!"

Lois Malcolm, associate professor of systematic theology, Luther Seminary

"This volume of the RCS project is an invaluable source for pastors and the historically/biblically interested that provides unparalleled access not only to commentaries of the leading Protestant Reformers but also to a host of nowadays unknown commentaters. The RCS is sure to enhance and enliven contemporary exegesis. With its wide scope, the collection will enrich our understanding of the variety of Reformation thought and biblical exegesis."

Sigrun Haude, associate professor of Reformation and early modern European history, University of Cincinnati

"Like the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, the Reformation Commentary on Scripture does a masterful job of offering excellent selections from well-known and not-so-well-known exegetes. The editor's introductory survey is, by itself, worth the price of the book. It is easy to forget that there were more hands, hearts and minds involved in the Reformation than Luther and Calvin. Furthermore, encounters even with these figures are often limited to familiar quotes on familiar topics. However, the Reformation Commentary helps us to recognize the breadth and depth of exegetical interests and skill that fueled and continue to fuel faithful meditation on God's Word. I heartily recommend this series as a tremendous resource not only for ministry but for personal edification."

Michael S. Horton, J. G. Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary, California

"Detached from her roots, the church cannot reach the world as God intends. While every generation must steward the scriptural insights God grants it, only arrogance or ignorance causes leaders to ignore the contributions of those faithful leaders before us. The Reformation Commentary on Scripture roots our thought in great insights of faithful leaders of the Reformation to further biblical preaching and teaching in this generation."

Bryan Chapell, chancellor and professor of practical theology, Covenant Theological Seminary

"After reading several volumes of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture, I exclaimed, 'Hey, this is just what the doctor ordered--I mean Doctor Martinus Lutherus!' The church of today bearing his name needs a strong dose of the medicine this doctor prescribed for the ailing church of the sixteenth century. The reforming fire of Christ-centered preaching that Luther ignited is the only hope to reclaim the impact of the gospel to keep the Reformation going, not for its own sake but to further the renewal of the worldwide church of Christ today. This series of commentaries will equip preachers to step into their pulpits with confidence in the same living Word that inspired the witness of Luther and Calvin and many other lesser-known Reformers."

Carl E. Braaten, cofounder of the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology

"Today more than ever, the Christian past is the church's future. InterVarsity Press has already brought the voice of the ancients to our ears. Now, in the Reformation Commentary on Scripture, we hear a timely word from the first Protestants as well."

Bryan Litfin, professor of theology, Moody Bible Institute

"As a pastor, how does one cultivate a knowledge of the history of interpretation? That's where IVP's Reformation Commentary on Scripture and its forerunner, the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, come in. They do an excellent job in helping pastors become more aware of the history of exegesis for the benefit of their congregations. Every pastor should have access to a set of each."

Carl R. Trueman, Paul Woolley Chair of Church History, professor of church history, Westminster Theological Seminary

"When our children or great-grandchildren look back on the soon-to-be-celebrated 500th anniversary of the Reformation, what major contributions will stand out? Certainly one that will be at the top of the list (if not the top) is the multivolume Reformation Commentary on Scripture, edited by Timothy George. One reason the Reformation Commentary on Scripture will prove invaluable is that it serves as a needed reminder to Reformation scholars and students alike that the Reformers were biblical exegetes and preachers, a fact too often forgotten. Men such as Luther and Calvin and Zwingli are often remembered for their reforms or revolts, depending upon which side of the Tiber you stand on. However, the Reformation Commentary on Scripture shakes that paradigm, providing much-needed nuance; behind the reforms or revolts was a dedication to an exegetical and expositional treatment of Scripture. Those in the church today may be familiar with Luther's Ninety-five Theses or Calvin's Institutes, but how many have any idea that the Reformers wrote hundreds of commentaries on Scripture? The series's contribution is significant because it broadens our sixteenth-century horizons, forcing us to recognize that the Reformers were first and foremost biblical exegetes, out of which their theological treatises sprouted."

Matthew Barrett, Oak Hill Theological College, The Sixteenth Century Journal 47 no. 4, Winter 2016
Edited by John L. Thompson
Edited by Derek Cooper and Martin J. Lohrmann
Edited by Herman J. Selderhuis
Edited by Carl L. Beckwith
Edited by Beth Kreitzer
Edited by Craig S. Farmer
Edited by Esther Chung-Kim and Todd R. Hains
Edited by Philip D. W. Krey and Peter D. S. Krey
Edited by Scott M. Manetsch
Edited by Gerald L. Bray
Edited by Graham Tomlin
Edited by J. Jeffery Tyler
Ronald K. Rittgers
Gwenfair Walters Adams
Edited by Herman J. Selderhuis
N. Scott Amos
Edited by Lee Gatiss and Bradley G. Green
Edited by Christopher Boyd Brown
Edited by Jason K. Lee and William M. Marsh
Edited by Scott M. Manetsch
Edited by David Fink
Edited by Jeff Fisher