The Reformation Commentary: Hebrews and James

This is a fascinating commentary series. Timothy George, the general editor, has assembled world-class scholars to research and condense quotes and exegetical remarks from the Church’s greatest theological minds. There are particular features that stick out to me aside from the commentary itself.

First, I appreciate the introductions to the commentary. In it, different “schools of exegesis” are discussed (e.g. Zurich, Humanism, etc.) that give context to how Christians prior, during, and even after the Reformation interpreted and applied Scripture. After the general introduction is that of the books themselves. Here, without delving into the historical credibility of the book, the controversy of the two books is discussed. Also mentioned is the theological framework and goal for these two texts. In all, these two introductions combined provide the reader with a birds-eye view of how different reformers would have interpreted Scripture and that, I believe, allows the reader to enjoy the richness of the commentary.

Second, I find it interesting that the editors include a historical timeline and map of Europe at the time of the Reformation. Post-commentary the reader finds a map “of Europe at the time of the Reformation” followed by a chronological chart timeline of the Reformation in the German Territories, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Netherlands, and the British Isles. Not only does the reader receive great insight from theologians of old, but now the reader can place them in a specific historical context.

Finally, following this timeline is the biographical sketch of the reformers. This, in conjunction with the timeline, gives the reader a true historical sense of the time when these words were written. It is something to read the reformers and their quotes; it is quite different to understand (in brief) their historical situation that drove them to write such words.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from InterVarsity Press. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and a positive review was not required. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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