In this one volume NT commentary widely respected NT scholar Robert H. Gundry has provided the Bible reading world with a rare gem. Moving beyond the historical and technical issues that weighed down and, quite frankly, hindered the field for more than a century, Gundry moves into the heart of the text in order to illuminate its meaning.
This project to illuminate what Scripture means is Gundry's primary goal. Nevertheless, Gundry is a scholar and he uses his vast knowledge of Scripture, its historical and social context in order to understand what the original authors of the Biblical text intended to mean; Gundry does not simply give a cart blanche passage to traditional views he demands that they stand up to the test of what Scripture says, not what others or even Gundry himself wants it to say.
This is a tricky business. But Gundry, unlike no commentator I have read skillfully weaves in the historical, sociological, and textual evidence in order to create his interpretation of the passage. This leads him to leave out commentary on two NT passages that according to the best textual evidence available do not belong as part of the NT. This includes The "longer ending of Mark" that begins at 16.9, and the story of the woman caught in adultery in the last part of John 7, and early verses of John 8.
That Gundry makes this move will no doubt make some unhappy. But the textual evidence is overwhelming in this regard, and Gundry explains why he makes his decision. He is acting as a discerning scholar and in accord with is conscience as a Christian. Moreover, Gundry thoroughly explains why he has made the decisions he has made.
Beyond this, readers of this commentary are in store for a discovery of uncommon worth. Gundry is exceptionally skilled at illuminating passages in a clear, precise, accessible, and scholarly informed manner. What is more is that the reader learns the passages by being informed of the exegetical issues that create the passage without having to digest the technical jargon that so often makes reading a commentary unbearably dull. Not so with Gundry.
All serious students of Scripture who are looking to learn about the text and wish to have the best scholarship presented to them in a way that aids in determining the text's meaning will greatly benefit from Gundry's Commentary on the New Testament
Verse-by-verse explanations with a literal translation
Shouldn't a Bible commentary clarify what God's Word actually says? Going beyond questions of authorship, date, sources, and historicity, respected linguist and teacher Gundry offers a one-volume exposition of the New Testament that focuses on what is most useful for preaching, teaching, and individual study--what the biblical text really means. Providing interpretive observations in a "breezy" style that's easy to read and adaptable for oral use in pulpit or classroom presentations, Gundry directs his book to an evangelical audience. His crisp translation of the New Testament inserts various phrasings of passages in brackets, allowing for smooth transition from original text to alternative and contemporary readings.
SAMPLE TEXT OF TRANSLATION
JOHN'S PREDICTING A MORE POWERFUL BAPTIZER THAN HE (Mark 1:1-8) 1:1-3: The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, God's Son, according as it's written in Isaiah the prophet, "Behold, I'm sending my messenger before your face [= ahead of you], who'll pave your way [= the road you'll travel], [the messenger who is] the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight.'"
Pastors, Sunday school teachers, small-group leaders, and laypeople will welcome Gundry's non-technical explanations and clarifications. And Bible students at all levels will appreciate his sparkling interpretations of the NT Scriptures. A trustworthy guide for anybody wanting to delve deeper into God's Word.
SAMPLE TEXT OF COMMENTS
"Gospel" means "good news." Jews would associate this good news with Isaiah 52:7. Non-Jews would think of the good news of an emperor's accession to power, birthday, visit to a city, military victory, or bringing of prosperity to the empire. But Mark's good news has to do with the salvation and victory brought by Jesus over evil in all its demonic and physical forms. "The gospel of Jesus Christ" therefore means "the gospel about Jesus Christ" and refers to a proclaimed message ("the voice of one crying out"), not a book (though because books like Mark's contain that proclaimed message, the term came to refer to those books in the capitalized form of "Gospels" to distinguish them from the message, kept uncapitalized as "gospel").
Robert H. Gundry (PhD, Manchester University) is scholar-in-residence and professor emeritus of New Testament and Greek at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. He is the author of the bestselling classroom text A Survey of the New Testament, now in its fourth edition. Among his other works are Mark: A Commentary on His Apology for the Cross; Matthew: A Commentary on His Handbook for a Mixed Church Under Persecution; Soma in Biblical Theology; and Jesus the Word, According to John the Sectarian.
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