1 Stars Out Of 5
Be Careful Stein Has Liberal Tendencies
September 4, 2015
Robert Steins NAC commentary on Luke is a real disappointment. I have really enjoyed several other commentaries in this series (especially Douglas Stuart on Exodus and Craig Blomberg on Matthew) but Steins is different. He approaches the text as if it was not truly inspired by God but instead was a document that Luke wrote and edited primarily on his own. Here are a few specifics from the book.
1. Stein admits in the introduction (p. 57) that he is committed to redaction criticism sometimes called "composition criticism.
2. Stein states (p. 57, footnote 94) that a commentary on Luke should not have as its primary goal the mining of the Lukan Gospel in order to discoverexactly what happened. I would argue the opposite. The studying of the text to understand what happened and what is taught is exactly what we should be doing.
3. Stein denies that Jesus is all-knowing when Jesus displayed his ability to know what others were thinking. On p. 177 regarding 5:22 Stein states, Jesus awareness of the scribes thoughts need not imply a divine omniscience.
4. Stein claims that Luke chose certain words just to fit the story and thus implies they may not be factual. On p. 543 regarding 18:15 Stein writes, Luke, following the Markan account, used little children everywhere else in this account but here. Perhaps the verb were bringing caused him to use the term at this point, since babies would have been carried to Jesus where little children would have been led. Conversely, I would suggest that the people really were bringing babies (brephe) to Jesus and then Jesus really did, in verse 16, command that the children (paidia) come to him. Children indicates a wider age range that Jesus called to himself.
Steins commentary lacks solid conservative exegesis. I would recommend instead The Expositors Bible Commentary Volume 8 (Luke by Walter Liefeld) or for a more thorough work the NICNT on Luke by Joel Green. Both are trusted evangelical works.