4 Stars Out Of 5
May 13, 2013
The Expositor's Bible Commentary Revised Edition
Romans - Galatians
Tremper Longman III & David E. Garland, General Editors
The Expositor's Bible Commentary Revised Edition (EBC-R) seeks to provide "a comprehensive yet succinct commentary that guides one to the gist of the test's meaning." This is where this commentary series excels. The EBC-R will provide its reader with a good overview of the text and its meaning. This volume (11 of 13) covers Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, and Galatians. The translation used is the NIV, which is pretty standard for most commentaries.
Each book contains an introduction written by the author containing general background information regarding the book. The bibliography is included in this section which is helpful as it provides the reader with additional commentaries to read as well as knowing where some of the author's research and thoughts come from. The outlines are always a blessing to me, as they show how the author sees the book flow. The layout of the commentary makes it very easy to read. Each section of Scripture is written in bold with a grey background and is single column, making it easy to find a particular verse quickly. The commentary section follows and is double columned, with bold verse numbers at the start of each commentary section for a particular verse. There are also a Notes section and a Reflections section that contains some extra thoughts. The layout is different from other commentaries that I have read, but once I got used to it I appreciated how easy it was to navigate.
As for the commentary itself, the EBC-R is very readable for pastors and laymen. There is not the critical depth of some commentaries that would confuse many lay people, but it is also not so shallow that the reader will not grow in their understanding. This commentary provides a great introduction to deeper Bible study and is not intimidating. Romans 8:29 is handled very clearly. The author states: "This calling is further explained in terms of 'foreknowledge' and 'predestination.' The former term does not indicate advance awareness or knowledge of someone; it refers to God's choice, his electing decision." Salvation is of sovereign grace, not human decision! The author is also fair in presenting multiple views of "all Israel will be saved" from 11:26. This treatment of Romans is very beneficial. If studying Romans, one commentary is not enough, but this one would be a good addition to have in one's library. One major disappointment I have is the replacement of James Boice in Galatians from the original set. In my honest opinion it is tough to justify replacing one of the best expositional preachers of our generation. On the positive side, Murray Harris' work on 2 Corinthians made it from the original to the revised!
Overall this revision is timely and valuable. I previously owned the original Expositors Bible Commentary and am excited to begin to collect the Revised Edition.
I received a free copy of this book from Zondervan in exchange for an honest review.