Highly acclaimed professor of literature David Lyle Jeffrey offers a theological reading of Luke in this addition to the well-received Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible. This commentary, like each in the series, is designed to serve the church--providing a rich resource for preachers, teachers, students, and study groups--and demonstrate the continuing intellectual and practical viability of theological interpretation of the Bible.
David Lyle Jeffrey (PhD, Princeton University) is distinguished professor of literature and humanities at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and professor emeritus of English literature at the University of Ottawa. He is the author of numerous books, including A Dictionary of Biblical Tradition in English Literature and People of the Book.
Only a genuine 'lover of God' can reflect on Luke's Gospel with the kind of eloquent beauty that David Lyle Jeffrey displays in this commentary. Drawing on a wide range of earlier 'lovers of God' throughout the centuries--commentators, painters, and poets--this book is living testimony that reading in line with faithful readers throughout the centuries makes us enter more deeply into Luke's portrayal of the beauty of divine redemption.
J. I. Packer Professor of Theology, Regent College
Drawing on a rich palette of historic Christian reflection, Jeffrey provides an exposition of Luke that invites one into a spiritually rich engagement with this Gospel. In Jeffrey's hands the giants of the past, the wider context of scripture, and key features of the text itself direct our focus to the Jesus to whom Luke bears testimony.
director of studies and tutor in New Testament, Trinity College Bristol
Could it be that God intends us to read Luke's Gospel for spiritual nourishment? If so, there could hardly be a better guide than David Lyle Jeffrey. This commentary is vintage Jeffrey, with his winning prose, literary sensitivity, and unmatched familiarity with Christian spiritual guides of the past--from Chrysostom and Bede to Aquinas and the medieval Franciscans--and the most notable exegetes and theologians writing today. Jeffrey also attends to the insights that can be gleaned from the great Christian poets whom he knows so well. The connection between learning about Jesus and loving Jesus is on full display in this beautiful work.
professor of theology, University of Dayton
A work of such literary beauty and theological bounty as Luke's Gospel demands an interpreter steeped in the thick literary and theological heritage of Christian thought. In this lively and learned commentary, distinguished humanities scholar David Lyle Jeffrey clears the bar with room to spare. Deftly mining the rich reflections of church fathers from Ambrose to Aquinas, Bede to Bonaventure, Chrysostom to Calvin, enhanced by illuminating insights from medieval and renaissance painting and poetry, Jeffrey provides a faithful, panoramic reading of Luke with the 'communion of saints.' An invaluable resource for understanding and proclaiming Luke's good news.
F. Scott Spencer,
professor of New Testament and preaching, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond
Brazos commentaries assert that in the interpretation of scripture 'dogma clarifies rather than obscures'--a controversial pudding, which critics sometimes deem underwhelming in the proof. David Jeffrey's fresh take on this genre mounts an energetic rebuttal: he brings to bear a lifetime's treasury of literary learning in the Christian tradition, deployed with outstanding sensitivity to the gospel's texture and to the life-giving witness of its faithful readers through the ages. With its exciting, theologically vibrant range of reference across twenty centuries of interpretation, this is a terrific contribution. No commentary of this kind can hope to cross every exegete's t or to dot every dogmatician's i. But Jeffrey on Luke brings the evangelist to life for us on a brilliant exegetical and theological tour of attentive gospel interpretation down the ages. It's a gem. Take and read!
professor of biblical and early Christian studies, Keble College, University of Oxford
It is sheer delight to encounter David Lyle Jeffrey's beautiful, soaring prose about Luke, the most beautiful book ever written. With both 'polish and secular eloquence'--to echo Thomas Aquinas's characterization of the third evangelist--Jeffrey 'opens up' the rich subtleties and intricate ironies of Luke's elucidation of why Jesus of Nazareth matters. Seldom do we find such thick theological description presented in such artistically textured speech. Learn from a master and never be the same again!"--David P. Moessner, professor of biblical theology, University of Dubuque/University of Pretoria
"Always attentive to the text and sensitive to the historical background, especially the Old Testament, David Lyle Jeffrey opens the reader's eyes to the literary artistry, spiritual drama, and theological depth of Luke's portrait of Jesus's life, teaching, death, and resurrection. Drawing deeply from the wellspring of the church's living tradition, Jeffrey's commentary allows us to hear anew the voice of the evangelist as it's been born by the Holy Spirit down through the ages into our own life and time. Beautifully written, this volume will prove equally valuable for study or contemplation, preaching or prayer. Truly one of the exemplary works in this popular series.
Pope Benedict XVI Chair of Biblical Theology and Liturgical Proclamation, St. Vincent Seminary; professor of scripture and theology, Franciscan University of Steubenville
If there are any lingering doubts about the wisdom of Brazos Press publishing a series of theological commentaries on the books of the Bible, David Lyle Jeffrey's commentary on Luke will lay those doubts to rest. Jeffrey is at home in modern critical literature, he knows the church fathers and medieval interpreters, and he makes good use of the Reformers, most notably Calvin. He brightens the discussion with literary allusions and poems. He draws illuminating parallels from unexpected places in the scriptures. But what makes this commentary a delight to read is that Jeffrey is a close reader of the Gospel of Luke and on every page displays a serious effort to understand the sacred text in light of the church's faith. A superb addition to the series.
-Robert Louis Wilken,
William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of the History of Christianity emeritus, University of Virginia
What a splendid idea! Many preachers have been longing for more commentaries that are not only exegetical but theological in the best sense: arising out of the conviction that God, through his Word, still speaks in our time. For those of us who take our copies of Martin Luther's Galatians and Karl Barth's Romans from the shelves on a regular basis, this new series in that tradition promises renewed vigor for preaching, and therefore for the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church in our time.
author of The Bible and The New York Times and The Seven Last Words from the Cross
This new series places the accent on 'theological' and reflects current interpretive ferment marked by growing resistance to the historical-critical project. It may be that scripture interpretation is too important to be left to the exegetes, and so a return to the theologians. We will wait with great anticipation for this new series, at least aware that the outcomes of interpretation are largely determined by the questions asked. It is never too late to ask better questions; with a focus on the theological tradition, this series holds the promise of asking interpretive questions that are deeply grounded in the primal claims of faith. The rich promise of the series is indicated by the stature and erudition of the commentators. Brazos has enormous promises to keep with this project, and we wait with eagerness for its appearing!
Columbia Theological Seminary
The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible makes a most welcome contribution to the church, the academic world, and the general public at large. By enlisting a wide range of Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox theologians who differ on much, but who agree on the truth of the Nicene Creed, the series also represents ecumenical activity of the very best kind. It is always a daunting challenge to expound the church's sacred book both simply and deeply, but this impressive line-up of authors is very well situated for the attempt.
-Mark A. Noll,
University of Notre Dame
Preachers and teachers in particular, but thoughtful Christians more generally, have long lamented the slide of biblical scholarship into hyper-specialized critical studies of ancient texts in remote historical context. It is no wonder, therefore, that the Brazos Theological Commentary is being so warmly welcomed. The outstanding array of authors, beginning with Jaroslav Pelikan's splendid commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, are, at long last, reclaiming the Bible as the book of the living community of faith that is the church.
-Richard John Neuhaus,
author of American Babylon: Notes of a Christian Exile
Contemporary application of the Bible to life is the preacher's business. But no worthy contemporary application is possible without a thorough understanding of the ancient text. The Brazos Theological Commentary exists to provide an accessible authority so that the preacher's application will be a ready bandage for all the hurts of life. We who serve the pulpit want a commentary we can understand, and those who hear us expect us to give them a usable word. The Brazos Commentary offers just the right level of light to make illuminating the word the joy it was meant to be.
author of A Hunger for the Holy and Loving God Up Close
For pastors, wanting to get at the theological heart of a text, there is some good stuff. When I am preaching, I usually try to take a peak at the Brazos volume.
-Nijay K. Gupta,
assistant professor of biblical studies, Seattle Pacific University