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5 Stars Out Of 5
My "go to" commentary series
January 16, 2014
I have been using The Bible Speaks Today series for years. For me, this has been an invaluable resource as the focus is on practical application along with challenging academic discussion. An superb resource for priests and pastors who work parochially or as chaplains.
The Bible Speaks Today (BST) commentary series is an extremely good Bible resource. Under the editing supervision of J.A. Motyer (Old Testament) and John Stott (New Testament), the BST yields consistently high quality expository writing, tight exegesis, and sound Reformed Evangelical theology in a very easy to read format. Bruce Milne's commentary on the Gospel of John is a wonderful example of those features and I highly recommend it and other books in this series.
Milne is an organized author who expounds Scriptural passages with clear and concise commentary that never gets bogged down in technical analysis. His outline supports but never overwhelms the commentary, and the commentary never outruns the Biblical passage. Milne uses topic sentences to summarize key points in a verse or passage and lets his commentary flow from those leads. He is careful to weave his commentary into a narrative that follows the movement in John's gospel. Authors in other Bible commentary sets often touch upon a verse and then go far afield in an excursus that never really coheres with the passage. Still other authors tend to lose the reader in the exegetical weeds. With all that meandering, it's difficult for the reader to mentally summarize the key theological points of the section he has just read. "I just read three pages of commentary but what did I learn?" In contrast, Milne, and other BST authors, really excel at writing Reformed commentary that is both meaty and memorable. The editors do a remarkable job in delivering a series of Reformed theological commentary that can be truly characterized as "page-turners".
I would like to add one final recommendation. The BST has recently introduced a new series, "The Bible Speaks Today Theme Series", which is devoted to surveying major Biblical topics. This series really highlights the strengths of the BST editors--tight, coherent, readable commentary from solid Reformed theologians. Some "Message of" selections include "The Message of the Holy Spirit", "...Creation", ...Trinity", "...Resurrection", and "...Salvation". My favorite book in this series is entitled "The Message of Evil & Suffering" by Peter Hicks.