Pentecost: RSVP

The Story Luke TellsPentecost is near, which means many churches will turn their attention to the book of Acts.

A couple of Pentecosts ago I recommended Justo L. González’s excellent The Story Luke Tells: Luke’s Unique Witness to the Gospel.

González notes that Luke’s story in Luke-Acts doesn’t really end per se: “Paul has suffered countless vicissitudes. He has been shipwrecked. He has finally made it to Rome. He is awaiting trial before Caesar. And then—nothing!”

(If you can never remember how Acts ends, rest assured! This may be why.)

Gonzalez goes on:

In telling his story and leaving it unfinished, Luke is inviting his readers to be part of it, to join the throng. ….But since the story is unfinished, it is more appropriate to conclude it with “RSVP,” like an invitation that awaits a response. This is what Luke demand from us: not satisfied curiosity about the past, but a response here and now. RSVP!

It’s neat to think about the church today as being a new sequel to Luke-Acts. Or, more accurately, the threequel to those two stories: Luke, Acts, the Church Today.

May God continue to empower with his Holy Spirit those of us who would RSVP faithfully to his invitation!

 

 

(Adapted from an earlier post on this blog.)

 

The Winner Is…

Mark ZECNT

 

Congrats to Brian Davidson, the winner of Mark in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the NT! Enjoy the book, Brian!

I used Random Number Generator to pick the winner–tried and true. If you’d like to read my book note on the Mark commentary, it’s here.

Thanks for all who entered the giveaway! Subscribe via the right sidebar to get updated every time I post here.

Free Copy of Mark (ZECNT) in Print, and 80% Off Ebook Gospel Commentaries from Zondervan

Zondervan Matthew Collection

 

Starting August 8 and going until 11:59 (EST) on August 11, Zondervan is offering a host of commentaries on the Gospels at a steep discount. Almost all of them are ones I use regularly in preaching preparation.

Some highlights:

  • Matthew, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the NT, $7.99 (reviewed here)
  • Scot McKnight’s Commentary on the Sermon on the Mount (The Story of God Bible Commentary, reviewed here)
  • Mark, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the NT, $7.99 (book note here)
  • NIVAC volumes, including Gary Burge’s volume on John
  • Luke, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the NT, $7.99 (reviewed here, and I think the first commentary I reviewed for Words on the Word)

Find all the books on sale here.

Mark ZECNT
Up for grabs!

As part of the promotion, Zondervan has given me a print copy of Mark Strauss’s Mark commentary (ZECNT) to give away. It retails at $44.99.

If you’d like to enter for a chance to win the Mark commentary, leave a comment saying which Gospel you find yourself most drawn to and why. If you share a link to this post on Facebook and/or Twitter, you get a second entry. (Make sure you let me know you shared, and leave the link in the comments.)

I’ll announce the winner Friday evening. Check out the whole sale here.

After Luke and Acts: Part 3 of Luke’s Trilogy

As I’ve been working on the Book of Acts for my last few sermons, Acts has been working right back on me. I’m still thinking about my encounter with the Ethiopian eunuch. This last week, as the lectionary moved from Acts 8 and Acts 10 back to Acts 1 (for the Sunday after Ascension Day), I found myself thinking in terms of Acts 1:8 as a prequel for what had been happening so far.

Just before he ascends, Jesus tells the disciples to wait for the promised gift of the Holy Spirit.

He says:

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

They had wanted to know when the kingdom would be restored, but Jesus points them to a different when: the when of the Holy Spirit.

One implication of Jesus’ response, I think, is that we don’t have to know when or have life’s tensions resolved to be a witness right now to what we have seen in Jesus.

We don’t have to understand all the ins and outs of the kingdom of God–we may even think of its consummation as being a loooong ways away–to be able to make a contribution to it today, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

There’s an African proverb that says, “That which is good is never finished.”

The Book of Acts is like this. It’s not finished. If Acts 1 serves as a prequel for the whole narrative, Acts’s sequel is being written by men, women, boys, and girls who make up the church today.

The Story Luke TellsJusto Gonzalez comes at this another way in his excellent new book,The Story Luke Tells: Luke’s Unique Witness to the Gospel (Eerdmans, 2015).

He points out that Luke’s story in Luke-Acts doesn’t really end: “Paul has suffered countless vicissitudes. He has been shipwrecked. He has finally made it to Rome. He is awaiting trial before Caesar. And then—nothing!”

(This helps explain why after a recent read-through of Acts, I was at a loss to remember what happened to Paul at the end!)

Gonzalez goes on:

In telling his story and leaving it unfinished, Luke is inviting his readers to be part of it, to join the throng. ….But since the story is unfinished, it is more appropriate to conclude it with “RSVP,” like an invitation that awaits a response. This is what Luke demand from us: not satisfied curiosity about the past, but a response here and now. RSVP!

Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

We are the sequel to the two-part combo of Luke and Acts–the threequel, if you like. The story of the church in the world now becomes the third part in Luke’s trilogy. Luke-Acts-Us.

Do Not Our Hearts Burn Within Us?

Supper at Emmaus, by Dr. He Qi, 2001
Supper at Emmaus, by Dr. He Qi, 2001

N.T. Wright compares the two disciples on the road to Emmaus to people who have gotten up early to watch the sunrise, but were looking westward, rather than eastward.

They were like people on a hillside, watching eagerly for the sunrise. …Disoriented, they are facing the wrong way. The expected moment comes and goes, and nothing happens. Then they become aware that, though the sky they are scanning remains dark, light seems to be shining anyway. With a strange excitement they turn around, to see the sun shining in full strength in the very place they least expected it.

The day Luke describes in Luke 24:13 is the day of Jesus’ resurrection, although it was decidedly not Easter to these two travelers. This is why Wright says “they least expected it.”

The women had seen the empty tomb, and these two disciples knew that, but they hadn’t pieced it all together yet. To them, Jesus was still dead. So they have this road trip now to talk about the death of Jesus, the denial of Peter, the betrayal of Judas, the crowds shouting, “Crucify!”, the weeping of the disciples at the cross, and the shock and shattered dreams of the community of Jesus’ followers.

One of the questions Luke is posing to his listeners and readers is: will we, when Jesus shows up, have eyes to see him?

The Road to Emmaus Was Covered With Tears

Jesus chastises the two, as only a loving and trusted teacher can do, for not understanding, for not knowing who he was.

But, in one sense, we don’t really want to blame these two disciples. To be fair, they were utterly devastated. “[T]hey crucified him,” they said, “but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.”

When our eyes are cloudy with tears, when we’re sinking beneath the weight of death and tragedy and incomprehensible outcomes… do we recognize Jesus?

They must have felt like that speech from Macbeth that I had to memorize in high school:

Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.

Good Friday and the days following were just an idiot’s tale, not a compelling narrative of an entire nation’s redemption. It all meant nothing.

Jesus and the Disciples on the Road to Emmaus, by Gustave Doré (1832–1883)
Jesus and the Disciples on the Road to Emmaus, Gustave Doré (1832–1883)

We don’t know for sure where Emmaus is–people who like to study these things have made two or three suggestions. It was within walking distance from Jerusalem, at least.

But I think we do know what Emmaus was. It was an escape. It was another town, it was not-Jerusalem, which was just too painful a place for these two disciples to be. It was a pre-emptive break from the regular weekday schedule that surely awaited the disciples on Monday morning. Those routines would have been unbearable with Jesus gone. So at least if they could go somewhere where the buildings and mountains and water wouldn’t remind them of him, maybe their sorrows could be numbed a little bit.

They were done. It was over. The road to Emmaus was a road of confusion, frustration, and tears.

Jesus Shows Up

Then Jesus shows up. They don’t know it’s Jesus. It’s another fellow traveler, and it would not have been weird at all for them to walk together, even if they hadn’t met.

“They were kept from recognizing him,” Luke says, a curious phrase. Was it their own sadness that kept them from seeing? Was it lack of faith? Did they think, “Hey this guy does look a little like Jesus, but no way it’s him”? Did God somehow keep them from seeing, so this scene could play out?

When he asks what they’re talking about, they can hardly bring themselves to re-live the tragedy. Cleopas does his best and, surprised that anyone wouldn’t have heard the front-page news, he goes on and tells about the criminal’s death his supposed Savior died.

[W]hat is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.

They knew this was the “third day,” when something was supposed to happen. And they knew the tomb was empty. And they knew the women were excited and had seen angels at Jesus’ tomb. But they hadn’t yet seen Jesus alive, outside of the tomb.

Jesus rebukes them for not knowing how it was supposed to all go down, a gentle (or maybe not-so-gentle) reminder to us to pay attention to what God is doing in the world… to pay attention to who Jesus is. No matter what led these two followers to go to Emmaus, there were some mysterious things afoot in Jerusalem, and they didn’t bother to stick around to see how it would play out. Maybe this is why Jesus calls them “foolish” and “slow of heart.”

Jesus then goes through the Scriptures (“Moses and all the Prophets,” or the whole Old Testament) and shows how it all points to him.

They Recognized Him

They get to Emmaus, so they get ready to stay the night there. Middle Eastern hospitality requires that they ask Jesus to join them, so he’s not out walking by himself. They sit down to eat. If the guided tour of the Hebrew Bible by one of its co-authors wasn’t enough, the two disciples now at last recognize Jesus, as he breaks the bread. Jesus goes quickly from table guest to host at a meal that would forever transform these two:

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

The Disciples Recognize Jesus at Emmaus,  Rembrandt (1606–1669)
The Disciples Recognize Jesus at Emmaus,
Rembrandt (1606–1669)

Now they know Jesus, in the breaking of the bread. Perhaps they recall the feeding of the 5,000, or the Last Supper that they had probably heard about from the other disciples who were there. On both of those occasions, Jesus took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and distributed it.

So they go back to Jerusalem, where all the commotion is, and make their contribution to the unfolding events of the first Easter:

They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

Jesus appears to them through the reading of Scripture and through fellowship at a table.

Time and time again the early church and the church throughout the ages would gather to hear the Word of God proclaimed and the sacrament of communion celebrated, and in so doing the church would continue to recognize its risen Lord.

Hearts Burning Within Us

During an Easter hymn two weeks ago, I was filled with awe at just how transforming the resurrection is for those who believe in it.

I began to think, “What if we remembered more often, both when we’re together and when we’re apart–what if we remembered more often that we worship a risen Jesus, and Christ’s resurrection completely transforms how we see the world? The victorious life over death of the resurrected Jesus is foundational to our identity.” We worship a Lord who could not be shut up in a tomb. Therefore, we, too, are resurrection people, disciples who have been forever changed by Christ’s victory over death.

Do not our hearts burn within us when we gather to hear God’s word, and when we break bread at Christ’s table? And do not our hearts burn within us, as we see Jesus in each other, at brunch or meals in each other’s homes, at coffee, through small group prayer, and notes of encouragement? Do not our hearts burn within us when we realize we’re not alone on the road, but have each other for traveling companions?

Do not our hearts burn within us when we truly recognize Jesus through an encounter with him?

And this encounter with Jesus is just as likely to take place on our defeated path to Emmaus… in those moments where we walk away from our hopes and dreams and visions of the future that are now traded in for just the hope of making it to lunchtime….

We see Jesus on our roads and sidewalks, because he comes and finds us there. We weren’t even looking for him. We didn’t even recognize him, and he came–the resurrected Lord, giving us his broken body and blood for our new life–he came and enlivened our hearts, rekindled our passion, made us excited about something again. Jesus gave us renewed purpose and vision. Jesus offered us hope when we were grasping at straws.

Do not our hearts burn within us?

And so we, who have seen this risen Lord, say with the two Emmaus-bound disciples and the others:

“It is true! The Lord has risen!”

This becomes a foundational truth about our identity, our make-up as believers in Jesus.

We are a people who have seen the risen Lord.

“It is true! The Lord has risen!”

We may invite him in as a guest to our gatherings, as those two road-walkers in our passage did. But we quickly find Jesus himself to be host, the one who invited us into fellowship with him in the first place. And do not our hearts burn within us as we hear his invitation to come to his table?

“It is true! The Lord has risen!”

Come, see Jesus now. The table of fellowship is set. Recognize him as he opens his table to us who journey along the road. And let your heart beat a little bit faster as you encounter the risen Jesus there.

The above is adapted from the sermon I preached on Luke 24:13-35 today. All Scripture quotations come from the NIV (1984) or TNIV. See my other sermons, if you desire, here. The image at the beginning of the post is used and covered under the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial ShareAlike 3.0 License.

Review of Luke (Baylor Handbook on the Greek Text)

Luke Baylor

Luke: A Handbook on the Greek Text is part of an expanding series by Baylor University Press that walks a reader through each word, phrase, and verse of the Greek New Testament. Of the series Baylor writes:

What distinguishes this series from other available resources is the detailed and comprehensive attention paid to the Greek text of the New Testament. Each handbook provides a convenient reference tool that explains the syntax of the biblical text, offers guidance for deciding between competing semantic analyses, deals with text-critical questions that have a significant bearing on how the text is understood, and addresses questions relating to the Greek text that are frequently overlooked or ignored by standard commentaries, all in a succinct and accessible manner.

The Luke volume is some 800 pages of lexical, grammatical, and syntactical detail. Language nerds will love it. The Baylor Handbook on the Greek New Testament series (BHGNT) “is designed to guide new readers and seasoned scholars alike through the intricacies of the Greek text.”

The Approach

Luke begins with a 15-page Introduction, with the following section headings:

  • Luke’s Style: “a mix of styles” and “higher on the literary scale than Matthew, Mark, or John”
  • Verbal Aspect: aorist tense verbs encode perfective aspect, generally used for mainline narrative events; imperfect tense verbs encode imperfective aspect, generally used for background events; present tense (imperfective aspect) is for quoted speech… but these are “tendencies only, not hard and fast linguistic rules”
  • The Use of Conjunctions at the Discourse Level: the authors focus here particularly on καί and δέ, which “serve distinct functions that assist readers in tracking the flow and status of information through large blocks of text”
  • Participles: primarily context (not just syntax) “drives the analysis” throughout the handbook
  • Word Order: the Greek verb defaults to a position at the start of a sentence; anything preceding it is “fronted” (which does not, the authors note, always imply emphasis)

Additionally, the Series Introduction addresses deponency, a label often given to middle/passive verbs with “active” meanings, but considered now by a number of scholars (and by the BHGNT series) to be an unhelpful concept “leading to imprecise readings of the text.” As a result,

users of the BHGNT will discover that verbs that are typically labeled “deponent,” including some with -θη- morphology, tend to be listed as “middle.”

The body of the handbook offers an English translation of each section of biblical text. Next there is the full Greek text of a given verse. Then follows a word-by-word (and/or phrase-by-phrase) analysis of the Greek text. One advantage to this structure is that, without having to have recourse to any other books, the user of this handbook has the full Greek and English texts of Luke in front of them.

There is also useful material at the back of the handbook: a glossary of nearly 50 grammatical terms and concepts, a bibliography, a grammar index (with grammatical concepts listed in English and words listed in Greek), and an author index. If I wanted to trace Luke’s use of the double accusative, for example, I’d see a list of verse references in the grammar index for further study.

An Example Passage: Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10

Luke 19:1-10 tells the well-known story of Zacchaeus’s encounter with Jesus. This handbook volume does comment on what a Greek phrase might “literally” mean, yet not (thankfully) to the point of making its English translation overly wooden, at least not on a regular basis. The translation is generally smooth, with additional comments on meaning throughout the notes.

Luke 19:1, for example, reads, “After entering Jericho, Jesus was passing through the city.” The handbook entry on that verse is as follows:

19:1 Καὶ εἰσελθὼν διήρχετο τὴν Ἰεριχώ.

Καὶ. The conjunction closely links this pericope with the preceding one, while the rest of the verse marks a shift in scene.
εἰσελθὼν. Aor act ptc masc nom sg εἰσέρχομαι (temporal).
διήρχετο. Impf mid ind 3rd sg διέρχομαι. The first three verses supply background information for the narrative that follows using imperfect verbs and equative clauses (διήρχετο; ἦν, v. 2; ἐζήτει, ἠδύνατο, v. 3).
τὴν Ἰεριχώ. Accusative complement of διήρχετο. Lit. “entering, he was passing through Jericho.”

Sometimes the entries are not much more than parsing, with a brief description of function (as in εἰσελθὼν, above). Other times there is more detail, as in διήρχετο. This reflects a concern throughout the handbook with discourse analysis: the authors are regularly asking (and answering) the question, “Why did Luke choose these words here? Why this verb tense? Why this position? What does it do for the narrative and the reader-hearer’s experience of it?”

Though Luke is not meant to be a full-on commentary, the authors nonetheless interact with other literature (commentaries and grammars, especially). For example, on 19:3’s “he was short in stature” (Greek: τῇ ἡλικίᾳ μικρὸς ἦν), they have this note:

The meaning of the phrase is debated. It could refer to Zacchaeus’ age (Green, 669–70) or his physical stature (Fitzmyer, 2:1223). The phrase probably not only refers to Zacchaeus’ height, but also serves to characterize him in a negative fashion (see Parsons 2001, 50–57; 2006, 97–108).

Whether or not one agrees with the conclusion (that Luke is talking about height), Culy, Parsons, and Stigall present the options, give bibliographical information, and–most important–say what the function of this phrase is in Luke’s story. Similarly, the authors consider textual variants where they would impact the meaning of the text.

What Luke: A Handbook on the Greek Text Is Not

This is a specialized work and does not aim to situate each passage in its literary or historical context. For example, when I was preaching on the Parable of the “Good Samaritan”, I turned to that passage. There is no introductory comment that sets it up, neither there nor at the beginning of chapter 10. There is a note that ἰδοὺ “is sometimes used to introduce a major character in a narrative, as here,” but that’s it.

Since the commentary does not set out to provide literary context or structural outlines, it would be unfair to criticize it for not doing that. The reader should be aware that this book is really true to its series title: it’s a handbook (that at times feels like a collection of notes) on the Greek text. Given that even technical, Greek-oriented commentaries pass over some words and concepts in the Greek text, there is definitely a place for a book like this. Those who want to go in-depth with the Greek (word-by-word and phrase-by-phrase) will find many riches to appreciate here, as I have.

Even so, I was pleasantly surprised by some places (i.e., the difficult Luke 18:7) where Culy, Parsons, and Stigall did offer insight into how to understand a passage as a whole.

The handbook will not replace a good lexicon. Some words simply have parsing information given, with little to no elaboration on the word’s meaning. To be truly comprehensive in this regard would double the size of the book, so it’s an understandable decision. Just keep BDAG close by as you read. That said, in this handbook you will get detail even down to the level of Greek accents!

Concluding Evaluation

The series preface says:

Readers of traditional commentaries are sometimes dismayed by the fact that even those that are labeled “exegetical” or “critical” frequently have little to say about the mechanics of the Greek text, and all too often completely ignore the more perplexing grammatical issues.

I have definitely felt this way as a commentary reader and user (and wanna-be Greek nerd). To have a handbook (albeit one that requires large hands to hold!) devoted to the Greek and its grammar is a great aid to anyone wanting to maintain or deepen their use of biblical languages. The lexical analysis (with sensitivity to larger New Testament context), grammatical insights, and linguistic nuances make for a smart and challenging companion to the Greek text. I’m excited to see more coming from this series.

N.B.: I have also reviewed Malachi in the similar Baylor Handbook on the Hebrew Text series, in two parts: here and here.

Thanks to Baylor University Press for the review copy. You can find the book’s product page here. It is on Amazon (affiliate link) here, where you can also “look inside” the book.

Teach the Text: Luke by R.T. France

R.T. France
R.T. France

I’ve always had a hard time answering who my “favorite author” was (how could I pick just one?), but when it comes to people who have written about the Bible, R.T. France is definitely in the top three. I found myself moved to tears several times when reading through his highly technical (read: supposed to be dry) commentary on Mark.

So I was thrilled when I learned that Baker’s Teach the Text Commentary Series (TTT) had R.T. France as the author of its Luke volume. France died in February 2012, so to have this posthumous work of his is a real treat–especially since he already has a major commentary on Matthew and one on Mark. This rounds out France’s writing on the Synoptic Gospels.

So far the TTT series is a strong entry into the already highly populated world of commentaries. I reviewed the Romans volume here. Baker has a fantastic series Website here with plenty of information, videos, and samples from the series.

How France Teaches Luke

France divides the 24 chapters of Luke into 65 text units (or passages), each of which receives six pages of commentary. It breaks down in this way: 

“Big Idea” at the beginning of each commentary passage.This is a short Tweet-length summary of the passage. For example, the Big Idea for Luke 1:57-80 (“The Birth of John”) is: “Both the extraordinary circumstances of his birth and his father’s inspired utterance testify to John’s pivotal role in the plan of salvation.”

A “Key Themes” sidebar. This is a set of bullet points that gives the highlights of each passage.

“Understanding the Text.” Here France offers:

  • The Text in Context (one of his real gifts is a sense of always knowing the larger literary context, and reminding the reader of it)
  • Outline/Structure
  • Historical and Cultural Background
  • Verse-by-verse Interpretive Insights
  • Theological Insights

France is especially adept in the Theological Insights section. He is reliable, creative, and faithful to the text. His experience as both scholar and pastor seems to have helped here.

“Teaching the Text.” France offers specific suggestions for how the preacher might approach the sermon on each text.

“Illustrating the Text.” Whether it’s a personal story, someone else’s anecdote, history, literature, film, or art, France gives ideas for how the preacher or teacher can illustrate the message.

France’s introduction to Luke is a mere seven pages (which includes commentary on Luke 1:1-4), but his awareness of literary and biblical context throughout the book offers what one might otherwise miss by way of introductory matters.

How France Treats a Passage (Luke 17:1-19)

Luke by FranceTo explore a sample passage more in depth, France combines Luke 17:1-19 into one passage, on which he spends the requisite six pages. The decision to treat Luke 17:1-19 as a single passage limits how much he can offer, and occasionally the reader will experience the results of such space limitations in TTT. (This is part of the purpose of the series, though, and is perhaps just indicative of my desire for more France.) Luke 17:1-10 (itself consisting of “four separate units of teaching”) and 17:11-19 probably ought to be treated as two separate passages–the Revised Common Lectionary, among other places, does.

His “Big Idea” in this section (“True discipleship cannot be undertaken causally; the service of God demands all that we can bring to it”) is more relevant to vv. 1-10 than it is to vv. 11-19.  (By contrast, this similarly-targeted Luke commentary has, “Faith recognizes Jesus as the source of healing and expresses itself in gratitude and praise to him,” for vv. 11-19.)

Even so, France has this good insight to offer on verse 19:

This formula [‘your faith has made you well’] is often a ‘performative utterance,’ but not here, since the cure of the ten has already taken place, all of them presumably through similar ‘faith.’ But this man’s overt praise of God is evidence of a spiritual health that Jews would not expect to find in a Samaritan.

And his “Teaching the Text” portion does suggest ways to preach from vv. 1-10 and vv. 11-19 as separate passages. On the latter he writes:

France on Luke 17_1France on Luke 17_2

In “Illustrating the Text” France moves between a 1962 film (Days of Wine and Roses, about leading another into alcoholism), a personal anecdote on forgiveness by Cardinal Bernardin, and a quotation by author Lewis B. Smedes on gratitude and happiness.

As with the Romans Teach the Text volume, the illustrations throughout help the reader better envision what’s going on in the biblical text. Here’s a portion from the passage that describes Zacchaeus’s encounter with Jesus:

Zacchaeus's Sycamore Tree
Zacchaeus’s Sycamore Tree

An added bonus is the high quality of the book materials. The hardcover looks pretty indestructible, the binding is sewn, and the pages are thick and glossy (but not too glossy to accept notes from a writing utensil). The full-color pages throughout are a nice touch, too. Translation: this commentary will make it through multiple series and preaching cycles on Luke. I’ve even been able to use it recently as I preach through Matthew, consulting the parallel passages here.

There are already five TTT volumes available, with more on the way. If the quality of this series continue to match that of France and Pate (Romans), I’ll want to keep consulting this series, and other preachers and teachers will want to, as well.

Thanks to Baker Publishing for the review copy of Luke. Its Baker product page is here, and it is for sale at Amazon here.