Interview with Tom Schreiner on Hebrews (BTCP Commentary)

Thomas R. Schreiner is the James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Professor of Biblical Theology (1997), and Associate Dean of the School of Theology. Schreiner joined the Southern faculty in 1997 after serving 11 years on the faculty at Bethel Theological Seminary. He also taught New Testament at Azusa Pacific University.

Schreiner, a Pauline scholar, is the author or editor of several books including, Romans, in the Baker Exegetical Commentary Series on the New Testament; Interpreting the Pauline Epistles; The Law and Its Fulfillment: A Pauline Theology of Law; The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance and Assurance; Still Sovereign: Contemporary Perspectives of Election, Foreknowledge, and Grace, co-edited with Bruce A. Ware; Women in the Church: A Fresh Analysis of I Timothy 2:9-15; Paul, Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ: A Pauline Theology.

1. What previous research and/or personal interests led you to this project and helped prepare you to write this commentary on Hebrews in the Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation series?

​I have an intense interest in biblical theology​ ​and in how the whole Bible fits together. I have written a Pauline theology, a theology of the New Testament, and a theology of the entire Bible. Hebrews is certainly one of the most important books in the NT for biblical theology since it unpacks in such detail how the NT relats to the OT. I jumped at the chance to study Hebrews more intensely.​

2. Who is the intended audience for this commentary? Would it benefit pastors? professors? students? lay Christians in the local church?

​The commentary is not a technical commentary intended for other scholars, but it written for laypeople, students, and pastors. I think it is quite accessible to the ordinary person.

The Greek in the commentary is explained for those who don’t know the languages.​

3. What is unique about this commentary? What contribution does it make to studies of Hebrews?

​What sets this volume apart and this series apart is the focus on the biblical theology of the letter. Most commentaries explore what Hebrews means verse by verse, and I do this as well. But at the same time I try to show how Hebrews relates to the rest of the Bible, and thus we see the distinctive contribution Hebrews makes to the canon of scripture.​

4. What section or passage of this commentary was particularly memorable to research and write? Why?

​I suppose it was the section on biblical theology, and it was particularly fascinating because I was trying to unpack Hebrews in light of the whole storyline of scripture.

5. What personally edified you in writing this commentary, increasing your affections for Christ?

hebrews text

​In studying Hebrews I was reminded of the absolute sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. He is our Melchizedekian priest who has offered atonement once for all for our sins. How comforting to know that we can enter boldly into God’s presence through Jesus’s blood, and that my conscience has been completed cleansed through his sacrifice.​

6. Besides your commentary, what are your top recommended books (commentaries or otherwise) on Hebrews?

Gareth Cockerill’s commentary in the NICNT series is excellent. He is Arminian, but his reading of the book is challenging and his exegesis is outstanding. ​ ​If you are looking for a Greek commentary William Lane’s two volumes in the Word series are excellent.​

7. What is next for you? What project are you currently working on? How can people follow your work and ministry?

​I have a second edition of Romans coming out from Baker. I also just finished a smaller commentary on 1 Corinthians in the Tyndale series. I have also written a handbook on Acts and the Pauline letters which should come out sometime in 2018.

People can follow me on twitter @DrTomSchreiner​

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