New International Greek Testament Commentary (NIGTC) | Reviews, Purpose, Volumes

Reviews on Volumes in the New International Greek Testament Commentary

Journal of Biblical Literature on the volume on Revelation by G.K. Beale:

“A significant contribution to our understanding of Revelation. . . . This commentary will certainly provide considerable insight into John’s often perplexing vision. In particular, Beale’s grasp of the Greek grammar of Revelation is outstanding. Too few scholars today have the linguistic expertise to furnish the reader with such extensive and thoughtful notes. . . . A truly important work that should be consulted as a reference by serious scholars of the Apocalypse.”

Thomas R. Schreiner on the volume on Romans:

“Paul’s letter to the Romans is like Mount Everest in its grandeur and beauty. How fitting it is, then, for one of the deans of New Testament scholarship, Richard Longenecker, to present his interpretation of the letter in this magisterial commentary. All the virtues of Longenecker’s work are evident here: in-depth exegesis, careful evaluation of the literary and historical setting of the letter, and consideration of the letter’s message for readers today. Interpreters of Romans are indebted to Longenecker and will want to consult his work regularly.”

Craig L. Blomberg on the volume on 1 Corinthians:

“Every New Testament book except 1 Corinthians has had at least one major English-language commentary on its Greek text published in recent years. For 1 Corinthians the last such commentary was Robertson and Plummer’s revised edition in 1914! Now this gap has been amply filled by one of the most detailed, widely ranging, and exegetically compelling commentaries ever written on any book of the Bible. Scholars, pastors, and students alike are all now massively indebted to Tony Thiselton for this prodigious work.”

The Purpose of the New International Greek Testament Commentary

From Eerdmans: This commentary series is established on the presupposition that the theological character of the New Testament documents calls for exegesis that is sensitive to theological themes as well as to the details of the historical, linguistic, and textual context. Such thorough exegetical work lies at the heart of these volumes, which contain detailed verse-by-verse commentary preceded by general comments on each section and subsection of the text.

An important aim of the NIGTC authors is to interact with the wealth of significant New Testament research published in recent articles and monographs. In this connection the authors make their own scholarly contributions to the ongoing study of the biblical text.

While engaging the major questions of text and interpretation at a scholarly level, the authors keep in mind the needs of the beginning student of Greek as well as the pastor or layperson who may have studied the language at some time but does not now use it on a regular basis.

Author Interviews on Best Bible Commentaries

Peter H. Davids – James

Preview: “I found working on James 5:13-16 as particularly influential, for as I was finishing the commentary I was ordained, and God spoke clearly to me through that passage about my duty as a presbyter to pray for the sick. But in doing the research behind the commentary, passages such as James 1:13-18 and its echoes later in James were significant for I found the issue of the origin of sin in the person fascinating.”

G.K. Beale – Revelation

Preview: “Seeing the unity of all Scripture coming to a peak in Revelation was very edifying. Also, understanding that the visionary parables in Revelation are an escalated heavenly continuation of Christ’s earthly parabolic ministry was encouraging.”

Volumes in the NIGTC Series

Links go to Amazon. Text is from Eerdmans (used by permission).

The Gospel of Matthew by John Nolland

Having devoted the past ten years of his life to research for this major new work, John Nolland gives us a commentary on the Gospel of Matthew that engages with a notable range of Matthean scholarship and offers fresh interpretations of the dominant Gospel in the history of the church.

Without neglecting the Gospel’s sources or historical background, Nolland places his central focus on the content and method of Matthew’s story. His work explores Matthew’s narrative technique and the inner logic of the unfolding text, giving full weight to the Jewish character of the book and its differences from Mark’s presentation of parallel material. While finding it unlikely that the apostle Matthew himself composed the book, Nolland does argue that Matthew’s Gospel reflects the historical ministry of Jesus with considerable accuracy, and he brings to the table new evidence for an early date of composition.

Including accurate translations based on the latest Greek text, detailed verse-by-verse comments, thorough bibliographies for each section, and an array of insightful critical approaches, Nolland’s Gospel of Matthew will stimulate students, preachers, and scholars seeking to understand more fully Matthew’s presentation of the gospel narrative.

The Gospel of Mark by R. T. France

Drawing on many years of Marcan studies, world-class scholar R. T. France has produced an exegetical commentary on the Greek text of Mark that does what the best of recent Greek commentaries have done but in France’s own inimitable, reader-friendly way.

This work is a commentary on Mark itself, not a commentary on commentaries of Mark. It deals immediately and directly with matters that France himself regards as important. Working from his own translation of the Greek text and culling from helpful research into the world of first-century Palestine, France provides an extensive introduction to Mark’s Gospel, followed by insightful section and verse commentary.

France sees the structure of Mark’s Gospel as an effective “drama in three acts.” Act 1 takes up Jesus’ public ministry in Galilee. Act 2 covers Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem with his disciples. Act 3 focuses on Jesus’ public ministry in Jerusalem, including his confrontation with the Jewish leaders, his explanatory discourse on the future, and his passion, death, and resurrection. France carefully unpacks for modern readers the two central themes of this powerful narrative of Jesus’ life — the nature of Christ and the role of discipleship.

Supported by careful argumentation and impressive in its sensitivity to Mark’s structure, context, and use of the Old Testament, France’s study of the second Gospel is without peer.

The Epistle to the Romans by Richard N. Longenecker

This highly anticipated commentary on the Greek text of Romans by veteran New Testament scholar Richard Longenecker provides solid scholarship and innovative solutions to long-standing interpretive problems. Critical, exegetical, and constructive, yet pastoral in its application, Longenecker’s monumental work on Romans sets a course for the future that will promote a better understanding of this most famous of Paul’s letters and a more relevant contextualization of its message.

The First Epistle to the Corinthians by Anthony C. Thiselton

Newly reprinted in paperback, Paul Ellingworth’s excellent NIGTC volume on Hebrews offers a detailed study of the Greek text, working outward to consider the wider context, linguistic questions, and the relation of Hebrews to other early Christian writings and to the Old Testament.

The Second Epistle to the Corinthians by Murray J. Harris

The reputation of the NIGTC series is so outstanding that the appearance of each new volume is noteworthy. This book on 2 Corinthians is no exception. Master New Testament exegete Murray J. Harris has produced a superb commentary that analyzes the Greek text verse by verse against the backdrop of Paul’s tumultuous relations with his converts at Corinth.

Believing that Scripture cannot be understood theologically unless it has first been understood grammatically, Harris provides a careful, thoroughgoing reading of the text of 2 Corinthians. He gives special attention to matters of translation, making regular references not only to the standard modern English translations but also to influential older versions such as The Twentieth Century New Testament and those by Weymouth, Moffatt, and Goodspeed. His close attention to matters of textual criticism and grammar leads to discussions of the theology of 2 Corinthians that show the relevance of Paul’s teaching to Christian living and church ministry.

Other notable features of the book include a comprehensive introduction in which all the relevant literary and historical issues are discussed, an expanded paraphrase of the letter that conveniently shows Harris’s decisions on exegetical issues and indicates the flow of Paul’s argument, a chronology of the relations of Paul, Timothy, and Titus with the Corinthian church, and an excursus on Paul’s “affliction in Asia” (1:8-11) and its influence on his outlook and theology.

The Epistle to the Galatians by F. F. Bruce

Paul’s letter to the churches of Galatia was for many years a document of special interest and study for renowned New Testament scholar F. F. Bruce. This excellent volume in the New International Greek Testament Commentary series contains Bruce’s mature work on that important early epistle.

Through phrase-by-phrase exegesis of the Greek text, consistent awareness of the historical and geographical context, and balanced dialogue with scores of other scholars, Bruce successfully bridges the hermeneutical gap and makes the text of Galatians come alive for both scholars and students. Based on careful historical-critical-linguistic exegesis yet primarily theological in character, this commentary places special emphasis throughout on Paul’s insistence on justification before God by faith apart from works of the law, and on Paul’s presentation of the Spirit as the principle of the new life in Christ.

The Epistle to the Philippians by Peter O’Brien

This commentary series is established on the presupposition that the theological character of the New Testament documents calls for exegesis that is sensitive to theological themes as well as to the details of the historical, linguistic, and textual context. Such thorough exegetical work lies at the heart of these volumes, which contain detailed verse-by-verse commentary preceded by general comments on each section and subsection of the text.

An important aim of the NIGTC authors is to interact with the wealth of significant New Testament research published in recent articles and monographs. In this connection the authors make their own scholarly contributions to the ongoing study of the biblical text.

The text on which these commentaries are based is the UBS Greek New Testament, edited by Kurt Aland and others. While engaging the major questions of text and interpretation at a scholarly level, the authors keep in mind the needs of the beginning student of Greek as well as the pastor or layperson who may have studied the language at some time but does not now use it on a regular basis.

The Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon by James D. G. Dunn

In this volume in the celebrated New International Greek Testament Commentary series, James D. G. Dunn, author of numerous well-received works on the historical origin and theological interpretation of the New Testament, provides detailed expositions of the text of Paul’s letters to the Colossians and to Philemon.

Dunn examines each of these letters within the context of the Jewish and Hellenistic cultures in the first century, and he discusses the place of Colossians and Philemon in the relationship between the Pauline mission and the early churches that received these letters. He places particular stress on the role of faith in Jesus Christ within and over against Judaism and on the counsel of these two important letters with regard to the shaping of human relationships in the community of faith.

The Epistles to the Thessalonians by Charles A. Wanamaker

The letters of Paul to the newly founded Christian community at Thessalonica hold a special place within the Christian tradition as possibly the earliest extant Christian writings. They are also of special interest not only for their theological value but for their sociological context. Among the communities established by Paul, the church at Thessalonica appears to have been the only one to have suffered serious external oppression. These two important epistles, then, speak uniquely to contemporary Christians living in a society often ideologically, if not politically, opposed to Christian faith.

In this innovative commentary Charles A. Wanamaker incorporates what may be called a social science approach to the study of 1 and 2 Thessalonians, taking into full account the social context that gave rise to Paul’s correspondence. While Wanamaker in no way ignores traditional historical- critical, linguistic, literary, and theological approaches to writing a commentary — in fact, at several points he makes a significant contribution to the questions raised by traditional exegesis — at the same time he goes beyond previous commentaries on the Thessalonian correspondence by taking seriously the social dimensions both of Christianity at Thessalonica and of the texts of 1 and 2 Thessalonians themselves. In blending traditional exegetical methods with this newer approach, Wanamaker seeks to understand Pauline Christianity at Thessalonica as a socio-religious movement in the first- century Greco-Roman world and attempts to grasp the social character and functions of Paul’s letters within this context.

A significant and original addition to the literature on 1 and 2 Thessalonians, this commentary will be valuable to scholars, pastors, and students alike. Commentary (NIGTC).

The Pastoral Epistles by George W. Knight III

This is a thorough, full- scale English commentary on the Greek text of 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus. While author George W. Knight gives careful attention to the comments of previous interpreters of the text, both ancient and modern, his emphasis is on exegesis of the Greek text itself and on the flow of the argument in each of these three epistles.

Besides providing a detailed look at the meanings and interrelationships of the Greek words as they appear in each context, Knight’s commentary includes an introduction that treats at length the question of authorship (he argues for Pauline authorship and proposes, on the basis of stylistic features, that Luke might have been the amanuensis for the Pastoral Epistles), the historical background of these letters, and the personalities and circumstances of the recipients.

Knight also provides two special excursuses: the first gathers together the information in the Pastorals and elsewhere in the New Testament on early church offices and leaders; the other excursus examines the motivations for conduct in Titus 2:1-10 with a view to their applicability to present-day situations.

The Epistle to the Hebrews by Paul Ellingworth

Newly reprinted in paperback, Paul Ellingworth’s excellent NIGTC volume on Hebrews offers a detailed study of the Greek text, working outward to consider the wider context, linguistic questions, and the relation of Hebrews to other early Christian writings and to the Old Testament.

The Epistle of James by Peter H. Davids

Peter David’s study on the Epistle of James is a contribution to The New International Greek Testament Commentary, a series based on the UBS Greek New Testament, which attempts to provide thorough exegesis of the text that is sensitive to theological themes as well as to the details of the historical, linguistic, and textual context.

The Book of Revelation by G. K. Beale

This monumental commentary on the book of Revelation, originally published in 1999, has been highly acclaimed by scholars, pastors, students, and others seriously interested in interpreting the Apocalypse for the benefit of the church. Too often Revelation is viewed as a book only about the future. As G. K. Beale shows, however, Revelation is not merely a futurology but a book about how the church should live for the glory of God throughout the ages — including our own.

Engaging important questions concerning the interpretation of Revelation in scholarship today, as well as interacting with the various viewpoints scholars hold on these issues, Beale’s work makes a major contribution in the much-debated area of how the Old Testament is used in the Apocalypse. Approaching Revelation in terms of its own historical background and literary character, Beale argues convincingly that John’s use of Old Testament allusions — and the way the Jewish exegetical tradition interpreted these same allusions — provides the key for unlocking the meaning of Revelation’s many obscure metaphors. In the course of Beale’s careful verse- by-verse exegesis, which also untangles the logical flow of John’s thought as it develops from chapter to chapter, it becomes clear that Revelation’s challenging pictures are best understood not by apparent technological and contemporary parallels in the twentieth century but by Old Testament and Jewish parallels from the distant past.


Also see:

Bible Commentary Series (index)

New Testament commentaries (index)

Old Testament commentaries (index)