Pillar New Testament Commentary (PNTC) Series | Reviews, Purpose, Volumes

Purpose of the Pillar New Testament Commentary Series

pillar new testament bible commentaryThe Pillar New Testament Commentary, designed for serious readers of the Bible, seeks above all to make clear the meaning of the text of Scripture as we have it. Writers of the PNTC volumes interact with the most important, informed contemporary debate yet avoid undue technical detail.

Their ideal is a blend of rigorous exegesis and exposition, scholarship and pastoral sensitivity, with an eye alert both to biblical theology and to the contemporary relevance of the Bible.

Author Interviews from the Pillar New Testament Commentary Series on Best Bible Commentaries

James R. Edwards – Luke

Preview: “I was dreading writing on chapter 15, especially the Parable of the Prodigal Son, not because I dislike the Parable, but because so much has been written on it that I could not imagine saying anything new or as well as others have already said it. But I have to say that the most enjoyable section in the commentary turned out being my exposition of the Parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15! I soared on a thermal current of delight as I wrote that section, and I’m equally delighted as I reread it today.”

David G. Peterson – Acts

Preview: “Luke’s continuing focus on the word of the gospel as the means by which people of different nationalities and backgrounds are brought to faith and union with Christ and his people was a continuing encouragement to me. This increased my confidence in the risen Christ as the one who uses the word to grow his church.”

Mark A. Seifrid – 2 Corinthians

Preview: “I have had an interest in Paul, his message, and its relevance for us today for a very long time. Second Corinthians receives less attention than Romans, Galatians, and even First Corinthians. But its message concerning the “word of the cross” and the nature of Christian life speaks directly and powerfully to contemporary Christianity.”

Volumes in the Pillar Series

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

The Gospel According to Matthew – Leon Morris

In the Christian Church the Gospel of Matthew has been considered the most important portrait of Jesus’ life and message. Containing Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and a uniquely rich collection of parables, among many other things, Matthew has made a major contribution to the church throughout the centuries, and it still has much to say to the church today.

This superb commentary in the Pillar series explores the meaning and relevance of Matthew in an eminently straightforward fashion. Leon Morris writes for readers who use commentaries to discover further what the Bible means. Throughout, he makes clear what he considers to be the meaning of the Greek text that Matthew has bequeathed to the church. A perceptive introduction precedes Morris’s warmhearted verse-by-verse exposition of Matthew, an exposition based on his own literal translation of the text. Now a standard reference work on the Gospel of Matthew, this mature, evangelically oriented commentary will continue to meet the needs of students, pastor, and general readers alike.

The Gospel According to Mark – James R. Edwards

This new Pillar volume offers exceptional commentary on Mark that clearly shows the second Gospel — though it was a product of the earliest Christian community — to be both relevant and sorely needed in today’s church.

Written by a biblical scholar who has devoted thirty years to the study of the second Gospel, this commentary aims primarily to interpret the Gosepl of Mark according to its theological intentions and purposes, especially as they relate to the life and ministry of Jesus and the call to faith and discipleship. Unique features of James Edwards’s approach include clear descriptions of key terms used by Mark and revealing discussion of the Gospel’s literary features, including Mark’s use of the “sandwich” technique and of imagistic motifs and irony. Edwards also proposes a new paradigm for interpreting the difficult “Little Apocalypse” of chapter 13, and he argues for a new understanding of Mark’s controversial ending.

The Gospel According to Luke – James R. Edwards

pillar new testament bible commentaryIn keeping with the Pillar New Testament Commentary’s distinctive character, this volume by James R. Edwards on Luke gives special attention to the Third Gospel’s vocabulary and historical setting, its narrative purpose and unique themes, and its theological significance for the church and believers today.

Though Luke is often thought to have a primarily Gentile focus, Edwards counterbalances that perspective by citing numerous evidences of Luke’s overarching interest in depicting Jesus as the fulfillment of God’s providential work in the history of Israel, and he even considers the possibility that Luke himself was a Jew. In several excursuses Edwards discusses particular topics, including Luke’s infancy narratives, the mission of Jesus as the way of salvation, and Luke’s depiction of the universal scope of the gospel.

While fully conversant with all the latest scholarship, Edwards writes in a lively, fluent style that will commend this commentary to ministers, students, scholars, and many other serious Bible readers.

The Gospel According to John – D.A. Carson

In this solid evangelical commentary on John’s Gospel, a respected Scripture expositor makes clear the flow of the text, engages a small but representative part of the massive secondary literature on John, shows how the Fourth Gospel contributes to biblical and systematic theology, and offers a consistent exposition of John as an evangelistic Gospel. The comprehensive introduction treats such matters as the authenticity, authorship, purpose, and structure of the Gospel.

The Acts of the Apostles – David G. Peterson

Fifteen years in the making, this comprehensive commentary by David Peterson offers thorough exegesis and exposition of the Acts of the Apostles, drawing on recent scholarship in the fields of narrative criticism and theological analysis, incorporating insights into historical-social background, and investigating why Luke presents his material in the way he does.

In view of how long the book of Acts is — over a thousand verses — Peterson’s commentary is admirably economical yet meaty. His judgments, according to Don Carson, are always “sane, evenhanded, and judicious.” Even while unpacking exegetical details, Peterson constantly scans the horizon, keeping the larger picture in mind. With its solid exegesis, astute theological analysis, and practical contemporary application, Peterson’s Acts of the Apostles is a commentary that preachers, teachers, and students everywhere will want and need.

Paul’s Letter to the Romans – Colin G. Kruse

Paul’s letter to the Romans may well be the most influential book in Christian history. In this Romans commentary Colin Kruse shows how Paul expounds the gospel against the background of God’s sovereign action as creator, judge, and redeemer of the world. Valuable “additional notes” on important theological themes and difficult texts — such as Paul’s discussion of same-sex relationships, the salvation of “all Israel,” and the woman Junia, who was “well known among the apostles” — further connect Romans to contemporary issues. Throughout his commentary Kruse expertly guides readers through the plethora of interpretations of Romans, providing a reliable exposition of this foundational epistle.

The First Letter to the Corinthians – Roy E. Ciampa and Brian S. Rosner

This thorough commentary presents a coherent reading of 1 Corinthians, taking full account of its Old Testament and Jewish roots and demonstrating Paul’s primary concern for the unity and purity of the church and the glory of God. Roy Ciampa and Brian Rosner’s well-informed, careful exegesis touches on an astonishingly wide swath of important yet sensitive issues, reinforcing the letter’s ongoing theological and pastoral significance.

The Second Letter to the Corinthians – Mark A. Seifrid

pillar new testament bible commentaryThe question that Paul set before the ancient church in Corinth — Do you not recognize that Jesus Christ is in and among you? (2 Cor 13:5) — remains a critical question for the church today. This commentary by Mark Seifrid seeks to hear Paul’s message afresh and communicate it to our time.

Seifrid offers a unified reading of 2 Corinthians, which has often been regarded as a composite of excerpts and fragments. He argues that Paul’s message is directed at the “practical atheism” of the Corinthian church — the hidden heresy that assumes God’s saving work in the world may be measured by outward standards of success and achievement.

Like all of the Pillar volumes, Seifrid’s commentary on 2 Corinthians offers careful grammatical analysis and exegesis with clear pastoral application.

Galatians (no volume)

The Letter to the Ephesians – Peter T. O’Brien

From a foremost authority on the New Testament comes a major new commentary on Ephesians–a letter of truth, love, and unity to our superficial world. This volume in the Pillar New Testament Commentary series provides a rich exposition of Ephesians, one of the most significant documents ever written. Using the fruits of recent biblical research, Peter O’Brien shows how Ephesians sums up God’s magnificent plan of salvation in Christ and spells out his divine purpose for believers today. A model of the scholarly excellence characteristic of the entire PNTC series, O’Brien’s Ephesians will become the standard work on this profoundly influential book.

The Letter to the Philippians – G. Walter Hansen

In this commentary G. Walter Hansen offers rich exposition of the text of Philippians as well as wisdom and maturity in its application. In so doing he emphasizes partnership–the social and corporate dimensions of community–in the progress of the gospel.

After a select bibliography, Hansen’s introduction sets forth the historical setting of the church in Philippi, the nature and occasion of the letter, and a preview of two key themes–the gospel of Christ and the community in Christ. The commentary itself discusses Philippians in light of these themes, considering Paul’s greetings, reports of gospel ministry, imperatives for citizens worthy of the gospel, recommendations of two Christ-like servants, and disclosures of his personal experience. Hansen’s treatment as a whole is distinctive for the way it draws out and highlights the themes of partnership, citizenship, and friendship in Paul’s Philippian letter.

The Letter to the Colossians and Philemon – Douglas J. Moo

Exhibiting the same brilliant exegesis and sound practical insight found in his previous works, noted commentator Douglas J. Moo in this new volume not only explains accurately the meaning of the letters to the Colossians and to Philemon but also applies that meaning powerfully to twenty-first-century readers. Moo both interacts with the Greek text of these letters and clearly explains the English text to a contemporary audience.

Informed, evangelical, methodologically astute, and displaying a careful balance between good scholarship and pastoral concern — earmarks of the Pillar New Testament Commentary series as a whole — Moo’s Letters to the Colossians and to Philemon will offer insights to a wide range of readers, from teachers and students, to pastors and parishioners, to scholars and laypersons.

The Letters to the Thessalonians – Gene Green

In this commentary Gene Green reads Paul’s two letters to the Thessalonians in light of the canon of Scripture and of new knowledge about the first-century world of Thessalonica. This fruitful approach helps illuminate the impact of the gospel on its original readers and, in turn, shows how potent a force it can be for the church and society today.

The book begins with an in-depth study of the Thessalonians themselves — their history, land, socioeconomic conditions, and religious environment. This fascinating discussion gives the necessary context for fully appreciating the circumstances surrounding the founding of the city’s first church and the subsequent struggles of the Thessalonian believers to live out their Christian faith.

The main body of the book provides informed verse-by-verse commentary on 1 & 2 Thessalonians that extracts the fullest possible meaning from these important New Testament texts. As Green’s exposition shows, the Thessalonian scriptures are especially valuable as letters of friendship and for showing Paul’s pastoral concern for the many areas in which the Thessalonians needed guidance. Some of Paul’s purposes are to thank the new believers for their steadfastness amid suffering, to encourage them in their trials, to urge them not to neglect their daily work, and, no less important, to teach them about the future of believers who die before Christ returns. Indeed, the matter of the last things and the second coming of Christ so permeates these texts that they are often called Paul’s eschatological letters.

Filled with new information about ancient society, this commentary will fast become a standard reference work for Bible study. By carefully bridging the biblical and modern worlds, Green shows with clarity and warmth the continuing relevance of 1 & 2 Thessalonians for contemporary readers.

The Letters to Timothy and Titus – Robert W. Yarbrough

The Pastoral Letters—1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus—have made an enduring contribution to understanding the role of pastors in the church. With a spirited devotion to the text, Robert Yarbrough helps unlock the meaning of these short but rich letters in this commentary.

In keeping with the character of Pillar New Testament Commentary volumes, The Letters to Timothy and Titus offers a straightforward reading of these texts. Their primary concerns—God, salvation, and the pastoral task—remain central to Yarbrough’s thorough and comprehensive exegesis. Engaging with the best scholarship and resources, Yarbrough shows how these letters are as relevant today as they were to the early Christians.

The Letter to the Hebrews – Peter O’Brien

In this carefully crafted commentary Peter O’Brien distinctively harvests the results of recent scholarship on the letter to the Hebrews, especially in relation to the genre of the document and the flow of its discourse. This volume is purposely neither unduly technical nor unhelpfully brief. Its careful exegesis and exposition combined with its theological richness and warm devotion will fruitfully serve pastors, teachers, and students everywhere.

The Letter to James – Douglas J. Moo

Few books in the New Testament are better known or more often quoted as the Letter of James. Because James is so concise, so intensely practical, and so filled with memorable metaphors and illustrations, it has become one of the two or three most popular New Testament books in the church.

This highly original commentary seeks to make the Letter of James clear and applicable to Christian living today. Interacting with the latest views on James but keeping academic references to a minimum, Douglas Moo first introduces the Letter of James in its historical context and then provides verse-by-verse comments that explain the message of James both to its first readers and to today’s church.

1 Peter (no volume)

The Letters of 2 Peter, Jude – Peter H. Davids

Filling a notable gap in scholarship on 2 Peter and Jude, Peter Davids artfully unpacks these two neglected but fascinating epistles that deal with the confrontation between the Greco-Roman world and the burgeoning first-century Jesus communities. Davids firmly grasps the overall structure of these oft-maligned epistles and presents a strong case for 2 Peter and Jude as coherent, consistent documents. Marked by exceptional exegesis and sharp, independent judgments, Davids’s work both connects with the latest scholarship and transforms scholarly insights into helpful conclusions benefiting Christian believers.

The Letters of John – Colin G. Kruse

This Pillar commentary seeks to clearly explain the meaning of John’s letters to teachers, pastors, and general readers looking for a reliable resource for personal study. Colin Kruse introduces the important issues involved in interpreting the Johannine letters, gives verse-by-verse comments, and provides extensive discussion of John’s major theological themes, including the real humanity of Christ, atonement, the role of the Spirit, Christian assurance, the meaning of koinonia, Christian love, and eternal life.

Designed both for serious students and for general readers of the Bible, the Pillar New Testament Commentary volumes seek to make clear the meaning of the text of Scripture as we have it. The scholars writing these volumes interact with the most important, informed contemporary debate yet avoid undue technical detail. Their ideal is a blend of rigorous exegesis and exposition, scholarship and pastoral sensitivity, with an eye alert both to biblical theology and to the contemporary relevance of the Bible.

Revelation (no volume)


Also see:

Bible Commentary Series (index)

New Testament commentaries (index)

Old Testament commentaries (index)