Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (ZECNT): Reviews, Purpose, and Volumes

Purpose of the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (ZECNT)

Strauss Mark commentaryFrom the publisher: “This series is designed for those who know biblical languages. It is written primarily for the pastor and Bible teacher, not for the scholar. That is, the aim is not to review and offer a critique of every possible interpretation that has ever been given to a passage, but to exegete each passage of Scripture succinctly in its grammatical and historical context.

Each passage is interpreted in the light of its biblical setting, with a view to grammatical detail, literary context, flow of biblical argument, and historical setting. While the focus will not be on application, it is expected that the authors will offer suggestions as to the direction in which application can flow.”

ZECNT Author Interviews with Best Bible Commentaries

Mark Strauss – The Gospel of Mark

Preview: “I have to acknowledge that I ‘ m not the most innovative or ground-breaking of scholars . My best gifts are in taking complex technical material and simplifying it for readers. So I really wanted to write a commentary that was clear and accurate, and that guided readers through the exegetical complexities of the Markan narrative.”

Frank Theilman – Romans

(Q & A coming soon)

Gary Shogren – 1 and 2 Thessalonians

Preview: “It is written from my perspective as a Christian worker in Latin America and so I deal with missionary issues. Very few commentaries are written by career missionaries.”

Mariam Kovalishyn – James

Preview: “Working through James verse by verse made me pay much more attention to specific details and arguments, but more than anything it made the character of God — as good, as generous, as unchangingly good and generous, as pursuing us, seeking us, desiring our love and a relationship with us, all of this came out.”

Volumes in the ZECNT Series (so far)

Links go to Amazon. Text provided by Zondervan (used by permission)

Matthew – Grant R. Osborne

In this volume of the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series, Grant Osborne offers pastors, students, and teachers a focused resource for reading the Gospel of Matthew. Through the use of graphic representations of translations, succinct summaries of main ideas, exegetical outlines, and other features, Osborne presents the Gospel of Matthew with precision and accuracy.

Grant R. Osborne (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is a professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He has been at Trinity since 1977. His areas of expertise include the Gospels, hermeneutics, and the book of Revelation. His numerous publications include The Hermeneutical Spiral and commentaries on Revelation, Romans, John, and Matthew.

Mark – Mark L. Strauss

In this commentary on Mark written for pastors and Bible teachers, Mark L. Straus exegetes each passage of Scripture succinctly in its grammatical and historical context. He argues that Mark is indeed energetic and forceful, yet at the same time presents a well-structured and powerful theological drama.

Mark L. Strauss is professor of New Testament at Bethel Seminary in San Diego. He has written Distorting Scripture? The Challenge of Bible Translation and Gender Accuracy, The Davidic Messiah in Luke-Acts, a commentary on Luke in the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Background Commentary series, and a commentary on Mark in the Revised Expositor’s Bible Commentary series.

Luke – David E. Garland

Luke wrote as a historian, theologian, and pastor, and Garland’s commentary strives to follow suit in assisting those who will preach and teach the text and those who seek to understand it better. The commentary presents a translation through a diagram that helps visualize the flow of thought, provides a summary of the central message of the passages, reveals how they function within the gospel, and offers an exegetical outline with a verse-by-verse commentary that takes notice of Jewish and Greco-Roman background evidence that sheds light on the text. Christians interpret the Bible to make sense of their lived experience. This commentary highlights theological emphases of each passage and applies them to the everyday struggles of faith and practice.

David E. Garland is William B. Hinson Professor of Christian Scriptures and dean for academic affairs at George W. Truett Seminary, Baylor University. He is the New Testament editor for the revised Espositor’s Bible Commentary and the author of various books and commentaries, including Mark and Colossians and Philemon in the NIV Application Commentary and the article on Mark in the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary.

Acts – Eckhard J. Schnabel

With attention to issues that continue to surface in today’s church, the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series offers pastors, students, and teachers a focused resource for reading, teaching, and preaching the book of Acts. This volume won the Christian Book Award for best Bible Reference of 2013 for its valuable insights and thorough commentary. Acts highlights the work of God through Jesus as he grants the presence of the holy spirit, the significane of Jesus as Messiah and savior of the world, the work of the Holy Spirit as a transforming power present in the lives of followers of Jesus, the church as the community of God, the mission of the church, and the historical events and people who played a role in the expansion of early Christianity. Acts by Eckhard J. Schnabel is the highest caliber of modern scholarly studies on Acts.

Eckhard J. Schnabel received his PhD from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, and is the Mary French Rockefeller Distinguished Professor of New Testament Studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. He is the author of numerous books, commentaries, and essays, including Early Christian Mission, Paul the Missionary, and Der Erste Brief an Die Korinther in the Historisch-Theologische Auslegung commentary series. He also spoke at Pastorum Live 2012.

Romans – Frank Theilman

Released September, 2018

1 Corinthians – Paul Gardner

Galatians – Thomas R. Schreiner

In his commentary on Galatians, Thomas R. Schreiner presents a brief and lucid commentary for pastors, students, and laypeople, while also attending to questions that have arisen in light of the New Perspective on Paul. Schreiner, endorsing a Reformation reading of the text, reminds readers of Paul’s chief concerns in writing the letter: justification by faith, the full divinity of Christ, freedom from the power of sin through the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus, and dependence on the Holy Spirit to live the Christian life. Schreiner argues that it is not enough to read Galatians with an academic lens; we must realize that these are issues of life and death, and we must let the gospel revive us.

Thomas R. Schreiner (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament and the associate dean of Scripture and interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. The author of numerous books, he is the preaching pastor of Clifton Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky.

Ephesians – Clinton E. Arnold

In this volume, Clinton Arnold highlights four themes that emerge in Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians: The superior power of God over spiritual powers, The unity of Jews and Gentiles through Jesus Christ, The encouragement for Gentile believers to live holy lives before God, The need for believers to be rooted in the knowledge of their new identity in Christ Jesus, Woven into Paul’s theology is a refrain of praise and adoration to the glory of God that insists that such praise should also be our response. With attention to issues that continue to surface in today’s church, this commentary offers pastors, students, and teachers a focused resource for reading Ephesians.

Clinton E. Arnold (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is a professor of New Testament language and literature at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California.

Colossians, Philemon – David W. Pao

In Colossians and Philemon, David W. Pao continues providing the powerful exegetical commentary this series has offered on other books of the Bible. Written primarily for the pastor and Bible teacher, the text succinctly exegetes each passage of Scripture in its grammatical and historical context. Each passage of Colossians and Philemon is interpreted in the light of its biblical setting, with a view of grammatical detail, literary context, flow of biblical argument, and historical setting.

David W. Pao received his PhD from Harvard University, and is a professor of New Testament and chair of the New Testament Department at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is the author of Acts and the Isaianic New Exodus, Thanksgiving: An Investigation of a Pauline Theme, Commentary on the Gospel of Luke, and coeditor of Early Christian Voices: In Texts, Traditions, and Symbols and After Imperialism: Christian Identity in China and the Global Evangelical Movement.

1 and 2 Thessalonians – Gary Shogren

1 and 2 Thessalonians treats the literary context and structure of the passage in its original Greek, as well as an original translation based on the literary structure. Critical scholarship informs each step but doesn’t dominate the commentary, allowing readers to concentrate on Paul’s message to the Thessalonians as it unfolds. While primarily designed for those with a basic knowledge of biblical Greek, all who strive to understand and teach the New Testament will find this book beneficial.

Gary Shogren received his PhD from Kings College in Aberdeen. Afterwards, he served as a pastor and then as a professor. He has been a New Testament professor for 24 years. In 1998 he and his family moved to Costa Rica to learn Spanish so that he could teach at the ESEPA Bible College and Seminary in San José, Costa Rica. He has written a number of articles including articles in Anchor Bible Dictionary, Novum Testamentum, and Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. He is also the author First Corinthians: An Exegetical-Pastoral Commentary, Introducción al griego del Nuevo Testamento, and Greek New Testament Insert.

James – Craig L. Blomberg and Mariam J. Kamell

Authors Craig Blomberg and Mariam Kamell use the historical, theological, and literary elements of James to guide their interpretation of this often-overlooked early Christian text. Their concise discussion of how the book delivers consistent, challenging instruction will help pastors and church leaders teach the message of James to today’s readers.

Craig L. Blomberg holds a PhD from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He is the author, coauthor, or coeditor of 15 books and more than 80 articles in journals or multi-author works.

Mariam J. Kamell is a post-doctoral fellow at Regent College in Vancouver. She has published several articles on James focused on its economics or in comparison with Hebrews or 1 Peter; her dissertation focused on soteriology in James in comparison with earlier Jewish wisdom literature and the Gospel of Matthew.

1, 2, and 3 John – Karen H. Jobes

In her commentary on John’s letters, Karen H. Jobes writes to bridge the distance between academic biblical studies and pastors, students, and laypeople who are looking for an in-depth treatment of the issues raised by these New Testament books. She approaches the three letters of John as part of the corpus that includes John’s Gospel, while rejecting an elaborate redactional history of that Gospel that implicates the letters. Jobes treats three major themes of the letters under the larger rubric of who has the authority to interpret the true significance of Jesus—an issue that is pressing in our religiously pluralistic society today with its many voices claiming truth about God.

Karen H. Jobes is Gerald F. Hawthorne Professor of New Testament Greek and Exegesis at Wheaton College. She is the author of Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament: 1 Peter, NIV Application Commentary: Esther, and Letters to the Church: A Survey of Hebrews and the General Epistles.


Also see:

Bible Commentary Series (index)

New Testament commentaries (index)

Old Testament commentaries (index)