People look for certain things when it comes to the consultation of commentaries. Some are looking for a fresh perspective on the text, gathering new hermeneutical insights they didn’t catch. Others look for practical ways commentators have applied the text or equipped the preacher to teach the text. Many want to see the original language(s) and what they have to teach us exegetically. The unfortunate aspect of commentaries is that many of them only specialize in one of these areas.
Those interested in finding a commentary that effectively brings all of these tasks together should look at Zondervan’s Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. A prime example of how brilliantly this series weaves these emphases together can be found in Dr. Schreiner’s volume on Galatians. Thomas Schreiner is one of the most well-respected New Testament scholars around, with seminal commentaries on books such as Romans and Hebrews. With the task of trying to bring together exegesis, hermeneutics, biblical theology, and application, I cannot think of another author more fit for the job than Dr. Schreiner.
There are a couple of features of this commentary that really make it stand out. The first is that every chapter features a literal translation of each verse, derived from the Greek. Then, of course, Schreiner unpacks various words and phrases throughout the chapters. Many of these verses are even divided into two or three parts, so it’s a very microscopic look into Galatians. There is also an emphasis on the structure of each of these verse sections. This is a wonderful asset for preachers looking for an organized way of thinking through the biblical text.
Another great feature is that each chapter’s closing features a “Theology in Application” section. Oftentimes in studying commentaries, especially ones of such scholarly nature, we can get caught up in become mere academic students of Scripture instead of it warming our hearts. This section particularly brings all of the verse observations together to provoke a devotional look at the biblical text. Schreiner again delivers here. They are generally broad, but very important points made to help Galatians help transform us.
I highly recommend this volume, and this commentary series, as you will find it extremely beneficial in equipping you through a deep study of Galatians. It’s not too heady for the layman, yet substantive enough for the learned minister to benefit from. Many thanks to Dr. Schreiner and Zondervan for their hard work on this volume and series.