There are just some commentary series I have grown to greatly appreciate. Such series earn my respect not necessarily for diving into every nuance of Hebrew and Greek or analyzing all of the various historical issues of a particular text or for their scholarly verbiage and approach. While I certainly appreciate all of those elements given they are important in their own right, what draws me more often than not to a commentary is the ability of the author and the editor for that matter to provide a product that exegetes Scripture faithfully and most importantly in a way that enables the reader to grasp the overall message of the book in question. Additionally, I look for an effort that ultimately helps the reader apply the text both in their own life and in the lives of others which is after all the purpose of studying Scripture in the first place.
Crossway’s Preaching the Word commentary series is quickly becoming a favorite of mine and one of their latest additions, namely R. Kent Hughes revised Hebrews: An Anchor for the Soul is a volume I firmly believe should be in the possession of laymen, scholars, and most importantly it should be on the shelf of every pastor. This is a series and a particular volume that has the ability to dig into Scripture without getting lost in the academics, scholarly notations, or other issues that make many other commentary series so difficult to read.
Crossway has taken the excellent two-volume commentary on Hebrews by R. Kent Hughes and combined them into one volume. Some may think that for a book as deep as Hebrews, this would result in a gigantic single commentary volume that would take forever to work through. The exact opposite is true given this combined commentary clocks in at around 550 pages.
The commentary itself is biblically sound and very readable. The intent of this particular commentary series is helping pastors dig sufficiently into the text so they can in turn relay a message their parishioners will understand. Given the theological depth and importance of a book like Hebrews, it is absolutely vital to get the theology correct and to present the exegesis of this book in such a manner that can be taught to the average layman. As Hughes so rightly notes, while there is certainly a variety of opinions on the specifics of Hebrews, “Virtually all agree that the grand theme of this epistle is the supremacy and finality of Christ.” It is that glorious theme which Hughes spends every page exploring.
I found Hughes exegesis to salient, especially in relation to the more difficult passages found throughout Hebrews. The grand issues of Hebrews such as faith, covenant, hope, Jesus as High Priest, the warning passages, that enigmatic character of Melchizedek, and the call to persevere are all addressed in this excellent commentary. The exegesis is well thought out, expertly presented, and extremely valuable for anyone desiring to understand Hebrews. I know I will return to this volume many times in the future as I engage what God has to say in Hebrews. Hughes does a marvelous job and I truly appreciated the practical approach taken by the author. All you pastors out there – grab a copy of this book!
This book is available for purchase from Crossway Books by clicking here.
Michael lives in Belleville, IL, a suburb of St. Louis, MO with his wife Erica, adopted daughter Alissa, two cats Molly and Sweetie Pie and horse Beckham. After spending eight years in the United States Navy as a Yeoman, he has been employed for the past ten years by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) where he oversees advanced educational programs. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Religion (Biblical Studies) from Liberty University and is currently closing in on completing a Master of Arts in Religion (Biblical Studies) from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He is an avid reader and blogger.