The Fortress Commentary on the Bible: The Old Testament and Apocrypha and Fortress Commentary on the Bible: The New Testament present a balanced synthesis of current scholarship on the Bible, enabling readers to interpret scripture for a complex and pluralistic world. Introductory articles in each volume discuss the dramatic challenges that have shaped contemporary interpretation of the Bible.
Commentary articles set each book of the Old and New Testaments and the Apocrypha in its historical and cultural context, discuss the themes in each book that have proven most important for the Christian interpretive tradition, and introduce the most pressing questions facing the responsible use of the Bible today. The writers are renowned authorities in the historical interpretation of the Old and New Testaments, sensitive to theological and cultural issues arising in our encounter with the text, richly diverse in social locations and vantage points, representing a broad array of theological commitment - Protestants, Catholics, Jews, and others, and alive to the ethical consequences of interpretation today.
A team of six scholar editors and seventy contributors provides clear and concise commentary on key sense units in each book of the Old Testament, Apocrypha, and New Testament. Each unit is explored through the lenses of three levels of commentary based on these critical questions. The result is a commentary that is comprehensive and useful for gaining insights on the texts for preaching, teaching, and research. In addition to the commentary essays on each book, the volumes also contain major essays that introduce each section of Scripture and explore critical questions as well as up-to-date and comprehensive bibliographies for each book and essay.
On the Old Testament and Apocrypha:
The Fortress Commentary on the Bible provides an excellent resource for beginning students and Bible study groups. It includes many fine contributions by experienced and reliable scholars, and the bibliographies are a treasure trove.
-John J. Collins,
Yale Divinity School
With the culinary artistry of a Julia Childs and a Wolfgang Puck, producing elegance, symmetry, and engaging knowledge, the Fortress Commentary on the Bible: The Old Testament and Apocrypha provides a wonderful smorgasbord of insight into the Hebrew Bible and Apocrypha with rich servings of literary, historical, and theological wisdom. With global, diverse voices and perspectives, contributors address texts in their ancient contexts and the textual interpretative traditions, and situate the texts in their contemporary milieus, always aware of their audiences. With the rich appetizers and entrees of sociocultural, literary, and political insights, this biblical commentary invites readers to gain insights that allow for marveling at the poetic and prophetic voices in the text, toward becoming responsible interpreters. This work is a must read for those with an appetite of curiosity, for those who desire a new recipe for reading, and for any who desire to have a one-volume biblical commentary that is exquisite and profound, yet quite accessible.
-Cheryl A. Kirk-Duggan,
Shaw University Divinity School
On the New Testament:
Although still a fierce crank about and critic of the commentary as an academic-intellectual genre and religio-cultural-political refraction, I am intrigued by this new project: the editors seem to me - certainly, in the framing material, with its raising of ex-centric and broad problems, questions, and issues - to be working in the direction of destabilization of genre. And so as an effort in destabilization of genre I applaud this 'commentary.'
-Vincent L. Wimbush,
Institute for Signifying Scriptures, Claremont Graduate University
Very impressive - the best one-volume scholarly commentary on the New Testament available today.
-Marcus J. Borg, Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture Emeritus,
Oregon State University
While most biblical commentaries of the past have focused either on the text in its original context or in contemporary interpretation or attempted to combine the two with very little in between, this new approach takes on the three aspects of ancient context, contemporary discussion, and the middle ground of the interpretive tradition. In response to recent interest in the history of interpretation, this represents a welcome new approach that gives readers an introduction to the rich interpretive tradition that has happened over the centuries between the biblical writings and our own interaction with them.
-Carolyn Osiek, RSCJ, Charles Fischer Professor of New Testament Emerita,
Brite Divinity School
The new Fortress Commentary on the Bible offers a tool for encountering Scripture in a new and multi-faceted way. Like many commentaries on the Bible, it provides information on the cultural and social situation in which the biblical text was composed. . . Unlike many commentaries, this one is more interested in stimulating a critical encounter with the biblical text than in providing a set of answers about what it once may have meant. With this approach, the commentary offers to be particularly useful to intelligent modern readers of the Bible, who respect its role as a formative text in the development of the Christian tradition, but who also approach the text sensitive to its potential dysfunction. It promises to be a welcome tool for pastors and teachers seeking to encourage a thoughtful and critical engagement with the Bible.
-Harold W. Attridge,
Yale Divinity School
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