Everyone who prepares messages on a weekly basis knows how difficult it is to continue to bring fresh insight and background information to a message. So to all you faithful students of God’s word and practitioners of the sweet science of preaching I thought I would pass along my 4 favorite resources for NT study.
“Jewish New Testament Commentary” By David H. Stern
David Stern is a scholar who attempts to keep the Bible in its traditional Jewish roots instead of westernizing it. He does a great job of giving the true meaning to idioms and sayings that get lost in translation, both in the translation from Greek to English and from Jewish to American culture.
Here is his Wiki Bio: David H. Stern (1935 – ) born in Los Angeles is an Israel-based Messianic Jewish theologian.
Stern’s major work is the Complete Jewish Bible, his English translation of the Old Testament and New Testament (which Messianics refer to by the Hebrewphrase from the book of the prophet Jeremiah/Yirmeyahu chapter 31, “B’rit Chadashah,” New Covenant). One of the ways in which he treats the issue is to leave most of the proper nouns in their transliterated form, and for the New Testament to replace Greek proper nouns with transliterated Hebrew or words. He calls this the ‘cosmetic’ treatment. Other decisions include translating Greek phrases about ‘the law’ as having to do with ‘Torah-legalism’ instead. More explanation is found in his Messianic Jewish Manifesto (now out of print) and his Messianic Judaism: A Modern Movement With an Ancient Past (a revision of ‘Messianic Jewish Manifesto’).
Dr. Stern’s background includes a Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary, graduate work at the University of Judaism, and a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University. He taught the first course in ‘Judaism and Christianity’ at Fuller Theological Seminary and at UCLA he was a professor.
I hope you enjoy him!
“Jesus the Messiah” By Alfred Edersheim
This is a great book to get a very Jewish perspective on Jesus’ ministry. It was written by a Jewish scholar in 1183. I have found that it doesn’t talk about everything in the gospels but it has a lot of very important information that can help fill out a message nicely.
“The New Linguistic and Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament” By Cleon L Rogers Jr. and Cleon L. Rogers III.
This resource is very helpful when it comes to understanding the Greek and parsing your verbs. I have found it to be great in checking my Greek work. Ok I usually look at this first instead of trying to figure out if the scribble I am looking at is an imperfect participle or an aortive verb. Surprisingly Rogers and Rogers also has some commentary insights that are very helpful.
“The New Daily Study Bible” By William Barclay
Ok so this is really not a study Bible but it is a 17 volume commentary set. Barclay has some interesting tendencies and some people may not like him because he was an admitted universalis. But his work on the New Testament is amazing and he tries to address every view that you may come across in a passage. Barclay is really insightful and practical.
Here is his Wikipedia bio: William Barclay (5 December 1907, Wick – 24 January 1978, Glasgow) was an author, radio and television presenter, Church of Scotland minister andProfessor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at the University of Glasgow.
While professor, he decided to dedicate his life to “making the best biblical scholarship available to the average reader”. The eventual result was the Daily Study Bible, a set of 17 commentaries on the New Testament, published by Saint Andrew Press, the Church of Scotland’s publishing house. Despite the series name, these commentaries do not set a program of regular study. Rather, they go verse by verse through Barclay’s own translation of the New Testament, listing and examining every possible interpretation known to Barclay and providing all the background information he considered possibly relevant, all in layman’s terms. The commentaries were fully updated with the help of William Barclay’s son, Ronnie Barclay, in recent years and they are now known as the New Daily Study Bible series.
While this detailed approach is not to everyone’s liking, the 17 volumes of the set were all instant best-sellers and continue to be so to this day. A companion set giving a similar treatment to the Old Testament was endorsed but not written by Barclay.
Barclay wrote many other popular books, always drawing on scholarship but written in a highly accessible style. In The Mind of Jesus (1960) he states that his aim was “to make the figure of Jesus more vividly alive, so that we may know him better and love him more”.