Question and Answer with John Goldingay on the Old Testament For Everyone Series

Learn more about the Old Testament For Everyone Commentary Series

Isaiah bible commentaryJohn Goldingay (Ph.D., University of Notthingham, DD, Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth) is the David Allan Hubbard Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Dr. Goldingay was previously principal and a professor of Old Testament at St. John’s Theological College in Nottingham, England. For many years he also served as priest-in-charge of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Pasadena. Dr. Goldingay’s current research include Hosea to Micah, Daniel, and Genesis. 

His recent publications include The First Testament: A New Translation, A Reader’s Guide to the Bible, and Biblical Theology: The God of the Christian Scriptures. His well-reviewed Bible commentaries include Psalms in the Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms series, Isaiah in the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series, and Daniel in the Word Biblical Commentary series.

Dr. Goldingay was married to Ann for 43 years until she died in 2009. He is now married to Kathleen and the two of them are well-known in jazz and other clubs.

1. What previous research and/or personal interests led you to this project and helped prepare you to write The Old Testament for Everyone series?

It wasn’t my idea! The publisher first suggested it in the 1990s when he also approached Tom Wright about the NT series, but it seemed an insane notion and in any case I couldn’t fit it in then. When he asked me again in the mid-2000s, when I had changed jobs, I had more time, and I was just finishing an Old Testament Theology, and a friend I always ask for advice on writing projects suggested it was an opportunity to share the fruits of thinking about the Old Testament as a whole at a different level.

2. Who is the intended audience for this series? Would it benefit pastors? professors? students? lay Christians in the local church?

As I’ve just implied, it’s written for “ordinary people,” who may come in any of those categories! I guess in theory it’s really aimed at “lay Christians in the local church” but the emails I get about it tend to come from pastor-types. Last week I got one from a former seminary colleague who said she was reading one of the volumes every morning as she did the scripture reading for the day as it comes in the Anglican lectionary.

3. What is unique about The Old Testament for Everyone series? What is distinct about it in relation to other commentaries available today?

I haven’t read all the other commentaries so I don’t know. The idea for the series goes back to the William Barclay series on the NT and then to the Daily Study Bible which tried to do something similar for the OT. The prescription was, divide the text into manageable chunks, translate it, start with a story or a personal illustration, then write a thousand words of explanation.

4. What personally edified you in writing this commentary, increasing your affections for Christ?

The most demanding aspect of the project was having a story or reflection to start each section, but that need made me reflect on my own life and think back over things that had happened and how what God had been doing with me or with people I knew, and it was encouraging to reflect in that way.

5. What is next for you? What project are you currently working on? How can people follow your work and ministry?

I’ve just finished commentaries on Genesis and on Hosea to Micah for Baker and I’m just starting on a commentary on Jeremiah for NICOT. You can check me out on johngoldingay.com, where there are lots of my articles etc.


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