Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

The Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament is a biblical studies resource that the Baker Publishing Group has printed since Darrell Bock’s volumes on the Gospel of Luke first appeared in the mid 1990’s. The series is incomplete and volumes are still being released. [1] The series is well-known for its Greek exegesis, its commitment to evangelical theology, and its helpfulness to pastors.

baker exegetical commentary on the new testament
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The BECNT series has roots in Moody Press’ Wycliffe Exegetical Commentary series published in the mid 1980’s. Only a few volumes in the WEC series were released before it was discontinued, though used copies can still be found in used bookstores and on websites that sell used books. The Baker Publishing Group eventually picked up the series, renamed it, and retained some volumes like Moises Silva’s Philippians commentary yet re-assigned others, such as Romans.

Biblical scholar Douglas Moo had written and published Romans 1-8 in the WEC series before it was discontinued, however Baker assigned that volume to Thomas Schreiner. Moo eventually published his complete Romans commentary in the NICNT series. Interestingly, both volumes are among the most well-reviewed Romans commentaries in print today. Then, years later, in 2013, Moo published the Galatians commentary in the BECNT series. [2]

Moises Silva was the first editor of the series, which is now co-edited by Robert Yarbrough, who wrote the 1, 2, 3 John volume, and Robert H. Stein, who contributed the Mark commentary.

The editors explain that the series’ goal is not to reflect theological sameness on secondary matters, but rather quality exegesis: “It must be emphasized, however, that the contributors to the present series come from a variety of theological traditions… In the end, all that really matters is whether the series succeeds in representing the original text accurately, clearly, and meaningfully to the contemporary reader.” [3] 

Theologically, though some BECNT volumes are moderately critical, series as a whole is committed to an evangelical approach to Scripture. Some authors, like Moo, are Reformed. Others, like Grant Osborne, who wrote the Revelation volume, are Arminian. There is also diversity on various theological issues, for example eschatology, where an author may be premillennial (e.g. Bock) or amillennial (e.g. Beale).

Reviews of the Baker Exegetical Commentary on New Testament

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Craig Blomberg of Denver Seminary writes about Darrell Bock’s Luke volumes:

Each section of the text is addressed from a clearly organized series of perspectives: overview, sources and historicity, translation, exegesis and exposition, summary, and additional notes. If there is such a thing as a user-friendly two-volume commentary on a single book, this is it!

Interview: See Best Bible Commentaries’ interview with Darrell Bock on this volume

John Piper, former pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, writes about Thomas Schreiner’s Romans volume:

As I preach through Romans I will continue to reach for this commentary with joy and hope. There are at least four reasons. First, Schreiner bows with reverence before the authority of Paul’s letter as God’s inspired Word. Second, he submits meticulously to the grammatical and historical particularities of the text, tracing out Paul’s line of thinking in his own terms. Third, he wrestles with recent scholarly thought (without getting lost). Fourth, he is faithful in holding up the manifestly God-centered theme of this greatest of all letters, namely, that ‘in Romans God’s ultimate purpose is to display his glory to all people.’

Interview: Read Best Bible Commentaries’ interview with Thomas Schreiner on this volume.

Commentaries in the BECNT Series — Original and Revised

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Matthew – David L. Turner | Published: 2008

New Testament scholar David Turner offers a substantive yet highly accessible commentary on Matthew in this addition to the BECNT series. With extensive research and thoughtful chapter-by-chapter exegesis, Turner leads readers through all aspects of the Gospel of Matthew–sociological, historical, and theological–to help them better understand and explain this key New Testament book.

Mark – Robert H. Stein | Published: 2008

In this addition to the BECNT series, respected New Testament scholar Robert Stein offers a substantive yet highly accessible commentary on the Gospel of Mark. The commentary focuses primarily on the Markan understanding of the Jesus traditions as reflected in this key New Testament book. The author analyzes each section in Mark to show how it fits the immediate and larger context of the Gospel. He offers verse-by-verse comments on the words, phrases, sentences, and themes found in the section and explores what Mark is seeking to teach.

Luke – Darrell L. Bock | Published: 1995

Bock’s two volumes on the Gospel of Luke are the inaugural volumes of the acclaimed BECNT series. As with all BECNT volumes, Luke features the author’s own translation of the Greek text, detailed interaction with the original text, and a user-friendly design. This informative, balanced commentary also includes extensive introductory notes. It admirably achieves the dual aims of the series–academic sophistication with pastoral sensitivity and accessibility–making it a useful tool for students, professors, and pastors.

John – Andreas Kostenberger | Published: 2004

Andreas Köstenberger is professor of New Testament and director of Ph.D/Th.M. studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including Encountering the Gospel of John, The Book Study Concordance of the Greek New Testament, and The Missions of Jesus and the Disciples according to the Fourth Gospel. He also translated Adolf Schlatter’s two-volume New Testament Theology.

Acts – Darrell L. Bock | Published: 2007

Following his authoritative two-volume commentary on Luke in the acclaimed BECNT series, Bock provides a substantive yet highly accessible commentary on Acts. With extensive research and thoughtful chapter-by-chapter exegesis, Bock leads readers through all aspects of the book of Acts–sociological, historical, and theological–to help them better understand and explain this key New Testament book.

Romans – Thomas R. Schreiner | 1st ed. Published: 1998, 2nd ed. Published: 2018

Pauline scholar Thomas Schreiner presents a fresh analysis of the substantive Book of Romans. It features many distinctives. “I have tried to write a scholarly commentary that fulfills the goals of brevity and lucidity,” Schreiner explains. “One of my goals has been to trace the flow of thought in the letter so that the reader can understand how the argument unfolds. I have also tried to wrestle with the meaning of Romans theologically. . . . In particular, I have attempted to demonstrate inductively that the glory of God is the central theme that permeates the letter.”

1 Corinthians – David E. Garland | Published: 2003

The author’s wealth of knowledge and exhaustive research is evident in his exposition. To clarify the meaning of the text, he incorporates references from parallel material in the Pauline corpus and from extrabiblical sources that highlight relevant aspects of the religious, cultural, and social context. Throughout his study, Garland interacts with notable previous commentators and provides extensive notes for the reader’s consideration and further research.

2 Corinthians – George H. Guthrie | Published: 2015

George Guthrie leads readers through the intricacies of literary structure, word meanings, cultural backdrop, and theological proclamation, offering insights applicable to modern ministry contexts. As with all BECNT volumes, this commentary features the author’s detailed interaction with the Greek text; extensive research; thoughtful, chapter-by-chapter exegesis; and an acclaimed, user-friendly design. It admirably achieves the dual aims of the series–academic sophistication with pastoral sensitivity and accessibility–making it a useful tool for pastors, church leaders, students, and teachers.

Galatians – Douglas Moo | Published: 2013

In this addition to the critically acclaimed BECNT series, highly regarded New Testament scholar and teacher Douglas Moo offers a substantive yet accessible commentary on Galatians. With extensive research and thoughtful chapter-by-chapter exegesis, Moo leads readers through all aspects of the book of Galatians–sociological, historical, and theological–to help them better understand its meaning and relevance.

Ephesians – Frank Thielman | Published: 2010

Noted New Testament scholar Frank Thielman offers a substantive yet accessible commentary on Ephesians in this addition to the award-winning BECNT series. With extensive research and thoughtful chapter-by-chapter exegesis, this beautifully written commentary leads readers through all aspects of the book of Ephesians–sociological, historical, and theological–to help them better understand its meaning and relevance.

Philippians – Moises Silva | Published: 2005

With its user-friendly design, this commentary by Moises Silva provides a substantive yet accessible discussion of Philippians to help pastors, students, and teachers understand and explain this letter. Each passage is presented in three parts: Silva’s own translation of the Greek text; exegesis and exposition of each unit of thought; and additional notes on textual matters. Throughout the commentary, Silva asks what is distinctive about this letter and shows how each passage contributes to Paul’s overall argument.

Colossians, Philemon – G.K. Beale | Published: 2019

With extensive research and thoughtful chapter-by-chapter exegesis, Beale leads readers through all aspects of Colossians and Philemon–sociological, historical, and theological–to help them better understand the meaning and relevance of these biblical books.

1 and 2 Thessalonians – Jefferey A.D. Weima | Published: 2014

Weima, a Thessalonians expert, experienced teacher, and widely traveled speaker, presents well-informed evangelical scholarship at an accessible level to help readers understand the sociological, historical, and theological aspects of these letters. As with all BECNT volumes, this commentary features the author’s detailed interaction with the Greek text, extensive research, thoughtful chapter-by-chapter exegesis, and a user-friendly design. It admirably achieves the dual aims of the series–academic sophistication with pastoral sensitivity and accessibility.

— 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus (no volume yet) —

— Hebrews (no volume yet) —

James – Dan G. McCartney | Published: 2009

Dan McCartney, a highly regarded New Testament scholar and an expert on biblical interpretation, offers a substantive yet accessible commentary on James in this latest addition to the award-winning BECNT series. With extensive research and thoughtful chapter-by-chapter exegesis, McCartney leads readers through all aspects of the book of James–sociological, historical, and theological–to help them better understand its meaning and relevance.

1 Peter – Karen Jobes | Published: 2005

Throughout the commentary, Jobes emphasizes the Christian’s relationship to culture and the place of suffering in the Christian life. She also presents a new suggestion about the original recipients of the letter, highlights the insights provided by the use of the Septuagint in the letter, and challenges prevailing assumptions about the nature of the Greek in the letter.

2 Peter, Jude – Gene Green | Published: 2008

In this addition to the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (BECNT), respected New Testament scholar and teacher Gene Green offers a substantive yet highly accessible commentary on the books of Jude and 2 Peter. With extensive research and thoughtful chapter-by-chapter exegesis, Green leads readers through the sociological, historical, and theological aspects of these New Testament books.

1, 2, and 3 John – Robert Yarbrough | Published: 2008

The commentary explores the relationship between John’s Epistles and Jesus’s work and teaching, interacts with recent commentaries, reviews the history of interpretation, and seeks to relate these findings to global Christianity. Yarbrough looks at the Johannine Epistles from several perspectives–sociological, historical, and theological. The result is a guide that clearly and meaningfully brings 1-3 John to life for contemporary readers.

Revelation – Grant R. Osborne | Published: 2002

Osborne avoids an overly technical interpretative approach. Rather than exegeting the text narrowly in a verse-by-verse manner, he examines larger sections in order to locate and emphasize the writer’s central message and the theology found therein. Throughout, he interacts with the best recent scholarship and presents his conclusions in an accessible manner. When dealing with particularly problematic sections, he considers the full range of suggested interpretations and introduces the reader to a broad spectrum of commentators.



Footnotes:

  1. http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/series/baker-exegetical-commentary-on-the-new-testament
  2. https://www.theopedia.com/douglas-moo
  3. From the “Series Preface” found in every volume of the BECNT series.