The Communicator’s Commentary Series | Reviews, Theology, Pictures

The Communicator's CommentaryThe Communicator’s Commentary is the result of General Editor Lloyd J. Ogilvie bringing together a team of skilled and exceptional communicators to blend sound scholarship with life-related illustrations, according to the publisher.

The design for the Communicator’s Commentary gives the reader an overall outline of each book of the Bible.

Following the introduction, which reveals the author’s approach and salient background on the book, each chapter of the commentary provides the Scripture to be exposited.

The New King James Bible has been chosen for the Preacher’s Commentary because it combines with integrity the beauty of language, underlying Hebrew and Greek textual basis, and thought-flow of the 1611 King James Version, while replacing obsolete verb forms and other archaisms with their everyday contemporary counterparts for greater readability.

Reverence for God is preserved in the capitalization of all pronouns referring to the Father, Son, or Holy Spirit.

Readers who are more comfortable with another translation can readily find the parallel passage by means of the chapter and verse reference at the end of each passage being exposited.

The paragraphs of exposition combine fresh insights to the Scripture, application, rich illustrative material, and innovative ways of utilizing the vibrant truth for his or her own life and for the challenge of communicating it with vigor and vitality.

Please note that The Communicator’s Commentary is now The Preacher’s Commentary series.

Volumes in the Communicator’s series

Genesis – D. Stuart Briscoe

Why study one of the oldest books in the world in these fast-paced new times? Because, Dr. Stuart Briscoe insists, in the Book of Origins are to be found the roots that can keep us nourished in a secular wilderness.

In Genesis we discover “the origins of the universe, the origin of marriage, the origin of sin, the origin of death, the beginning of redemption, the introduction of judgement, the origin of the covenant.” And since all such issues are still very much a part of life today, this commentary for preaching, teaching, and personal study is seen to be very relevant indeed.

Exodus – Maxie D. Dunnam

In this insightful exposition of the book of Exodus, Dr. Maxie Dunnam draws moving parallels between Israel’s experience and our own need to be delivered from sin’s slavery and to live as the people of God. The author also notes important parallels between Moses, God’s agent and law-giver under the Old Covenant, and Christ, the mediator of the New Covenant.

Writing with the conviction that Exodus is a book for everyone, not just the professional scholar, Dr. Dunnam shows a consistent theme of the commentary to be the challenge of lordship. This is an excellent guide for personal, as well as group Bible study.

Leviticus – Gary W. Demarest

Numbers – James Philip

The book of Numbers, says author and minister James Philip, “is a book that need not have been”–for it is a story of needless doubt and disobedience. Yet these negatives occur so often in modern life that the lessons learned by Israel in the book of Numbers are valuable lessons for us. And in this preachable and teachable commentary the lessons from Sinai, the wilderness, and the plains of Moab unfold in vivid imagery.

Deuteronomy – John D. Maxwell

With great insight and power, Dr. John Maxwell shows us the pivotal importance of Moses’ words not only to an Israel at the point of decision but to our modern world as well. If heeded, Moses’ words would allow the people of God to reach their potential; if ignored, Israel’s dreams would be dissolved.

Deuteronomy appeals to a higher law and emphasizes obedience in worship, and Moses’ urgent appeal and preaching style are fresh, alive, and applicable today as they were for the new nation of Israel.

Joshua – John A. Huffman

The Book of Joshua offers contemporary communicators rich, but too often untapped resources for sharing the timeless message of God’s sovereignty and grace. In this commentary Dr. John A. Huffman, Jr. shows that this sixth book of the Bible, far from being “dull and hard to preach from,” tells an exciting story of military intrigue and conquest as Israel enters and occupies its promised land.

And the book’s main figure–Joshua–is a valiant man of action for God’s mission, the hand-picked successor to Moses. Here are revealing perspectives on what happens when people adopt a lifestyle that ignores God’s hand in history, and reject the mercy and loving kindness He offers His chosen sons and daughters. Volume 6 in The Communicator’s Commentary series.

Judges, Ruth – David Jackman

For those on the firing line in the pulpits, classes, study groups, and Bible fellowship clusters, here is a distinctly different kind of commentary. The Communicator’s Commentary combines rich resources of historical setting and textual interpretation with spiritual insights and contemporary illustrations.

David Jackman, the author calls us to ponder critical questions about each of the Bible books at hand: Why is this book here in the Bible at all? What are its essential meaning and message? What would we not know about God if we did not have it? How should the structures and patterns of the text shape our own efforts to understand and communicate its truths? Each point in Jackman’s deftly crafted outlines of Judges and Ruth will show how that segment of the text molded his message for his hearers.

1, 2 Samuel – Kenneth L. Chafin

Some of the most exciting writing in the Old Testament is in the Books of Samuel and traces the lives of three of the best known and most colorful characters in the Bible: Samuel, Saul, and David. Kenneth L. Chafin skillfully combines a thorough understanding of Scripture and insight into today’s life.

His writing brings these elements together with integrity and realism. Those who use this commentary as a guide for Bible study will learn more than the religious history of Israel and find marvelous insights into themselves, into the nature of God, and into how He deals with those whom He loves.

1, 2 Kings – Russell H. Dilday

1, 2 Chronicles – Leslie C. Allen

Only recently have Old Testament scholars stopped regarding Chronicles as a poor relation to Samuel and Kings. There has been a new appreciation of the post-exilic period of Judah’s history, when the Chronicler lived, and so a greater endeavor to understand his message and to differentiate it from the earlier messages of Samuel and Kings.

Dr. Allen writes, “The heartbeat of Chronicles is a concern for spirituality. In this respect its key word is to ‘seek’ God, a term which is continually contrasted with its polar opposites, to ‘forsake’ God and to ‘be unfaithful’ to Him. Pastors and teachers who are diligent in studying Chronicles will find that Its exegesis flows smoothly into exposition and that its spiritual pulse beats in time with their own.”

Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther – Mark D. Roberts

“Ezra and Nehemiah address issues that make the front pages of our newspapers – and they speak to the yearnings of our hearts.” This is why the author of this volume, Dr. Mark Roberts enthusiastically encourages Christian communicators to explore these somewhat obscure Old Testament texts.

For much the same reason the author believes modern pastors and Bible students can benefit from careful study in the often-maligned book of Esther. He emphasizes the book’s contemporary relevance, stating, “Esther encourages us to grapple with pressing moral issues in light of God’s wisdom.”

Job – David I. McKenna

In this volume of The Communicator’s Commentary series, Dr. David McKenna helps us appreciate the Book of Job for its literary power as well as for its author’s dramatic skills.

McKenna focuses on the man Job and his faith development, showing how a “perfect” man endured the tests of satanic harassment and human opposition to arrive ultimately at personal, firsthand knowledge of God. The implication is clear: each of the Lord’s people should make it his or her aim, through his or her own faith journey, to arrive at this same destination.

Psalms 1-72 – Donald M. Williams

Psalms 73-150 – Donald M. Williams

This volume on Psalms 73-150 continues and adds to the contributions of the author’s first half of commentary on Psalms 1-72 in this series. In both volumes Dr. Donald M. Williams offers more than a structural analysis of the historical and theological foundations behind the Book of Psalms.

He focuses on the application of the psalms to the life of the church today and emphasizes the potential for the renewal of the church today via the prophetic and evangelical spirit behind the psalms.

Proverbs – David A. Hubbard

The wisdom of Proverbs is timeless. Its moral and ethical instructions address the full range of attitudes, conduct, and interpersonal relationships that face every generation. This commentary by Dr. David A. Hubbard abounds with potential. Broad in scope, thorough in content, and written in a popular, readable style, this volume is an indispensible work for everyone who wants to understand Proverbs with clarity and precision.

Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon – David A. Hubbard

“Few Old Testament writings have produced such a flurry of opinions as to how they should be read and what they mean,” Dr. David Hubbard acknowledges as he focuses his keen expositional powers on Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon.

Continuing the excellent tradition of his previous Communicator’s Commentary volume on Proverbs, Dr. Hubbard now helps us to mine the homilitical jewels of two more segments of the Wisdom genre.

Isaiah 1-39 – David L. McKenna

In this volume of The Communicator’s Commentary, Dr. McKenna makes a unique contribution to the studies on the book of Isaiah. He calls us to shed our Western logic and “see things whole” as African, Asian, or Native American thinkers usually do–and as Isaiah certainly did.

“Scholars who insist that the unity and credibility of Isaiah depend upon conformity to the chronology of history, the discipline of logical sequence, or consistency in writing style, miss the point,” Dr. McKenna insists. “To be understood, Isaiah must be experienced.” If we open our hearts and minds to the impact of Isaiah’s brilliant metaphors, McKenna believes, we will find ourselves overwhelmed by the clarity of God’s will, and we will know in the end that we have encountered the Most High.

Isaiah 40-66 – David L. McKenna

A strong advocate for the single authorship of the book of Isaiah, Dr. Mckenna offers cogent arguments to discount the multiple-author theories so common in Isaiah studies in recent decades. In Chapters 40-66, Dr. McKenna proposes that the dominant theme is salvation.

Here, he says, we are able to see “redemptive history unfold in many dimensions through the eyes of the Spirit.” In this concluding volume on Isaiah, Dr. McKenna offers valuable assistance to all who desire to search the depths of this part of God’s Word.

Jeremiah, Lamentations – John Guest

The role of messenger is a thankless one. We want to know, but what we hear is not always what we want to hear. Sometimes we take out our frustrations on the messenger. Today it is called media bashing, in ancient lands the prophet was stoned. John Guest points to the impact of Jeremiah’s writings on the New Testament in Matthew, Acts, Paul’s Letters, and Revelation.

Regarding the Book of Lamentations, Guest observes that its first word “speaks in the universal language of all humanity: a great sigh.” It is “a moan that collects the sufferings of all people bereaved of God and battered by their own sinfulness.” The source of balm for this agony is still the God of Israel, the source of all restoration.

Ezekiel – Douglas K. Stuart

Daniel – Sinclair B. Ferguson

“Daniel was a visionary,” the author says, “a man who received revelations of the future in a form that is always dramatic and at times almost grotesque in its unveiling of the bestial nature of evil. What impresses the reader above all else, however, is how God-centered Daniel is and how God-centered his view of the political stage on which he plays his part.”

The author supports his interpretation of the text with research and illustrations that equip pastors and teachers to give informed presentations of the book to their churches and fellow students. At the same time, he has made an effort to be “suggestive rather than exhaustive” in his handling of the Daniel material, providing as well for creative applications on the part of the reader.

Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah – Lloyd J. Ogilvie

The prophets Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, and Jonah were each called by God to speak to the individual and collective hearts and consciences of the apostate nation of Israel. “They continued the tradition of their great predecessors–Samuel, Nathan, Elijah, and Elisha,” says author Dr. Lloyd Ogilvie.

“As messengers of Yahweh, they counseled the people and the kings, but they also rebuked them, calling for penitential reforms in the political, social, and religious lives of the Israelites.” In volume I of the Minor Prophets, Dr. Ogilvie shows us that the issues of eighth-century B.C. are valid issues today.

Micah-Malachi – Walter Kaiser

“Bridging that enormous chasm between the ‘then’ and the ‘now’ in the writings of the Minor Prophets is no easy task,” Dr. Walter Kaiser, Jr. admits, but that is exactly what he set out to do in this volume on the Old Testament books from Micah to Malachi.

Dr. Kaiser voices his concern that the tendency of our generation to ignore the message of these prophets may skew our theology and warp our preaching. So, in this fine volume of the Communicator’s Commentary, he calls us to open our hearts and minds to the hope and light our age can find in the books which conclude the Old Testament canon.

New Testament volumes

Matthew – Myron S. Augsburger

Among the Gospels, Matthew is unique in containing the substance of all Christ’s teaching. In his incisive, well-organized commentary, Myron Augsburger rewards us with important insights for our growing understanding of this key gospel.

His discussion helps us recognize how Matthew acts as a bridge between Old and New Testaments, how the Christ events–birth-death-rising again–fulfill salvation history, and how to understand the identification of Matthew with Hebraic history and tradition. Part of the Communicator’s Commentary series, combining rich resources of historical setting and textual interpretation with spiritual insights and contemporary illustrations.

Mark – David L. McKenna

“Mark is the first and most exciting communicator of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” says David L. McKenna. From Peter’s eyewitness account, Mark gives us an inspired and authentic “you-are-there” report of the serving, suffering, and saving ministry of Jesus.

It is Good News–the gospel of hope–a message needed as sorely today as it was by the persecuted Roman Christians for whom Mark wrote. Here is a commentary distinguished by its creativity, its clarity of thought and organization, its stunning use of illustrations from both rich personal experience and from wide acquaintance with literature of all periods.

Luke – Bruce Larson

In this commentary of the Gospel of Luke, Bruce Larson focuses on the unusual timeliness of Luke’s concern to show God’s message for the poor, the lost and the broken, and his empathetic portrayal of the women who were so important in early Christian years.

Every communicator of the Good News will find in his insights fresh resources and motivation for making that Good News irresistible. Volume 3 of the Communicator’s Commentary series, combining rich resources of historical setting and textual interpretation with spiritual insights and contemporary illustrations.

John – Roger L. Fredrikson

Of the four Gospels, none so clearly illuminates and defines the Word, Jesus, as does the Gospel of John. Throughout this commentary, author Roger Fredrikson helps us freshly and more fully receive John’s message–that all may have life in Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God.

Here in all exposition that blends the best scholarship and communication skills–vivid use of metaphors, contemporary parables, and stories of people–the author explores important themes such as: the authority by which Jesus speaks and ministers, the opportunities given to men and women to behold the glory of God through the signs of Jesus, and the images used by Jesus to define His identity and mission.

Acts – Lloyd J. Ogilvie

The pages of this volume mirror the beginnings of Christianity in stunning vividness. The drama powerfully unfolds from the return of the risen Christ in the Holy Spirit through the rapid-fire movement of the church into the centers of influence and culture in the then-known world. Profound insights into the persons and events of the drama enable us to see and use these vital Scriptures for the energizing flow of the Holy Spirit’s power into our own lives.

Romans – D. Stuart Briscoe

Through the centuries, Paul’s Letter to the Romans has had immeasurable life-changing impact. In the particular condition of our modern society, says Stuart Briscoe, we are ripe for a restatement of the truths outlined in Romans. In Briscoe’s commentary, the reader is in the presence of a master teacher and communicator. His enthusiasm for Paul’s masterpiece is evident in every page of his writing.

For those who have seriously studied the epistle, rich insights into Paul’s message will be gained by a thoughtful use of this commentary. Those who have never worked through the entire epistle and grasped the whole of its argument can now do so for the first time. Part of the Communicator’s Commentary series, combining rich resources of historical setting and textual interpretation with spiritual insights and contemporary illustrations.

1 and 2 Corinthians – Kenneth Chafin

The apostle Paul’s letters to the Christians at Corinth were addressed to specific people regarding specific problems and guidance, but “they still speak to us today as God’s word to God’s people,” says Dr. Kenneth Chafin. “The basic problem with which Paul is dealing is still the church’s problem today–the need to be more sensitive as to how our lives affect our witness in the world.”

Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon – Maxie D. Dunnam

Today’s growing hunger for spiritual experience finds a close parallel in the conditions that existed in the days of the early church. Author Maxie Dunnam believes that the best guidelines for spiritual growth now, as then–and also the strongest defense against the inevitable abuses of that hunger–are found in the practical and perceptive writings of Apostle Paul. Dunnam shows how Paul made his spiritual life “an ongoing reality, not a one-time experience or an occasional occurrence.”

1, 2 Thessalonians, 1, 2 Timothy, Titus – Gary Demarest

Dr. Gary W. Demarest encourages us to turn to 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, and Titus, for in them we can find astoundingly up-to-date answers. Dr. Demarest plumbs the depths of the meaning of Paul’s first and last epistles and then illustrates that in the context of the most crucial issues facing us today.

Among those issues are questions that are still valid today: 1 Thessalonians–What is the meaning of sexuality for the Christian? 2 Thessalonians–What about those who predict Christ’s return? 1 Timothy–What about the role of women in the church? 2 Timothy–What do you do when you are required to do things beyond your natural abilities? Titus–What is the relationship between doctrine and good works?

James, 1, 2 Peter, Jude – Paul A. Cedar

In a world where despair is a predominant attitude, James, 1 and 2 Peter, and Jude resound with hope and encouragement. Author Paul Cedar, through his useful and clearly ordered exposition, illuminates the message of these books for us today–to live as strangers in the earth, enjoying the life of hope regardless of our external circumstances. This warm, direct discussion is a model for communicators as well as a challenge to individuals “that the proof of your faith.may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

1, 2, 3 John, Revelation – Earl F. Palmer

In this important new commentary, Earl Palmer shares full measure of his well-known skills as a dynamic communicator and gifted expositor. The time is opportune. The Letters of John, have apparently seemed too simple to have received the attention they deserve.

While they have suffered dry and technical treatment from most biblical interpreters, Palmer catches hold of the fire and joy of John’s Letters and frees the reader to experience the full impact of their message not only to the early church but to us today about life, light (truth), and love.


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