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Introducing "The Story of God Bible Commentary": Listen to, Interpret, and Live God's Story

Categories New Testament Old Testament

We are pleased to introduce to you a new line of Bible commentaries we hope will draw people deeper into God's Story and serve the Church as she retells that Story. The series is called The Story of God Bible Commentary, with Tremper Longman III and Scot McKnight serving as General Editors.

The Story of God Bible Commentary explains and illuminates each passage of Scripture in light of the Bible’s grand story. The first commentary series to do so, SGBC offers a clear and compelling exposition of biblical texts, guiding everyday readers in how to creatively and faithfully live out the Bible in their own contexts. Its story-centric approach is ideal for pastors, students, Sunday school teachers, and laypeople alike.

Our new commentary series will cover the Old and New Testaments across 43 volumes over the next 10 years. The first two commentaries release October 2013: The Sermon on the Mount (Scot McKnight, PhD) and Philippians (Lynn Cohick, PhD).

In the meantime, you can read a column that engages McKnight's explanation of Jesus' ethic in the sermon on the mount; watch an introductory video that explains the nature and scope of this new series; and read the below series introduction to see how this new resource will equip you to serve your people by teaching and applying God's Word.

The title of this series, emphasizing as it does the “Story” of the Bible, reveals the intent of the series. We want to explain each passage of the Bible in light of the Bible’s grand Story. The Bible’s grand Story, of course, connects this series to the classic expression regula fidei, the “rule of faith,” which was the Bible’s story coming to fulfillment in Jesus as the Messiah, Lord, and Savior of all. In brief, we see the narrative built around the following biblical themes: creation and fall, covenant and redemption, law and prophets, and especially God charge to humans as his image-bearers to rule under God. 

The theme of God as King and God’s kingdom guides us to see the importance of Israel’s kings as they come to fulfillment in Jesus, Lord and King over all, and the direction of history toward the new heavens and new earth, where God will be all in all. With these guiding themes, each passage is examined from three angles.

 Listen to the Story. We believe that if the Bible is God speaking, then the most important posture of the Christian before the Bible is to listen. So our first section cites the text of Scripture and lists a selection of important biblical and sometimes noncanonical parallels; then each author introduces that passage. The introductions to the passages sometimes open up discussion to the theme of the passage while other times they tie this passage to its context in the specific book. But since the focus of this series is the Story of God in the Bible, the introduction leads the reader into reading this text in light of the Bible’s Story.

Explain the Story. The authors follow up listening to the text by explaining each passage in light of the Bible’s grand Story. This is not an academic series, so the footnotes are limited to the kinds of texts typical Bible readers and preachers readily will have on hand. Authors are given the freedom

to explain the text as they read it, though you should not be surprised to find occasional listings of other options for reading the text. Authors explore biblical backgrounds, historical context, cultural codes, and theological interpretations. Authors engage in word studies and interpret unique phrases and clauses as they attempt to build a sound and living reading of the text in light of the Story of God in the Bible.

Authors will not shy away from problems in the texts. Whether one is examining the meaning of “perfect” in Matthew 5:48, the problems with Christology in the hymn of Philippians 2:6 – 11, the challenge of understanding Paul in light of the swirling debates about the old, new, and post-new

perspectives, the endless debates about eschatology, or the vagaries of atonement theories, the authors will dive in, discuss evidence, and do their best to sort out a reasonable and living reading of those issues for the church today. 

Live the Story. Reading the Bible is not just about discovering what it meant back then; the intent of The Story of God Bible Commentary series is to probe how this text might be lived out today as that story continues to march on in the life of the church. At times our authors will tell stories about what this looks like; at other times they may offer some suggestions for living it out; but always you will discover the struggle involved as we seek to live out the Bible’s grand Story in our world. 

We are not offering suggestions for “application” so much as digging deeper; we are concerned in this section with seeking out how this text, in light of the Story of God in the Bible, compels us to live in our world so that our own story lines up with the Bible’s Story. (xiii-xiv)

Get free SGBC eBooks by Scot McKnight and Lynn H. Cohick at

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