Reformation Commentary on Scripture, New Testament XIII, Hebrews, James

Rittgers R.K. (ed.) Published by IVP

It has been said that there’s no such thing as ‘truth decay.’ This is certainly the case with Scripture. When inspired writers were used by the Lord to record what we now have in our Bibles, the truth written all those years ago still remains true (and relevant) today.

This recent addition to the Reformation Commentary on Scripture (RCS) series is another volume that gathers ‘gold’ from the past and presents it today. As the title suggests, it draws from the Reformation era and uses an eclectic mix of sources, scholars and preachers to exegete the books of Hebrews and James. The comprehensive general introduction by Timothy George (General Series Editor) provides an overview of the unusual format and Ronald Rittgers, who edits this particular volume, follows this with a more specific introduction to Hebrews and James.

There is a comprehensive scripture and subject index along with the expected bibliography. Also very helpful is the selection of biographical sketches of Reformation era figures and works. This will delight those who are interested in history and introduce others to characters and documents that are in danger of being forgotten today.

The main section of the volume engages with scripture. Each passage has an overview before various commentators and documents are quoted to provide concise comments and exegesis. There is neither froth nor waffle found here. Each section draws on Christian scholarship; Luther, Calvin, Zwingli are all consulted, along with a host of lesser-known individuals, confessions and articles, but in a very manageable and readable style.

Although probably not for casual reading, this volume is part of a series that collects a mine of information, presents it in a deceptively simple manner and allows us to have ready access to a wealth of scholarship. Highly recommended!

Rev Ken Bleakley