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Luke (Teach the Text Commentary) (Teach the Text Commentaries) Hardcover – 28 Sep 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (28 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801092353
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801092350
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 18.3 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 993,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


The content is easy to comprehend while giving enough meaty knowledge so everyday students and teachers of the Bible can grab hold of the powerful text with an assurance of sound interpretation. --Dr. David Anderson, lead pastor, Bridgeway

Accurately balanced between good scholarship and solid preaching perspectives, these commentaries provide an unusually deep and relevant approach to the text. If you take preaching and teaching the Word seriously you must take this series seriously as well. --Joe Stowell, president, Cornerstone University

I cannot think of a more urgently needed commentary series for the life of a pastor or teacher. --Dan Kimball, author of They Like Jesus but Not the Church and teacher at Vintage Faith Church

About the Author

R. T. France (PhD, Tyndale Hall) was a New Testament scholar and served as a senior lecturer at London Bible College; principal of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University; and honorary research fellow at Bangor University. He was the author or editor of many books, including the New Bible Commentary, the commentary on Matthew in the New International Commentary on the New Testament, and the commentary on Mark in the New International Greek New Testament Commentary.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 28 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Teach the Text is a bit of a new genre as far as commentaries go, so it's hard to know what to say. Have used it for only a handful of passages so far, and generally very impressed by France's work. When you're taking up so much space in application, the remaining words spent on commenting scripture are as valuable as they are few: and in all honesty the balance seems excellent so far. Great that each chunk is written as a distinct unit, and so often gives you essential background on where about the passage is located in the 'story' and what impact that should have on how we understand/teach it.

Especially impressed by the wide variety of 'starter' quotes and references which are intended to help stimulate further thought and tie in great thoughts by other theologians or contemporary sources. This is something rare to find outside of personal devotionals.
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By Jo Price on 11 Oct. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent background information scholarship
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A Fine Balance: Textual Reverence and Modern Relevance 7 Nov. 2013
By Dr Conrade Yap - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is the fourth (might be fifth?) book published under the "Teach the Text Commentary" series. It continues the very noble motive of wanting to use the best of biblical scholarship, and apply it to teaching and preaching that frequent preachers, pastors, or teachers can readily use. After a brief description of the nature of the commentary, the editors follow it up with a framework of how the commentary deals with each of the 64 pericopes that make up the gospel of Luke. Each pericope has a "Big Idea" that explains the primary theme. The "key themes" provide a bullet form list of meanings. The "Understanding the Text" is where the heavy lifting in terms of biblical theology comes in. It attempts to shed light on the contexts, the structure, the cultural backgrounds, followed by interpretive and theological insights. The "Teaching the Text" remains one of my favourites, which really makes the ancient texts come alive with modern applications. The "Illustrating the Text" is also a treasure chest of ideas for teachers and preachers who are constantly in search of stories, anecdotes, and illustrations to communicate the message.

France introduces the gospel writer of Luke by saying that at the writing of the gospel, Luke already has the book of Acts in mind. That is why Luke-Acts are often taken together as a package. The Luke is the medical doctor, the disciple who followed Jesus during Jesus' time on earth. At various parts of Acts, France notices the change of a "third person" to a "first person" in certain parts of Acts that shows readers that Luke was personally present during those times. Other times, scholars continue to debate whether Luke then was the only author at all. On Luke's relationship to the other gospels, France asserts that Luke is more than simply a re-iteration of Mark, as Luke has substantially more new material. He also argues that the gospel was probably written around AD 64/65, which makes it a "later" gospel compared to Mark, but also additional time to recall what had transpired since the death and resurrection of Christ. There is a fascinating discussion on Luke as a "historian" just on the basis of Luke 1:1 where he talked about many others who have written other narratives. France calls Luke not just a historian or a chronicler of events, but a "man of the message," an "evangelist."

Once readers enter into the commentary proper, they will be greeted with an attractive "Big Idea" to invite readers to pay attention to the primary theme. I like the clear darkened background and the photos accompanying the passage. I appreciate the printing of the biblical text in italics first, before the commentaries. It allows readers to remember that when in doubt, the Bible passage remains supreme. When looking at the "interpretive insights," readers need to remember that they are just an opinion, not the defacto standard interpretation. Those who desire a wider variety of views and interpretations will need to consult other commentaries. That said, the insights given are fairly decent, and will probably not create too many controversies. After all, it is geared toward teaching laypersons, and laypersons will most likely not have the time to tackle the many difficult nuances and scholarship that often comes with increasing theological complexity.

Let me offer three reasons why pastors, teachers, preachers, professors, or anyone in the ministry of teaching and preaching should buy this book. Firstly, this book is a succinct summary of the key ideas in the gospel. One of the most important skills for any teacher is to be able to summarize, summarize, and summarize whatever they are teaching. It is like the standard 3-point method of public speaking. First, tell the audience what you are planning to say. Second, say it. Third, tell the audience again what you have said. Likewise, the summaries enable the speaker to let the big idea remain as the big idea.

Second, most Bible teachers walk a fine balance between reverence for the texts and relevance to the people. It is often not an easy thing to do. On one extreme, spending an incredible amount of time to dig into the details of the texts may seem like faithful scholarship, but what then is the point if hearers do not understand the technical jargon or complexities in theological arguments? On the other extreme, one can tell great stories but be totally off the mark when it comes to understanding what the Bible passage is saying. This book is a wonderful example of balancing the two.

Thirdly, the illustrations are conveniently placed and are ready resources to be used. I appreciate the variety of examples that range from personal stories to testimonies of famous persons; from biographies to movies; from books to movements; from stories in print to stories in life. Having said that, I feel that all preachers and teachers need to try their best to use their own stories and illustrations first. When only after all are exhausted, then use the ones in this book.

Excellent resource!

Rating: 4.75 stars of 5.

This book is provided to me courtesy of Baker Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Luke in the hands of a master commentator and preacher 28 Jan. 2014
By Abram Kielsmeier-Jones - Published on
Format: Hardcover
France died in February 2012, so to have this posthumous work of his is a real treat–especially since he already has a major commentary on Matthew and one on Mark. This rounds out France’s writing on the Synoptic Gospels.

So far the Teaching the Text series is a strong entry into the already highly populated world of commentaries. Baker Books has an excellent series Website with videos and samples.

France divides the 24 chapters of Luke into 65 text units (or passages), each of which receives six pages of commentary. It breaks down in this way:

*Big Idea
*Key Themes
*Understanding the Text
*Teaching the Text
*Illustrating the Text

France is especially adept in the Theological Insights section (part of "Understanding the Text"). He is reliable, creative, and faithful to the text. His experience as both scholar and pastor seems to have helped here.

France offers suggestions for how the preacher might approach the sermon on each text, whether it’s a personal story, someone else’s anecdote, history, literature, film, or art.

His awareness of literary and biblical context throughout the book offers what one might otherwise miss by way of introductory matters, which are short here.

An added bonus is the high quality of the book materials. The hardcover looks pretty indestructible, the binding is sewn, and the pages are thick and glossy (but not too glossy to accept notes from a writing utensil). The full-color pages throughout are a nice touch, too. Translation: this commentary will make it through multiple series and preaching cycles on Luke.

The above is condensed from a full review, which you can read here:
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I wanted so much to like this commentary (and the series) because the genesis of ... 23 Feb. 2015
By Andrew Kim - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
I wanted so much to like this commentary (and the series) because the genesis of the project was rooted in such great and noble purposes - to aid the busy pastor in his weekly preaching responsibilities. But upon reading through it I felt it was very shallow and found myself consulting other commentaries for more in depth information. Even the shorter Luke commentaries were more helpful than this one. Again the purpose of this commentary and the series is great and may be helpful for leading a small group but as a primary commentary for weekly preaching I felt it lacking in many ways and would rather spend the time reading through two of the more substantial Luke commentaries.
Helpful for study and preaching 9 Feb. 2014
By Fred Eaton - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have found R.T. France's writings to always be helpful for study. This volume is excellent for insightful comments and summarizing sections of Scripture. This is not a technical commentary that uses any Greek language references. But I find it helpful and have other commentaries for technical details. What I appreciate about France's writings is that he does not regurgitate previous writers, but really does put forth his own exegesis. The only part that is not helpful is the "Illustrating the Text" sections. But this is a weakness in this entire series.
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