The New American Commentary Series is a commentary with the expressed goal of enabling "pastors, teachers, and student to read the Bible and proclaim it with power. The New American Commentary series is "unapologetically confessional and rooted in the evangelical tradition," and affirms "the divine inspiration, inerrancy, complete truthfulness, and full authority of the Bible. The New American Commentary "focuses on communicating the theological structure and content of each biblical book. The writers seek to illuminate both the historical meaning and contemporary significance of Holy Scripture." The series as a whole focuses on two concerns:
1) The commentary emphasizes how each section of a book fits together so that the reader becomes aware of the theological unity of each book and of Scripture as a whole.
2) The New American Commentary is produced with the conviction that the Bible primarily belongs to the church...the editors and authors of this series have attempted to communicate the findings of their research in a manner that will build up the whole body of Christ.
Focusing on the commitments listed above as well as the two concerns results in a commentary series that provides a trustworthy and sound exegetical and theological exposition of God's Word. It also provides a commentary series that is highly readable for many in the church as the authors express their concern to communicate clearly as to edify the whole body.
With these goals in mind I want to briefly comment on the New American Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans authored by Robert Mounce. This commentary, like most others, begins with an introduction section that covers the authorship, destination, date and place of origin, purpose etc. This is always helpful as it sets the reader's focus to the original framework of the book and not to our 21st century world. Mounce also provides a sweeping overview of the entire epistle to the Romans in this section. This helps set the stage as he then begins to dig into the letter bit by bit. Each section begins with an outline followed by the biblical text in bold. This helps the reader to locate a passage of scripture quickly as they open the commentary to study. The commentary sections are then broken down into smaller verse division that are labeled in bold, again making this very helpful for use as a reference. Some commentaries are more tedious than others in finding a small passage of scripture for study, this one is very reader friendly. As far as his exposition Mounce is very clear with his wording and provides a lot of wisdom and understanding for a commentary that is only 300 pages. One feature that I really enjoyed was his footnoting the majority of his notes about the grammar. Discussion about original greek words and tenses is helpful and necessary, but may turn off some readers, especially lay-people. Mounce has moved most of this discussion to footnotes, thus making it available to those who wish to have a better understanding, but not interrupting the flow of exposition to those who just want to gain an overview of the author's intent of the passage. By doing this I believe that the commentary is accessible to a very wide range of people and thus serves as a great blessing to the church. I highly recommend it.
I received a free copy of this book from B&H Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.