2019 Christianity Today Book Award Winner for Biblical Studies
The Lexham Geographic Commentary on the Gospels delivers fresh insight by paying attention to an often overlooked component of the Gospel stories—their geographical setting. Written by a team of scholars with on-the-ground experience in Palestine, the Geographic Commentary lets you see the land through the eyes of the disciples as Jesus uses the surrounding landscape as the backdrop for his teaching. Each article addresses a particular story, event, or subject across the Gospels.
You’ll see why it was so miraculous that the disciples caught such a horde of fish on the second cast at Jesus’ bidding (hint: it’s more than the number). And you’ll appreciate the significance of Peter’s declaration of “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” when the location of this exchange is identified and its geographical history retold. With more than fifty Gospel stories expounded from this important geographical angle, you’re bound to take away something new from these well-worn stories.
A great number of the skills that contribute to solid biblical interpretation involve considering a text in one or another of its various contexts—linguistic, literary, historical, social, cultural, rhetorical, intertextual. But how often do we give adequate attention to the geographical and archaeological contexts of the events about which we read or the settings in which Jesus was raised, taught, acted, died, and rose again? This distinctive and clearly-focused commentary is replete with solid information about those geographical and archaeological contexts, and with connections to the Gospel texts (ranging from the secure to the suggestive, but always stimulating), that will admirably help us keep those physical contexts in view as we read, interpret, teach, and preach from the Gospels.
—David A. deSilva, Trustees’ Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Greek, Ashland Theological Seminary
This commentary focuses on the nexus of space, sociology, and theology as reflected in the Gospel text. Highlighting the socio-spatial background of each pericope enhances exegesis. This is especially true in the Gospels where the narrative shifts from place to place. The Lexham Geographic Commentary should be part of every Bible students' library.
—Philip Comfort, visiting professor, Religion, Coastal Carolina University
It is very rare for me to say in an endorsement that a work is “invaluable” and a “must purchase,” but this is one of them. As one who has been writing commentaries for over thirty years, my only question is why someone didn't think of this a long time ago. Once I have this in hand, I will never write anything without consulting this “geographical commentary.” I find it equally essential on general background issues as on geography itself. I am very impressed and cannot wait to start using it. Thank you, Barry, and thank you, Lexham Press!
—Grant Osborne, Professor Emeritus, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Geography is a central concern throughout Scripture, but the full significance of the geographical context is easily overlooked without a familiarity with the places, the relative distances, and the ancient setting. The Lexham Geographic Commentaries will not only place you in the sandals of the ancient writers of Scripture, but they will explain the significance of the geographic details in the biblical text for your life today.
Learn more about the other titles in this series.
To create an innovative, award-winning commentary on the geographic and physical background of the biblical text, we partnered with noted Bible scholar and cartographer Dr. Barry J. Beitzel. This commentary will not only place you in the sandals of the Apostles as they traveled throughout the Roman Empire, but it will explain the significance of the geographic details in the biblical text for your life today.
In the Lexham Geographic Commentary articles on each passage are enriched with relevant details that integrate the valuable resources of Logos Bible Software. So instead of being bound to the commentary text, you will be encouraged to explore Atlas maps of the region discussed, or conduct a Bible Word Study of a Greek word that was mentioned. And if reading through a commentary isn’t your thing, no worries! The wealth of information throughout the Lexham Geographic Commentary will be accessible from multiple angles within Logos Bible Software. So whether you’re studying a specific pericope using the Passage Guide or simply reading through your preferred Bible with the commentary linked together, the relevant information will be surfaced helping you further explore the acts of the Apostles and John’s letters to the seven churches.
Barry J. Beitzel is Professor Emeritus of Old Testament and Semitic Languages at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, USA. He holds a Ph.D. in Ancient Near Eastern Studies from Dropsie University in Philadelphia. He obtained a postdoctorate in Ancient Near Eastern Geography from the Université de Liège, Belgium, and has engaged in postdoctoral archaeological work through UCLA in eastern Syria. Dr. Beitzel is the author of The New Moody Atlas of the Bible. His publications on Near Eastern geography have appeared in a variety of monographs and journals, from Biblical Archaeology Review and The Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research to Iraq: The British Institute for the Study of Iraq.