When I started planning for our Ephesians series I started looking for some resources to help guide my own study. Sometimes pastors and teachers get enamored with commentaries that dive deep into the world of the text. At times that dive is helpful in figuring out the background of a text, and sometimes it becomes an overwhelming amount of information with very little application for the church. Apparently I’m not alone in the search for an accessible commentary that also helps me understand how Scripture can be applied to our lives today. Enter in: The Story of God Bible Commentary. This new series approaches scripture as the narrative of God’s actions in the world. It’s accessible, helpful and full of ways Scripture applies to the lives of 21st Century followers of Jesus.
Each passage has three sections. The first is Listen to the Story. In this section the commentators help place a passage in the larger context of the biblical story. The reader can see what passages are being referenced within a text or some of the background story that is helpful for interpreting the given text.
The second section is Explain the Story. This section helps the reader understand the text and the context surrounding a passage. This might contain some information about the language used or about the historical situation of a writer or the audience. The commentary I’m using doesn’t go overboard into the Greek or engage in too many scholarly arguments that are had by academic scholars. This series tries to be a mix of bringing in good academics with a pastorly touch that engages the church.
What separates this series from other commentaries for me is the third section, Live the Story. This section is what brings the text of the Bible forward into the lives of modern disciples. This section is filled with illustrations and stories that help to make the text applicable to life.
I’ve been heavily using Mark Roberts’ “Ephesians” volume in The Story of God Bible Commentary. You can find it here.
If you’re looking for a good resource for your own study, I’ve really enjoyed reading this commentary and drawing from it for my own life.