Preaching pastors, ministers, and priests know how quickly Sundays come and go. Protecting time for study and theological reflection is an art not easily mastered. The fast pace of church life collides with the need to ground sermons in careful exegesis and extensive dialogue with biblical texts. "The Lectionary Commentary" will not slow the pace of the weekly calendar, but it will help assure that sermon preparation begins with a solid engagement with Scripture.
This superb three-volume work offers exegetical essays on the biblical texts from the Revised Common Lectionary, Years A, B, and C. All the Sundays of the three-year cycle are included, as well as the texts for Christmas Day, Epiphany, and Ascension Day. This volume, "The First Readings: Old Testament and Acts," provides exegetical commentary on the lectionary readings from Genesis to Malachi, and from the first seventeen chapters of Acts. Also unique to this volume is an excellent essay on "Preaching as Worship" by Hughes Oliphant Old.
The authors of "The Lectionary Commentary" are an ecumenical mix of respected pastors, priests, ministers, and teachers for whom exegesis for preaching is a vocational and personal interest. Some are preachers who value exegesis; others are exegetes who value preaching. All value the Revised Common Lectionary as a guide for good preaching. Designed to answer the question "What does the preacher need to know about this text in order to preach a faithful sermon from it?," the essay in each chapter closely considers its specific biblical text and provides theological reflection, all the while remaining alert to the contemporary context in which the sermon will be spoken and heard.
These are not books of sermons. They leave homiletical work to the preacher, who is called to contextualize the gospel from biblical texts. Rather, these essays are meant to serve as exegetical "jump starts," giving preachers a firm place to stand in the text while at the same time stimulating the concerns they bring to sermon preparation. The result is an invaluable resource intended to aid in the difficult task of facilitating a meaningful encounter between Holy Scripture and our modern world.
Consulting Editors: Richard A. Burridge
Thomas W. Gillespie
Colin E. Gunton
Robert W. Jenson
James F. Kay
Hughes Oliphant Old