reaching the Word Commentary Series, R. Kent Hughes, Series Editor 1-2 Timothy & Titus by R. Kent Hughes & Bryan Chapell
The Preaching the Word commentary series, published by Crossway, has labeled itself as the commentary written by pastors for pastors, as well as for all who teach or study God’s Word. I fall into the “teach or study God’s Word” category and will review from this perspective. The commentary is very readable and anyone who is a student of God’s Word will find it highly accessible, providing a clear exposition of the Pastoral Epistles. It could be a blessing if used in a devotional style (reading a section a day) or simply for reference during personal study. This edition is a real treat for the reader to be able to study these letters behind two highly regarded pastors.
The Preaching the Word commentary series is currently going through a revision and the copy that I am reviewing is the new revision. I am not familiar with the old so I cannot compare the two, but I will attempt to communicate the layout and look of this edition. Ascetically speaking the commentary is very simple, a white dust jacket with minimal design, but it looks nice and stands out on a shelf filled with mostly colorful commentaries. Once, inside the reader will find a table of contents, showing the titles for each chapter, as this is how the commentary is divided. One thing I did notice is the lack of thorough introduction to the book. Most commentaries will give an introduction to the book, providing the layout of the book, the authorship, a historical introduction, etc. This commentary does not provide that. Instead it opts to go straight to the exposition of the text. I do not feel negatively about this format, I am only presenting it because if you are looking for a more technical commentary this is not for you.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading behind R. Kent Hughes and Bryan Chapel in this commentary. Their exposition of the qualifications for Elders and Deacons in 1 Timothy 3:1-13 was truly a blessing. The summary at the end of the Qualifications for Elders chapter is a clarion call for godly men. They state, “So much is at stake. What our leadership is in microcosm, the church will become in macrocosm, and what the church is has everything to do with gospel and mission. Years ago the liberals set aside the Pastoral Epistles as too bourgeois and conventional. As a result some evangelicals lost confidence in the relevancy of the Pastorals. Today those epistles are radically bracing amid postmodern confusion. We need to take their message to hear for the sake of the gospel. We need to raise the bar and hold it there. We need to see leadership as a calling. Church leadership is not a political position to be sought for oneself. It is a burden that some must accept. Leaders are not determined by popularity. They must be the kind of men profiled here by Paul and Timothy. And the church must recognize who they are. We must see leadership as a calling. We must determine to prepare and equip such leaders.” AMEN!!! These men write with the same passion throughout this commentary. I highly recommend this to pastors and lay people alike. Anyone seeking to understand leadership in the church as expressed in these Epistles will be blessed by this commentary and the wisdom of its writers.
Note: I received a free copy of this book from Crossway in exchange for an honest review.