Thursday, September 17, 2009
BOOK REVIEW - HEBREWS -- ANCIENT ENCOURAGEMENT FOR BELIEVERS TODAY By Edward William Fudge
As a student at Abilene Christian College I had little money for books beyond the required text books. I preached for a small country church and needed all the help I could get. As long as I was on campus I had access to all the books I needed, wanted and more. Graduating and leaving the college I knew I was going to be needing a few books. I had just enough money for one set of commentaries. I bought the Pulpit Commentary. Over the next several years I bought additional sets. It was much later I learned that the best way to buy commentaries is to know the authors and then to buy not sets, but individual commentaries. That is what I did for the rest of my ministry of forty-seven years.
Hebrews by Edward William Fudge is one of those commentaries I want to tell you about. I own other commentaries on this valuable book of the Bible but this is one of the best and most practical for the average student. Do I hear you saying, "Commentaries are for preachers and Bible class teachers; they are too scholarly for me; I want something devotional and about every day Christian living?" Then, I want to say to you: "This is what you are looking for. This book is scholarly but practical. It provides encouragement for believers today."
Simon Kistemaker, Professor of New Testament Emeritus, Reformed theological Seminary voiced this same opinion. He said, "Written by a scholar for lay people, this volume presents an interpretation that is clear and transparent. I heartily recommend this commentary as true to Scripture and balanced in explanation of Hebrews." Sarah Summer, Professor of Theology and Ministry, Graduate School of Theology, Azusa Pacific University wrote, "If you've never studied Hebrews because you think it's too hard, you will be delighted by this book." And author, Brian McLaren said, "Edward Fudge's love for Scripture shows on every page of this readable commentary, as does his skill in the art of interpretation."
Although I have studied Hebrews for years, I have always come away with unanswered questions. Or at least questions I could not answer in a satisfactory way. After reading Fudge's commentary I now have answers I understand and believe in and can state clearly. This does not mean that I will stop studying, feeling I have arrived. It means I have confidence in what I have found on the pages of this book as I compare it with the Bible. I feel good and I am encouraged. I want to share what I have learned with others so they can be encouraged too. Therefore, I recommend this book without reservation.
I want to close my review by agreeing with Tom Seals, College of Bible and Ministry, Lipscomb University, "Fudge has written a concise, informative and thorough commentary. In 'problem' areas of the biblical text, he offers solutions, yet does not try to force his judgments upon the readers, challenging them all the while to think 'outside the box.' I commend this book to all serious students of the word of God."
Edward William Fudge is a Bible teacher, preacher and attorney in Houston, Texas. His internet publication, gracEmail, regularly encourages thousands of believers around the world. You may sign us to receive this free email as well as many other free and helpful biblical materials from his website. You may also purchase this excellent commentary and other books he has written.
The website is: http://www.edwardfudge.com/