# Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Jim West's Person in the Pew Commentary Series is available on pre-pub from Logos Bible Software.

Jim has been steadily working on his Person in the Pew Commentary series for awhile. And I have huge respect for him for doing it. Jim's task is a bit thankless. He's not writing a sexy groundbreaking commentary digging into scads of nearly-never-read articles by academics to serve up the myriad details of an intensely deep look at the text to folks working on graduate degrees. No, he's writing for the person who has had little or no professional training, who has a desire to learn more, and is probably going to take the leap from study Bible notes into an actual, bona-fide commentary.

Actually, that's a good way to look at Jim's work. It is like a study Bible on steroids, helping the reader walk through the challenging parts and cruise through the relatively straightforward parts without bogging them down with too many details.

Now, a few disclaimers: Jim is a friend. I work for Logos. And I have not read a full volume of Jim's commentary. But I have spent some time examining a number of the sample pages available for view on the Logos prepub page, and I get exactly what he's doing. And I stand by my earlier statement that it is a largely thankless task, but is of immense value for most folks in the church. He's flying over the Biblical terrain at 30,000 feet, giving a very high overview of how it all works together. This isn't a sexy commentary, but it is hugely useful for the person who is used to just using a study Bible to answer questions in a Bible study with the proverbial, "my notes say …". Jim's work starts where that reader is, and helps them into the text, to begin to understand more about it. It sensitively walks them through it all, not skipping the hard parts, with the detail necessary to provide a good understanding of what it all might mean.

So I commend Jim's work. And I respect him for it. He is working through and struggling with the whole text (and the apocrypha/deuterocanon!). He doesn't get to skip a few chapters of genealogy in 1 & 2 Chronicles because nobody will notice. He doesn't get to skip those hard parts in 1 Cor 14 and 1 Tim 2 where myriad authors have spilled ink in haste, hate, and insensitivity. He's working through the whole thing. I'm sure he gets tremendous value from it, and that his understanding of the Word of God has grown as a result. So hop on board with Jim and give it a shot.

Thanks, Jim, for this work.

Post Author: rico
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 7:50:36 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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