Review: NBBC, Jeremiah 1-25: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition
An excellent Jeremiah Commentary! It wrestles with the challenges of this unique book and presents the material in a way that is scholarly but usable by pastors & adult teachers.
No knowledge of Hebrew or Greek is required, but the original languages are taken into account for interpretation. For Example:
Ḥesed in the OT
The Hebrew word ḥesed has several shades of meaning. English translations translate this word as “steadfast love,” “covenant love,” “mercy,” “grace,” “favor,” “kindness,” “devotion,” “unfailing love,” “covenant loyalty,” etc. God’s covenant commitment and faithfulness to his people is the primary idea that this word seeks to convey…we are speaking of his abounding grace that never fails.
Varughese, A. (2008). Jeremiah 1-25: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition (49–50). Kansas City, MO: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City.
This sidebar also shows how the book is relational and Wesleyan. It focuses on how the themes of Jeremiah impact the potential relationship between God and humans, spilling over into human relationships as well. Wesleyan points of theology (emphasis on empowering grace, God’s offer of grace to ALL, balancing original sin/prevenient grace, human freedom to respond, etc…) are highlighted but not trumpeted, so Calvinists can like it, too!
The great theological themes of the book are named in the introduction and developed throughout. The relevant historical issues are covered. The author is fully supportive of the historical figure of Jeremiah as the central author. He goes to say that final form of the text was shaped by Israel in captivity-it is designed to help the returning exiles understand Jeremiah’s message for their time: The Sovereign LORD who allowed harsh judgement, always offers forgiveness and grace. Just as God used Babylon to bring Israel low, God can use another nation to restore God’s people. God uses his sovereignty to bless in the end. The timeless message applies today as well: no matter how big a mess we find ourselves in, even if it’s our own fault, we will find mercy with God when we truly repent and turn to Him. The proud and sinful don’t have much to look forward to besides judgement. But for the humble and teachable there is every reason for hope and a future! The Holy love of our faithful creator speaks a loud and clear message of restoration and hope!
I can’t wait to pick up the 2nd Volume! It is available in print from Nazarene Publishing House http://www.nph.com or 1-800-877-0700 and a digital version for Logos Bible Software.