Editor Barry J. Beitzel
Lexham Geographic Commentary on the Gospels
Bellingham: Lexham, 2017.
Offered at Lexham.
By Dr. Kate Tyler
The Lexham Geographic Commentary on the Gospels requires seriously the truth that the historical events recorded in Scripture are positioned in really precise locations. “To be unaware of or to neglect the geographical DNA of the Bible or the biblical globe will as a result frequently imply that one particular may well run afoul of the biblical argument or that reality may well dissolve into sentimentalism” (xiv). Introducing this volume, Beitzel highlights that there are very distinct variations in the pictures which Jesus utilizes in Galilee – mostly to do with farming and fishing – whereas in Jerusalem and Judea, Jesus tends to speak far more of shepherds, viticulture, and religious practices (xv). It is this sort of subtle cultural distinction, which would normally be missed by these unfamiliar with the geographic context of Scripture, that tends to make this such a important volume.
The book is comprised of 48 chapters which address a certain geographic place, Jesus’ use of a precise contextual image, or survey a variety of opinions on exactly where a certain occasion in fact took location. Every single chapter is tagged to precise passages from the Gospels, has a valuable summary of essential points at the begin, and is accompanied by corresponding maps and pictures. Chapters are concise adequate to be simply accessible, but simply give adequate detail and proof of study to be valuable in academic engagement.
The fourteen contributors all have substantial study and teaching expertise in the Middle East. I had the privilege of studying with 3 of them – Dr Carl J. Laney, Dr Paul H. Wright and Dr Cynthia Parker – at Jerusalem University College in Summer season 2017. This evokes terrific self-assurance that the contributors are specialists in ‘reading the land’ alongside ‘reading the text’ of the Gospels. The wide-ranging scope of subjects addressed, and the way that geography is utilised to deepen one’s understanding of Scripture, tends to make this a genuinely great reference operate for students and scholars alike.