The New International Commentary on the Old and New Testament (NICOT/NICNT) is a well-loved 53-volume set. Those with limited space on their bookshelves will appreciate its availability in the app—and we are thankful for the ability to offer it! In fact, if you’re interested in how NICOT/NT works in the Olive Tree Bible App, you can see it for yourself in this post. But for now, we are going to spend some time learning about four of the many authors of this series. Here are interviews with the following New International Commentary authors:

David deSilva
Mignon R. Jacobs
Mark Boda
Scot McKnight

New International Commentary on the Old and New Testament (NICOT NICNT)

David deSilva, New International Commentary Author

David A. deSilva authored the New International Commentary on Galatians. Along with being an author, he is the Trustees’ Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Greek at Ashland Theological Seminary. His many other books include Honor, Patronage, Kinship & Purity: Unlocking New Testament Culture.

Over on the Eerdmans blog (the NICOT/NT publisher), deSilva wrote on the top 5 critical issues in Galatians. These are the 5 major questions he faced when writing:

  1. Why does Paul give so much space to the Holy Spirit in a letter supposedly about justification by faith?
  2. What is the relationship between justification and righteousness?
  3. What is the role of the Law of Moses in the plan of God and the Christian’s life?
  4. What are the stoicheia tou kosmou, and what does it mean to be liberated from them?
  5. What does pistis Christou really signify?
deSilva

Why is the first question the most critical?

deSilva says that the first question listed above is the most critical. Here’s why:

“I list this as the most important issue for two reasons. First, Paul appeals to the Galatian Christians’ experience of the Holy Spirit as the most decisive factor for his case (“This one thing I want to learn from you,” 3:2).  This appeal opens and closes the primary cluster of his arguments in the letter (3:2-5; 4:6-7).  Second, the real alternative to the Law of Moses in Paul’s thinking is not faith in Christ, but the Holy Spirit (which those who place their trust in Christ receive).

The rival teachers are promoting a life aligned with the Law of Moses as the life that God will approve as righteous; Paul promotes alignment with the Holy Spirit as the God-given means to such an end (5:13-26). In our attention to orthodoxy and orthopraxy, we give far less attention than Paul would have us, I believe, to the numinous dimension of the new life in Christ, the work of the Holy Other who is wholly other.

If you want to read deSilva’s other explanations on the critical issues of Galatians, you can do so here.

Mignon R. Jacobs, New International Commentary Author

Mignon R. Jacobs is professor of Old Testament studies, dean, and chief academic officer at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ohio. She is responsible for the Haggai and Malachi volume of the New International Commentary. Among her other books is Gender, Power, and Persuasion: The Genesis Narratives and Contemporary Portraits.

Jacobs New International Commentary Author Interview
Mignon R. Jacobs, photo from seminary.ashland.edu

Jacobs covers traditional questions in her Haggai and Malachi work. She does this while also highlighting themes that are especially relevant to contemporary concerns. For example, she covers hearing the prophetic word in the midst of social and political upheaval.

Watch Jacobs discuss her work on NICOT

James Nogalski of Baylor University has this to say about Jacobs:

“Mignon Jacobs offers fresh readings of Haggai and Malachi for pastors and students. Her work has an accessible style, and the voluminous footnotes list alternative positions within the scholarly discussions. Her introductions to these prophets emphasize their social location at different points in the Persian period, and her exegetical treatments in the commentary proper include extensive exploration of biblical contexts to explain the concepts, phrases, and idioms that shape the message.”

Mark Boda, New International Commentary Author

Mark J. Boda is professor of Old Testament at McMaster Divinity College and professor in the Faculty of Theology at McMaster University. He authored the New International Commentary on the Book of Zechariah. Also, his other books include the NIV Application Commentary volume on Haggai and Zechariah.

Boda New International Commentary Author Interview
Mark Boda, photo from mcmasterdivinity.ca

Q&A with the Eerdmans Blog

Back when Eerdmans published Boda’s commentary volume, they posted a q&a with him on their blog. With permission, we’re sharing a few of their questions and his answers!

Q: If you were to summarize the theme of the book in a simple way for people to remember, what would you use?

A: It is the cry at the outset of the book: return to Me so that I may return to you — the passionate pursuit of Yahweh for covenantal relationship.

Q: What is the biggest pitfall to avoid when interpreting and applying Zechariah, whether as a pastor preaching through the book or someone reading it on their own?

A: I think it is to not see the potential of the text’s message to its original audience for our churches and communities today. The prophets are so often preached and read for their foretelling message, often looking for specific connections to Jesus. But their forthtelling message — that message to a community in need of grace and holiness — dominates the book of Zechariah and is a message from Yahweh, the triune God, and thus also the message of Jesus to us.

Q: What verse or section of verses did you find most challenging to exegete and write about in your commentary on Zechariah? Also, which verse or set of verses did you find most edifying?

A: The most challenging was Zechariah 9-14. Actually, I was so intimidated when I started to work on this section 15 years ago that I gathered together a group of scholars into a project to give me a chance to dialogue about it (see my edited volume with Michael Floyd, Bringing Out the Treasure). The most edifying remains the opening sermon of Zechariah 1:3, where Zechariah gets to the heart of repentance: “Return to Me.” This passage reminds me that repentance is fundamentally relational: it is a return to the Father (as in the Prodigal Son), before it is a change in ethical behavior (which Zechariah 1:4 makes clear as well).

Want to read the other 16 questions and answers? You can see read the blog post here.

Scot McKnight, New International Commentary Author

McKnight earned his PhD from the University of Nottingham. Now he is the Julius R. Mantey Chair of New Testament at Northern Seminary, teaching the next generation of leaders.

Scot McKnight Interview New International Commentary Author
Scot McKnight, photo from trnty.edu

Along with teaching, McKnight also speaks at events and churches around the United States while writing numerous books. He authored both Philemon and Colossians volumes for the New International Commentary. He is passionate about these books of the Bible and their life-changing lessons for contemporary Christians.

Watch McKnight discuss his work on NICNT

In this interview, McKnight takes a closer look at each book’s revolutionary message and, briefly, discusses the development of commentary writing.

Learn More about the New International Commentary

Take a look inside NICOT/NICNT or even read an excerpt! Then head on over to our website to add it to your Olive Tree library today.

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