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It’s time for another edition of Ask Eerdmans, in which we attempt to answer some of the more common (and also some of the more uncommon) questions posed to us by readers.
Questions for this series come directly from Eerdmans readers; they may also be passed on to us from editorial assistants, customer service reps, and other members of the Eerdmans staff who regularly encounter and field reader questions.
Believe it or not, we receive letters fairly regularly from commentary readers asking for inside information on forthcoming volumes in their favorite series.
And although we don’t generally publicize information about forthcoming books while they’re still years away from completion (too much can happen between a signed contract and a publication date), we do try our best to reply to reader inquiries on a case-by-case basis using the best information we have available at the time.
After submitting the above question via the EerdWord contact form, in fact, Jared Hay received a personal email from our managing editor Linda Bieze.
Dear Mr. Hay:
Thank you for your questions to EerdWord.
Joel Green is under contract to write a new edition of the NICNT on Acts, but his manuscript is still several years away. . . .
Thank you for using Eerdmans books and for sharing your questions with us.
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Rest assured: as soon as we do have enough solid information on a forthcoming commentary volume (including an anticipated price and publication date) to make it worth sharing, you’ll be able to find it listed on our website.
Volumes scheduled for release later this year include the following:
The Book of Psalms
(The New International Commentary on the Old Testament)
Nancy deClaisse-Walford, Rolf A. Jacobsen, and Beth LaNeel Tanner
Revelation: A Shorter Commentary
G. K. Beale
with David H. Campbell
Fans of the ILLUMINATIONS commentary series can find information about forthcoming volumes (though not, unfortunately, their projected publication dates) on the series website.
When I heard the NIGTC series was only going to be published in
paperback . . .
— Calvin Would Be Proud
Unfortunately, after crunching the numbers, it was the only way we could realistically afford to keep reprinting older NIGTC volumes, which are noted both for their hefty page counts and their somewhat niche market.
Neither of our other available options appealed to us at all:
- Raise the price on hardcover volumes to over $100 apiece.
- Let older volumes in the series go out of print.
We hope our faithful NIGTC readers can understand the difficult decision we faced — and why we ultimately chose the course of action we did.
For the time being, we do still have hardcover editions of several volumes in stock. Check out our website (scroll down) to browse the selection.
Do you have a question for Ask Eerdmans? Ask away! We’ll do our best to answer it in a future post. Leave us a comment below or use our contact form to send us a message.
Welcome once again to Eerdmans All Over, a Friday roundup of all the Eerdmans-related news, reviews, interviews, and other interesting online content we can gather in a given week.
The Legend of Saint Nicholas
Anselm Grün and Giuliano Ferri
Faith Seeking Understanding
Daniel L. Migliore
Katharine Drexel: The Riches-to-Rags Story of an American Catholic Saint
Cheryl C. D. Hughes
Secular Government, Religious People
Ira C. Lupu and Robert W. Tuttle
News from Eerdmans . . .
- Eerdmans and the Christian publishing industry was listed as one of “34 Things You Probably Didn’t Know about Grand Rapids” by Movoto.
. . . and elsewhere.
- Check out Publishers Weekly‘s article on The Right Word by Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet! In the article, Sally Lodge investigates how the book came into being, with comments from Jen Bryant, Melissa Sweet, and our own Anita Eerdmans. The Right Word not only tells the story of how the first thesaurus was invented, but it just might change your idea of what a thesaurus is all about.
- Ira Lupu and Robert Tuttle, our featured authors this month, have written some of the first expert treatments of the Supreme Court’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. Ira Lupu published an in-depth scholarly article in the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, and a more accessible article by Lupu and Tuttle can be found on the Cornerstone blog of the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs.
- David Bentley Hart (The Beauty of the Infinite) was interviewed on the Mars Hill Audio Journal along with Tom Wright (Following Jesus). Don’t miss our upcoming new editions of seven of Wright’s books!
- Kirkus reviewed The Sheep Go on Strike, the latest book from Jean-François Dumont: “Dumont’s lesson can run shallow or deep, but it is a winner either way.”
- Megan DeFranza (Sex Difference in Christian Theology) tells the story of her “aha” moment about Scripture on Pete Enns’ Patheos blog, talking about “the gifts of an imperfect (but wholly adequate) Bible.”
- In an article in The Independent, Paul Vallely wrote about “Christians: The World’s Most Persecuted People,” referencing Rupert Shortt’s book Christianophobia as one of the few voices drawing attention to this terrible and neglected issue.
- Here are two reviews by David Barshinger on the blog Exploring Church History: one is a review of Michael Graves’s The Inspiration and Interpretation of Scripture, and another is a review of Mark Noll’s Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind (pb).
- Congratulations to Melissa Sweet (The Right Word), whose book Firefly July (Knopf) won the 2014 New England Book Award for children!
- Logos Bible Software produced a video promoting their digitized editions of the Pillar New Testament Commentary series.
- The Children’s Book Council featured Friends of Liberty (Beatrice Gormley) on the home page as part of its Seasonal Showcase.
Have we missed any news, reviews, or other online miscellany dealing with Eerdmans or EBYR books or authors from the last week? Please let us know in the comments. You also can post items on our Facebook timeline, mention us on Twitter (@eerdmansbooks or @ebyrbooks), or write to us directly: email@example.com.
Welcome once again to Eerdmans All Over, a Friday roundup of all the Eerdmans-related news, reviews, interviews, and other interesting online content we can find in a given week.
New this week:
Paul’s Letter to the Romans
(Pillar New Testament Commentary)
Colin G. Kruse
The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau
Illustrated by Amanda Hall
News from Eerdmans . . .
- We welcome to Eerdmans this week Ahna Terpstra, our new Internet marketing assistant. Ahna is a recent graduate of Calvin College, where she studied communication arts and sciences. Although she will be assisting us in a variety of ways, she is especially excited for the opportunity to use her love of videography and video editing to help us expand our YouTube library of book trailers and other video content. We’re excited, too!
. . . and elsewhere.
- Christianity Today opened up to non-subscribers this week the full text of Thomas E. Bergler’s much talked about article “When Are We Going to Grow Up? The Juvenilization of American Christianity.” Since it was published, the article has been shared on Facebook more than 3,500 times and discussed on a number of blogs, including Catholicism Pure and Simple.
- Christianity Today also published three insightful responses to Bergler’s article, by David Kinnaman (“The Rise of the Digital Urban Natives“), John Ortberg (“Ponce de León on Steroids“), and David Zahl (“By Grace You Are Mature“).
- And while we’re still on the subject of The Juvenilization of American Christianity, we should point out Scot McKnight’s discussion of the book’s historical content, which he shared in a thoughtful Jesus Creed post called “Saving Civilization.”
- In non-Juvenilization-related news, Publishers Weekly reviewed Mary Newell DePalma’s Bow-Wow Wiggle-Waggle, calling it “a festive exercise in free association, alliteration, and onomatopoeia.”
- Laurence O’Donnell posted his review of Richard J. Mouw’s Abraham Kuyper: A Short and Personal Introduction to his In Thy Light blog. (This review was originally published in the Calvin Theological Journal.)
- Clifford Kvidahl reviewed Gareth Lee Cockerill’s new NICNT volume on Hebrews on his Theological Musings blog — and then announced that he would be giving away a copy of the commentary to one lucky, lucky winner.
- EBYR author Jen Bryant (A River of Words) launched a new blog, Electric Moccasin.
- Robert Cornwall reviewed John C. Knapp’s How the Church Fails Businesspeople (and what can be done about it) on his Ponderings on a Faith Journey blog.
- Over on the Hearts and Minds blog, Byron Borger shared “A Dozen Great Father’s Day Recommendations.” Second on his list is David Lawther Johnson’s Learning from My Father: Lessons on Faith and Life, of which Borger says: “The book rings true on so many levels and is a treat to dip into, to ponder, enjoy, or share with others.”
- On her Work in Progress blog, first-time author Ruth Huizinga Everhart (whose forthcoming Holy Land pilgrimage memoir is scheduled for a November release) asked “What’s in a Name?” as she mused on the creative challenge of coming up with an appropriate title for her book — and for herself.
- Continuing his excellent series of posts identifying the best commentaries on various New Testament books, Phillip Long shared his “Top Five Galatians Commentaries” on the Reading Acts blog. (Spoiler alert: once again, two Eerdmans volumes earned spots on his list!)
- On his Chrisendom blog, Chris Tilling brought to our attention audio and video recordings from the recent King’s College London conference Beyond Old and New Perspectives on Paul, which engaged Douglas Campbell’s book The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul.
- The Emergent Village Voice featured Randy S. Woodley’s new book Shalom and the Community of Creation: An Indigenous Vision.
Have we missed any news, reviews, or other online miscellany dealing with Eerdmans or EBYR books or authors from the last week? Let us know in the comments.
Note: In the original version of this post, we incorrectly listed Paul Zahl as the author of the Christianity Today article “By Grace You Are Mature.” David Zahl is the actual author, and the post has been updated to correct our mistake.
Milton Essenburg has worked at Eerdmans for forty-five years. He specializes in editing and proofreading commentaries and theological works. He also checks proofs before they are sent to the printer.
For some time I had dreamed of starting the best commentary series on the market. Then, in 1990, with the demise of The Reformed Journal and an empty nest at home, I had more time to make that dream come true.
First, I read the article “Which Is the Best Commentary?” by I. Howard Marshall in the November 1991 issue of The Expository Times. Of his three categories of commentary I liked the mid-sized one — not too technical but offering enough help for preaching and exposition. I also relished his comment, “The ideal is a combination of exegesis and exposition in a readable fashion.”
Second, I visited neighboring seminaries and found that they preferred commentaries featuring solid exegesis, profound theological reflection, a firm grasp of the totality picture of the biblical book, creative readings and interpretations, and, if not direct application, at least strong hints in that direction.
In looking for a model for such a series, I ended up with D. A. Carson’s The Gospel of John. Now Carson’s John was an overgrown Tyndale New Testament Commentary, and I had been impressed with a number of Tyndale’s authors, including Douglas Moo and N. T. Wright. But since it was first published by Inter-Varsity Press of the United Kingdom, we would also have to make arrangements with them.
Since Carson’s John had a pillar on its cover, I decided to call the series The Pillar New Testament Commentary. That may sound silly, but authors like R. K. Harrison (in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia) point out that pillars represent reliability, solidity, substantiality, and permanence, that they held up temples, and that in pagan circles they were intended to bring glory to the gods (for us read soli Deo gloria!).
I wrote D. A. Carson about my ideas, and he was highly favorable toward them. But, as might be expected, he went far beyond, which is why we later named him General Editor of the series.
On November 27, 1992, Carson replied to my letter, “I think that there is an enormous market (and need!) for commentaries that are warm — that is, written from a perspective in which the author attempts no artificial ‘objectivity’ but writes as a Christian at a high level of competence but with devotion displayed in the way he or she shapes sentences and paragraphs. Within such a framework some overt application or useful historical parallel can be slipped in to strengthen the nurturing component in the book. The unique factor in the Pillar series, as I see it, is that the series as a whole is not too technical, and every volume has as a goal not merely the conveying of information but something of nurture and edification as well.” (Compare Marshall’s remarks above.)
He continues, “Ideally, the Pillar series should be first-class exegesis capturing the flow of the argument, with sufficient interaction with the secondary literature to ensure that the work is current, while at the same time reflecting unselfconscious warmth, a certain spiritual vitality that shows itself in the form of expression and in unobtrusive application.”
In developing the PNTC, we set out to create the very best sort of Bible commentary series, and I truly believe that we have succeeded. Thus, I agree wholeheartedly with Matthew Miller in his March 9, 2010, Christianbook.com blog post that Eerdmans’ Pillar New Testament Commentary is now “The Best Commentary on the Market” for three reasons — (1) its series editor, D. A. Carson; (2) the degree to which it has met its goals; and (3) the strength of its authors. To this he adds, “The foundation is in place for The Pillar New Testament Commentary to become the best New Testament commentary of all time.” It’s a dream come true.
For more information see “The Pillar New Testament Commentary” on Eerdmans.com and google The Pillar New Testament Commentary.
Click on the cover images below to order the latest in the Pillar New Testament Commentary series: