"Then David said to the Philistine, 'You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts.'" (1 Samuel 17:45)
Reflecting upon David's victory over Goliath, Reformation translator, theologian and commentator William Tyndale compared it to Christ's victory over sin and death: "When David had killed Goliath the giant, glad tidings came to the Israelites that their fearful and cruel enemy was dead and that they were delivered out of all danger. For this gladness, they sang, danced and were joyful. In like manner, the good news or 'gospel' of God is joyful tidings."
The books of 1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Kings and 1-2 Chronicles, which record the history of Israel from the prophetic ministry of Samuel to the fall of Jerusalem, provided the reformers with some of the best-known narratives of the Old Testament upon which to comment, including Hannah's prayer, the anointing of Saul as Israel's first king, David's triumph over Goliath and his later adultery with Bathsheba, Solomon's building of the Temple, Elijah's challenge to the prophets of Baal, and the healing of Naaman.
For the reformers, these stories were not merely ancient Israelite history, but they also foreshadowed the coming of Jesus Christ, and they had immediate relevance for their lives and the church of their day. Thus, Anglican exegete John Mayer perceived within King Josiah's reform of Israelite worship after the discovery of the Book of the Law a prefiguration of "what should be done in the latter days of the gospel, in which a greater reformation of the religion is now being made."
In this Reformation Commentary on Scripture volume, Derek Cooper and Martin Lohrmann guide readers through a diversity of Reformation commentary on these historical books. Here, readers will find reflections from both well-known voices and lesser-known figures from a variety of confessional traditions—Lutherans, Reformed, Radicals, Anglicans and Roman Catholics—many of which appear in English for the first time. By drawing upon a variety of resources—including commentaries, sermons, treatises and confessions—this volume will enable scholars and students to understand better the depth and breadth of Reformation-era insights on Scripture. It will also provide resources for contemporary preachers, and encourage all those who continually seek to share the "joyful tidings" of Jesus Christ.
Derek Cooper (PhD, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia) is associate professor of world Christian history at Biblical Theological Seminary. He is the author of several books, including Exploring Church History and Christianity and World Religions: An Introduction to the World's Major Faiths, and he is the coeditor of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture volume on 1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Kings, 1-2 Chronicles.
Martin J. Lohrmann (PhD, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia) is assistant professor of Lutheran confessions and heritage at Wartburg Theological Seminary. He is the author of Bugenhagen's Jonah: Biblical Interpretation as Public Theology.
"Overall, this volume is fun, particularly if one likes church history. Historical-critical exegesis may be the flavor of the day, but there is certainly room for more theological/traditional biblical interpretation, particularly with respect to the Old Testament. Perhaps even more than its companion Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, Reformation Commentary on Scripture: Old Testament is a nice introductory tool to guide our historical and theological reading."
"In a day when reader response trumps the history of interpretation in biblical studies, the present volume provides a fascinating take on these historical books of the Old Testament. . . . The result is a delightful view of these books through the eyes of the reformers."