A Good Bible Commentary

A good Bible commentary combines judicious exegetical comments with a willingness to make and defend theological and personal application:

Viewed from a perspective that holds this world to be a “closed system,” suffering is a harsh and final reality that can never be explained nor transcended. “All is trouble, adversity, and suffering!” cries Sue Fawley, summarizing Thomas Hardy’s own judgment in his most pessimistic novel, Jude the Obscure. But a Christian views the suffering of this life in a larger, world-transcending context that, while not alleviating its present intensity, transcends it with the confident expectation that suffering is not the final word. “The present and visible can be understood only in the light of the future and invisible” (Leenhardt). Thus, Paul can “consider that the sufferings of the present time are not worth comparing with the glory that shall be revealed to us.” We must, Paul suggests, weigh suffering in the balance with the glory that is the final state of every believer; and so “weighty,” so transcendently wonderful, is this glory that suffering flies in the air as if it had no weight at all. “For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Cor. 4:17).

Douglas J. Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, The New International Commentary on the New Testament, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996), 511.

Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.

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