by David Lyle Jeffrey


352pp.  $32.99c

Publication Date: May 2012

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David Lyle Jeffrey (PhD, Princeton University) is distinguished professor of literature and humanities at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and professor emeritus of English literature at the University of Ottawa. He is the author of numerous books, including A Dictionary of Biblical Tradition in English Literature and People of the Book.


“Only a genuine ‘lover of God’ can reflect on Luke’s Gospel with the kind of eloquent beauty that David Lyle Jeffrey displays in this commentary. Drawing on a wide range of earlier ‘lovers of God’ throughout the centuries—commentators, painters, and poets—this book is living testimony that reading in line with faithful readers throughout the centuries makes us enter more deeply into Luke’s portrayal of the beauty of divine redemption.”—Hans Boersma, J. I. Packer Professor of Theology, Regent College

“Drawing on a rich palette of historic Christian reflection, Jeffrey provides an exposition of Luke that invites one into a spiritually rich engagement with this Gospel. In Jeffrey’s hands the giants of the past, the wider context of scripture, and key features of the text itself direct our focus to the Jesus to whom Luke bears testimony.”—John Nolland, director of studies and tutor in New Testament, Trinity College Bristol

“Could it be that God intends us to read Luke’s Gospel for spiritual nourishment? If so, there could hardly be a better guide than David Lyle Jeffrey. This commentary is vintage Jeffrey, with his winning prose, literary sensitivity, and unmatched familiarity with Christian spiritual guides of the past—from Chrysostom and Bede to Aquinas and the medieval Franciscans—and the most notable exegetes and theologians writing today. Jeffrey also attends to the insights that can be gleaned from the great Christian poets whom he knows so well. The connection between learning about Jesus and loving Jesus is on full display in this beautiful work.”—Matthew Levering, professor of theology, University of Dayton

“A work of such literary beauty and theological bounty as Luke’s Gospel demands an interpreter steeped in the thick literary and theological heritage of Christian thought. In this lively and learned commentary, distinguished humanities scholar David Lyle Jeffrey clears the bar with room to spare. Deftly mining the rich reflections of church fathers from Ambrose to Aquinas, Bede to Bonaventure, Chrysostom to Calvin, enhanced by illuminating insights from medieval and renaissance painting and poetry, Jeffrey provides a faithful, panoramic reading of Luke with the ‘communion of saints.’ An invaluable resource for understanding and proclaiming Luke’s good news.”—F. Scott Spencer, professor of New Testament and preaching, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond

“Brazos commentaries assert that in the interpretation of scripture ‘dogma clarifies rather than obscures’—a controversial pudding, which critics sometimes deem underwhelming in the proof. David Jeffrey’s fresh take on this genre mounts an energetic rebuttal: he brings to bear a lifetime’s treasury of literary learning in the Christian tradition, deployed with outstanding sensitivity to the gospel’s texture and to the life-giving witness of its faithful readers through the ages. With its exciting, theologically vibrant range of reference across twenty centuries of interpretation, this is a terrific contribution. No commentary of this kind can hope to cross every exegete’s t or to dot every dogmatician’s i. But Jeffrey on Luke brings the evangelist to life for us on a brilliant exegetical and theological tour of attentive gospel interpretation down the ages. It’s a gem. Take and read!”—Markus Bockmuehl, professor of biblical and early Christian studies, Keble College, University of Oxford

“It is sheer delight to encounter David Lyle Jeffrey’s beautiful, soaring prose about Luke, the most beautiful book ever written. With both ‘polish and secular eloquence’—to echo Thomas Aquinas’s characterization of the third evangelist—Jeffrey ‘opens up’ the rich subtleties and intricate ironies of Luke’s elucidation of why Jesus of Nazareth matters. Seldom do we find such thick theological description presented in such artistically textured speech. Learn from a master and never be the same again!”—David P. Moessner, professor of biblical theology, University of Dubuque/University of Pretoria

“Always attentive to the text and sensitive to the historical background, especially the Old Testament, David Lyle Jeffrey opens the reader’s eyes to the literary artistry, spiritual drama, and theological depth of Luke’s portrait of Jesus’s life, teaching, death, and resurrection. Drawing deeply from the wellspring of the church’s living tradition, Jeffrey’s commentary allows us to hear anew the voice of the evangelist as it’s been born by the Holy Spirit down through the ages into our own life and time. Beautifully written, this volume will prove equally valuable for study or contemplation, preaching or prayer. Truly one of the exemplary works in this popular series.”—Scott Hahn, Pope Benedict XVI Chair of Biblical Theology and Liturgical Proclamation, St. Vincent Seminary; professor of scripture and theology, Franciscan University of Steubenville

“If there are any lingering doubts about the wisdom of Brazos Press publishing a series of theological commentaries on the books of the Bible, David Lyle Jeffrey’s commentary on Luke will lay those doubts to rest. Jeffrey is at home in modern critical literature, he knows the church fathers and medieval interpreters, and he makes good use of the Reformers, most notably Calvin. He brightens the discussion with literary allusions and poems. He draws illuminating parallels from unexpected places in the scriptures. But what makes this commentary a delight to read is that Jeffrey is a close reader of the Gospel of Luke and on every page displays a serious effort to understand the sacred text in light of the church’s faith. A superb addition to the series.”—Robert Louis Wilken, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of the History of Christianity emeritus, University of Virginia


“[The] Brazos Theological Commentary [on the Bible] has . . . offered a breath of fresh air to the sometimes stale academic air of commentaries. . . . I have often mined various commentaries, not looking for critical explanation of the text as much as some insight about a particular doctrine that emanates from it. Yet rarely do authors venture deeply into those issues. . . . The Brazos series (Luke in particular) is fundamentally different because these commentaries ‘are born out of the conviction that dogma clarifies rather than obscures.’ This, of course, does not mean there is no textual criticism—there is plenty—but paired with hard Greek work is also history, tradition, and theology. This makes the commentary not only a nice read, but a helpful tool for the teacher, preacher, scholar, and layperson. . . . Jeffrey’s training as a literary scholar shows through in his break down (and reading) of the text. . . . I found this refreshing because in taking a more canonical approach I felt further engrossed in the actual story of Scripture. . . . Jeffrey has a light effervescent style of engaging the text without being trifle. For those responsible for teaching this makes a ready resource for engaging illustrations. This is a great commentary series for its scholarship and unabashed emphasis on how scripture leads us into the sacred story of self-giving love. I would commend David Lyle Jeffrey’s volume on Luke in particular for those, especially in ministry, who are looking to dive deeper into the theological power of Luke.”—Jordan Kellicut, Englewood Review of Books

“This unique commentary series interprets the biblical text from a theological perspective in order to open up new vistas of meaning. . . . As a literary critic who is also attuned to biblical interpretation [Jeffrey] brings a special quality to this task. His approach is to read Luke’s gospel in the company of previous interpreters, ancient and modern. The end result is a beautiful exposition of Luke, blending in patristic comments and snatches of poetry along with medieval and modern interpretations of individual passages in the gospel. The format of the series does not include the text of the gospel itself, but the reader who follows through with this commentary in hand will be richly rewarded.”—Donald Senior, CP, The Bible Today