Shelf Life Book Review: Romans (The Story of God Commentary)

Elliot Ritzema

Romans (The Story of God Bible Commentary)
Zondervan, 2016

The first volumes ofThe Story of God Bible Commentary series were published in 2013. The intent of the series is to look at each biblical text as part of the grand story of the Bible that reaches its climax in Jesus. In Michael Bird’s volume on Romans, he argues that “Romans is the gospel at theological depth,” in which “Paul explores how the gospel creates a community of worshipers from Jews and Gentiles who are united in the Messiah” (xvi).

The commentary on each text is organized into three sections: “Listen to the Story,” “Explain the Story,” and “Live the Story.” The first provides the NIV translation of a passage, along with an introduction to the context. The second explains the text in light of the Bible’s greater story, examining key words and the historical background. In the third section, Bird illustrates how the text’s message can be applied as the story continues in the Church.

Romans has generated so many interpretations that no one is likely to agree with all of Bird’s conclusions, but he carefully engages the text with his trademark humor to shed light on how we can live the story of Romans today.

This article also appears in the September–October '16 issue of Bible Study Magazine.