Why Do We Recommend This Book?
Why again publish another commentary, as there are thousands of them already? Sometimes that is a valid question, as many commentaries do not really add new insights. However, this is not the case with the Lexham Geographic Commentary on the Gospels, which fills an interesting gap with its focus on the geographical details of the biblical texts. The Gospels are full of references to real places in Palestine, and since most modern readers are not familiar with the geography of the Holy Land, this commentary shares a welcome perspective. Insightful, for example, is the chapter on the location and the function of Gehenna or the Valley of Hinnom. In other cases, geographical observations can help us better understand certain details in the text. For example, John (4:4) tells us that Jesus ‘had to go through Samaria’. From a geographical standpoint, though, this is not the case as there were two major roads to travel from the south to the north and vice versa. This fact supports the view that the necessity of Jesus’ travel through Samaria had to do with his plan to meet this Samaritan woman in Sychar.
The commentary is chronologically organized, following the life and events of Jesus. The Logos edition marks the chapters with the Bible references so that it can be used as a real commentary. The book is full of maps, (full color) images and (in the Logos edition) even videos as well as references to other tools in Logos (such as Atlas, Factbook, Topic Guide, etc.). Each chapter is presented as a journal article and has a decent bibliography for further studies.
While its focus is on the geographical context of the Gospel narratives, it also dives into historical, cultural, archaeological, and social matters. And as such the Lexham Geographic Commentary on the Gospels gives us a full immersion into the cultural setting of the Gospels. It is as if you are in a virtual reality walking the ancient paths alongside Jesus’ disciples.
See also other volumes in the Lexham Geographic Commentary Series.