The first volume in Belief: A Theological Commentary on the Bible, a new series from Westminster John Knox Press, is the last book written by William C. Placher before his untimely death in 2008. Placher’s work on the Gospel of Mark sets the stage for the entire series, which aims to offer the theological importance of Scripture for the church today. Each commentary will interpret the biblical text with reference to its use in the church's creeds, practices, and hymns, as well as the history of faithful interpretation of the scriptures. The volumes will also consider contemporary theological writings and popular culture.
Bill Placher served as general editor of the series with Amy Plantinga Pauw, who is Henry P. Mobley Jr. Professor of Doctrinal Theology at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Pauw, who continues to serve as general editor, provides some background to the series, while explaining its themes, purpose, and Placher’s important contribution, on the most recent episode of WJK Radio with Dan and Jana. Placher’s Mark will be available in August. Westminster John Knox Press has dedicated to entire series to his memory.
Following the release of Mark will be Luke by Justo L. González in September. Upcoming contributors to the series include Catherine Gunsalus González, Allen Verhey and Joseph Harvard, Miguel A. De La Torre, Deanna Thompson, Boyung Lee, Marcia Riggs, Lois Malcolm, and Michael Battle.
Already garnering tremendous praise, Belief will be an important resource for pastors and theologians.
“Our best interpreters of the past were theologians such as Martin Luther and John Calvin. I rejoice to find the Bible back in the hands of their contemporary successors.” —Patrick D. Miller, Emeritus, Princeton Theological Seminary
“In this series, theologians resist picking and choosing passages that serve their own constructive theological arguments. Rather, they listen afresh to what the Bible is saying.” —Cynthia Rigby, W. C. Brown Professor of Theology, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
“The variety of voices within this series will be as arresting and provoking as the variety of voices within the Bible itself.” —David Kelsey, Emeritus, Yale Divinity School
“An outstanding lineup of respected theologians. Every volume should be eagerly anticipated.” —Bruce C. Birch, Emeritus, Wesley Theological Seminary
"Expect fresh textual reading from an informed theological perspective and a fresh focus on theology as it relates to the particularity of the text.” —Walter Brueggemann, Emeritus, Columbia Theological Seminary
“With this series, the theological is deliberately brought to the fore, both at the level of the texts and at the level of critics.” —Fernando F. Segovia, Oberlin Graduate Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, Vanderbilt University Divinity School
“Church leaders who preach and teach will delight in a ready supply of profound and discerning biblical resources that engage seriously with the church’s creeds, practices, and hymns, the history of interpretation, and contemporary theological reflection.” —Philip W. Butin, Copastor, First United Presbyterian Church, Fayetteville, Arizona