Andrew E. Steinmann has recently published three commentaries that perhaps are not receiving the attention they deserve. Before I came across the volume on Daniel, I may have been dimly aware of the Concordia Commentary series, but Steinmann’s fine work deserves a much wider readership than the Lutheran circles that appear to be the series’ target audience.
I can’t remember how I stumbled across the volume on Daniel while leading a PhD seminar on Daniel last fall, but it is the most detailed recent evangelical treatment of the book of Daniel available–and in my opinion, those who date Daniel to the Maccabean era (Goldingay) or those who think it doesn’t matter (Lucas) are not evangelical commentaries. The book of Daniel is calling those who know God to be strong and take action (cf. Dan 11:32-35), even if it gets them killed. Daniel seeks to motivate people to trust God and risk their lives for God’s kingdom by demonstrating God’s ability to predict the future. If the book was written after the events “predicted,” God has not predicted the future but some scoundrel has attempted to convince people to risk their lives because God can predict the future. Said scoundrel knows that no predictions of the future have happened since he is “predicting” these things after they took place. So if the book was written in the Maccabean era, it is not merely worthless but dangerous. People could get killed for nothing if the scoundrel who wrote it succeeds in duping them. But Steinmann holds the evangelical position, which is that there really is a God who really did predict the future through the prophet Daniel, and so faithfulness to this one true and living God really is worth more than life.
The 628 page Daniel volume appeared in 2008.
The commentary on Proverbs appeared in 2009 and it’s only 719 pages. These are handsomely bound, large volumes. I haven’t spent any time with this volume yet, but Josh Philpot told me that Steinmann holds the right view on whether Solomon reflects the teaching of Deuteronomy in Proverbs (yes, he does!), and I see in the table of contents that there’s an excursus on “The Use of Deuteronomy 6:4-9 in Proverbs 3:1-12 and 6:20-22.”
The editor’s preface in these volumes promises that “They are Trinitarian, Christ-centered, and Christological commentaries. I’m eager to spend some time in this volume to see what that looks like for Steinmann in Proverbs.
The volume on Ezra and Nehemiah is 675 pages and came out in 2010. I’m not persuaded by his speculative explanation for the switch to Aramaic in Ezra 4:8-6:12 and 7:12-26, but the detailed interaction with the text and syntax of the book, combined with the Christian perspective make this commentary the second one I turn to after Kidner’s as I’m preparing to preach and teach Ezra.
Just in case you’re counting, that makes three big commentaries in three years. Andrew Steinmann has clearly been diligent in his study of the Scriptures. Let’s join him in that.