Preface to the ESV Expository Commentary

The Bible pulsates with life, and the Spirit conveys the electrifying power of Scripture to those who lay hold of it by faith, ingest it, and live by it. God has revealed himself in the Bible, which makes the words of Scripture sweeter than honey, more precious than gold, and more valuable than all riches. These are the words of life, and the Lord has entrusted them to his church, for the sake of the world.

He has also provided the church with teachers to explain and make clear what the Word of God means and how it applies to each generation. We pray that all serious students of God’s Word, both those who seek to teach others and those who pursue study for their own personal growth in godliness, will be served by the ESV Expository Commentary. Our goal has been to provide a clear, crisp, and Christ-centered explanation of the biblical text. All Scripture speaks of Christ (Luke 24:27), and we have sought to show how each biblical book helps us to see the “light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6).

To that end, each contributor has been asked to provide commentary that is:

  • exegetically sound—self-consciously submissive to the flow of thought and lines of reasoning discernible in the biblical text;
  • robustly biblical-theological—reading the Bible as diverse yet bearing an overarching unity, narrating a single storyline of redemption culminating in Christ;
  • globally aware—aimed as much as possible at a global audience, in line with Crossway’s mission to provide the Bible and theologically responsible resources to as many people around the world as possible;
  • broadly reformed—standing in the historical stream of the Reformation, affirming that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, taught in Scripture alone, for God’s glory alone; holding high a big God with big grace for big sinners;
  • doctrinally conversant—fluent in theological discourse; drawing appropriate brief connections to matters of historical or current theological importance;
  • pastorally useful—transparently and reverently “sitting under the text”; avoiding lengthy grammatical/syntactical discussions;
  • application-minded—building brief but consistent bridges into contemporary living in both Western and non-Western contexts (being aware of the globally diverse contexts toward which these volumes are aimed)
  • efficient in expression—economical in its use of words; not a word-byword analysis but a crisply moving exposition.

In terms of Bible translation, the ESV is the base translation used by the authors in their notes, but the authors were expected to consult the text in the original languages when doing their exposition and were not required to agree with every decision made by the ESV translators.

As civilizations crumble, God’s Word stands. And we stand on it. The great truths of Scripture speak across space and time, and we aim to herald them in a way that will be globally applicable. May God bless the study of his Word, and may he smile on this attempt to expound it.

—The Publisher and Editors


Crossway is a not-for-profit Christian ministry that exists solely for the purpose of proclaiming the gospel through publishing gospel-centered, Bible-centered content. Learn more or donate today at crossway.org/about.