Touchstone Texts Commentary Series

Stephen B. Chapman, Editor
Baker Academic
Published Year: 
Touchstone Text series image showing first two books

Stephen B. Chapman, associate professor of Old Testament, has launched a new biblical commentary series with Baker Academic. The series is named Touchstone Texts and consists of targeted exegetical studies of key biblical passages from both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Each volume in the series offers the type of exposition that will be especially useful for preaching and teaching in the church. Chapman is the series’ founding editor.

“Writing seminars regularly use exemplars of substance and style known as touchstone texts, texts that you return to again and again for instruction in the craft of writing,” Chapman says. “The Christian church has biblical texts like that. They are the most familiar passages of the Bible. But so often we pass them by because we think we already know what they say. This new series offers fresh, contemporary readings of these passages by leading scholars, who provide precisely what is needed to reawaken the church to their urgency. Just to myself, I’m calling it ‘the Bible’s greatest hits.’”

The first volume, publishing in October 2021, is an exposition of Psalm 23 by Richard Briggs. Briggs is visiting research fellow in Old Testament at Cranmer Hall, St. John’s College, Durham (UK), and prior of the Community of St. Cuthbert. Chapman says of the book: “It’s probably the best thing that’s ever been written on the 23rd Psalm. And that’s saying something. Briggs gives loving, wise attention to the cherished words of this psalm, and by doing so he brings them to life again.”

In the next volume, scheduled for publication in the spring, Emerson Powery treats the Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10. Powery is professor of Biblical Studies at Messiah University. His exposition is timely in paying particular attention to the variety of readers and reading communities who have engaged this parable in faithful diversity. Chapman remarks, “Powery brings the Good Samaritan into direct conversation with the current conversation about race and Black Lives Matter. It’s a tour de force. I’m confident that it will be widely read and cited.”

Future contributors to the series include Stephen Chester, Jacqueline Lapsley, Gordon McConville, Klyne Snodgrass, Brent Strawn, and William Wright. Jim Kinney and Bryan Dyer manage the series for Baker Academic.