Augustine said, “Where Scripture speaks, God speaks.” The editors of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series believe that where God speaks, the pastor must speak. God speaks through His written Word. We must speak from that Word. We believe the Bible is God breathed, authoritative, inerrant, sufficient, understandable, necessary, and timeless. We also affirm that the Bible is a Christ-centered book; that is, it contains a unified story of redemptive history of which Jesus is the hero. Because of this Christ-centered trajectory that runs from Genesis 1 through Revelation 22, we believe the Bible has a corresponding global-missions thrust. From beginning to end, we see God’s mission as one of making worshipers of Christ from every tribe and tongue worked out through this redemptive drama in Scripture. To that end we must preach the Word.
In addition to these distinct convictions, the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series has some distinguishing characteristics. First, this series seeks to display exegetical accuracy. What the Bible says is what we want to say. While not every volume in the series will be a verse-by-verse commentary, we nevertheless desire to handle the text carefully and explain it rightly. Those who teach and preach bear the heavy responsibility of saying what God has said in His Word and declaring what God has done in Christ. We desire to handle God’s Word faithfully, knowing that we must give an account for how we have fulfilled this holy calling (Jas 3:1).
Second, the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series has pastors in view. While we hope others will read this series, such as parents, teachers, small-group leaders, and student ministers, we desire to provide a commentary busy pastors will use for weekly preparation of biblically faithful and gospel-saturated sermons. This series is not academic in nature. Our aim is to present a readable and pastoral style of commentaries. We believe this aim will serve the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.x
Third, we want the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series to be known for the inclusion of helpful illustrations and theologically driven applications. Many commentaries offer no help in illustrations, and few offer any kind of help in application. Often those that do offer illustrative material and application unfortunately give little serious attention to the text. While giving ourselves primarily to explanation, we also hope to serve readers by providing inspiring and illuminating illustrations coupled with timely and timeless application.
Finally, as the name suggests, the editors seek to exalt Jesus from every book of the Bible. In saying this, we are not commending wild allegory or fanciful typology. We certainly believe we must be constrained to the meaning intended by the divine Author Himself, the Holy Spirit of God. However, we also believe the Bible has a messianic focus, and our hope is that the individual authors will exalt Christ from particular texts. Luke 24:25-27, 44-47; and John 5:39, 46 inform both our hermeneutics and our homiletics. Not every author will do this the same way or have the same degree of Christ-centered emphasis. That is fine with us. We believe faithful exposition that is Christ centered is not monolithic. We do believe, however, that we must read the whole Bible as Christian Scripture. Therefore, our aim is both to honor the historical particularity of each biblical passage and to highlight its intrinsic connection to the Redeemer. The editors are indebted to the contributors of each volume. The reader will detect a unique style from each writer, and we celebrate these unique gifts and traits. While distinctive in approach, the authors share a common characteristic in that they are pastoral theologians. They love the church, and they regularly preach and teach God’s Word to God’s people. Further, many of these contributors are younger voices. We think these new, fresh voices can serve the church well, especially among a rising generation that has the task of proclaiming the Word of Christ and the Christ of the Word to the lost world.
We hope and pray this series will serve the body of Christ well in these ways until our Savior returns in glory. If it does, we will have succeeded in our assignment.
Daniel L. Akin
Before saying thank you to some important individuals and my local church, I must recognize my bride, Kimberly, who is (in the words of Jonathan Edwards) “my dear companion.” She is involved in all my endeavors in some way. She not only supports and encourages me, but also challenges me by her own respected ministry, particularly with her work of seeking justice, correcting oppression, bringing justice to the fatherless, and pleading the widows’ cause (Isa 1:17). In addition to being my beloved bride, best friend, and ministry partner, she is also an incredible mother to our five adopted children (James, Joshua, Angela, Victoria, and Jana). I am grateful to God for blessing us with this wonderful mini-van full of kids and for sustaining us through the challenges of parenthood. To my children, I praise God for you all. I love to watch you sit on the front row taking notes, and I love having our table talks at dinner (where my weekly sermons get preached first!). I pray that you will know, delight in, and glorify our Redeemer faithfully.
I also want to acknowledge Imago Dei Church. Your love for the gospel motivates me to expound the Christ-centered Scriptures passionately. As we read the Scriptures weekly, and as you respond by saying “Thanks be to God,” I feel enormous gratitude to God for giving me the privilege of shepherding you. Our study through the book of Exodus provided the heart and soul of this commentary, and I dedicate this book to you. Along with this acknowledgement, I want to say thank you to the other elders at Imago Dei, who share in the shepherding and teaching ministry with me. The unity we share is evidence of God’s grace. I am grateful for your friendship and partnership in the gospel.
Next, I also want to say thank you to Aaron Lumpkin, my diligent and intelligent student assistant. I am indebted to you for your research and thoughtful feedback on this commentary.
I want to also acknowledge Dr. Danny Akin. He not only invited me to serve on the faculty at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary,xii but also invited me to be part of the Christ-Centered Exposition series. I am out of my league with both of these responsibilities. Regarding this particular project, I must say that I feel more comfortable on a baseball diamond or on a basketball court than with writing commentaries, but I am grateful for the opportunity to take a rip (or shot).
For the reader, I recommend that you always read more than one commentary on a book of the Bible that you are studying. Be sure to do this regarding Exodus. I am glad you picked up this commentary, but I should point you to some others who helped me along the journey. I am especially indebted to Douglas Stuart for his Exodus commentary; to Philip Ryken for his Christological emphasis in the Exodus volume of the Preaching the Word series; to Christopher J. H. Wright, for his powerful work The Mission of God; and to Russell Moore whose “Exit Strategy” study provided a wonderful example both of how to expound Exodus Christocentrically and of how one might expound large portions of Exodus at a time. Other biblical theologies, such as God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment by James Hamilton and Kingdom through Covenant by Peter J. Gentry and Stephen J. Wellum, were very helpful as well.
I want to say thanks to Jeremy Howard and the B&H team for agreeing to publish this work. What a joy to serve with folks who desire to get Word-saturated resources into the hands of others—for the good of the nations, the edification of the church, and to the glory of King Jesus.