Volume 4.1 / The Need for Russian Commentaries, Exegetical and Practical


The Need for Russian Commentaries, Exegetical and Practical

Volodymyr Lavrushko
Russian-speaking believers need an evangelical commentary series that treats the text of the Scripture exegetically and practically. Russian-speakers, both scholars and general readers of commentaries, feel this need. Surveys of available bibliographies reveal most Russian-language commentaries to be outdated, non-evangelical, or inadequately exegetical. Native scholars should be developed and encouraged to write commentaries on each book of the Bible.

1. Introduction

No evangelical Bible commentaries were available in the Russian language prior to and during the Soviet era; rather, periodical publications attempted to somehow meet the need for biblical literature.[1] Since the fall, the situation has changed for the better; however, as argued here, there is a room for improvement.

The goal of writing a biblical commentary is to make the Scripture clear and vivid to contemporary readers by overcoming barriers to accurate understanding of God’s Word and, thereby, to contribute to a vital, deepening knowledge of God.  This article argues for the necessity of writing exegetical commentaries, with a practical emphasis, for Russian-speaking evangelicals. Argumentation for such an approach in the Ukrainian/Russian-speaking world will be presented from three different perspectives: (1) the need as felt by scholars, (2) the need as felt by readers, and (3) the need as evident in surveys of existing commentaries on the Bible.

2. The Need for Commentaries, as Felt by Scholars

According to Russian-speaking scholars, there is a pointed, immediate need for more biblical commentaries for the Russian-speaking Church at large. Aleksandr Gurtaev, a New Testament professor in Samara (Russia), presently working on an exegetical commentary on 2 John, believes that both exegetical and expositional commentaries are needed in the Russian-speaking context:[2] “The former is needed in order to put the right foundation for following theological development, the latter is to satisfy spiritual hunger of most evangelical believers.”[3]

            Vladimir Lebedev, a Baptist pastor who has written commentaries on James and 2 Corinthians for the Slavic Biblical Commentary: Contemporary Evangelical Perspective (2016), agrees that “more than one type of commentary is needed.”[4] He describes the desired commentaries as “sensitive to our evangelical culture which is largely not critical (plus some other features to be determined by sociological studies which in their turn are yet to be done, because I don’t know of any).”[5]

            Lebedev also mentions the essential characteristics of these commentaries. They “should be based on . . . careful exegetical work, profound in theological thought and practical application, but easy to read.”[6]

Concerning the exegetical type of commentary, Lebedev says:

We do need exegetical and theological commentaries although there are few readers for those now; but we need them to help our evangelical ministry culture mature in the future; this should help us in many cases to be more true to the biblical text vs. holding fast to certain doubtful but widespread traditional readings of the Synodal Bible.[7]

It is true the Synodal translation might be improved in several places. For example, there are a number of “mistranslations” in the Russian Synodal Bible, one of which is found in James 3:18. The English Standard Version reads: “And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (emphasis mine). The problem in the translation of the Russian Synodal Bible is that in Russian one word means both “peace” and “world.” It is quite common for Russian-speaking Christians to understand this verse as, “And a harvest of righteousness is sown in the world by those who make peace.”

            Kenneth Sears, a missionary teacher at Zaporozhye Bible Seminary, identifies other instances where the Russian translation might be misleading:

The verse that says “Do not grieve the Spirit, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Most of our Baptist church members think this “day of redemption” is the day they repented, because the Russian can be understood as “in the day of redemption.” And since “you were sealed” is in the past tense, they just go with the flow and take the whole verse as pointing to past events. And here’s another example: Russian-speaking believers often ask why John the Baptist said he wasn’t a prophet, when Jesus said he was a prophet. Of course, the answer is, John said he wasn’t the prophet, meaning the anticipated, ultimate Messianic prophet-figure. But there’s no definite article in Russian to make that distinction clear. Yet another example: the Russian word “pravda” is pretty generally used today to mean “truth.” It comes from the same root as Russian “pravednost,” which means “righteousness.” . . . Unfortunately, when the biblical texts are talking about righteousness, the Synodal version uses “pravda.” . . . Thus, where the apostle John wrote that “all unrighteousness is sin,” your average Ukrainian Baptist church member thinks John is saying that “all untruth is sin.”[8]

Despite such difficulties, the most popular Russian Bible, the Synodal Version, is still recognized as a good, reliable translation. Probably the most serious challenge for this translation is its date; it was translated in 1876, prior to significant discoveries of manuscripts and developments in textual criticism. A better understanding of the Bible might be achieved by an overall revision of the translation, supplemented by good commentaries that provide readers with an in-depth, clear exposition of difficult passages.

Mykola Leliovskyi, a teacher at Irpin Biblical Seminary (Kiev, Ukraine) who is preparing an expositional commentary on the Book of Proverbs, states that “biblical commentaries that are most needed in the Russian language are those that deal with exegesis and the original languages.”[9] He agrees with Lebedev that more technical, “critical commentaries will, perhaps, have a very limited readership.”[10] He also points out that “the need for pastors and preachers is to return to reading, studying and preaching the text. Although, devotional and expository commentaries are also helpful and serve their purpose, a blend between exegetical and expository commentary is vitally needed for the advancement of sound biblical teaching and preaching.”[11]

In particular, concerning exegetical commentaries in a Russian-speaking context, Leliovskyi notes:

A solid, Evangelical, well-executed commentary, (preferably by a native speaker), of the exegetical variety is a great need for the Russian-speaking church. Although the reading audience would be significantly more narrow than, let’s say, a volume from the Bible Speaks Today series, if the technical discussion is executed and presented in an approachable way for those both familiar and unfamiliar with original languages, it will certainly edify many. In my estimation, commentaries like those from Pillar New Testament Commentary series, or Zondervan Exegetical series, or Baker Commentary on the Old Testament would be most appropriate at the present time.[12]

Leonid Mikhovich, rector of Minsk Theological Seminary in Belarus and author of a practical commentary on the Sermon on the Mount,[13] sees a need for materials for small group Bible studies. He states that, while there are many commentaries in Russian, there is always room for “fresh interpretation.” He also stresses the necessity of “the combination of the analysis and the application (for instance, Application Commentary).”[14]

In summary, Christian teachers, educators, and authors from various parts of the Russian-speaking world (Ukraine, Russia, Belarus) recognize the need for good, accurate commentaries, especially with regard to exegesis. 

3. The Need for Commentaries, as Felt by Readers

Our reasons for, and methodology of, writing commentaries ought not to be based purely on people’s opinions. All the same, it is important to hear people to gauge their need and respond appropriately. The following is a presentation of research conducted by myself via first-person surveys. These surveys were published at various places on the internet and also distributed via emails. Various visitors to those web pages had an opportunity to participate in the surveys. The goal of this part is not to forecast how many people would buy the hypothetical commentaries once published, and certainly not to argue for the profitability of such a publishing venture. Rather, the aim here is to provide some indication of the degree to which Russian readers or students of Scripture feel the need for biblical commentaries. These surveys allow us to see the need of writing commentaries from a different angle, from the perspective of a reader.  

The first survey was initiated in July 2015.[15] Its thrust was to give people the opportunity to express their personal opinions and offer advice on the production of biblical commentaries.

Between July 2015 and August 2016, 110 people participated in the survey. The survey was composed and conducted in Russian. The majority of the participants (90.7%) were men. Only 3.7% of the responders preferred commentaries for preachers; 7.5% preferred “practical” commentaries. The greatest preferences, however, were expressed for exegetical commentaries (43%) and commentaries that combined exegesis, exposition, and application (45.8%). Most of the responders would prefer a multi-volume commentary (62.6%), while the next largest preference was for “a few volumes” for each part of the Bible (22.4%); after that the choices were for a two-volume (8.4%), and a one-volume commentary (6.5%). The majority favored a commentary written by “local authors” (64.8%); while the rest preferred translated commentaries (35.2%). Almost all the participants agreed on the need for more commentaries (98.1%).

The participants offered valuable and illuminating advice on the whole question of commentary production and its associated problems. Many pointed out the scarcity of exegetical commentaries, in particular, in Russian — as one participant replied: “My need is precisely for the exegetical ones. They are more difficult—‘boring’—but they are few in Russian.”[16] Others were concerned about commentaries being written from a subjective point of view. “The authors of some commentaries point out only their own view on certain texts of the Scripture and don’t give the reasons why they came to that conclusion,”[17] said one of the participants. Another respondent suggested the following solution: “Not avoiding or skipping over problematic questions [but] dealing with them using the model of exegetical digests.”[18] Another reader summarized the deficiencies of some commentators, noting that they “skirt the difficult passages, they don’t interpret but retell the text, [and] there is no practical application.”[19] One responder underlined the problem of adequately reaching the audience:

[There is] a failure to understand the audience. Some commentaries are written by theologians to theologians. However, this audience is too narrow. Others [are written] for simple believers. However, they are not so interested in commentaries, but read simple books. Commentaries are mostly needed for the preachers in the churches, many of whom have no theological education. They need help not only with understanding of the text, but with the structure, which could be a basis for expository preaching.[20] The first survey shows that there is lack of and demand for good biblical commentaries, especially exegetical ones.

The second survey sought more data on the participants and provided a stronger statistical analysis. The survey was conducted from March 2016 until October 2016. Eighty-nine people participated in the survey (75% were men, 25% women).

Different age groups were represented in the survey. The largest class of people included those between 26–40 years old (46.6%); the next largest category was of those 41–60 years old (43.2%). People ages 15–25 (6.8%) and 61 and older (3.4%) were in the minority.

The participants represented varied life situations: 5.7% of them were students; 18.4%, workers (at any organization); 19.5%, leaders (at any organization); 6.9%, homeworkers; 42.5%, teachers; 2.3%, retired; and others, 4.6%. The participants in this survey were involved in different Christian ministries. Among them, 19.5% were pastors; 5.7%, deacons; 27.6%, preachers; 2.3%, choir directors; 16.1% leaders of a ministry (children’s, youth, etc.); 14.9%, lay people; and 13.8%, other vocations.

The usage of commentaries in their reading or Bible study is also varied. More than a third of the people who participated in the survey (38.8%) were using commentaries at least once a week. Others were using them a few times per month (30.6%).  Some were using commentaries only once every few months (10.6%), and others (17.6%) used a commentary only whenever an extreme need arose. Some of the participants (2.4%) did not use commentaries at all.

There were varied responses to the questions regarding a need for commentaries and the type of commentary needed. In answer to the question, “Do we need more commentaries?” 89.4% responded yes; the rest (10.6%) responded no. To the question “What kind of commentary does the Russian-speaking reader need?” a significant number (34.9%) thought an exegetical type (explaining the text of the original language) was the most needed; 10.5% chose “practical” (applying the Bible to the believer’s everyday life). Only 2.3% selected commentaries needed for preachers, to help them in sermon preparation. However, most of the responders (52.3%) preferred the kind of commentary that combines all these types in one volume.

Only 12.9% of the participants preferred a one-volume commentary on the whole Bible. Even fewer (7.1%) favored a two-volume commentary (one volume for each Testament). Roughly a quarter of those surveyed (27.1%) indicated that they would like a few volumes for each part of the Bible (the Law, the Prophets, the Writings, Gospels, etc.). Finally, most of the responses (52.9%) favored a multi-volume commentary (one volume for each biblical book).

In answer to the question “What is the biggest problem in modern commentaries?” there were the following replies: “Too much unnecessary information” was the answer of 9.3% of the participants; 20.9% felt that commentaries were too expensive; 18.6% saw a problem in the absence of practical application. A high percentage (30.2%) considered commentaries to be too shallow; 8.1% expressed concern about commentaries being written from a liberal standpoint; 12.8% chose the “other” option.

Most of the participants (34.5%) preferred commentaries written by local authors; 20.2% preferred a commentary translated from English. Some (26.2%) did not know which option to choose.  Nineteen percent chose the option “other.”

The two surveys indicated very similar preferences. According to both, the highest preference is for the kind of commentary that combines the various types of commentary (exegetical, practical, and those designed for preachers) into one volume. And the next highest preference, according to both surveys, is for an exegetical commentary. Most of the participants prefer multi-volume commentary — a volume for each book of the Bible — and that the commentaries be the work of local authors, i.e., written in Russian by Russian speakers.

4. The Need as Evident in Surveys of Existing Commentary

In the following section the existing bibliography of Bible commentaries in the Russian-speaking context is examined. What kinds of commentaries are available in Russian? How many of them are originally produced in Russian and how many are translations from other languages? Special attention will be given to exegetical commentaries in this section. Many of the conclusions in this article are relevant to commentaries on both the Old and New Testaments; we will concentrate here, however, primarily on New Testament commentaries.

4.1.  Types of Commentaries (Classification) 

First, this examination requires that we classify commentaries by their various types. D. A. Carson rightly notes that “since different tasks often require different tools, useful commentaries are of more than one kind.”[21] Carson states that commentaries can (1) help “to understand meaning accurately” (emphasis original); (2) give the historical background; (3) provide guidance in applying the Bible to life in a way faithful to the text.[22] Carson asserts, “[A] few commentaries perform all of these functions, but they are rare and usually dated.”[23]

John Glynn, the author of a reference survey on commentaries, offers the following categorization:[24]


There is a great variety in English-language commentaries. They are produced for various audiences according to varied aims. In English, the interpreter of the biblical text can choose from a range of introductions and guides to the books of the Bible, as well as commentaries geared towards the diverse areas of biblical studies (culture, sociology, history, literature, rhetoric, etc.).[25] The key elements of New Testament interpretation are substantially treated by one or another work within the spectrum of commentaries and specialized literature. Of the types of commentaries presented above, all are available in English. The same is true, for instance, in German. In Russian, however, there is no comparable supply, nor variety, of commentaries. In fact, the scarcity represents a great need especially in the area of exegetical commentaries (critical or technical/semi-technical commentaries). The following provides an overview of the exegetical and “special studies” literature available in Russian.[26] 

4.2. Exegetical Commentaries Translated into Russian 

In the Russian language there are commentaries both translated from English and written by “local” writers. The following is a review of several exegetical studies written in English that have been translated into Russian.

4.2.1. C. E. B. Cranfield, Evangelie ot Marka. Kommentarij k grecheskomu tekstu.[27]

This is not a translation of Cranfield’s book but an abridgement. The person adapting Cranfield’s text worked under these guidelines: (1) The Russian version was to be a succinct retelling of the commentary for the student-level reader (State School diploma, or theology students). (2) Commentary on linguistic matters was to be adjusted for Russian speakers. (3) Because the book was published by the Russian Orthodox Church, Orthodox views on some issues were to be supplied. (4) Additional historical and linguistic notes were included. (5) Contrasting positions to Cranfield’s views on some issues were incorporated.[28]

4.2.2. Ι. Howard Marshall, Evangelie ot Luki. Kommentarij k grecheskomu tekstu.[29]

This commentary was produced by the same Orthodox publisher that published the Cranfield text and followed the same guidelines.[30]

4.2.3.     Other Translations

In addition to these Orthodox publications, there were other straightforward translations. The Critical and Exegetical Commentaries by Gareth L. Reese on Acts and Romans have been translated into Russian.[31] A very brief commentary on select verses by Cleon L. Rogers Jr. & Cleon L. Rogers III, The New Linguistic and Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998) is also published in Russian.[32] Other exegetical types of literature, which have been translated into Russian, are presented in Appendix A.

There are a number of commentaries translated from English into Russian. However, the level of exegesis among these works is varied, and these commentaries do not provide exegetical treatment for each book of the New Testament. 

4.3. Exegetical Commentaries Written by Russian-speaking Scholars 

In addition to translated commentaries, there are some commentaries written by Russian-speaking scholars. Here is a brief overview of those that are available:  

Georgij Jaroshevskij, “Sobornoe poslanie Sv. Apostola Iakova: opit isagogiko-exegeticheskogo issledovaniya” (Kiev, 1901).[33] Georgij Jaroshevskij was an Orthodox scholar of the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries. His master’s thesis was dedicated to the isagogical and exegetical study of the Epistle of James. In his research, Jaroshevskij wrestled with the textual variants in the Greek codices and other translations and engaged with the range of scholarly opinion on the biblical passages. He incorporated insights from the Church Fathers as well as the field of philology.[34]

There are also other exegetical commentaries dating back a hundred years or more, written by Orthodox scholars (cf. Appendix B).

More recently, Irina Levinskaya, scholar at Saint-Petersburg Institute of History (SPbIH)[35] has published a two-volume historical-theological commentary on the book of Acts.[36] Also in 2005, scholars Andrej Desnickji and Oleg Lazarenko published a commentary on Ephesians and Hebrews.[42] Valentina Kuznetsova, translator of the New Testament and commentator, has produced several scholarly commentaries on the Gospels, Acts, and some of Paul’s letters (cf. Appendix C).

Currently available biblical commentaries by Russian scholars are:


It is evident from this table that there are not enough evangelical and exegetical commentaries, though the aforementioned surveys indicate that there is a demand for such commentaries.

4.4. Slavic Biblical Commentary 

The Slavic Biblical Commentary (SBC), a one-volume commentary on the whole Bible, can be briefly described as follows: “Slavic Biblical Commentary: Modern Evangelical Perspective is the collective work of authors who belong to the evangelical tradition of Eastern Europe and are united by the desire to help the ministers of local churches to understand and apply the biblical text in contemporary situations.”[38] The commentary’s intended audience is quite wide: pastors, church ministers in different areas of service, and theological students.[39]

This commentary was launched because the founders of the project recognized the issues I have addressed: “Today, a variety of biblical commentaries is available in Russian; however, the majority of them are either translations of Western publications, or works which are not quite Evangelical.”[40] Now, about four years later, the situation has not significantly changed. The need for evangelical commentaries by Russian-speaking authors remains. The SBC is a one-volume commentary on all the books of the Bible, plus theological articles. Because of the scope of the material covered in the commentary, many details had to be omitted. In the guidelines for the authors it is stated:

The authors must not overload the text with cross-references, with exegetical explication of words, with diverse theories concerning the sense of the text in view, with data from archeology and geography, with Greek and Hebrew words in transliteration or with archaisms. All of these things must be in such proportion so as not to distract the reader from the elucidation of the passage, literary-theological exposition or practical application.[41]   

The SBC should be a helpful tool for Bible study. It is still necessary, however, to provide more extensive treatment of the biblical text, especially in relation to exegesis, as argued above.     

There may be other considerations necessary to evaluate the quality of the SBC. For example, Dmitriy Shpilko pointed out the problematic interpretation of 1 Peter 3:21. [42] SBC comments on 1 Peter 3:21 as follows:

For precisely this reason, Peter, continuing the thought, comes to the conclusion: “baptism... saves.” The context leaves no doubt that it is not water that saves but the resurrection of Christ, received in faith. However, there are no doubts that baptism is one of the conditions to be met by the sinner who wants to be saved. Already on the day of Pentecost, Peter preached: “... Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ...” (Acts 2:38). The call to baptism can be found in many other apostolic sermons in the book of Acts. Even Christ Himself taught: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mk 16:16).[43] The wording, at least, of this comment does not quite resonate with the standard understanding of the doctrine of salvation among evangelicals, namely Sola Fide. It will take some time for Slavic evangelicals to review and examine the content and usefulness of the SBC.

In sum, this survey of the available exegetical literature in Russian points out these realities:

1. There is a lack of Russian-language exegetical commentaries.

2. A significant quantity of what is available represents translation from other languages, especially English.

3. A significant quantity of what is available was written or translated by Orthodox scholars from, naturally, an Orthodox theological worldview.

4. A significant number of the exegetical commentaries in Russian are old, dating to the end of the nineteenth or beginning of the twentieth centuries.

5. There is no complete exegetical series on all the books of the NT in Russian.

6. The Slavic Bible Commentary is a recent evangelical commentary; however, it does not concentrate on exegetical features of the text. Moreover, there are places where it may need correction.

7. There is no exegetical series written from an evangelical perspective.

5. Conclusion

The need for commentaries in the Russian-speaking context is undeniable. Russian-speaking Christian leaders, educators, and scholars recognize that there is a particular need for a more exegetical type of commentary, produced by a writer or writers rooted in the Russian context. The current number and quality of Russian commentaries is insufficient to meet the needs expressed. This conclusion is supported by the results of two surveys and the overview of the literature available in Russian. This research shows what is lacking in the area of commentary writing for Russian-speaking believers. Developing native Bible scholars and facilitating their work on exegetical commentaries is crucial to properly redress the current situation.

Appendix A: Other Exegetical Types of Literature Translated into Russian

Russian edition

English edition

Gospels and Acts

Ньюман Б., Стайн Ф. Комментарии к Евангелию от Матфея. Пособие для переводчиков Священного Писания. М.: РБО, 1998.

Barclay Moon Newman and Philip C. Stine, A Translator's Handbook on the Gospel of Matthew, Helps for Translators (London: United Bible Societies, 1988).

Джеффри А. Гиббс, Комментарий на Евангелие от Матфея 1:1 – 11:1. Из цикла библейских комментариев «Concordia Commentary Series» Лютеранская церковь – Миссурийский синод, США

Jeffrey A. Gibbs, Matthew 1:1-11:1 (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2006).

Братчер Р., Найда Ю. Комментарии к Евангелию от Марка. Пособие для переводчиков Священного Писания. М.: РБО, 2001.

Robert G. Bratcher and Eugene A. Nida, A Translator's Handbook on the Gospel of Mark, Helps for Translators (London: United Bible Societies, 1961).

Дж. Рейлинг, Дж. Л. Свелленгребель, Комментарии к Евангелию от Луки. Пособие для переводчиков Священного Писания. М., РБО, 2000.

 J. Reiling and J. L. Swellengrebel, A Translator’s Handbook on the Gospel of Luke, Helps for Translators (London: United Bible Societies, 1971).

Ньюман Б., Найда Ю. Комментарии к Деяниям апостолов. Пособие для переводчиков Священного Писания. М.: РБО, 2002.

Barclay Moon Newman and Eugene A. Nida, A Handbook on the Acts of the Apostles, Helps for Translators (New York: United Bible Societies, 1993, 1972).

Pauline Epistles

Мартин Францманн, Комментарий на Послание св. Павла к Римлянам. (abridged)

Martin Franzmann, Romans: A Commentary (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1968).

Грегори Дж. Локвуд, Комментарий на Первое послание к Коринфянам. Из цикла библейских комментариев «Concordia Commentary Series». Лютеранская церковь – Миссурийский синод, США[50]

Gregory J. Lockwood, 1 Corinthians. (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2000).

Энтони Тисельтон, 1 Коринфянам, Черкассы: Коллоквиум, 2017.

Anthony С. Thiselton, First Corinthians: A Shorter Exegetical and Pastoral Commentary (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2006)

Роберт Л. Томас «О дарах духовных», Систематическое изучение 1 Коринфянам 12-14. Grace, 2006.

Robert L. Thomas, Understanding Spiritual Gifts: A Verse-by-Verse Study of 1 Corinthians 12-14, rev. ed. (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1999).

Пол Э. Детердинг, Комментарий на Послание к Колоссянам. Из цикла библейских комментариев «Concordia Commentary Series» Лютеранская церковь – Миссурийский синод, США

Paul E. Deterding, Colossians (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2003).

Экзегетический дайджест. Послания Фессалоникийцам Апостола Павла. Под ред. Томаса, Роберта Л. / Пер. с англ. – Новосибирск: НББС, 2005.

Robert L. Thomas, Lexical and Syntactical Exegesis, Synthesis, Solutions, I Thessalonians

(Talbot Theological Seminary, 1974).  Robert L. Thomas, ed., Exegetical Digest of The Epistle of II Thessalonians (Talbot Theological Seminary, 1975).

Джон Г. Нордлинг, Комментарий на Послание ап. Павла к Филимону. Из цикла библейских комментариев «Concordia Commentary». Лютеранская церковь – Миссурийский синод, США

John G. Nordling, Philemon (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2004).

General Letters and Revelation

Экзегетический дайджест. Послание Иакова. Под ред. Томаса, Роберта Л. / Пер. с англ. – Новосибирск: НББС, 2006.

Robert L. Thomas, ed., Exegetical Digest of the Epistle of James (Talbot Theological Seminary, 1976).

Эдмонд Д. Хиберт, Послания Иоанна. Экспозиционный комментарий. С.-Пб.: «Библия для всех», 2014.

D. Edmond Hiebert, The Epistles of John: An Expositional Commentary (Greenville, SC: BJU Press, 1991).

Луис А. Брайтон, Комментарий на Книгу Откровения. Из цикла библейских комментариев «Concordia Commentary Series» Лютеранская церковь – Миссурийский синод, США

Louis A. Brighton, Revelation. (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999).

Мартин Францманн, Комментарий на Откровение Иоанна.

Martin Franzmann, The Revelation to John: A Commentary by Martin H. Franzmann (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1968).

The notes by Bob Utley on Matthew, John and his letters, Acts, Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Colossians, Ephesians, Philemon, Philippians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus and Hebrews, with some exegetical information are available in Russian.[51]

Appendix B: Old Exegetical Commentaries Written by Orthodox Scholars[52] 

(1) Протасов Н.Д. Св. апостол Павел на суде у Феста и Агриппы: Историко-экзегетический анализ содержания 25 и 26 глав книги Деяний по греческому тексту. (М., 1913). (4) Орлин Н. Соборные послания ап. Иакова, 1 и 2 ап. Петра, и ап. Иуды: опыт истолковательного изложения текста их. (Рязань, 1903).

(2) Кибалчич И., свящ. Опыт обозрения и объяснения соборного послания св. ап. Иакова. Чернигов, 1873.

(3) Суханов В. 1 соборное послание св. ап. Петра: историческое и экзегетическое исследование. (Казань, 1914).

(4) Никанор (Каменский), архиеп. Экзегетико-критическое исследование послания св. ап. Павла к Евреям. (докторская работа), (Казань,1903).

(5) Страхов В., свящ. Второе послание св. апостола Павла к Фессалоникийцам: Исагогико-экзегетическое исследование. (Сергиев Посад, 1911).

(6) Петр (Полянский), митр., свщмч. Первое послание св. ап. Павла к Тимофею. Опыт историко-экзегетического исследования. (магистерская работа) (Сергиев Посад, 1897).

Appendix C: The Commentaries Written by Valentina Kuznetsova[53] 

(1) Кузнецова В.Н. Евангелие от Матфея. Комментарий. М.: Общедоступный православный университет, основанный протоиереем Александром Менем, 2002.

(2) Кузнецова В.Н. Евангелие от Марка. Комментарий. М.: Общедоступный православный университет, основанный протоиереем Александром Менем, 2000.

(3) Кузнецова В.Н. Евангелие от Луки. Комментарий. М.: Фонд им. А. Меня, 2004.

(4) Кузнецова В.Н. Евангелие от Иоанна. Комментарий. М.: Общедоступный университет, основанный протоиереем Александром Менем, 2010.

(5) Кузнецова В.Н. Путешествуя с Апостолами: Деяния Апостолов в переводе с древнегреческого: комментарии. М.: Российское библейское общество, 2006, (second edition has been published in 2007).

(6) Кузнецова В.Н. Письмо христианам Рима Апостола Павла. Комментарий. Фонд Александра Меня, 2013.

(7) Кузнецова В.Н. Первое письмо христианам Коринфа: комментарий. М.: Общедоступный православный университет: Фонд им. А. Меня, 2007.

(8) Кузнецова В.Н. Второе письмо христианам Коринфа. Комментарий. Фонд Александра Меня, 2014.

(9) Кузнецова В.Н. Комментарий на письмо церквам Галатии. М.: Общедоступный православный университет, основанный протоиереем Александром Менем, 2003.

(10) Кузнецова В.Н. Письма Апостола Павла: Письмо церкви в Колоссах, Письмо Филемону. Фонд Александра Меня, 2016.

(11) Кузнецова В.Н. Письмо Апостола Павла церкви в Филиппах. Фонд Александра Меня, 2015.


[1] S. I. Golovashenko, Istoriya Evangelsko-baptistkogo dvijeniya v Ukraine (Odessa: Bogomislie, 1998), 82, 275-277; For more information about evangelical Christians see: Andrey P. Puzynin, The Tradition of the Gospel Christians: A Study of Their Identity and Theology During the Russian, Soviet, and Post-Soviet Periods (Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2011).

[2] Aleksandr Gurtaev, e-mail message to author, July 11, 2016.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Vladimir Lebedev, e-mail message to author, July 16, 2016.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.; the Synodal Bible is probably the most-used Russian translation.

[8] Kenneth Sears, e-mail message to author, November 18, 2016; and e-mail to author, December 2, 2016 (emphases original).

[9] Mykola Leliovskyi, e-mail message to author, July 12, 2016.

[10] Ibid. 

[11] Ibid. 

[12] Ibid.

[13] Leonid Mikhovich, Nagornaya propoved: aktualnye voprosy sovremennosti i christianskaya pravednost (Bibliya dlya vseh, 2006).

[14] Leonid Mikhovich, e-mail message to author, July 19, 2016

[15] The survey was published here: http://alex-pro-1.livejournal.com/2015/07/14/, accessed February 11, 2017.

[16] Anonymous response to the question: What is the biggest problem of contemporary commentaries? My translation.

[17] Anonymous response to the question: What is the biggest problem of contemporary commentaries? My translation.

[18] Anonymous response to the question: What would you advise to the authors of commentaries? My translation.

[19] Anonymous response to the question: What is the biggest problem of contemporary commentaries? My translation.

[20] Anonymous response to the question: What is the biggest problem of contemporary commentaries? My translation.

[21] D. A. Carson, New Testament Commentary Survey, 6th ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007), 15.

[22] Ibid., 15-17.

[23] Ibid., 17.

[24] The table is based on information found in John Glynn, Commentary and Reference Survey: A Comprehensive Guide to Biblical and Theological Resources, 10th ed. (Grand Rapids: Kregel Academic & Professional, 2007), 16-17, 39, 42, 174.

[25] The enormous number of resources written in English is evident from such books as John F. Evans, A Guide to Biblical Commentaries and Reference Works, 10th ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2016) or John Glynn, Commentary and Reference Survey.

[26]There are a number of commentaries translated or written by local authors; however, not many of them are exegetical. For a more comprehensive survey of Russian theological literature, see "Biblejskie Kommentarii," accessed November 28, 2016, https://rusbiblecommentary.wordpress.com/.

Some other important books have been translated into Russian. On cultural, social and historical background, the IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (1993) by Craig S. Keener, has been translated (Craig S. Keener (red.), Biblejslij kulturno-istoricheskij kommentaij. Chast 2. Novij Zavet. SPb.: «Mirt», 2005). Beale and Carson's special study on the use of the OT in the NT, D. A. Carson and G. K. Beale, eds. Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2007) has also been translated. (In Russian, this book was published in four volumes: G. K. Beale i D. A. Carson, red., Vethij Zavet na stranitsah Novogo. Cherkassi: «Kollokvium»: Tom I: Ev. ot Matfeya. Ev. ot Marka, 2010; Tom II: Ev. ot Luki. Ev. ot Ioanna, 2011; Tom III: Deyaniya sv. apostolov. Obshie poslaniya. Otkrovenie, 2013; Tom IV: Poslaniya apostola Pavla, 2015).

[27] C. E. B. Cranfield, Evangelie ot Marka. Kommentarij k grecheskomu tekstu (Moskwa: Centr biblejsko-patrologicheskih issledovanij Otdela po delam molodeji Russoj Pravoslavnoj Cerkvi, 2004). In English see: C. E. B. Cranfield, The Gospel according to St. Mark (Cambridge: University Press, 1971).

[28] Cranfield, Evangelie ot Marka, 4.

[29] I. Howard Marshall, Evangelie ot Luki. Kommentarij k grecheskomu tekstu (Moskwa: Centr biblejsko-patrologicheskih issledovanij Otdela po delam molodeji Russoj Pravoslavnoj Cerkvi, 2004). In English, see Ι. H. Marshall, The Gospel of Luke, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1978). 

[30] Marshall, Evangelie ot Luki, 4. 

[31] See in Russian: Gareth L. Reese,Deyaniya Apostolov. Kriticheskij i ekzegeticheskij kommentarij («Vest», 2006); Gareth L. Reese, Poslanie k RimlyanamKriticheskij i ekzegeticheskij kommentarij («Vest», 2004). 

[32] See in Russian: Cleon L. Rogers mladshij, Cleon L. Rogers III. Novij lingvisticheskij iekzegeticheskij kluch k grecheskomu textu Novogo Zaveta (SPb.: Bibliya dlya vseh, 2001).

[33] See in Russian: Georgij (Jaroszewski), «Sobornoe poslanie Sv. Apostola Iakova: Opit isagogiko-ekzegeticheskogo issledovaniya» (Kiev, 1901). 

[34] Jaroshevskij, “Sobornoe poslanie Sv. Apostola Iakova,” v. 

[35] See: http://www.spbiiran.nw.ru/левинская-ирина-алексеевна/, accessed April 8, 2017.

[36] See in Russian: Irina Levinskaya, Deyaniya apostolov. Istoriko-filolgicheskj kommentarij. Glavi 1-8 (М.: BBI, 1999); Irina Levinskaya, Deyaniya apostolov , Istoriko-filologicheskij kommentarij. Glavi 9-28 (SPb.: Fakultet filologii i iskustv SPbGU, 2008).

[37] In Russian: Andrej Desnickij and Oleg Lazarenko, Tolkovij Novij Zavet: Poslanie k Efesyanam, Poslanie k Evreyam. М.: Obshedostupnij pravoslavnij universitet, osnovannij protoiereem Aleksandrom Menem, 2005.

[38] Sergey Sannikov (gl. redaktor), Slavyanskij biblejskij kommentarij (К.: ЕААА, Knigonosha, 2016), 9, my translation. 

[39] Ibid., 10.

[40] “Biblejskij kommentarij: sovremennaya evangelskaya perspektiva, Poyasnitelnaya zapiska dlya avtorov k napisaniyu kommentariya i bogoslovskih statej,” Versiya 7.4 (Slavic Research and Resource Center, EAAA, 25.02.2012), 4. My translation. 

[41] “Biblejskij kommentarij,” 9.

[42] See the blog post here: http://alex-pro-1.livejournal.com/692287.html, accessed January 15, 2017 

[43] Sannikov, Slavyanskij biblejskij kommentarij, 1480; Bible references in the English translation are given according to ESV.

[44] More complete bibliography of the Orthodox literature can be found at https://www.bible-mda.ru/old/e-books/e-books.html#nt-exeg2, accessed August 21, 2016. 

[45] The bibliography is taken from https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Кузнецова,_Валентина_Николаевна (accessed December 1, 2016) as well as http://knigionline.com/autors/valentina-kuznetsova/ (accessed April 4, 2017).


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