Layered Bible has been a burden on my heart for some years now. In fits and starts I’ve sought to undertake the task and yet have found myself always falling short in the fulfillment. Life brings so many challenges and responsibilities that distract us from our desired ends.
In May of 2009 I first posted a Request for Comments on the basic concept of Layered Bible and in the same month I undertook to begin the first commentary – which was to be on Proverbs. A year later, in July of 2010, I had not made significant progress and decided to reboot the project with a shorter initial commentary on Nahum.
Now it is August of 2011, another year later, and while I made more progress with Nahum than with Proverbs, I still find myself very far from completion. So I suppose it is time to update with another fit, another start – which may or may not yield to fruition, but which I feel comfortable saying I believe will reach fruition.
Over the past year I became familiar with Dr. Bob Utley’s commentaries, which he has generously made freely available online. I found these commentaries to be in a similar vein to what I desired for the Layered Bible series and thought about abandoning the series and just recommending Utley’s commentaries. But after further experiences in ministry I decided there was still a need for a Layered Bible-type series which provided the depth of Dr. Utley’s commentaries but in a more approachable fashion for the lay individual.
Dr. Utley generously provided me with permission to make use of his commentaries in the Layered Bible series and so now I am in the process of revamping chapter by chapter Dr. Utley’s commentaries – beginning in Matthew.
I have rewritten each of the pages on this site to reflect the latest updates in the Layered Bible vision and methodology, have deleted a few pages to streamline the site overall, and am slowly posting the updated commentary sections chapter by chapter as I complete them. You can currently view chapters 12, 13, and 14 from the Book of Matthew.
A few notes of importance:
- At this juncture I’ve focused my efforts in a few small areas when it comes to updating / revamping the commentaries:
- Moving various textual and other technical conversations into footnotes.
- Changing the commentary from an outline format to a more paragraph based format.
- Providing explanatory footnotes whenever terms appear which may not be familiar to the lay reader (e.g. eschaton).
- Moving various references to Special Topics and the like into footnotes.
- It is important to note that each of these requires multiple revisions. For example, there are areas in each chapter where I have left myself notes to include such and such (e.g. specific textual examples or explanatory footnotes) and there are references to special topics which are not always available (my intent is to integrate some special topics directly into the commentary text and sometimes to create a supplementary volume containing a collection of the special topics as appropriate).
- I welcome feedback on various errors or enhancements that may be made to the work. I hope over time that it will become a worthy resource.