InterVarsity Press

Jim West said something that I really didn’t know what to do with.

He put IVP in the same camp as Fundamentalism. That didn’t make much sense to me. Now, I don’t have a doctorate in Biblical studies (yet) like Jim does, but I do happen to be a librarian. If there is anything I know, its books, Biblical Studies books. I know the series…the authors, the publishers, and I read the reviews. I know where they’re shelved without looking them up in the computer. I know which ones are checked out the most, I’ve read the majority of the inside and back covers as I shelve, I’m working my way through the prefaces. I have great respect for Jim and his blog, but at this point, he’s wrong being ridiculous and silly

Let’s think about some IVP books and their authors:

The IVP Black Dictionary Series

This set is probably on its way to being the best dictionary set available. Four volumes on the New Testament and another two so far on the Old, with at least two more volumes to go. That’s eight volumes (I’m hoping for five OT volumes, but I’m not holding my breath), eight thousand pages of articles…eight hundred more than Anchor Bible Dictionary. These volumes are fantastic.

Dictionary of New Testament Background

Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels

Dictionary of Paul and His Letters

Dictionary of the Later New Testament and its Developments

Dictionary of the Pentateuch

Dictionary of the Historical Books

I’m sorry, but I just can’t see the editors – Stanley Porter, Craig Evans, Ralph P. Martin, etc… as remotely fundamentalist.

What about these other dictionaries

Dictionary of Biblical Imagery

Dictionary of Christianity in America (This dictionary talks about fundamentalism…maybe that’s what he’s thinking)

New Dictionary of Biblical Theology: Exploring the Unity & Diversity of Scripture

New Dictionary of Theology

New Bible Dictionary

Fundamentalist? don’t think so…

New Studies in Biblical Theology

This series is edited by D. A. Carson. Twenty-three volumes and counting, these 200 page little guys are excellent.

Individual Titles

Possessed by God Volume 1
God’s Unfaithful Wife Volume 2
Jesus and the Logic of History Volume 3
Hear, My Son Volume 4
Original Sin Volume 5
Now Choose Life Volume 6
Neither Poverty nor Riches Volume 7
Slave of Christ Volume 8
Christ, Our Righteousness Volume 9
Five Festal Garments Volume 10
Salvation to the Ends of the Earth Volume 11
Now My Eyes Have Seen You Volume 12
Thanksgiving Volume 13
From Every People and Nation Volume 14
Dominion and Dynasty Volume 15
Hearing God’s Words Volume 16
The Temple and the Church’s Mission Volume 17
The Cross from a Distance Volume 18
Contagious Holiness Volume 19
Shepherds After My Own Heart Volume 20
A Clear and Present Word Volume 21
Adopted into God’s Family Volume 22
Sealed with an Oath Volume 23

Apollos Old Testament Commentary Series

These volumes are edited by Gordon Wenham (would a fundamentalist accept Wellhausen’s theory on the Pentateuch to any degree? Check out his Genesis volumes) and David Baker, who also happens to be an editor for a series coming out of Eisenbrauns and the IVP Black dictionary on the Pentateuch.

Authors – John Stott

Jim, please don’t tell me you think John Stott is a fundamentalist…for one thing, he isn’t even American. The Bible Speaks today series that John Stott has written extensively for and edited, has given some fantastic pastoral commentaries.

David A. deSilva

deSilva’s NT introduction is fantastic and I’ll probably write a review of it sooner or later, so I won’t say much now other than that he has followed and developed the Socio-Rhetorical approach that originated with Vernon Robbins in Exploring the Tapestry of Text, which I’ve read and is worth checking out. deSilva’s book Honor Patronage Kinship and Purity is also worth a read. Its probably one of the best introductions to New Testament culture I’ve seen/read. He cites well…and cites everything. deSilva is incredibly strong in first century sources and makes the cultural values easy to understand (I don’t think if he were a fundamentalist, he would even be willing to pick up, much less read, Jacob Milgrom’s Leviticus commentary in AB).

IVP New Testament Commentary Series

Grant Osborne in the editor of this one and wrote the commentary on Romans. Its an expository series that gives more technical notes at the bottom in an annoying running format. In this series there are several very good volumes…

Linda Belville on 2 Corinthians, Gordon Fee on Philippians (condensation of his NICNT volume), G. Walter Hansen on Galatians, I Howard Marshall on 1 Peter, Craig Keener on Matthew (condensation of his Eerdmans volume at a much better price)…some of the volumes are weak, but none of them are Fundamentalist.

So anyway, I think we’ve settled the fact that IVP is not a Fundamentalist publisher…I can’t even figure out which books Jim is thinking of…maybe he confuses thin or weaker commentaries (such as Robert Wall on Colossians/Philemon [though it can still be helpful, there are just better volumes) with fundamentalist. Another possibility is that Jim is thinking of the History of Evangelicalism series, edited by Mark Noll (who is not a fundamentalist), this series talks at length about fundamentalism in its volumes The Dominance of Evangelicalism and The Disruption of Evangelicalism. But again, these are not fundamentalist books (unless Jonathan Edwards was one)…they are books that deal with Fundamentalism as an event within the greater Evangelical movement and its history.

9 thoughts on “InterVarsity Press

  1. I don’t understand Jim West’s comment either. As a frequent reader of IVP publications, I have found them to be based on very good scholarship, and evangelical, not fundamentalist. AS a former student of Dr. DeSilva’s, I can safely say that he is evangelical, not fundamentalist.

  2. Michael, you’re right, Jim is wrong. Most authors who have been published by IVP would be surprised to hear themselves labeled as fundamentalist. Fundamentalist publishers would include Bob Jones University Press, perhaps Crossway.

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