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Seven Days a Week, James on His Mind

December 04, 2017

Greek and Theology Professor Curtis Giese is spending this academic year researching and writing the “James Commentary” in the “Concordia Commentary” series.

The series, a scholarly collection of books, is intended for pastors, professors and bible scholars, and is published by Concordia Publishing House in St. Louis, Missouri.

Due to the extensive nature of the work, Giese was granted a sabbatical to tackle the project.

“I submitted the proposal for James in 2013,” Giese said. “I am blessed that Concordia graciously accepted and allowed me a sabbatical for research.”

He started working on researching the book of James over the summer. This volume will highlight the Lutheran emphases of Christ as the center of scripture and a proper distinction of law and gospel.

This will be the second volume Giese has authored of the series, as “2 Peter & Jude Commentary” was published in 2012.

So what does a day in the life for Giese look like now?

“I go on a run every morning,” he said. “Around 9 a.m., I start researching and writing. This is about a nine-or 10-hour day. I always stop around 8 p.m. so I can leave refreshed for the next day.”

Although he is on sabbatical, he is still teaching two classes this semester. When he is not in the classroom, his days are filled at home with the book of James, even his weekends.

“I divide each chapter of James into feasible sections,” Giese said. “I read as much as possible and gather the best information. After a reading day I make a detailed outline.”

In his home, he uses a combination of electronics and hard copy research to better understand James. He is particularly excited about unveiling the value of the book of James to the Lutheran community.

“It’s such a fantastic message,” Giese said. “I want to get that out. It is such an underused book, and I’m excited to present it in a way professionals can use.”

Giese is also excited to have his work travel outside America.

“The Commentaries have been spread around the world,” he said. “We’ve had them sell in Africa and Asia, even.”

His work isn’t just on these tasks, either. Giese is the New Testament Editor of the Concordia Commentary series and has held that position for six years. During the spring and summer of 2017, he edited the “Matthew 21-28 Commentary” written by Dr. Jeff Gibbs of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.

Giese’s appreciation goes out to the Concordia community who he says treasures academics and biblical teachings.

“Being involved in a project like this develops me professionally,” Giese said. “I would not be the faculty member I am without these experiences.”

Check out the 32 volumes of the Concordia Commentary series currently in print, authored by Lutheran scholars from around the world.