Review: I & II Peter and Jude (NTL)

13746540Lewis R. Donelson is Ruth A. Campbell Professor of New Testament Studies at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He received his MDiv from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and PhD in New Testament Studies from the University of Chicago. Donelson is the author of three books, including From Hebrews to Revelation: A Theological Introduction and the present commentary in the New Testament Library series.

I & II Peter and Jude: A Commentary is a mid-level critical commentary. Donelson begins with a brief introduction, followed by a longer introduction for each epistle that covers many of the standard introductory matters, including authorship and date, audience and occasion, and many theological themes. Donelson approaches the epistles from a critical perspective and rejects the authenticity of each.

The commentary proper is much of the same. Donelson is thoughtful in his interaction with the text and appears to be well-acquainted the peripheral Pauline issues, yet emphasizes numerous, theologically liberal conclusions (some rather telling) with little substantiation. This is especially noticeable when theological matters arise in the text. Like the other volumes in the NTL series, Donelson provides an original translation and textual notes. I have continually found this to be one of the most useful features of the NTL series. Donelson does well in this space, for the most part. But, much of the comments are more syntactically oriented and lack in matters of textual critical issues.

I & II Peter and Jude: A Commentary by Lewis R. Donelson is an excellent option for the pastor, student, or laymen who is familiar with and able to discern the critical presuppositions presented in this brief commentary. While I don’t see Donelson surpassing the more established works on the market, I do believe that he offers a well-positioned commentary to complement other works. If you are looking for a brief treatment of three historically difficult New Testament epistles from a critical perspective, then this is an excellent option. Donelson comes recommended for the careful reader.

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