Review: Commentary on 1-2 Timothy & Titus (BTCP)

30746799.jpgAndreas J. Köstenberger is sin or professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Köstenberger is a world-class New Testament scholar and one of the leading voice in the biblical theology movement. He is the author and contributor to numerous books and articles, including a number of influential commentaries, and the editor of several important series, such as Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation and Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament. Most recently, Köstenberger has produced the second volume in the former series, a commentary on the Pastoral Epistles—Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation: Commentary on 1-2 Timothy & Titus

Commentary on 1-2 Timothy & Titus opens with a 54-page introduction to Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus (LTT)—a designation Köstenberger prefers over the traditional identification of the letters as “Pastoral Epistles.” The introduction is well-documented and up-to-date with the latest scholarly discussions surrounding these controversial letters. Köstenberger argues for the traditional Pauline authorship of the letters and does a phenomenal job demonstrating the unity of letters under a Pauline theology. The commentary proper is divided between the 3 letters that Köstenberger aims to cover, namely 1-2 Timothy and Titus. Each book opens with a brief introduction detailing the occasion and purpose of the letter, as well as the opponents, structure, background, etc. As expected, the exposition of the biblical text is firmly established and practically presented. Köstenberger has done the reader a great service in his attention to grammatical detail and his ability to keep the overarching narrative of the letters in view. Lastly, the commentary ends with a 200-page examination of the theology the LTT, including themes such as teaching, the Church, the Christian life, and the LTT and the New Testament canon.

It will be difficult in the space here to articulate the value of Köstenberger’s Commentary on 1-2 Timothy & Titus. Perhaps the fact that Köstenberger executes with excellence on nearly every aspect needed in a commentary on the LTT and does so with scrupulous detail is a good place to start. From the inclusion of a full-fledged biblical-theological examination of the LTT to the pastorally sensitive discovered in the content of the commentary, Köstenberger has excelled on nearly every page. When it comes to controversial matters, such as the role of women in the life and ministry of the Church, Köstenberger is charitable while remaining faithful to the text and message of the LTT and larger biblical narrative. Those familiar with Köstenberger’s work will know where he stands on such issues, so these matters wont come as a surprise. Others may be disappointed, but should appreciate the care that Köstenberger takes in presenting his case. It is also worth mentioning the sheer amount of research that went into the volume. When I say that Köstenberger is a world-class scholar, I mean that his a world-class scholar. This is seen in both the detail discovered in the footnotes and his ability think more broadly about how these controversial letters fit together in Paul’s life and ministry.

Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation: Commentary on 1-2 Timothy & Titus by Andreas J. Köstenberger is a go-to commentary for students and pastors looking to immerse themselves in the letters to Timothy and Titus. There are numerous commentaries on the market that have functioned as standards for the study of the Pastoral Epistles for many years, such as Mounce, Knight, and Towner. Köstenberger has rightly created shelf space next to these volumes and he will likely be the first to be removed when you have a question. This volume is a joy to read. It is scholarly, informative, engaging, and encouraging. Those looking for a commentary on Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus will do well to end here. It comes highly recommended!

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