Book Review: Handbook of Religion

18652917Finding a reliable resource that surveys the religious landscape of this contemporary world is a daunting task. Not because there is a lack of resources, but because there is a lack of good resources. In fact, the options for such resources are almost beyond count, but the content therein is often mediocre at best. This is true across the board for all faith systems who actively seek to engage other religious worldviews. However, with the release of Handbook of Religion: A Christian Engagement with Traditions, Teachings, and Practices (Baker Academic, 2014), the once difficult task of sifting through growing mountains of possibilities for useful information has become a whole lot easier for the Christian. Handbook of Religion is a comprehensive compendium of Christian engagement with the various manifestations of religious belief around the world. This type of book is nothing new to the market, but the judicious execution and intentionality interaction of this resource are unique beyond anything else currently available.

Handbook of Religion opens with a strong introduction to properly orient and familiarize the reader with the Christian engagement of other religions. The book is then divided into four subsequent sections: (1) World Religions, (2) Indigenous Religions, (3) New Religious Movements, and (4) Essays. First, the “World Religions” section seeks to interact with some of the major world religions from a Christian perspective (i.e. Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam). Each major world religion is discussed in detail, including interaction with the history, beliefs, and practices of the religious system. Moreover, specific chapters on each major religion are dedicated to Christian contact, theological exchanges, current issues, and adherent essays. Second, the “Indigenous Religions” section seeks to interact with some of the native religions around the world. This section follows the same format as the prior, but the religions are discussed geographically as opposed to with specified titles (i.e. India, China, Europe, Africa, Oceania, etc.). Third, the “New Religious Movements” (NRM) section seeks to interact with some of the more recent religious phenomenon around the world (i.e. Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Satanism, Atheism, etc.). This section, like the prior two sections, follows the same chapter format of discussion. Lastly, the “Essays” section provides a number of useful essays concerned with religious engagement with broader social issues (i.e. science, gender, violence, human rights, environment, etc.).

Handbook of Religion is prosperous in the execution of the intended goal for several reasons. First, the breadth of interaction in this resources reaches every corner of the earth—literally. It is easy to find resources that engage the major world religions from a Christian perspective, but rarely will the reader encounter a comprehensive look into the indigenous religions. This will better prepare the sensitive reader to serve in these areas. Second, the vast diversity of contributors to this volume is incredibly valuable for the reader. A total of fifty-five of the top religion scholars in the world, representing a broad spectrum of Christianity and other religious faith systems, contributed to this volume under the editorial guidance of Terry C. Muck, Harold A. Netland, and Gerald R. McDermott. Third, the inclusion of an “Adherent Essay” brings balance and insight where balance and insight is needed. Fourth, each essay concludes with a brief bibliography. This will help the curious reader investigate deeper as interest arises. Fifth, the generous number of “Study Aid” sections throughout the volume bring the reader in contact with helpful charts, maps, timelines, and sidebar discussions. I personally found the timelines to be extremely helpful when examining the history of the religions, and I think the reader will as well. Lastly, the layout of the volume is extremely user-friendly. This may not seem like a big deal for most, but the content on a page is only as good as it is able to be consumed by the reader. If the content is a burden to consume it is nearly useless. This volume delivers solid and digestible content in an inviting and engaging environment—a combination not often seen, and rarely executed well.

Handbook of Religion: A Christian Engagement with Traditions, Teachings, and Practices may appear as just another mediocre world religion textbook from a Christian perspective, but don’t let your presumptions lead you astray. This volume is comprehensive in scope and judicious in examination. Muck, Netland, and McDermott have assembled an appropriate team for the task of this resource and the reader will benefit greatly from having it on their bookshelf. Normally a review on a book of this caliber would conclude with a recommendation to pastors, teachers, and students, but this would be highly misdirected. If you are a Christian living in this world and engaging those around you, this book should be in arms reach of your nightly reading chair and consulted often.

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for and honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.   

Book Review: An Introduction to the New Testament

590862David A. deSilva is Trustees’ Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Greek at Ashland Theological Seminary (ATS) in Ashland, Ohio. He has an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in New Testament studies from Emory University. In addition to his current tenure at ATS, deSilva has authored numerous books, including, The Jewish Teachers of Jesus, James, and Jude: What Earliest Christianity Learned from the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha (Oxford, 2012), Introducing the Apocrypha (Baker Academic, 2002), Honor, Patronage, Kingship & Purity: Unlocking New Testament Culture (InterVarsity Press, 2000), Perseverance in Gratitude: A Socio-rhetorical Commentary on the Letter “to the Hebrews” (Eerdmans, 2000), and many more. He has also co-authored several books and worked on a number of major Bible translation projects, as well as served as the Apocrypha Editor for the Common English Bible. Nevertheless, despite his grown bibliography of authored books, deSilva’s landmark work remains An Introduction to the New Testament: Context, Methods & Ministry Formation (InterVarsity Press, 2004).   

An Introduction to the New Testament seeks to blend two rather different ways of reading and searching the Scriptures—a devotional reading of Scripture with the focus of hearing from God, and an academic study of Scripture that focuses on understanding the text within the historical and cultural context (p. 20). It is within this reality, the equal nurture of an integrated approach to the Scripture, which deSilva guides the reader through the text of the New Testament. Accordingly, deSilva takes a “text-centered as opposed to a phenomenon-centered approach” (p. 21). In other words, deSilva is primarily interested in “the context, production and message of each text, in the pastoral challenges each addresses and in the way each author brings the revelation of God in Christ to bear on those challenges” (p. 21). The layout of the book is intentionally centered on this focus. Each chapter opens with a section dedicated to the historical and/or pastoral context of the writing and ends with a dedicated section equally devoted to ministry formation from each of the New Testament books. Between these chapter bookends the reader will find a goldmine of information, including discussion on text development, use of literature in the other early Christian resources, exegetical skill sections, themed discussion around the message of specific writings, and much more.

The highlights of An Introduction to the New Testament are numerous. First and foremost, I found deSilva’s approach to the New Testament extremely helpful in finding immediate practical application. This is not the case with many other introductory works on the market. The balanced approach that deSilva seeks to take is difficult to accomplish (as attested by the landscape of the current market), but An Introduction to the New Testament is well-executed. This is primarily due to deSilva’s recognition of the New Testament as a pastoral response (see pp. 29-36). Second, the inclusion of an “Exegetical Skill” section within each chapter, functioning to better assist the reader in cultivating the appropriate exegetical methodology with which to approach the New Testament, is well-received. There are a number of notable thematic articles that the reader will discover within this section, including, interpreting parables (Luke), word studies and lexical analysis (Colossians and Ephesians), feminist criticism (Pastoral Epistles), and postcolonial criticism and cultural studies (Philemon). Third, throughout the volume the reader will encounter the cultural sensitivity deSilva brings to the New Testament. This is primarily driven by deSilva’s longstanding work with the intertestamental literature and the cultural context of the New Testament world—an expertise that should be appropriately welcomed in an introduction such as this present volume.

An Introduction to the New Testament: Context, Methods & Ministry Formation by David A. deSilva is a monumental achievement within New Testament studies. While the market of introductory resources on the New Testament continues to increase in number, few are able to accomplish what deSilva accomplishes in this volume. His intentionality to provide the reader with a deeply integrated text-centered approach to the New Testament literature is unparalleled, and his expertise and background are well-suited for the job. While I cannot commit to saying that this will be the first New Testament introduction off my bookshelf, I can commit to saying it will be off my bookshelf more often than not. If you are a pastor, student, or interested laymen, this resource will certainly prove itself abundantly useful for your study of the New Testament.

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for and honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.  

Book Review: Acts of the Apostles: A Newly Discovered Commentary

22144310The discovery of new manuscripts from a well-known author is certain to perk the interest of any historical enthusiasts. The excitement quickly builds and the mystery continues to linger. This was the landscape of biblical scholarship in 2013 when news broke surrounding the discovery of previously unpublished J. B. Lightfoot manuscripts—several hundred pages of unpublished biblical commentary tucked away gathering dust in the Durham Cathedral Library. Pages upon pages of biblical exposition and exegetical studies on the Gospel of John, Acts, 2 Corinthians, and 1 Peter, written by one of nineteenth centuries most influential biblical scholars. It was exciting news for Lightfoot fans everywhere. Now, thanks to the effort of Ben Witherington III, Todd D. Still, Jeanette M. Hagen, and the entire team at IVP Academic, the world of biblical studies is able to once again sink fresh teeth into the judicious exegesis of Joseph Barber Lightfoot.

The Lightfoot Legacy Set is the outpouring of the publication of these previously unpublished Lightfoot discoveries in Durham. There are three volumes projected to release by 2016. At this present time the team has completed one volume, the present volume under review, The Acts of the Apostles: A Newly Discovered Commentary, with the Gospel of John docked for a December 2015 release. These are exciting times for both Lightfoot fans and biblical studies enthusiasts alike, and with the release of this first volume the future looks very bright.

The commentary opens with a fascinating firsthand account of the discovery of the manuscripts. The reader will find this brief section to be an enticing transition into the series as Ben Witherington III conveys the process with which the discovery occurred, including several photographs of the discovery itself. For the reader who may be somewhat unfamiliar with Lightfoot, the Editor’s Introduction provides a concise look into the person and work of J. B. Lightfoot as a Biblical Commentator. This is a great introduction for those faintly familiar with Lightfoot and a true highpoint to the commentary. The content of the commentary itself runs from Acts 1:1-21:39 and includes approximately twelve excursus sections and four additional articles in the appendix. Despite the fact that Lightfoot never completed the commentary, as reflected in the lack of the remaining verses of the book, the content included in this book is highly useful even by today’s standards.

Lightfoot was a master of numerous ancient and modern languages (German, French, Spanish, Italian, Latin, Classical Greek, Koine Greek, and the Greek of the Church Fathers) and this expertise is evident throughout the pages of this commentary. For the reader trained in the biblical languages, Lightfoot’s proficiency will encourage further mastery and devotion to the understanding the Scriptures. For the reader not trained in the biblical languages, the frequent use of Greek may be a bit overwhelming at first. But this should not persuade the novice reader away from The Acts of the Apostles. There is certainly still much to be gleaned from this work and there are a number of highpoints that the intimidated reader would, unfortunately, forgo having passed on the opportunity to sit alongside a man of Lightfoot’s stature. Personally, among other things, I found Lightfoot’s discussion on the textual basis for Acts interesting and his interaction with the account of Stephen’s speech and martyrdom (Acts 7) was nothing short of superb. Sure disagreements may arise here and there, but the engagement that Lightfoot provides in The Acts of the Apostles: A Newly Discovered Commentary is an opportunity only the naivest of readers are willing to dismiss.

The Acts of the Apostles: A Newly Discovered Commentary is an exciting window into the mind of one of the most brilliant Biblical Commentators of the past centuries. Readers of all backgrounds will benefit greatly from the wisdom and judicious exegetical care of J. B. Lightfoot. This was true for his previously published work, and evidently, it remains true for these newly discovered ones as well. I appreciate and commend the work of IVP Academic in assuming the task of publishing and producing these manuscripts, as well as Ben Witherington III, Todd D. Still, and Jeanette M. Hagen for the tedious work that takes place behind the scene in making a project like this possible. Your labor has truly become our reward.

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for and honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Book Review: Colossians and Philemon (EGGNT)

EGGNT_Col_Phile_revcvr2_InD5.inddMurray J. Harris is professor emeritus of New Testament exegesis and theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity
School and formerly served as warden of Tyndale House at Cambridge University in England. Harris has a Ph.D. from the University of Manchester, where he studied under F. F. Bruce, and is the author of numerous books, including, Jesus as God: The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus,
Slave of Christ: A New Testament Metaphor for Total Devotion to Christ, and The Second Epistle to the Corinthians from the acclaimed New International Greek Testament Commentary (NIGTC) series. Harris is also the mastermind behind the Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament (EGGNT) series. The first edition of the inaugural volume of the EGGNT, Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament: Colossians and Philemon, was published by W.B. Eerdmans in 1991. No subsequent volumes were then published. Now
revived under the direction of B&H Academic, Colossians and Philemon has received the needed updates to set the series afloat.

Colossians and Philemon opens with a brief introduction on Paul’s letter to the Colossians and includes discussion surrounding authorship (Harris argues for Pauline authorship rather than the “deuteron-Pauline” theory), date, occasion, and purpose. A similar introduction is provided for Philemon, again Harris affirms Pauline authorship and devoting a good deal of space to the issues at stake behind the purpose of the letter. Both introductions close with an outline of the letter and a “Recommended Commentaries” section. As the reader enters into the discussion of the letters themselves they are met by block diagrammed Greek text (with occasional English parallels), followed by a phrase-by-phrase interaction with the text itself. Harris shines brightly in this section as a master exegete with seasoned insight. He carefully guides the reader through the text hand-in-hand explaining various grammatical issues, exegetical interpretations, and textual critical analyses. Each unit of text concludes with a “For Further Study” section that includes a topically organized bibliography, as well as a section dedicated to “Homiletical Suggestions” for preaching and teaching. Both sections are helpful and welcomed, but the lack of an annotated bibliography may disappoint some reader. Nevertheless, it is an appropriate conclusion to a unit of text and really functions to catapults the reader to other areas of investigation.

Harris has provided the pastor, teacher, and student with a necessary tool for the task of exegesis and
interpretation. He has brought together some of the best and most widely used resources relating to the letters of Colossians and Philemon and thoroughly surveyed the depths of the Greek text behind both. There are a number of highpoints within this resource that I found indispensable and I am sure others will as well. First, following the commentary of each book, Harris has provided an original translation and an expanded paraphrase of both Colossians and Philemon. I personally found this helpful after just digesting scores upon scores of grammatical and exegetical information. It helped to take the training wheels off the two-wheeler. It is a little disappointing that this tradition didn’t get carried over to the subsequent volumes in the series. On that note, another highlight that didn’t get carried over to the subsequent volumes is the Glossary of Grammatical and Rhetorical Terms. This was a pleasant surprise and I think it would be a welcomed addition across all volumes for the novice reader. Lastly, while the reader is welcome to disagree, I found Harris’ treatment of the Colossian 1:15-20 to be among the best in the book. The analysis of the text was superb and the “For Further Study” is rich in interpretive rabbit trails. But this could also be said of the entire volume.

In 1985, when the vision of the Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament series first came to the mind of Murray J. Harris, I wonder if he was able to foresee the level of benefit this series would bring to the serious student of Scripture. Having read all the available volumes, it would seem faintly possible. This is an excellent inaugural volume on two very significant Pauline epistles. Sure it may not a commentary in the traditional sense, but it will certainly better position the reader to enter into the conversations therein. If you are a pastor, teacher, student, or well-informed laymen, Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament: Colossians and Philemon is a resource that should not be overlooked. The Church is truly indebted to Murray J. Harris for his contribution to the inception of such a series, and to B&H Academic for making sure that his vision came to fruition and made available to all. The labor of these two parties and all involved has become our reward.

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for and honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.  

Book Review: 1 Peter (EGGNT)

18113499Greg W. Forbes is the head of the Department of Biblical Studies at Melbourne School of Theology (MST) in Melbourne, Australia. Forbes teaches a number of important course at MST, including, New Testament Introduction, Greek and Intermediate Greek, Hermeneutics, as well as James and First Peter. Forbes received a B.Th. and M.Th. from Australian College of Theology, as well as a Ph.D. from Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. In this contribution to the EGGNT series, the third volume, Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament: 1 Peter (B&H Academic, 2014), Forbes demonstrates himself as a skilled exegete of the Greek text of 1 Peter and a competent scholar with pastoral sensitivity.

The Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament series seeks to bridge the gap between the text of the Greek New Testament (UBS4) and the available lexical and grammatical resources being utilized by pastors and teachers today. Forbes begins, like the other volumes in the series, with a brief introduction on the epistle, including authorship (in which he affirms the Petrine authorship of the epistle), historical setting, and date. Unique to this volume is Forbes’ discussion on the use of the imperative and imperatival participles in 1 Peter. Both are helpful introductory discussions for the reader to overall thrust of the book. As the commentary on the epistle opens the reader is met with block diagramed Greek text that is then carried through on the clausal level and dissected in detail. Each unit of the commentary closes with a “For Further Study” section that includes a topically organized bibliography, as well as a “Homiletical Suggestions” segment which provides the reader with a number of text-derived preaching and teaching suggestions.

The benefits of this volume are many for the serious student of the epistle. First, Forbes isn’t going to tell the reader what to think about the text, but rather he is going to show the reader around the grammatical and exegetical landscape of current scholarship and guide their thinking amid the forest. Second, the reader will find Forbes’ Homiletical suggestions helpful, especially considering the practical nature of 1 Peter. Third, Forbes is concise and judicious in his interaction with the text. He shows himself as one who knows the landscape of the epistle well and gives the reader what is needed to navigate the Greek text of 1 Peter. Still, consulting with other commentaries on the epistle is going to remain a needed part in the student’s current workflow. However, now, this will occur more often after one has already consulted Forbes and established the text. In other words, Forbes has not sought to replace traditional commentaries, but rather prepare the reader for deeper discovery therein.  s

The Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament: 1 Peter by Greg W. Forbes is a welcomed addition to the grown EGGNT series. Forbes has displayed the excellence that this series requires and provided the reader with a gold mine of exegetical insights. If you are a pastor, teacher, student, or trained laymen interested in 1 Peter, Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament: 1 Peter is a resource you will not want missing from your bookshelf.

I received an advance review copy of this book in exchange for and honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. 

Book Review: John (EGGNT)

25102444Murray J. Harris is professor emeritus of New Testament exegesis and theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and formerly served as warden of Tyndale House at Cambridge University in England. Harris has a Ph.D. from the University of Manchester, where he studied under F. F. Bruce, and is the author of numerous books, including, Jesus as God: The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus, Slave of Christ: A New Testament Metaphor for Total Devotion to Christ, The Second Epistle to the Corinthians from the acclaimed New International Greek Testament Commentary series (NIGTC), Colossians and Philemon in the growing Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament series (EGGNT), and many more. Most recently, Harris has released his second contributing volume to the EGGNT series, a volume on the Fourth Gospel that certain to make its residence on the bookshelves of many.

The Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament series was birthed out of a desire to function as a type of middle-ground resource that seeks to narrow the gap between the text of the Greek New Testament (UBS5) and the available lexical and grammatical tool being used by pastors and teachers today. In this present volume, Harris has delivered a goldmine of exegetical wisdom and theological insight into one of the most important New Testament books. The book begins with a very brief introduction focused on authorship, purpose, audience, setting, and date, as well as an extremely helpful and necessary section of John’s style of Greek and the overall structure of the book. The introduction concludes with a short discussion surrounding the pros and cons of five recommended commentaries and additional resources. This section is useful for the detailed reader as these resources become imperative in further investigating the exegesis that follows. However, if you are looking for an up-to-date bibliography on the Fourth Gospel this is not going to be a helpful section. Still, the abbreviations section just prior to the introduction does provide a wealth of resources mentioned throughout the book that may be of use.

As the reader enters into the commentary of the gospel, Harris has skillfully utilized a similar format and layout as the other volumes in the EGGNT series. Some accommodations have been made given the nature of the gospels themselves, as opposed to that of epistles. For example, the reader is not going to find as much sentence diagraming in this volume as the others, and the layout centers primarily around the verse level as opposed to the clause level in the other volumes. Personally, I found this to be somewhat of a disappointment because of the helpfulness of the clause level interaction for the task of exegesis. But, then again, this is primarily helpful because the other volumes are structured around the epistolary genre and not gospel narrative. Nevertheless, I think the reader will find that the verse-by-verse discussion is executed extremely well, and Harris, as anticipated, is successful in guiding the reader through the gospel of John with a fine tooth comb. Finally, after each section of the text is thoroughly examined, Harris has provided the reader with a “For Further Study” section, as well as “Homiletical Suggestions” that aid the pastor or teacher in constructing a communicational roadmap based on the previous sections.

As each volume of the EGGNT series is released the bar of exegetical example is visibly raised. Murray J. Harris has demonstrated what it looks like to provide faithful text-centered exegesis, and to do so with communication to the people of God as the primary goal. Harris has provided the reader with a detailed analysis of the lexical and grammatical style and structure of the Fourth Gospel, and he has done so in a clear and understandable way. Not only is this the best volume in the EGGNT series, but this is likely the best resource available on the market for those looking to walk through the Greek text of the Fourth Gospel. If you are a pastor, teacher, or learned laymen this resource will prove itself invaluable to your library. If you are a professor and looking for a faithful guide to send home with your students, who else would you rather have by their side than Murray J. Harris? For these reasons and many, I couldn’t recommend this resource more!

I received an advance review copy of this book in exchange for and honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.   

Book Review: I & II Thessalonians

220990_1_ftcM. Eugene Boring is I. Wylie Briscoe Professor Emeritus of New Testament at Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University. He is the author or editor of numerous books relating to New Testament Studies, including, An Introduction to the New Testament: History, Literature, Theology, as well as Mark: A Commentary from the acclaimed New Testament Library series, and Revelation: A commentary for Teaching and Preaching from the best-selling Interpretation Commentary series. Most recently, Boring has offered this present contribution, another advantageous volume added to the New Testament Library series: I & II Thessalonians: A Commentary.

Boring is a well-respected scholar and this volume on I & II Thessalonians displays that very clearly. The commentary begins with a substantial bibliography of up-to-date commentaries, monographs, books, and essays related to I & II Thessalonians. At 22 pages, one could easily call it comprehensive and complete, but Boring himself points readers to An Annotated Bibliography of 1 and 2 Thessalonians (Brill, 1998) by Jeffery A. D. Weima and Stanley E. Porter for a more complete list up to 1998. Subsequently, Boring provides an engaging introduction, bring the reader into the word the Thessalonians. Boring describes in length the historical setting, such as the city, religious life in Thessalonica, Paul’s ministry to the Thessalonians, and the conflicts, troubles, distresses, and persecutions.

The commentary itself is wrought with exegetical and theological insight. Each section of text in the commentary is based on Boring’s original translation of the Greek—a textual basis of which he describes thoroughly in the introduction. Moreover, the reader will be excited and surprised by the lengthy exegetical and explanatory footnotes that accompany Boring’s translation. Personally, I found Boring’s translation to be extremely helpful in light of the commentary that followed. The commentary itself is thoroughly researched and seasoned with Boring’s awareness of the cultural context of the Thessalonians and Paul’s engagement therein.

Boring’s commentary on II Thessalonians may come as a shock to some readers not familiar with the underlying discussions surrounding Pauline authorship. Boring writes under the conviction that Paul did not write II Thessalonians, and his introduction to II Thessalonians provides the reader with one of the most concise and comprehensive summaries from this position available. This presupposition is carried consistently throughout the commentary. Many will undoubtedly find Boring’s critical approach to the letter unsettling and lacking support, but this should not differ the reader from engagement. Rather the opposite. Boring presents some the most complete and up-to-date critical engagement with II Thessalonians, and because of this he rightly deserves a place on everyone’s shelf.

I & II Thessalonians: A Commentary is an up-to-date examination of two very important Pauline epistles. M. Eugene Boring has provided a well-researched presentation of the current conversation among New Testament scholars. Boring’s translation and translation notes are indispensable and his bibliography is thorough. The introductory engagement is superb and the textual commentary is consistently strong throughout. If you are looking for a strong commentary on I & II Thessalonians from a critical perspective, then Boring has provided you with a commentary that cannot be overlooked.