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Joshua Commentary by Gordon McConville and Stephen Williams, Two Horizons Commentary The Logos Bible Software “Free book of the Month” for August 2018 is the Joshua volume in the Two Horizons Commentary by Gordon McConville and Stephen Williams (Eerdmans, 2010).

The Two Horizons series is an good example of the methods of theological interpretation of Scripture. In this case, McConville (Professor of Old Testament Theology in the University of Gloucestershire) provides exegesis and Williams (professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological College, Belfast) provides the theological reflection. McConville has contributed a commentary on Deuteronomy (AOT; IVP Academic, 2002) and was an editor for the Dictionary of Old Testament: Prophets (IVP Academic, 2012). Stephen Williams’s The Shadow of the Antichrist: Nietzsche’s Critique of Christianity won a Christianity Today Book Award in 2006.

After the exegesis section of the commentary, Williams contributes several sections under the heading of “Theology of Joshua.” Here he comments on The Question of the Land; The Question of Genocide; Idolatry; Covenant, and God of Miracle and Mystery. He also has a section entitled “Reading Joshua Today” which includes The Question of History, The God of Joshua, God as Personal, God of Power, The Character of God, and Divine Lordship. McConville offers his own section on “Joshua and Biblical Theology.” Although he deals with the problem violence in the book, his section reads more like a traditional biblical theology, setting Joshua into a canonical context. What is unique in this Two Horizons commentary (as far as I can recall) is two sections of response by each co-author. This reflects the scholarly discussions between the two authors during the production of the commentary.

I have reviewed several volumes of the Two Horizons series, and have two more reviews in preparation. For comments on the style of these commentaries, see any of the following reviews:

Logos usually offers two more “almost free” books in the same series as the free book of the month. During the month of August you can also add Joel Green’s 1 Peter commentary in the THCNT (Eerdmans, 2007) series for $1.99. For another $4.99, add Robin Parry’s commentary on Lamentations (Eerdmans, 2010). I can recommend all three volumes as worthy additions to your Logos library, especially for a mere $7.  These books will be available on any Logos platform you are using. I find the the iOS Logos app in the iPad is the best reading app available (real footnotes, note-takeing tools which sync with the desktop version, etc.)

Logos is also running a giveaway during the month of August, and it is a good one this time. They are giving away the a set of fifteen volumes in the Pillar New Testament Commentary from Eerdmans ($529 value). There are several ways to enter the giveaway,

So head over to the Logos Free Book of the Month page, grab the free (and almost free) books for your Logos Library before the end of March.

 

For July 2018, Logos Bible Software is offering one of their Mobile Courses as their “Free Book of the Month.”  Craig Evans, The Reliability of New Testament Manuscripts (Mobile Ed: NT308). If you have not used a Logos Mobile Course, this is your chance to sample a good one.For $9.99 you can add Mark Strauss, “Introducing Bible Translations” and for $19.99, you can add the three hour course by Craig Keener, “Critical Issues in the Synoptic Gospels.”

Craig Evans, The Reliability of New Testament Manuscripts, Logos Bible Software

The courses are set up like college classes. There is a syllabus with course description, course outcomes and a final exam. The outcomes for The Reliability of New Testament Manuscripts are:

Upon successful completion you should be able to:

• Detail the number of pre-Gutenberg NT manuscripts we have and describe their quality
• Explain how the NT manuscript record compares to that of other ancient works
• Describe practices of ancient scribes and scholars that contributed to the longevity and quality of NT manuscripts
• Describe the preservation of the NT in ancient translations and commentaries
• Discuss how the various forms of historical attestation demonstrate the reliability of the NT text

This free Mobile Course is considered a “one hour course” based on the content (about an hour of video content). This course has eleven segments. A segment will have a short video lecture from Evans as well as a transcript of that lecture. Following the transcript there are several links to “Suggested Reading” and other resources Logos offers. These are not bibliographies, but links to books you your Logos Library such as the Lexham Bible Dictionary. Naturally Logos would be glad to sell you these books if you do not already own them! One advantage reading the transcript is key terms are linked to definitions and Scripture references are tagged. Floating over P87 in a transcript, for example, will open a small window giving the basic info on the papyri drawn from Philip Wesley Comfort and David P. Barrett, The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 2001).

Occasionally a lecture segment is a ScreenCast video demonstrating how to use Logos. For example, “Exploring Ancient Manuscripts and Resources” coaches the user on how to download and use the Perseus collection and the Duke Databank of Documentary Papyri. “Accessing and Navigating the Textual Apparatus” demonstrates how users who own the UBS fourth edition in Logos can examine the textual apparatus. These are not narrated by Evans but are useful tutorials for using the potential of the Logos system (as well as advertisements for upgrading Logos to include more features and resources). This is a feature of all Logos Mobile courses and Logos intends to update courses to include additional resource “in the future for no extra charge.”

This month the Logos giveaway is a four-course bundle: Text of the Bible Bundle. In addition to Evans, the bundle includes Mark L. Strauss, Introducing Bible Translations (also available for $9.99 this month), Michael S. Heiser, How We Got the Old Testament and How We Got the New Testament (also by Heiser). This is another eleven hours of video content, so enter early and often to win this bundle. They are also running a 40% off sale on some huge Mobile Ed packages during July.

Be sure to get these resources before the end of July 2018 when the offer expires.

Logos Bible Software is offering Roland Murphy’s Word Biblical Commentary on Ecclesiastes (1992) for free during the month of June, and you can add John Durham’s Exodus commentary (1087) for $1.99 and G. R. Beasley Murray’s John (Second Edition, 1999) for $9.99. This means for a mere $12 you can add three major commentaries to you Logos library (well over $100 if purchased at Amazon, although much less for the savvy shopper who knows how to navigate a used bookstore).

Murphy was the George Washington Ivey Professor of Biblical Studies at Duke University for many years and was  co-editor of both the Jerome Biblical Commentary and the (New) Jerome Biblical Commentary. His Ecclesiastes commentary is excellent and will be a fine addition to a Logos library.

The Word Biblical Commentary series are serious exegetical commentaries. Each unit begins with a short bibliography including monographs and peer-reviewed journals (including German and French sources). These are often a great place for students to start a research project, although they are only complete up to the publication of the volume. The authors focus on the original languages and deal with technical details of translation and technical variations via footnotes on a new translation of each section.  Following the translation is a section entitled Form/Structure/Setting. In some of the the earlier commentaries this section included something like source or form criticism, but usually the literary structure of the Hebrew or Greek is in view. Following this section is the commentary proper, proceeding verse by verse with attention to the original text (which is included without transliteration). Each unit concludes with a brief section entitled explanation, although the content of this unit varies from volume to volume.

The Word Biblical Commentary series was originally published by Word Books (Waco, Texas) in 1983. The first few volumes are all still very valuable: Trent Butler on Joshua; Ralph Klein on 1 Samuel; Leslie Allen on Psalms; Gerald F. Hawthorne on Philippians; Richard J. Bauckham (2 Peter & Jude. The series was purchased by Thomas Nelson, but after HarperCollins acquired both Thomas Nelson and Zondervan, the series was moved to Zondervan. The series is nearly complete, with Steven J. Walton’s Acts commentary and Andrew D. Clarke on 1 Corinthians still listed as “forthcoming.”

As typically happens with an aging commentary series, Zondervan is revising or replacing some earlier volumes. Ralph Martin’s Second Corinthians commentary was revised by a few of his students by adding a few additional sections (conveniently marked with gray pages; see my review here); Trent Butler completely revised his Joshua commentary, adding a second volume with extremely detailed geographical notes on the second half of Joshua. You can read my review here, originally published in Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament 5.1 (2016).

One serious advantage to the Logos format of this commentary is that all the Logos features are available. This includes searching English, Hebrew and Greek words, fuzzy searches, etc. By right-clicking a Hebrew word, the user can open their Hebrew lexicon of choice, right-clicking an English word opens up many options, including searching the user’s entire library, or limiting that search to a preferred Bible dictionary. A used can hover over abbreviations and a popup will identify the source, if it is a resource in the Logos library then it is clickable. References to other parts of the commentary are hyperlinks (so, “see notes” will go right to the section to which the author refers. All scripture reference are links as well, so the user can hover over the link and read the verse, to click to go to the preferred translation. Perhaps the most useful tool is how Logos cites sources. If the used copies a chuck of text and pastes it into a word processor, Logos will create a footnote citing the source in the user’s preferred format. I usually paste as plain text then edit the citation myself so it conforms to the format I prefer. What is important here is these digital books have real page numbers so they can be cited as if you have the real book in your desk. To me, this is a critically important feature. Nothing is more frustrating than students trying to cite a Kindle book in a research paper (in fact, just don’t try, find a real copy of the book and cite it properly).

As with most Logos resources, all resources are available on any Logos platform. I usually work with Logos on my desktop computer, but I can also read the books using my iPad and the Logos Bible App. All notes and highlights are synced with the user’s Faithlife account so I can read, make a few notes on a book, then pick up those notes on my desktop when I return to the office and incorporate them into whatever document I am working on at the time. If the user downloads the book to their device, footnotes appear at the bottom of the page (like a real book). Unfortunately, Logos removed the real page numbers from the iOS app, this is a major step backward (although I hear the page numbers will be restored in the future).

Logos usually does a giveaway with these free and almost free books, so this month they are giving away the Zondervan Theology Collection (7 volumes, $155.99 value).

Be sure to get these books before the end of June 2018 when the offer expires.

The Logos Bible Software “Free book of the Month” for April 2018 is Four Views on the Warning Passages in Hebrews, edited by Herbert Bateman IV (Kregel, 2007). Like most “four views” books, this volume contains essays explaining the warning passages in Hebrews 6 and Hebrews 10. If you are unaware of the controversial nature of these passages, see these two posts on Hebrews 6.  In this volume, Grant R. Osborne represents a Classical Arminian view, Buist M. Fanning, a Classical Reformed view, Gareth Lee Cockerill a Wesleyan Arminian view and Randall C. Gleason a Moderate Reformed view. Each writer offers an essay and the other three offer brief responses. Hebrews scholar George H. Guthrie concludes the book with a final response. When students ask me about Hebrews 6 and 10, this volume is my “go to” text to balance the two major approaches (Calvinism and Arminianism).

As Logos usually does, they are offering two “almost free” books as well. For only $1.99 you can add Lars Kierspel, Charts on the Life, Letters, and Theology of Paul (Kregel, 2012). When I reviewed this book in 2012 I said:

As with other books in this series, Kierspel has a paragraph on text explaining each chart in the final section. This 44-page section is important to read since it is here that he gives bibliography for the data he includes. In some cases these are mini-introductions to controversial topics (like Pauline chronology, for example). The book has an extensive 31 page bibliography. Like other books in this series, there a staggering amount of information presented in these charts. While I question the usefulness of some of the charts for classroom use, the book is a worth while investment for those who teach the Pauline letters in church or classroom.

For $9.99 you can add one more Kregel publication, Robert Chisholm’s Commentary on Judges and Ruth. I also reviewed this commentary a few years ago, saying:

Chisholm’s commentary on Judges and Ruth is an excellent exposition of the text from a conservative scholar. For the most part he assumes the historicity of the text and ignores any discussion of potential sources or anachronisms. He specifically eschews these methods in the introduction (p. 15), characterizing these as “creative scholarly conjecture” (p. 30).  He considers revisions of Noth’s Deuteronomisitc History to be a “debate going around in circles” (55). His exposition of the text is based on the assumption the book was intended to be read as a literary whole.

There is less historical background material in this commentary than might be expected. Major commentaries on Old Testament books can become bloated with material accessible in other resources (Bible Dictionaries for example). Since his interests are literary and theological, there is no need to offer descriptions of geographical locations or comments on archaeology (or the lack thereof) as background to the stories.

I would recommend the book to pastors and teachers who are preparing sermons on the often overlooked book of Judges.  Chisholm’s exposition is easy to read and provides excellent illumination of the text for the purpose of serving the Church today.

Three great books form Kregel Academic for a mere $13 total. More, until April 30 you can enter (several times) to win the five volume set of Kregel Charts of the Bible and Theology. Since Logos Basic is now free, there is really no excuse for not adding these excellent books to your Logos library.

The Logos Bible Software “Free book of the Month” for March 2018 is from P&R Publishing, Anthony T. Selvaggio, From Bondage to Liberty: The Gospel According to Moses. The book is part of P&R’s The Gospel According to the Old Testament series. The series includes twenty volumes tracing the theme of salvation in a diverse assortment of Old Testament characters. Moses, Abraham, and Joseph seem like obvious characters for a series like this, but there are also volumes on Judges, Jonah, and even Nahum. Selvaggio an ordained minister, a lawyer, an author, a lecturer, and a visiting professor at Ottawa Theological Hall in Ottawa, Canada.

For $1.99 more you can add Christopher W. Morgan’s A Theology of James: Wisdom for God’s People in the Explorations in Biblical Theology (P&R, 2010).  Morgan is dean of the School of Christian Ministries at California Baptist University in Riverside, California. The Explorations series “focus on applying God’s truth to life” by tracing doctrines through the Bible. The series is written for “college students, seminarians, pastors, and thoughtful lay readers.” About this volume, Thomas Schreiner said “Morgan reminds us in this wonderfully lucid, practical, and faithful rendition of James’s theology that James’s teaching is not only in accord with the gospel, but fundamental to the gospel.”

The third P&R book offered in this promotion is the Reformed Expository Commentary on Acts by Derek W.H. Thomas. Thomas is minister of preaching and teaching at First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, South Carolina and distinguished visiting professor of systematic and historical theology at Reformed Theological Seminary. This commentary is only $4.99 for the month of March.

Logos is also running a giveaway during the month of March. You can enter to win A Theology of Lordship (4 vols.) by John Frame

So head over to the Logos Free Book of the Month page, grab the free (and almost free) books for your Logos Library before the end of March.

 

The Logos Bible Software “Free book of the Month” for February 2018 is John Stott, The Message of the Sermon on the Mount (InterVarsity, 1978). John Stott was one of the major evangelical voices  in the twentieth century. David Brooks of the New York Times once described Stott as a kind of “pope of evangelicalism.”

Brooks said this in 2004 to distance evangelicalism from ” the made-for-TV, Elmer Gantry-style blowhards” who the media calls “evangelicals.” He concludes his essay by saying “you can’t understand this rising global movement [evangelicalism] if you don’t meet its authentic representatives. Not Falwell, but Stott.”

Stott edited the New Testament volumes of the Bible Speaks Today series and wrote several of the commentaries. These are light, devotional commentaries which are aimed at the layperson either a small group setting or a personal reading. There are occasional references to the Greek and a few references to other scholarship. Pastors will enjoy reading this series as well as they prepare to preach and teach Scripture. For only $1.99 more, you can add Stott’s The Message of Ephesians in the same Bible Speaks Today series. Logos is also offering the Michael Wilcock’s two-volume Psalms commentary (2001) in the same series for $4.99.

You can also enter to win a seven-volume Stott Collection from Logos. These offers are only good through February. so head over Logos’s Free Book of the Month site ASAP and get these free (or almost free) resources.

Eerdmans has a monthly “Commentary Club sale” and this month they are featuring three commentaries in the Two Horizons series. Although this series is an example of the methods of the Theological Interpretation of Scripture, there is usually a blend of traditional exegesis and theological interpretation. I have reviewed several volumes (James McKeown, RuthLindsay Wilson, JobErnest C. Lucas, Proverbs;  Andy Johnson, 1 & 2 Thessalonians) and purchased a few more. Each of these commentaries include lengthy theological essays drawn from the exegesis of the book. These are far more detailed than an “excursus” are worth the price of the book alone.

If you do not mind reading on a Kindle (or Kindle app on a tablet), these are a great deal. Robert W. Wall and Richard B. Steele’s commentary on 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus is only $1.99.  I reviewed this commentary soon after it was published in 2012.

After the exegesis of each book, Wall provides a “rule of faith” reading based on five categories drawn from Tertullian’s “Theological Grammar.” The five categories are: Creator God, Christ Jesus as Lord, Community of the Spirit, Christian Existence and Discipleship, and Consummation in a New Creation. With his exegesis in mind, Wall reads back through each Pastoral Epistle with these five areas in mind, creating a kind of mini-theology for each book. He gathers all the data from the letter on each element and provides a running theological commentary for the book. For 1 Timothy, this is nearly 50 pages!

An additional feature of this commentary are three “case studies” written by Richard B. Steele, Wall’s colleague at Seattle Pacific University. These short sections are applications of each Pastoral letter to a particular historical situation. Steele discusses 1 Timothy’s view of leadership in “John Wesley and Early Methodist Societies,” 2 Timothy in “John William Fletcher: John Wesley’s Designated Successor” and Titus in “Phoebe Palmer and the Wesleyan Holiness Movement.” Given then theological commitments of Wall and Steele, the content of these articles are obviously interested in Wesleyan applications.

Gordon McConville and Stephen Williams commentary on Joshua is $2.99 and Psalms by Geoffrey W. Grogan is $3.99. I did not review these two commentaries, but I do own a copy of Grogan’s book and find it a very useful one-volume commentary on Psalms.

These affordable prices for Kindle versions of the Two Horizons commentaries run  through February 28th, 2018.

The first Logos Bible Software “Free book of the Month” for 2018 is Todd Wilson’s Galatians: Gospel-rooted Living. This 2013 commentary is in the Preaching the Word series from Crossway Books. Todd Wilson is has a PhD from Cambridge University and serves as the senior pastor of Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park, Illinois. Wilson recently edited Becoming a Pastor Theologian: New Possibilities for Church Leadership (IVP Academic 2016). I happened to attend his paper on Galatians at the 2017 ETS meeting in Providence and found it very stimulating, so I am looking forward to this commentary.

Michael Bird blurbed the book:

“Todd Wilson has written a deeply pastoral and theologically competent commentary on Galatians that is an exemplary effort at Biblical exposition. There are some doozy passages in Galatians, especially on the Law, and Wilson provides a plain explanation and then shows readers how these texts relate to modern Christian living. A wonderful synergy of homiletical energy and honest exegesis.”

For only $1.99 more, you can add Ray Ortlund Jr.’s Proverbs:Wisdom that Works (2012) in the same Preaching the Word series.  Graeme Goldsworthy said “The strength of Ray Ortlund’s study of Proverbs is its Christ-centeredness. The wisdom of Proverbs loses none of its practical value, but rather is given its ultimate fulfillment as an expression of the wisdom of Christ.”

Logos is also offering Martyn Lloyd-Jones’s Acts 1-8 for $9.99. The Lloyd-Jones commentary was originally in six volumes, so Logos will add six separate resources to your library; that works out to $1.67ish per volume.

The giveaway this month is the Crossway D.A. Carson Collection (7 vols.,  $105.99 value). There are several ways to get chances to win this collection, visit the Logos Free Book of the Month for details. The free books (and almost free) books are only available through January 2018.

The Logos Bible Software “Free book of the Month” for November is volume one of James Montgomery Boice’s Exposition of the Psalms. Volume 1 (Psalms 1–41) is free, volume 2 (Psalms 42–106) is $1.99 and Volume 3 (Psalms 107–150) is $2.99. This is about 1000 pages of exposition for $4.98, less than the price of a Venti Candy Cane Peppermint latte.

Psalms, Vol. 1: Psalms 1–41These are expositional commentaries, rather than exegetical. Boice comments on the English text and only occasionally interacts with other commentaries or scholarship. This is a commentary intended to be read by a layperson or pastor. He is not interested in the origins of the Psalms not does the commentary worry too much about the historical setting beyond what the Psalm header indicates. He says in the introduction, “The sermons appearing in this volume were preached in relatively short segments between the winter of 1989 and the fall of 1991 and were aired on the Bible Study Hour in special winter and summer series in 1992–93.” Boice is a preacher, and his expositions in these three volumes demonstrate his preacher’s heart. You can also get the complete James Montgomery Boice Expositional Commentary series for $99 during the “Twelve Days of Christmas” sale.

Logos also has a giveaway, this month it is the Baker D.A. Carson Collection (15 vols. $262.99 value). I am not sure why they did not choose to make the Boice collection the giveaway this month, but the Carson collection is worth entering the contest.  There are a few ways to get chances in this giveaway, so scroll down to the bottom of the page and enter early and often.

The free books (and almost free) books are only available through December 31, 2017.

McKnight, Scot. Philemon. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2017. 126 pp.; Hb.; $25.00. Link to Eerdmans   

Commentaries on Philemon are often added to the end of a Colossians commentary as if this short letter is an appendix to Colossians (or, in the case of Jac Müller’s 1955 NICNT commentary, an add-on to Philippians). Perhaps editors consider the letter too short to merit a full sized commentary, unless it is heavily supplemented with additional material on slavery in the Roman world (as in the 588 page Barth and Blanke Eerdmans Critical Commentary, 2000). Although Scot McKnight’s commentary on Philemon in the NICNT series was originally intended to be included with this forthcoming Colossians commentary, Eerdmans decided to publish Philemon separately.

As McKnight recognizes, commentaries on Philemon must deal with the problem of slavery in the letter. In Philemon, Paul “envisions a new kind of relationship on the basis of siblingship,” even if that new relationship is between a slave and master (2). For many modern commentators this is a problem since slavery is a horrific abuse of human rights and a serious problem throughout the world today. Rather than tell Philemon to release his slave Philemon from his bondage, Paul does not seem to notice a problem with slavery in this short letter. Taken along with Colossians, Paul tells slaves to obey their masters rather than commanding masters to set their slaves free. In 1 Corinthians 7:21-24 Paul tells people who were slaves when called by Christ to “not let it trouble them” and to gain their freedom if possible. McKnight points out this is as close to modern abolitionism that Paul gets, “but abolitionism it is not” (29).

In this commentary, slavery is in the background, but the relationship of masters and slaves is not the point of the letter. For McKnight, Philemon is a “deeply disturbing text” which embodies a new vision of reconciliation. This commentary argues the church ought to be a place of reconciliation first among its own people and second in society. “Reconciled people become agents of reconciliation” (5). In Philemon, Paul “envisions a new kind of relationship on the basis of siblingship” even if that new relationship is between a slave and maser.

Because Paul does not appeal to Onesimus to set Philemon free, he seems to approve of slavery. One approach to the problem is to fully describe slavery in the Roman world then draw contrasts to various modern practices of slavery in order to claim Roman slavery was often not harsh. Onesimus is imagined to be an educated majordomo for a wealthy Philemon, appealing to Paul to adjudicate some dispute with his master. This strategy attempts to reduce Paul’s offensive lack of interest in ending the dehumanizing practice of slavery.

McKnight provides a twenty-two page description of slavery in the Roman world, summarizing a wide range of recent scholarship on Roman slavery. He carefully defines slavery and describes Rome’s pervasive “slave culture.” This includes brief sections on the family loie of a slave, the slave’s relationship with the master, and options for obtaining justice for the slave, including manumission and the possibility of becoming a runaway. Each of this subsections are illustrated with some Greco-Roman source and each example could be multiplied. McKnight offers illustrations and ample references to more detailed works of Roman slavery, thus keeping this commentary on Philemon from becoming too bloated with background material.

After surveying the possibility of slavery as providing a way for a person to move up the Roman social ranks, McKnight comments “we must come down from these utopian mountains to the reality” (26). The western ideal of freedom was unknown to the vast majority or Romans. Only those at the very top of Roman society would have something like the freedom western (especially American) people enjoy. We are, as McKnight says, “driven by culture to evaluate Paul’s moral message on the basis of later abolition of slavery and freedom of slaves” (26). In order to properly interpret a text like Philemon, we must enter the word of the Roman first century and read Philemon in that context.

This is material valuable, but McKnight does not simply lay out background then proceed to the commentary. He includes a six-page essay entitled “Philemon in the Crucible of New World Slavery and Slavery Today” (30-36). Here he deals with the serious problem of slavery in the twenty-first century. A reader of Philemon may feel smugly satisfied modern Christianity has “gone beyond Paul” by ending slavery in England and America, but the conditions of slavery persists throughout the world with estimates as high as thirty-five million people living in slavery. This includes sex trafficking as well as labor exploitation (either agricultural or domestic). McKnight mentions three brief examples, Thai fishing ships, child sex slaves and forced marriages. “Modern slavery” McKnight says, “is different from the past in its deception, its technological sophistication, and is disregard for ethnicity and race” (36). Paul’s answer to this heinous problem would be the same as his answer to Philemon: the church is to be a place where reconciliation happens and justice in the church ought to become justice for all.

The body of the commentary is only about sixty-five pages, about half of the volume. McKnight proceeds as do other contributions to the NICNT. After providing a translation of the text and a brief introduction, McKnight works through the text phrase-by-phrase, with any comments on the Greek in transliteration (although Greek appears untransliterated in the footnotes). Since Philemon is less complicated grammatically than other Pauline letters, the notes only occasionally need to deal with lexical and syntactical issues. More often McKnight comments on the rhetoric of the letter, focusing on how Paul makes his appeal to Philemon.

Conclusion. This new contribution on Philemon ought to take its place alongside other major exegetical commentaries (Barth and Blanke, Johnson, Knox). This small commentary will assist pastors and teachers to prepare sermons and studies on this small but important letter of Paul which are sensitive to the original cultural context but also squarely aimed at contemporary issues. McKnight has already contributed an excellent commentary on James to the NICNT series and his Colossians volume is scheduled for release in February 2018 to replace the venerable NICNT commentary by F. F. Bruce on Colossians, Philemon, and Ephesians (1984). In anticipation of this new commentary, McKnight posted “Ten Reasons the Church Needs Philemon” to his Jesus Creed blog. EerdWorld has a short video interviewing McKnight on this commentary and his forthcoming NICNT commentary on Colossians.

NB: Thanks to Eerdmans for kindly providing me with a review copy of this book. This did not influence my thoughts regarding the work.

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