The letters of Paul (and perhaps James) can often be found in the preaching of the church. But other letters are sadly mostly “forgotten”. I have found that Brandon D. Crowe has written a helpful book to fill a vital gap.
Within this book, Crowe covers the general epistles, the letters of Peter, John, James and Jude. Although these are mostly short letters. Crowe takes time and effort to explain the letters to the readers. I especially appreciated how Crowe allocated one chapter to each letter. This really allows Crowe the space to explain each letter in depth and also allows the readers to have a deeper understanding of each letter.
For each letter, Crowe gives a good introduction for it. Next Crowe brings the readers through guided tour of the letter. He points out the main points of the passages, gives explanation for them and also brings out the relevant application for the readers. I have found the book to be a bridge between introductions to the letters and commentaries. For someone who is interested to study the letters but not keen to explore the technical aspects within a commentary or for those who wishes to work through the passages first before given an exegetical explanation, this will be an excellent choice for you. As I read, I thought that Crow gives a good extended introduction, but as the same time, he does not gives “answers” to the readers. he allows readers to think and examine the text for themselves.
For some time, I have been wanting to study the letters of Peter. This book comes as an excellent help for me and I recommend you to get it too. For pastors, this may be a good you want to recommend to your congregation. It is not as daunting as a commentary, yet it is not a watered down book that does not challenge your members.
Rating: 4.5 / 5
Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
P.S. I have not read this, but Letters to the Church: A Survey of Hebrews and the General Epistles by Karen Armstrong will be a good companion to this book, you can get it here and here (free international shipping), kindle.