Book Review – 2 Corinthians (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) (24/9)

One of the most difficult new testament text in greek has to be 2nd Corinthians. This is why I’m thankfully that I’m given an opportunity to review this commentary. I have to say, I really only have elementary knowledge of greek, but reading this commentary gives me the confidence that the author deals rigorously with the greek text directly.

2 Corinthians (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) George H. Guthrie starts the commentary by giving the readers a picture of the scene in the Corinthian world, explaining what the world then was like. Next, he moves naturally to the author of 2nd Corinthians. He gives a brief but comprehensive introduction of Paul. Next Guthrie highlights some issues within the Corinthian church that ought to be noted (such as their understanding of leadership). Having raised awareness about these issues, the readers will then easily realised by and how Paul answered to the Corinthians regarding his “style of leadership”.

Next, Guthrie introduces the readers to the history of the church in Corinth. He shows how Paul started the church in his missionary journeys and the link between first and second Corinthians. Next he talks about whether 2 Corinthians is one or two letters. Guthrie argues and shows the readers why he think that 2nd Corinthians is a united letter. After which Guthrie moves to talk about the use of the different “voices” within the letter of 2nd Corinthians. This section definitely requires some knowledge of greek, and will be of great interest to those who have a knowledge of greek.

In the main text of the commentary, Guthrie then show forth the exegesis of passage. He gives his own translation of the passage, then shows the readers what he thinks the passage is talking about. This commentary deals primarily with the greek text, and thus expects readers to have a functional understanding of greek. Those who do not have such knowledge, will still benefit from Guthrie, but they may not be fully utilising the commentary. Those familiar with greek will find this commentary extremely useful. I have found this commentary to be rigorous and deals with the small details within the text. Preachers may find this book slightly heavy, but if you have more time to do your exegetical work, do consider getting it ahead of your preaching series on 2 Corinthians.

Rating: 4 / 5

If you’re interested, you can get it here and here (free international shipping), kindle.

Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

P.S. Another alternative commentary I would recommend would be the highly acclaimed commentary on the Second Epistle to the Corinthians (The New International Commentary on the New Testament), get it here and here (free international shipping), kindle.

Book Review – 1-2 Thessalonians (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) (6/2)

I’ve always like the BECNT commentary series, I find it similar to the Pillar commentary series but slightly more technical. I’ve not covered the whole book yet, but based on what I’ve read, this commentary seems to be able to deliver the goods.

1&2 Thessalonians (BECNT)starts off the commentary with an excellent introduction. First he talks about the context of Thessalonica, the history, the cultural and social context. This sets the context for the readers as they read through Thessalonians, Weima also very helpful points out important aspects of Thessalonica that will be important as one tries to understand Thessalonians in it’s context.

Following which Weima brings the readers to each section of the book. He starts by analysing the literary of the text, then moves on the the exegesis and exposition of the text. I found this order helpful as it helps me see the big-picture and flow of the text first, then moves in to the nitty-gritty details of the text itself. All greek words in the commentary has also been transliterated, which will help those who are rusty with their greek. Lastly, Weima also scatters excursuses around in his commentary appropriately, these deals with specific issues with more depth, but those who no interest in the discussion, they can be skipped without affect their understanding of the commentary. (If you have use commentaries by Colin Kruse, it’s similar to the style he uses for the excursuses).

In short, this is a technical commentary, with some knowledge of greek required. I hope this commentary receives wide readership among those who are studying Thessalonians. Pastors who intend to wrestle with the (greek) text rigorously, ought to consider getting this book for consultation. Those doing scholarly work on Thessalonians would see this as a helpful reference tool in their research.

Rating: 4.5 / 5

If you’re interested, you can get it here and here (free international shipping), Kindle.

Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review