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Pastor’s Bookshelf: Colossians

Paul.jpgNow we turn to commentaries on Colossians in our ongoing series on commentaries. And once again, speak up if you think a commentary deserves mention.

I taught Colossians for years, used a commentary I really liked, and so I still turn first to Peter O’Brien, Word Biblical Commentary Vol. 44, Colossians-Philemon. Exegetically rigorous and theologically sensitive.


Then I turn to my teacher and former colleague’s commentary, though it is nearly entirely constrained by syntax and grammar. Murray Harris, Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament: Colossians and Philemon. If you can read this commentary and understand what he is saying, you are educated in exegesis.

Then I turn to James D.G. Dunn, The Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon: A Commentary on the Greek Text (New International Greek Testament Commentary)
. As always, rigorous, creative, and theologically suggestive.


Also now to brand new commentaries by Marianne Meye Thompson, Colossians and Philemon (Two Horizons Commentary)
,  Jerry L. Sumney, Colossians: A Commentary (New Testament Library) and Doug Moo, The Letters to the Colossians and to Philemon (Pillar New Testament Commentary)

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posted July 9, 2009 at 7:38 pm

While not your typical commentary, I would also suggest “Colossians Remixed: Subverting the Empire” by Brian J. Walsh and Sylvia C. Keesmaat.

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Scot McKnight

posted July 9, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Barry, I did a series on that book on this blog.

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posted July 10, 2009 at 9:54 am

I really enjoy Marianne Meye Thompson’s commentary on Colossians. Glad you mentioned it! It was particularly helpful in working through Colossians for an adult Bible study at our church. (Full disclosure: I attended Fuller and burned the midnight oil for three of her classes; she’s an excellent teacher, but also one of the most challenging I ever took.)

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Greg M

posted July 11, 2009 at 9:24 pm

I really enjoy Moo’s clear writing style and fair, thoughtful reasoning.
O’Brien, N. T. Wright, and Moule are strong choices too.

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posted November 4, 2014 at 1:36 pm

Scot, have you any views of Martin’s commentary on Colossians in the Interpretation series? I am due to do a short series in Colossians 1 and have noted the above suggestions! I also hear Beale is releasing a commentary on Colossians in the Baker Exegetical series, but can’t seem to find when that might be happening.

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