Jesus Creed

We’ve now completed our commentary listing, but commentaries will continue to be produced so I will use the Book Comments to update commentaries. I want to mention two that have recently crossed my desk. 

Bird.jpgFirst, there is a brand new series from Wipf and Stock — Cascade Books — edited by Michael Bird and Craig Keener, with an impressive list of assigned authors. The series is called the New Covenant Commentary Series. The first one I’ve seen and read is by Michael Bird: Colossians and Philemon (New Covenant Commentary)
. Noteworthy features of the series: diversity (a list of global scholars), a focus on paragraph level instead of verse-by-verse level, and the authors are commissioned to ponder how the Bible impacts new covenant communities today. 
Michael Bird is noteworthy in his grasp of contemporary scholarship and its significance for theologizing, and his new Colossians commentary exhibits that skill of his. Furthermore, though a younger scholar, he’s learned to see the forest instead of getting lost in the trees. He concludes the letter concerns a form of Jewish mysticism and works his way through this letter with deftness. Preachers will find this brief commentary to be a plentiful sketch of what needs to be known in order to move from text to sermon.

Every Pauline letter has a ready list of good commentaries. Besides Romans, perhaps Philippians has the most abundant of such good works, but now G. Walter Hansen’s new commentary (The Letter to the Philippians (Pillar New Testament Commentary)
) will take its place alongside any of them — and once again, this commentary will prove itself eminently useful for preachers. This series joins a host of other fine works on the New Testament in the Pillar series.
Walt wisely avoids letting the letter get trapped in rhetorical discourse and focuses on the message and historical context of the letter. I recently worked through Philippians 3:2-16, Paul’s famous autobiographical comments, and so reading through Hansen here was instructive: he’s solid; he’s not carrying on a private or riveting agenda; he’s sensitive to what pastors will need — and he’s got good command of the ancient evidence and contemporary debates. This is a solid preacher’s commentary and it is what one needs to prepare texts for sermons.
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