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By James D. G. Dunn / Eerdmans / 1996
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This commentary series is established on the presupposition that the theological character of the New Testament documents calls for exegesis that is sensitive to theological themes as well as to the details of the historical, linguistic, and textual context. Such thorough exegetical work lies at the heart of these volumes, which contain detailed verse-by-verse commentary preceded by general comments on each section and subsection of the text.
An important aim of the NIGTC authors is to interact with the wealth of significant New Testament research published in recent articles and monographs. In this connection the authors make their own scholarly contributions to the ongoing study of the biblical text.
The text on which these commentaries are based is the UBS Greek New Testament, edited by Kurt Aland and others. While engaging the major questions of text and interpretation at a scholarly level, the authors keep in mind the needs of the beginning student of Greek as well as the pastor or layperson who may have studied the language at some time but does not now use it on a regular basis.
Up-to-date and well-informed expositions. James Dunn has developed into one of the best interpreters of the Pauline epistles. His positions on introductory and exegetical matters are solid and clearly argued, and his coverage of the secondary literature is impressive. One can learn a good deal about exegetical relevance from Dunn's Pauline commentaries.
His commentaries reflect his careful attention to detail, his unusual ability to identify ancient parallels, and a keen insights into modern-day applications. It is a commentary characterized by careful exegesis of the Greek text, yet it is presented in language that is not beyond the grasp of the average minister. Even the footnotes are concise and not highly technical. In spirit of the number and variety of NT commentaries now available, this recent series, and this volume in particular, make a valuable contribution.
—Andrews University Seminary Studies
The content of the commentary reflects first-rate scholarship.
This commentary will take its place among the best on these two New Testament books.
A serious academic commentary on the Greek text. A balanced study, carefully weighing alternatives.
—Church Times (U.K.)
Retaining his close attention to detail and immense sweep of the literature, Professor Dunn provides a full discussion of critical and historical issues in the introductions to the two letters and his verse by verse comment. Useful for the minister as well as the scholar.
Any commentary by James Dunn is worth reading, and this one is no exception. Clearly written and widely researched, the comments are well informed with respect both to the ancient Jewish and Greco-Roman thought-worlds and a wide range of early Christian traditions, and to contemporary scholarship…. There are many useful insights in the volume for preachers and scholars alike, and it will richly repay a careful reading.
James D. G. Dunn's well-known and formidable exegetical skills are amply displayed in his new commentary on Colossians and Philemon for the New International Greek Testament Commentary Series. On both these texts Dunn offers balanced and reasonable readings that will certainly become essential moments in scholarly discussion of these texts…. A wonderful exegetical resource for at least two reasons: first, Dunn offers persuasive and plausible readings of these texts, and, second, he provides a wealth of information on scholarly debate on these texts…. The exegetical balance and conceptual complexity of Dunn's readings will make this commentary an essential part of subsequent discussion of this text…. Overall this is a stunningly successful commentary. Once again, Dunn shows that he is an instructive and persuasive reader of biblical texts.
—Journal of Biblical Literature
In a lively and almost conversational way, he marshals the evidence with painstaking care so as to show exactly what his own conclusions are and how he reaches them. It is a mine of information.
—Journal of Theological Studies
Based on the Greek text and intended mainly for scholars, the commentary on both epistles is reliable, thorough, and fully engaged with the results of contemporary research.
—Religious Studies Review
Superb commentary. A fine, reliable commentary.
—The Bible Today
Bringing his well-known exegetical skills to two closely related NT letters, James D. G. Dunn offers a volume of interest to biblical scholars and theologians alike. Overall, this is an excellent, carefully crafted commentary eminently worth a place in the scholar's study.
—The Catholic Biblical Quarterly
The maturity and depth of Dunn's scholarship result in a commentary that is balanced and rich but not overwhelming in detail. The reader would have to look hard to identify someone better suited to comment on Colossians and Philemon and to find scholarship that is so consistently good. What in particular makes this volume worthwhile is the balance it strikes between depth and approachability: the commentary has the weightiness of a reference volume but its writing has a clarity and economy that engages the reader. It is one of the most readable commentaries around.
James D. G. Dunn is the Lightfoot Professor of Divinity at the University of Durham, England. He is the author of numerous works in the field of New Testament studies, including commentaries on Galatians and Romans and the books Christian Liberty: A New Testament Perspective and (with Alan M. Suggate) The Justice of God: A Fresh Look at the Old Doctrine of Justification by Faith.