Anthony Thiselton’s influential, important tome on First Corinthians is now made available in paperback. This more economical version will make it more widely available for Bible students. Before I received my review copy, I had heard several reports of how impressive it scholarship was. With it now in my hand, how would I best describe it? Scholarly, encyclopedic, exhaustive, theological, and comprehensive are the words that come to mind.
The Introduction demonstrates what you’re going to get in the whole commentary. There’s 52 pages, but it seems like enough information for twice that amount. In other words, there’s never any fluff, only more and more material for insight. Further, you see its value for both pastors and scholars. It begins with setting the stage in the most vivid way imaginable for Corinth. You immediately see that understanding the cultural milieu is critical to understanding the book of First Corinthians. He proves his conclusions with historical and archaeological evidence. He even hints at a few cultural peculiarities of Corinth that will affect interpreting later passages in this discussion. He also describes how important Corinth is to the overall ministry Paul.
When he gets into other issues common to an Introduction he slides beyond what most pastors would need or want and gives the scholars everything they could ever want; for example, when he discusses argument and rhetoric. His conclusions on Paul and dating are mostly conservative.
His thoroughness continues in the commentary proper. Even though there’s a good bit of Greek in his text, there’s usually the English in the same sentence that makes following his argument easy. There might be some paragraphs that a pastor would skip, but plenty of others that so thoroughly explains what is at stake that would still make it an incredible asset to them. I know I look forward to using it in the years ahead. It’s place in the scholarly world is set too. No scholar writing in the future on First Corinthians will dare to skip Thiselton. I warmly recommend this volume to anyone trying to build a first-class exegetical library.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.