Colossians (NICNT) by McKnight

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Scot McKnight produced this fine new commentary on Colossians in the well-respected New International Commentary on the New Testament (NICNT) series. This volume replaces the work of F. F. Bruce and complements McKnight’s recently released volume on Philemon in the same series. Additionally, I find this commentary superior to the author’s commentary on James in the NICNT. Experience must help when it comes to commentary writing.

After a substantial bibliography, McKnight gives us an Introduction with vigor and punch. His writing style captivates even in those places that many commentaries slow down to a crawl. Some commentaries, too, bog down in scholarly interaction. He was unusually successful in weaving in other scholar’s opinions while formulating his own. I did not agree with every conclusion he made but found it easy to follow his arguments. I don’t know about you, but that’s what I want from a commentary.

He begins the Introduction with a broad-ranging discussion of the apostle Paul and the situation of the Colossians. He concludes that Paul communicates “as an apostle and missionary and pastor, hence, as a missional, pastoral theologian”. His discussion of authorship interacted with the New Perspective on Paul and provided some great independent thinking. I don’t agree with his final conclusion but found the whole discussion enlightening. He also discusses the authority of Paul, Christology, ecclesiology, eschatology, themes absent in Colossians, and relationships with Ephesians and Philemon. He re-creates the opponents and setting of Colossae with clarity. He arrives at a date for Colossians by pinpointing the imprisonment of Paul and thoroughly discusses all the possible options. He has a large section on Paul’s theology of Colossians with scholarly awareness for our benefit. The final section is on the structure of the book and recapitulates several famous scholars before he provides his own outline of the letter.

The commentary itself is excellent it’s everything you’ve come to expect in this series and manages to give help both to scholars and pastors (though I strongly disagree with him on the Household Code). This commentary takes its worthy place in this long-standing series and I highly recommend it!

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.

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