Prolific writer Eugene Boring gives us this thorough commentary on I & II Thessalonians in the New Testament Library (NTL) series. A decade earlier he produced the commentary on Mark’s Gospel in this same series. That shows that he has far-ranging interests in New Testament scholarship. You will find that the same areas that he received praise for in the Mark commentary are true here. In short, he excels in historical scholarship and background information.
The book is designed with an introduction to I Thessalonians followed by commentary on it, and then an introduction to II Thessalonians followed by its commentary. I enjoyed the introduction to I Thessalonians much more than that for II Thessalonians because I just can’t agree that the second letter came from some hand other than Paul’s.
He begins the introduction by explaining what it is to read in varying contexts including the reader, the canonical context, the mediating context that reviews church tradition and academic research. He also has some insight on recent scholarship. What follows is the highlight of the introduction: his description of the historical context of I Thessalonians. That includes a look at Paul’s life, the city of Thessalonica, and the church therein. He has a few words on the genre and rhetoric of the letter. After an outline and a brief discussion of structure, he gives his theological perspectives on the book. The commentary proper is quite helpful and teems with great historical information.
The introduction to II Thessalonians is consumed with it being Deuteropauline. Though that is a common thought modern scholarship, I find the arguments particularly weak and circular. The commentary, however, is equal to that in the first letter.
Mr. Boring is one of the most respected writers in this series and I can understand why. This is a fine commentary.
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