II Corinthians (NTL) by Matera

book ii cor ntl

Frank Matera, a well-known New Testament scholar, contributes this volume on II Corinthians in the New Testament Library (NTL) series. Though this volume would be labeled critical in its approach, he took a surprising number of positions that you might find in a less critical work. For that reason, I thought this volume one of the better in this series. You will still be made aware of some of the critical outlook that this series usually provides, yet you might appreciate his opinion on the unity of the letter and his exegetical work too.

After a bibliography, the author begins the introduction by addressing ministry and conflict in the letter. He labels II Corinthians as “perhaps the most personal and revealing of Paul’s letters”. He sees it as “an intensely personal writing it which the apostle speaks more extensively and intimately than in any of his other letters”.

Next, he dives into the argument and structure of the letter. He divides the letter into three parts and explains his reasoning for the division as well as for the subdivisions. He summarizes his position in a list of four things that Paul is defending. His reasoning and the subsequent outline give good food for thought. From there, he tackles the theology of the letter. He sees the theology as rich and it would be hard to disagree with the importance of the six things he lists as the key theology of the letter.

In the next section, when he considers the time between I and II Corinthians, he wades into the morass that often entangles the scholarly world. The next few sections of the introduction continue to look at this subject from various angles. Along the way, you get a good overview of where the scholarly world has twisted and turned on this issue. Pleasantly, he argues for the unity of the letter.

In the commentary proper, I thought the exegetical work to be some of the best I’ve seen in this series. There are many good insights to be found.  This book could profitably be added to the list of those you consult when studying II Corinthians.

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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