The Letters to Timothy and Titus (PNTC) by Yarbrough

book pntc pe

This commentary by Robert Yarbrough will become, I predict, a top-rated volume on the Pastoral Epistles. These epistles are ideal for the style of commentary we find in the Pillar New Testament Commentary (PNTC) series. As respected and valuable as the NICNT volumes by the same publisher are, these Pillar volumes are simply more valuable. They have a better center of focus, are more consistently conservative, and have more value for pastors without sacrificing scholarship. This volume succeeds in reaching that standard too. As you might have guessed, the editorship of D. A. Carson likely keeps this series moored to that lofty perch. BTW, don’t miss the editor’s preface where Carson fawns over Yarbrough’s work here.

I was in love with this commentary within a few pages of its fine Introduction. So many commentators lose their way in the Pastoral Epistles. I have long suspected that it has far more to do with the authors dislike of what these epistles say rather than any actual problem found within them. Yarbrough is not sucked into the irrational fear of using the term “pastoral epistles” as so many are today either. It’s a breath of fresh air.

He opens the Introduction with eight theses on pastoral heritage in these epistles. To my mind, that was a great way to present introductory issues. Next, he does a section each on Father, Son, and Spirit respectively in the Pastoral Epistles (PE). He was particularly perceptive in discussing Paul as a working pastor, even dispensing some silly critical theories along the way. He then tackles in turn geography, people, and key terms. He ends with a section on authorship and other usual introductory matters and masterfully reaches conservative conclusions.

The commentary itself was even better! The phrase “real help” comes to mind. He showed off his skill, for example, in the perpetual battlefield of Titus 2. He gently yet surefootedly takes us where that disliked passage goes. He’s kind to dissenters, careful in scholarship, but not afraid to reach a conclusion. I don’t know about you, but that’s how I like my commentaries. 5 stars all the way!

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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