Now Colossians and Philemon get a turn at revision in the Tyndale New Testament Commentary (TNTC) series with Alan Thompson replacing N. T. Wright. As famous as Wright is, I prefer this new volume. Thompson studied under Douglas Moo and since Moo has turned out one of the most-important major commentaries on these two epistles, you might think of this as Moo in a more accessible offering. I do not mean by that that Thompson has merely repackaged Moo, but that even though Thompson has done his own work, the conclusions are quite similar. In this case, that’s not a bad thing. Good conclusions expressed by two different authors in their own way can be quite helpful.
Colossians gets a 25 page Introduction while Philemon gets 6. That’s on the longer side for this series. Most importantly, the conclusions are conservative and sufficiently worked out. The reasoning is solid. Most pastors and teachers will find all the introductory discussions they would care to find here. There’s nothing here that falls short and the last section in the Colossians Introduction on why Paul wrote Colossians is best. That’s really where he works out the theology rather than in its own section. Structure isn’t really addressed directly besides in an outline either. The one on Philemon was similar in style and conclusions. Unusual for these days, no diatribe on slavery as if were the whole point Philemon exists. Since slavery is just a background for the story rather than the point of the little epistle, that’s a good thing.
The commentary proper meets the standards of this series and is on par with several others I’ve reviewed. Solid and dependable are the words that come to mind. Just as in every title in this round of revision of TNTC so far, let’s label it recommended.
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