Michael Bird's commentary, Colossians and Philemon in the New Covenant Commentary Series pays close attention to the socio-historical context, the flow and dynamics of the text, their argumentative strategy, theological message, and the meaning of Colossians and Philemon for the contemporary church today.
Bird situates Colossians in the context of Paul's Ephesian ministry and describes how Paul attempts to persuade a congregation in the Lycus Valley to remain firm in the gospel and to grasp the cosmic majesty of Jesus Christ over and against the views of certain Jewish mystics who have thrown the Colossians into confusion.
He shows how, in the letter to Philemon, Paul intercedes for a slave estranged from his master through a carefully crafted feat of pastoral persuasion from a missionary friend of Philemon. The commentary combines exegetical insight, rhetorical analysis, theological exposition, and practical application all in one short volume. Bird shows Paul at work as a theologian, pastor, and missionary in his letters to the Colossians and Philemon.
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