Anthony Thiseltons influential, important tome on First Corinthians is now made available in paperback. This more economical version will make it more widely available for Bible students. Before I received my review copy, I had heard several reports of how impressive it scholarship was. With it now in my hand, how would I best describe it? Scholarly, encyclopedic, exhaustive, theological, and comprehensive are the words that come to mind.
The Introduction demonstrates what youre going to get in the whole commentary. Theres 52 pages, but it seems like enough information for twice that amount. In other words, theres never any fluff, only more and more material for insight. Further, you see its value for both pastors and scholars. It begins with setting the stage in the most vivid way imaginable for Corinth. You immediately see that understanding the cultural milieu is critical to understanding the book of First Corinthians. He proves his conclusions with historical and archaeological evidence. He even hints at a few cultural peculiarities of Corinth that will affect interpreting later passages in this discussion. He also describes how important Corinth is to the overall ministry Paul.
When he gets into other issues common to an Introduction he slides beyond what most pastors would need or want and gives the scholars everything they could ever want; for example, when he discusses argument and rhetoric. His conclusions on Paul and dating are mostly conservative.
His thoroughness continues in the commentary proper. Even though theres a good bit of Greek in his text, theres usually the English in the same sentence that makes following his argument easy. There might be some paragraphs that a pastor would skip, but plenty of others that so thoroughly explains what is at stake that would still make it an incredible asset to them. I know I look forward to using it in the years ahead. Its place in the scholarly world is set too. No scholar writing in the future on First Corinthians will dare to skip Thiselton. I warmly recommend this volume to anyone trying to build a first-class exegetical library.
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 Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255.
One need only compare this volume to most any other commentary to be simply astounded by Thiselton's Commentary. The amount of detail and depth of discussion is amazing. That is not to say that, for instance, the commentary of Fee is not excellent, but nothing I have seen can compare to Thiselton's work. The detailed bibliographies (50-100 titles) listed for every section he works through were immensely helpful to me as I prepared my school papers. A word of warning, however - Thiselton's commentary is not for those who cannot think through complex linguistic and interpretive issues for themselves; the breadth of his reading and comprehension of various opinions is likely to leave the non-scholar in a daze of confusion. That said, this is the best commentary, hands-down, I have ever seen for any book.
This commentary is the best on 1 Corinthians that is available today, and surpasses the ones by Fee and Robertson/Plummer. There is no other commentary that goes into so much detail, and has such a lot of wealthy information. All the major textual issues have been dealt with, and Thiselton has taken into account all other issues that one might raise regarding this commentary. The exegesis is so detailed, even though he was limited by space, that one does not need to consult another commentary on this epistle. He has also provided an in-depth discussion on the language using his own translation of the Greek. Student, scholar and pastor alike will be blessed by the richness of this commentary, and so will the textual critic. I very strongly recommend this commentary, as it will give one a better understanding of this major Pauline epistle.