Letters and Homilies for Hellenized Christians, Volume 1: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on Titus, 1-2 Timothy, and 1-3 John  -     By: Ben Witherington III
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Letters and Homilies for Hellenized Christians, Volume 1: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on Titus, 1-2 Timothy, and 1-3 John

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Now available in paperback, this socio-rhetorical analytical commentary takes a fresh look at the pastoral epistles and Johannine correspondence and provides an analysis of the documents in their socio-religious context discussing their provenance, character, and importance.

The study of the so-called General or Catholic Epistles has been hampered, argues Ben Witherington, by the failure to properly discern their genre. Several of these "letters" are much better understood as homilies - although, like the rest of the New Testament, they are situation specific.

In this first of three volumes, Witherington extends his innovative socio-rhetorical analysis of the New Testament books to the latter-Pauline and non-Pauline corpora, placing each text within its socioreligious milieu and illuminating the particular issues that confronted each congregation as well as the rhetorical strategies employed by each author in addressing those issues.

Throughout, Witherington shows his thorough knowledge of recent literature on these texts and focuses his attention on the unique insights brought about through socio-rhetorical analysis that either reinforce or correct those gleaned from other approaches. Strikingly, based on his rhetorical analysis of the Pastorals, he makes the case for Luke as Paul's amanuensis for these letters. He also makes a strenuous argument against New Testament pseudepigrapha.

"Bridging the Hoirzons" sections point to the relevance of the text for believers today, making this volume of special value to pastors and general readers as well as to students and scholars.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 623
Vendor: IVP Academic
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 083082457X
ISBN-13: 9780830824571
Series: Letters and Homilies for Hellenized Christians

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Publisher's Description

The study of the so-called General or Catholic Epistles has been hampered, argues Ben Witherington, by the failure to properly discern their genre. Several of these "letters" are much better understood as homilies--although, like the rest of the New Testament, they are situation specific. In this first of three volumes, Witherington extends his innovative socio-rhetorical analysis of New Testament books to the latter-Pauline and non-Pauline corpora, placing each text within its socioreligious milieu and illuminating the particular issues that confronted each congregation as well as the rhetorical strategies employed by each author in addressing those issues. Throughout, Witherington shows his thorough knowledge of recent literature on these texts and focuses his attention on the unique insights brought about through socio-rhetorical analysis that either reinforce or correct those gleaned from other approaches. Strikingly, based on his rhetorical analysis of the Pastorals, he makes the case for Luke as Paul's amanuensis for these letters. He also makes a strenuous argument against New Testament pseudepigrapha. "Bridging the Horizons" sections point to the relevance of the text for believers today, making this volume of special value to pastors and general readers as well as to students and scholars.

Author Bio

Ben Witherington III (PhD, University of Durham) is Jean R. Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary. A prominent evangelical scholar, he is also on the doctoral faculty at St. Andrews University in Scotland. Witherington has written over forty books, including and both of which were selected as top biblical studies works by His other works include , , , and commentaries on the entire New Testament. He also writes for many church and scholarly publications and is a frequent contributor to and . Witherington is an elected member of the prestigious Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas, a society dedicated to New Testament studies. He is a John Wesley Fellow for Life, a research fellow at Cambridge University and a member of numerous professional organizations, including the Society of Biblical Literature, Society for the Study of the New Testament and the Institute for Biblical Research. He previously taught at institutions like Ashland Theological Seminary, Vanderbilt University, Duke Divinity School and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. An ordained pastor in the United Methodist Church and a popular lecturer, Witherington has presented seminars for churches, colleges and biblical meetings around the world. He has led numerous study tours through the lands of the Bible and is known for bringing the text to life through incisive historical and cultural analysis. Along with many interviews on radio and television networks across the country, Witherington has been seen in programs such as , , and the Peter Jennings ABC special .

Editorial Reviews

". . . this commentary provides solid interpretation of these letters in a very readable style. It is accessible and profitable to the layperson and scholar alike. . . . well worth the investment of time and money."

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  1. West Union, OH
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Well written
    May 26, 2016
    Jimmy Reagan
    West Union, OH
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This volume covers Titus, I and II Timothy and the Epistles of John in the socio-rhetorical commentary style that Witherington has become famous for. In fact, it is almost beyond belief that Witherington has had such an enormous output of commentaries on New Testament books. If you suspect he may have written too quickly to have covered such ground, you will see in this volume that he hasnt cut any corners in the subjects he addresses.

    He makes quite a distinction about some of these epistles being homilies, but I couldnt help but think as I read, what real difference does it make for we who study Gods Word? In the Pastoral Epistles he had a lengthy and quite good Introduction on them as a whole. Then there was an Introduction for each individual book before the commentary. I felt it covered the same sort of issues a regular commentary would. I did not agree with some of his conclusions, and feel perhaps his socio-rhetorical method can be overdone, but I still felt it a solid contribution.

    I was even less in agreement with his conclusions on the Epistles of John, especially about who the writer is, and wonder if his thoughts about a theme of wisdom are beyond what the text can bear. Still, I found it easier to read than many commentaries.

    At times he can be a little dogmatic, but the fact that he is a superb writer makes that a small price to pay. He will force you to think about his viewpoint, and even if you disagree, you will be far richer for having done so. In short, though I disagree in places, I give this volume a high ranking as a volume that succeeds in its missionhelping the reader to formulate his or her own positions.

    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.
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