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5 Stars Out Of 5
A Hidden Jewel!
July 22, 2017
Richard Melick. Jr. delivered this helpful commentary in the New American Commentary (NAC) series. Its actually a three-for-one deal in the already economical series, this time on two of the more beloved of Pauls epistles as well as his lesser-known personal letter to Philemon. At 375 pages, Melick strikes the perfect balance between helpfulness and succinctness.
Instead of writing one Introduction for all three letters, he writes standalone Introductions before the commentary of all three letters. I was impressed with the depth and quality of each of the Introductions provided here. In each case, he again struck the perfect balance between providing scholarly information and accessible understanding for pastors and teachers.
In his Introduction to Philippians, he first describes the background of the city and its people. Next, in a section entitled the founding of the church, he describes the level of Christianity to be found there. When he looked at authorship, he had little patience for the unfounded attacks on Pauline authorship. He feels the greater question is one of integrity of the text, and in his analysis, he explains the unity of the text. He reaches conservative conclusions on origin and date. In that same conservative vein, he outlines Pauls opponents at Philippi and explains the theological structure of the epistle. His commentary on Philippians itself is thoughtful and well done.
His Introduction to Colossians follows the same pattern. He again reaches conservative conclusions and in section 7, the problem at Colosse, he breaks down the unique features of the book of Colossians. He again ends with the theological structure of the epistle and an outline of the book. He delivers commentary on Colossians at the same high level he did on Philippians.
Finally, he tackles Philemon in 35 pages. I have single exegetical commentary volumes on Philemon in my library, but this is all most will need. Again, he is the model of helpfulness while being compendious. He outlines the Introduction in the same winning way that worked in the other two epistles. As you can imagine, setting the stage and explaining slavery is especially important in this little epistle. The commentary itself is again very fine.
Im surprised this volume isnt more well-known and highly rated, so I guess we could label it a hidden jewel. Pastors, teachers, and Bible students will love this volume and I highly recommend it.
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This is a breath of fresh air. Great scholarship is given in this commentary, along with an obvious gift of writing, and prayerful insight into the scriptures. It's great to have a commentary series like the NAC... it seems that commentaries like these are difficult to come by these days due to liberalism and biblical criticism that come along with being a "biblical scholar." Highly recommend this volume!
This set and this book is the most stimulating commentary that I have read in my pastoral ministry. For a busy pastor it is like doing exegesis with a friend. It addresses the text and not just textual issues and that is a powerful combination.