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Letters and Homilies for Hellenized Christians, Volume II: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on 1-2 Peter (Socio-Rhetorical Commentary) [Hardcover]

By III Ben Witherington (Author)
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Item description for Letters and Homilies for Hellenized Christians, Volume II: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on 1-2 Peter (Socio-Rhetorical Commentary) by III Ben Witherington...

Prominent scholar Witherington extends his innovative socio-rhetorical analysis of the New Testament with this in-depth study of 1 & 2 Peter. Dividing the documents according to the socioreligious contexts in which they were written, he sheds new light on the provenance, character, and importance of each. "Bridging the Horizons" sections reveal the text's relevancy for today's readers. 416 pages, hardcover from InterVarsity.

Publishers Description
Letters and Homilies for Hellenized Christians, Volume 2 is the third of three volumes extending Ben Witherington's innovative socio-rhetorical analysis of New Testament books to the latter-Pauline and non-Pauline corpora. By dividing the volumes according to the socioreligious contexts for which they were written, Witherington sheds fresh light on the documents, their provenance, character and importance. 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 reinforces or corrects those gleaned from other approaches. "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.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: IVP Academic
Pages   432
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 6" Height: 9"
Weight:   1.7 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Feb 9, 2008
Publisher   IVP-InterVarsity Press
Series  Socio-Rhetorical Commentary  
ISBN  0830829334  
ISBN13  9780830829330  

Availability  0 units.

More About III Ben Witherington

Ben Witherington, III Bible scholar Ben Witherington is Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary and on the doctoral faculty at St. Andrews University in Scotland. A graduate of UNC, Chapel Hill, he went on to receive the M.Div. degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from the University of Durham in England. He is now considered one of the top evangelical scholars in the world, and is an elected member of the prestigious SNTS, a society dedicated to New Testament studies.

Witherington has also taught at Ashland Theological Seminary, Vanderbilt University, Duke Divinity School and Gordon-Conwell. A popular lecturer, Witherington has presented seminars for churches, colleges and biblical meetings not only in the United States but also in England, Estonia, Russia, Europe, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Australia. He has also led tours to Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, and Egypt.

Witherington has written over forty books, including The Jesus Quest and The Paul Quest, both of which were selected as top biblical studies works by Christianity Today. He also writes for many church and scholarly publications.

Along with many interviews on radio networks across the country, Witherington has been seen on the History Channel, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, The Discovery Channel, A&E, and the PAX Network.

Ben Witherington currently resides in the state of Kentucky. Ben Witherington was born in 1951 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Asbury Theological Seminary.

Ben Witherington has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Companions to the New Testament
  2. Lightfoot Legacy Set
  3. New Testament Commentary
  4. New Testament in Context
  5. Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary

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Reviews - What do customers think about Letters and Homilies for Hellenized Christians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on 1-2 Peter?

Most commentaries are worth consulting, this one's worth reading  Aug 31, 2009
I bought two of these by accident, so I figured I should read at least one of them. It's another classic from the pen of Ben. Witherington persuasively concludes that 1 Peter was written to Jewish Christians in what is now modern day Turkey. Ben feels that 1 Peter 5:12 lends support to the idea that Peter may have used Silas (Silvanus) as an amanuensis, which would help to explain the Asiatic Greek stylings of the letter.

Witherington notes that Peter writes at a time when Emperor Nero is persecuting believers. There is a heavy emphasis on suffering and doing the will of God. The "closer look" sections in this study are phenomenal. The first one proves that Peter has an exalted Christology (uses of kyrios for Christ) and a strong atonement Christology (indebtedness to Isaiah 53 and Exodus 24:7). Another closer look section helps to unlock the mystery of 1 Peter 3:18-22. Ben explains that Christ rose again and ascended to the fallen angelic spirits in prison (those who sinned in the days of Noah) to proclaim judgment and victory over the powers of darkness. Ben also contends that 1 Peter 4:6 refers to the preaching of gospel to those who are now dead.

Ben acknowledges the difficulties with assigning 2 Peter to Peter exclusively because a. It refers to a time when Paul's letters were circulating as a collection and were referred to as Scripture b. The Greek is a more ponderous Asiatic Greek that Peter would not have learned as a Galilean fisherman. And yet, 2 Peter 1:12-21 and parts of 3:1-4 may reflect Peter's own memoirs. Ben concludes that Linus or another co-laborer assembled Peter's laast memoirs and incorporated them into a reworking of some of the themes from the epistle of Jude. Ben goes on to say that 2 Peter emphasizes faithful living after coming to a knowledge of Christ, being aware of false teachers, respecting apostolic traditions, and the coming conflagration at the Day of the Lord.

Much more could be said, and some may be tempted to strenously argue for Petrine authorship of all of 2 Peter, but this is an interesting commentary, once that is easier to read cover to cover than others.

Worth acquiring & using for your studies on Peter  May 27, 2009
As a pastor who uses commentaries during my exegetical process, I decided to purchase this one for a sermon series on 2 Peter I am working on. This is my fourth series through part of 2 Peter in the last 12 years and the first time I have used this commentary. For comparison purposes I have used Green (excellent), Schreiner (pretty good), Davids, and several other resources. This commentary displays a completely different perspective than any others I own. His citations bring me in touch with resources that the other commentators do not tend to mention, and his depth of material is more exhaustive than the others with a superior (in my view) emphasis on why the material is arranged the way it is. For example, the 'faith to love list' in 2 Peter 1 is clearly a primary focus of Peter, yet some commentators spend very little time on this crucial portion of the letter. This left me unsatisfied as I used one resource after another. Yet Witherington didn't do what the others did. He had an excursion called 'The Christian face of virtue' where he discusses the importance of Peter's list in depth for 4 pages. He brings this discussion to a devotional ending with a quote from Ignatius which ministered to my spirit. Unfortunately he goes on to give only half a paragraph to each virtue in the list, with LESS material than any of my other commentaries. Honestly, the excursion was rich, but the commentary was unnecessarily streamlined. Yet, the whole experience left me with a sense of satisfaction because of the rich excursion.

Some of Witherington's concepts reflect someone who lives in a world that is unfamiliar to most Pastors or Christian leaders. He uses terms that are transliterated from foreign languages or that are obscure English terms that you have to stop, look up, and then try to remember. Honestly, I find that stimulating AND frustrating. Epideictic Rhetoric is his thing (go look that up if you don't know what it means....and then you will have the experience of what this author does to the reader on every page).

Some of his terminology is difficult to understand, but most of it is well-written. Similarly, he is easy to follow most of the time, but sometimes he is so detailed and nuanced moving from perspective to perspective, that the reader is lost.

It is helpful to compare Witherington's contentions in this volume with the much short but sometimes directly relevant Bible Background Commentary NT by Craig Keener. In 2 Peter 1 we have a good example of this where Keener summarily rejects one of Witherington's points (you wouldn't know that because he doesn't cite Witherington directly unless you read them both).

I'm actually excited to own this volume because it adds a certain literary analysis to my own research that I have not found in any other commentary. I think that's a large part of the goal here, and I think that most pastors will find that this work is well worth purchasing. Students doing papers on 1 & 2 Peter do themselves a disservice by not consulting this valuable resource. It ought to be used in every research project on Peter's epistles.

So get it if you have the funds to work with, you won't be sorry.
Another Real Gift!  Apr 8, 2008
Ben Witherington has written another real gift for the Church of Jesus Christ! This is a wonderful commentary filled with Ben's usual huge range of social and rhetorical knowledge - which is clearly and (re-)usably applied to the texts of these Petrine letters.
Witherington's defence of 1st Peter as going all the way back to Peter himself (possibly with help from a secretarial writer - like the Paul/Luke connection posited for the Pastorals) is a welcome and well argued change from the all too common "assumptions" of many present-day commentators.
I am not going to go into a lot of specific details in this review, but I would like to laud a particular aspect of Ben's three "Letters and Homilies" Commentaries that I have found particularly attractive. That aspect is his "Translations" of the texts! ... Ben gives you a literal, yet powerful, translation. This is a very difficult mixture to accomplish, yet he does it time after time. ... Just a few Sundays ago, I used his translation of 1 Peter 1.3-12 for my congregation (minus a few of his bracketed alternative words and phrases) - it is a clear, yet passionate presentation of Peter's heart - and of praise for God.
Yes, I buy Ben's commentaries because they are so packed with expertise and clarity and high-level interpretation of nuance, but I also found this set of three to be filled with wonderful, read-out-loud, translations (when you remove a few of the extra options that Ben places in brackets). If you want a set of commentaries that provide clear, well-thought out, highly knowledgable (and not just follow "the field") and fresh explanations, then buy these. You will also get the bonus of some really great translation work!

Neil Lemke

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