Item description for The Letters to the Colossians and to Philemon (Pillar New Testament Commentary) by Douglas J. Moo...
Overview Using the same brilliant exegesis and sound practical insight found in his previous work, Douglas J. Moo here not only accurately explains the meaning of the Letters to the Colossians and to Philemon, but also applies that meaning to twenty-first-century readers. Moo introduces each book with a series of five similar questions: To whom was it written? Who wrote it? When? Why? and What? He then divides the commentary itself into Letter Opening, Letter Body, and Letter Closing for each book, addressing the introductory thanksgiving of Philemon as well. The volume ends with thorough indexes of names, subjects, scripture references, and extrabiblical literature. Informed, methodologically astute, evangelical, and displaying a careful balance between good scholarship and pastoral concern, The Letters to the Colossians and to Philemon is readily accessible, offering something for everyone - teacher or student, pastor or parishioner, scholar or layperson.
Publishers Description Using the same brilliant exegesis and sound practical insight found in his previous work, Douglas J. Moo here not only accurately explains the meaning of the Letters to the Colossians and to Philemon, but also applies that meaning to twenty-first-century readers.
Moo introduces each book with a series of five similar questions: To whom was it written? Who wrote it? When? Why? and What? He then divides the commentary itself into Letter Opening, Letter Body, and Letter Closing for each book, addressing the introductory thanksgiving of Philemon as well. The volume ends with thorough indexes of names, subjects, scripture references, and extrabiblical literature.
Informed, methodologically astute, evangelical, and displaying a careful balance between good scholarship and pastoral concern, The Letters to the Colossians and to Philemon is readily accessible, offering something for everyone 2; teacher or student, pastor or parishioner, scholar or layperson.
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Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.26" Width: 7.08" Height: 1.28" Weight: 1.85 lbs.
Release Date Aug 1, 2008
Publisher Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Series Pillar New Testament Commentary
ISBN 0802837271 ISBN13 9780802837271
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More About Douglas J. Moo
Douglas J. Moo (PhD, University of St. Andrews) is Kenneth T. Wessner Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College Graduate School in Wheaton, Illinois. He is the author of commentaries on Romans, James, 2 Peter and Jude, and Colossians and Philemon and coauthor of An Introduction to the New Testament. He also headed the committee on Bible translation for the NIV revision.
Douglas J. Moo has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The Letters to the Colossians and to Philemon (Pillar New Testament Commentary)?
Read it before before buying it Dec 31, 2009
Surely there will be someone else writing about this book, so I'm going try to help you in another way.
When you start reading biblical commentaries you will need to be aware that the thoughts expressed by the author deal with facts and speculations that should of happened. You can NEVER rely on only one commentary to affirm something about the Bible. You need at least three good commentaries.
Try to read biblical commentaries from different confessions of faith (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism; Pentecostal vs. non-Pentecostal; Catholic vs. Protestant; Egalitarian vs. Complementarian; Amillennialism vs. Premillennialism vs. Postmillennialism; etc). Look for their arguments: What do they agree or disagree on? Which of them is closest to the biblical text? It's not a sin to read commentaries written from other points of view. You will notice that what is fact or solid argument will be seen over and over on different commentaries, so you will start learning what is speculation and what is not.
As Haddon W. Robinson said in his book, Biblical Preaching, (second edition, page 22), "In approaching a passage, we must be willing to reexamine our doctrinal convictions and to reject the judgments of our most respected teachers."
Remember, a commentary is not the biblical text. Do not replace the authority of the Bible with a commentary. The same apply for Study Bibles. The study notes there are not written by "apostles and prophets," so never confuse the "gospel" with the teacher or preacher. Learn to separate it.
Commentaries are important because nobody can get a poem from one language and translate it with the same structure to another language. This simply does not exist. Words, phrases, and sentences are rooted in a specific time, culture and custom. About Bibles, the best way is to check different translations, but be cautious about a very loose translation.
For you to appreciate any biblical commentary you need to know what level of reading you are. I'm going call them beginner, intermediate and advanced. I recommend the following biblical commentaries that you can start from. All of them have both Old Testament and New Testament. (If you're thinking of buying the whole set, look for the CD edition; it's cheaper and you can take it with you where you go.)
Beginner - NIV Application Commentary (NIVAC) by Zondervan. (or) The Bible Speaks Today Series (BST) by IVP (This is a growing series and not yet complete.)
Intermediate - New International Commentary on the New Testament (NICNT) and New International Commentary on the Old Testament (NICOT) by Eerdmans
Advanced - Word Biblical Commentary (WBC) by Thomas Nelson
These are basic commentaries on their own level, but there are a lot of commentaries today, so don't forget to look for more information. Maybe you can get information from one of these: (1) Commentary and Reference Survey: A Comprehensive Guide to Biblical and Theological Resources by John Glynn, (2) New Testament Commentary Survey by D. A. Carson, (3) Old Testament Commentary Survey by Tremper Longman.
There are good and expensive commentaries such as the Anchor Bible (AB); International Critical Commentary (ICC) or Hermeneia (HERM). [Do not forget of Calvin and Luther].
I don't know about catholic commentaries, but you can check reviews on "Sacra Pagina" and "Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture."
Other than those mentioned above (NIVAC; BST; NICNT; WBC; AB; ICC; HERM) you can also check: Expositor Bible Commentary (EBC); New American Commentary (NAC); Pillar New Testament Commentary (PNTC); New International Greek Testament Commentary (NIGTC); Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (BECNT); and others.
Another thing, it can be a very good commentary, but it does not mean that you will agree with everything in it. Remember, "new" does not mean it's updated, and "updated" does not mean it's better.
Purpose - You can read a book to get information, even if you are not interested in a deep study of the biblical text. In this case it's better to start reading something from your own confession of faith and always on your level of reading. If after some time you become interested in more, go check other commentaries, but please, do not skip "How To Read A Book" by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren.
Responsibility - It is your responsibility study the biblical text before checking a commentary. Sometimes this is not an easy task so I'm giving you some other references that you can check at the end of this review. If I had read a review like this before, I would know how to prevent some mistakes.
Do not let you knowledge kill your faith! - "For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith." Hebrews 4:2 NIV - (Read also 1 Corinthians 1:21-24; 2:13-14; 3:18-23; Jude 1:3).
I can't leave without suggesting some other tools to help you: (1) How To Read A Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren; (2) Hermeneutics: Principles and Processes of Biblical Interpretation by Henry Virkler and Karelynne Ayayo; (3) New Testament Exegesis: A Handbook for Students and Pastors by Gordon Fee; and (4) Old Testament Exegesis: A Handbook for Students and Pastors by Douglas Stuart. [Although book #3 and 4 deals with Biblical languages (Greek and Hebrew), you can learn a lot from them even if you do not know the languages]. (5) "Basics of Biblical Greek" Grammar by William D. Mounce [after you start reading it maybe you can add "Biblical Greek Survival Kit" and "Sing and Learn New Testament Greek" audio CD by Kenneth Berding]; (6) "English Grammar in Use" by Raymond Murphy (Third Edition with Cd-Rom). (7) Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History: Complete and Unabridged. - All of these will help you to understand HOW a good commentary must be written. Good Luck!
Invaluable Mar 19, 2009
Like O'Brien, Moo is detailed in his exegesis and thoughtful in his explanation of critical issues. As with his other commentaries, Moo is at his best when he is walking through difficult issues and weighing various views on the Scriptural scales. You can't go wrong with this one. Highly recommended.
An excellent resource Feb 9, 2009
Surprisingly, there have been very few substantial and recent commentaries on Colossians from a conservative/evangelical perspective. Somewhat older volumes of importance include those by O'Brien (WBC, 1982); Wright (TNTC, 1986); Dunn (NIGTC, 1996); Garland (NIVAC, 1998); and Thompson (THNTC, 2005). Thus there has been a slight dearth of new in-depth works on Colossians (and Philemon).
This volume nicely fills the gap. Moo, Professor of New Testament at Wheaton Graduate School in Chicago, has already authored several important commentaries, such as his top-rate 1996 volume on Romans (NICNT), and his 2000 work on James (PNTC).
This is a significant commentary in an increasingly significant commentary series. The Pillar New Testament Commentary series now has 10 commentaries available, and it serves as a very workable and substantive mid-range series of commentaries. While not overly technical in nature, the series does offer high-quality commentaries that both students and pastors will greatly benefit from. This volume is no exception.
At 471 pages, it is certainly the most lengthy of treatments thus far on these two books. Dunn and Garland were 388 and 389 pages respectively. So this volume is both the most up to date work to appear, taking into account all the recent scholarship on these epistles, and the most detailed and comprehensive.
Concerning the contentious issues of authorship and dating, Moo spends nearly 20 pages arguing for Pauline authorship and a writing of around A.D. 60-61. The place of writing was most likely Rome, and the occasion of the epistle was to promote a high Christology over against false teaching.
As to some of the hotly debated issues in the epistle, Moo provides careful guidance and discussion. He notes various views, while making clear his reasons for his own preferences. And he notes that on many contentious topics, we are best left with some ambiguity and uncertainty.
As to the false teachers that Paul is rebutting, they are often left unspecified and vague in Paul's writings. In some epistles, such as Galatians and 2 Corinthians, the nature and message of the false teachers is more clearly addressed. But in Colossians we are often unsure as to who exactly these false teachers are, and what exactly their false teaching is.
Moo spends 14 pages of his introduction on this question (plus more discussion in the commentary proper). The three main options concerning the false teaching are: Jewish mysticism, Judaism, or syncretism. The last option (a blend of religious and philosophical traditions) seems most likely, especially as elaborated by Clinton Arnold. Yet Moo recognises problems with this option as well. Moo argues that in the end we must simply be content with a generalised account of this false teaching.
Consider the difficult matter of understanding what Paul means by the "stoichea tou kosmou" (the elements of the world). This phrase, found in 2:8 and 2:20 (and in a somewhat similar form in Gal. 4:3) has occasioned much discussion. What exactly Paul means by it is still very much a matter of lively debate.
Moo looks at the three main views: 1) the fundamental components of the material universe; 2) the essential principles; or 3) spiritual beings. He looks at the pros and cons of each, and opts for the first. While aspects of the other two views can be included in this, the first option seems to best make sense of how this phrase was used during Paul's day.
Also, consider the admonition found in 3:5-11, where we are told to put off the old self and put on the new. The usual evangelical understanding is that the believer has two natures: an old sinful nature, and a new nature in Christ, and that there is a constant battle between the two.
Moo suggests that this may not be what Paul had in mind. Instead, a corporate understanding of this text may best fit the context and related passages. It is really about a new humanity created in Christ (Eph. 2:15) as opposed to the old humanity created in Adam (Rom. 5:12). The old self or old man is Adam and his influence, while the new self or new man is Christ.
This is part of Paul's "already-not yet" paradigm, in which we do live in tension between the influences and power of the old man and the new. We have been transferred from the `lordship' of Adam to that of Christ, but the pull of the Adamic realm still impacts on us.
Other difficult passages are also treated in a fair, judicious and balanced fashion. All in all, this volume makes for a very wise, well-written and well-researched commentary. If one had to choose just one commentary on Colossians, this should take pride of place.
Great Commentary on Colossians Oct 24, 2008
Doug Moo's new commentary on Colossians is a wonderful addition to NT scholarship. I have used this work to address scholarly discussions, especially regarding the Colossian heresy, and in Bible study and sermon preparation. It has great depth and is balanced with great insights that serve as good applications. I highly recommend this work. It offers more discussion and range than N. T. Wrights smaller but handier commentary on the same book. He presents viewpoints that would fall in line with more mainline evangelicalism.