Reviews - What do customers think about Pentecostal Commentary: 1 Peter, 2 Peter, Jude (Pentecostal Commentary Series)?
Good General Commentary Oct 7, 2005
The purpose of The Pentecostal Commentary series is to provide a reader friendly commentary without getting bogged down in technical details. It is also to provide a Pentecostal perspective on these epistles. The question is does this commentary achieve that goal? I myself am Pentecostal (the Church of God of Cleveland, Tennessee variety) Bible student and pastor so I fit into this books target audience.
First, the book is 176 pages in length compared to Richard Bauckham's commentary on just 2 Peter and Jude, which numbers around 330 pages in length. Ramsey Michaels commentary on 1 Peter is around 315 pages in length. Needless to say, Skaggs treatment is much more condensed, but it does avoid being overly technical without being too simplistic. The author addresses critical issues of scholarship without belaboring the point.
Second, I did not find this commentary to be distinctly Pentecostal in its approach. It was dialogical, but being dialogical is not strictly a Pentecostal methodology and neither is it the only thing that makes for being Pentecostal. The reflection and response sections seem to ask questions meant to probe the heart of the believer and bring the believer to an active response, but the response boils down to basic Sunday school stuff of repent, pray, read your Bible. There is more to being Pentecostal than figuring out what is wrong with me as a believer and then discerning what I should do about it and get it corrected. The author tells us that the Holy Spirit is not primary in these epistles, yet when the Holy Spirit is mentioned, like in Jude verse 20 she squanders the opportunity with a quick it likely refers to glossolalia and an "in any case" and then she moves on. Why in a Pentecostal commentary did we not get to read about how praying in tongues would achieve the function of building up the believer? I thought she missed a great opportunity here to show the Pentecostal distinction. What makes a Commentary Pentecostal? I would suggest that Pentecostal's believe that the Word is alive and transforms our lives by the power of the Holy Spirit that is active in our lives. Maybe instead of or in addition to a Reflection and Response section the author should testify about how the text has transformed their life.
Third, this is a great overview of the issues that the text raises and her conclusions are sound. She does accomplish the "running exposition" that the back cover promises. It was good for me to have a female scholar deal with 1 Peter 3 without being defensive or dismissive with the text. I thought this was one of the better and most interesting treatments of this passage that I have seen. Her outlines of especially the Petrine epistles are very helpful as well.
Overall this is a good general commentary, but I think misses in showing its Pentecostal distinctiveness.