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1 Corinthians (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) Hardcover – November 1, 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series has set a new standard in reader-friendliness with its attractive presentation that combines detailed exegetical comment on the Greek text with accessibility for those who have little or no knowledge of the original language of the New Testament."

From the Back Cover

"I warmly commend this commentary. I am impressed by its careful scholarship and sane judgments. It offers reliable and constructive exegesis based on a wide interaction with scholarly literature. It retains an eye to theology and to pastoral application, with clear comments and often apt turns of phrase."
-Anthony C. Thiselton, University of Nottingham

"A major achievement. The author displays an enviable grasp of the cultural challenges raised in the letter as well as an assured familiarity with biblical and Greco-Roman sources and the secondary authorities. At the same time his text is both readable and relevant."
-Paul Barnett, teaching fellow at Regent College

"This thoroughly researched, clearly written volume is a fine addition to an already respected series. It will offer seasoned guidance to its grateful readers."
-Charles H. Talbert, Baylor University

"We have come to expect from David Garland work that is well researched, wise in its judgments, and instructive for life and thought. This commentary does not disappoint. Garland's work is fully informed and offers sound and useful discussion of this crucial letter. This commentary is a significant and worthwhile achievement."
-Klyne Snodgrass, North Park Theological Seminary

"Garland makes an outstanding contribution to the BECNT series with this scholarly work on 1 Corinthians. Readers will appreciate the thorough attention given to matters of interpretation in this commentary, especially Garland's careful work with the historical and social backgrounds and with the Old Testament and Hellenistic materials that shed light on Paul's letter. The commentary is written with enthusiasm, insight, and genuine wit, so that readers will enjoy as well as profit from studying this volume."
-Marion L. Soards, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
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Product Details

  • Series: Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 896 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic (November 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080102630X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801026300
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #277,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Several years ago (before Garland's book came out) I did a fairly detailed study over about 6 months on the book of 1 Corinthians. I relied fairly heavily on the commentaries by Thiselton and also by Fee. In the subsequent years, I frequently re-read sections of both commentaries. Recently I wanted to get a more clear understanding of the controversial passages about headcovering and women's silence (in chapters 11 and 14, respectively) so I re-read the relevant portions of both commentaries again. I was pretty unsatisfied with both so I went to the library to see if I could find anything else more insightful. Happily, I encountered Garland's book.

Garland's book was much more helpful than either Thiselton or Fee. It was more lucid, kept the same high level of scholarship, and even touched on application! I continued reading the book and have come to the conclusion that it is the best commentary on 1 Corinthians available, for several reasons:

- It interacts with all the major views of a given position without becoming too bogged down (something that I think happens often with Thiselton). It is still a long book, but substantially shorter than Thiselton's.

- Instead of being merely a commentary on commentaries, Garland tries to persuade the reader of the legimitacy of what the author feels is the correct view. In contrast, you can read many 1 Corinthian commentaries and not even know what the author finally thinks!

- It has excellent scholarship with a good degree of balance. Fee, in contrast, holds to extreme views on the controversial women passages (such as arguing that 1 Corinthians 14:33-34 wasn't even written by Paul!).

- Garland lightly touches on application.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a pastor who preaches through books of the bible. I am just finishing my current series on 1 Corinthians. I've found this commentary to be one that I would not want to work without. It's really one of the best ones I own. I've found David Garland's commentary to be consistently even handed, careful to evaluate the text honestly, and helpful in almost every situation I've used this commentary for. In particular I found this commentary more helpful on his treatment of 1 Corinthians 11, 13 & 15 than most of my other tools on 1 Corinthians. I've been using about 15 different commentaries on 1 Corinthians, including Worthington, Fee, Keener, Thiselton's NIGTC & Thiselton's Short Pastoral Commentary on 1 Corinthians, as well as a bunch of other commentaries like Prior (Bible Speaks Today Series) & Life Application Commentary. All of them have individual strengths, but this commentary, Garland's, has a lot more material than most of the other commentaries (except for NICNT & NIGTC) I own. Not only does it have more material, but most of the material is helpful.

This series of commentaries does one thing that I don't appreciate. The editors have decided to put summaries at the beginning of each segment of the commentary in a medium gray shaded box. This does set apart the text that is a summary of what follows, but it does not copy well on a copier. So if you like a summary and want to use that in a small group discussion you have to lug the entire book in with you. It is also difficult on the eyes to read a few pages of that black print on medium gray background. I just don't like it.

Garland sometimes doesn't summarize his material as well as I would like to see.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Garland's commentary is well-written and not difficult to read or understand. Scholarly enough, but very readable. Overall, it is well worth having. I would not, however, recommend its use alone. One should probably have both Fee and Garland, as they complement each other. In some areas, Fee is better; in other areas, Garland is better. My only disappointment was that in some sections, Garland cites a bunch of commentators and scholars but doesn't make his own view sufficiently clear. But on the whole, it is one of the two or three commentaries on 1 Corinthians pastors and Bible students should own.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have preached through First Corinthians for several months now. This commentary has been my primary resource. It is the most thorough, well-researched, and sound commentary I have ever read. Garland confronts the "common" interpretations with historical and biblical insights which make his conclusions virtually argument proof. If you really want to know what Paul was doing in First Corinthians, this commentary is a must read.
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Format: Hardcover
I purchased and own both this Baker Commentary (Garland) and the one by Fee. As I started preaching through 1 Corinthians in a slow methodical exegetical fashion, it soon became evident that I only needed this commentary by Garland.
Garland has taken into account and even-handedly presents the views of most other respected commentaries, including Fee. After presenting other supported interpretations, Garland does point to the one he feels is best.

Overall I find Garland to offer a great commentary on 1 Corinthians. His background information, geography, cultural excursus and use of native texts is quite informative. One could spend more time engaging the cultural aspects, but I think for preaching p purposes this is plenty. I appreciate Garland’s efforts to properly connect what Paul is writing to other verses and portions of Scripture – and mostly I found them exactly right.

Garland addresses the Greek text throughout and offers helpful definitions – which naturally color the text and rectify/clarify the English translation. Garland does cull some of his information from Apocryphal sources, for which I have little use – but these are secondary to normative Biblical and otherwise historical documentation.

I applaud Garland for not following the Reformed crowd and renouncing the continuity of Spiritual Gifts for believers today. It is clear that if the Gifts are meant to build, edify and grow the Church – then they must still exist, since the Church still exists. Garland also stays true to the text of 10:5, 12 and allows Paul to offer real warnings about loss of salvation. He does not expound upon Paul’s statements, but does not reinterpret or dismiss them either.
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