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This series of commentaries on the New English Bible is designed for use in schools and colleges, and for the minister and the layman. Each volume comments on one book, or part, of the Bible. In each the text is given in full.
GHP Thompson's 192-page commentary on Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon is an entirely unique work. For the purposes of this review, the commentary section on Colossians was analyzed. Functioning as a mix between a short commentary and an expanded translation, this volume eloquently flows through the books with brief expansions on each verse. The text is one of the most readable commentaries on Colossians encountered by the reviewer. By far, the most helpful aspects of this work are the book introductions and conclusions (as an aside - this too is quite an unusual and helpful addition that is rarely, if ever, seen in a commentary).
In spite of these qualities, there are a number of concerns in regard to the commentary that should be noted. While the writer strongly and ably supports the Pauline authorship of the epistle (104-111), he offers up the weakly supported and, by even his own defense, the unnecessary view of co-authorship or even commissioning to Timothy (107, 111). In the reviewer's mind, the author attempts to narrow down the exact nature of the Colossian heresy and then uses these conclusions to read deeply into a number of texts (e.g. 118, 120, 135). Not all of these conclusions are unfounded, but some seem to be beyond the implication of the text. Another issue is the book's length (69 pages are devoted to Colossians). Although the writer does an excellent job with the allotted space, many phrases receive little or no comment at all. If the reader is seeking out answers to difficult questions on the text at hand, this volume will not prove to be much value beyond the introductory matters.Read more ›
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