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By means of a sociological hermeneutic and rhetorical analysis Wanamaker makes a case that civic life had its forums. He appeals to Paul's declaration that the new converts had "turned to God from idols" (1 Thess 1:9), suggesting that the majority of converts could not have been synagogue attendees. Wanamaker advocates the workshop and the homes of Paul's patrons as a venue for ministry after Paul's usual custom of starting in the synagogue. In this paradigmatic framework conversion is 'a socio-psychological process...of resocialization.' p 11 No one can deny that the entry posture of Paul and his associates proved effective, and especially the synagogue Jews were jealous of their independent missionary success. This life-involvement model, based on the endless toil of selfless ministry and dedicated self-supporting labor, presented a 'Christian lifestyle [whereby] the missionaries went about making this world meaningful for their prospective converts and inducting them into it.' p 14
I THESSALONIANS: The Thessalonian response to the gospel, "your work", supports the Reformation view that the believer's action is preceded by and "of faith" (1:3). Paul's assertion that "our gospel came [Gk: ginomai] to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and also with full conviction" (1:5) best describes not the content of the gospel, but the manner of its delivery (p 78), which 'fits the designation of the letter as a piece of epideictic or demonstrative rhetoric.' p 80 Paul paralleled the powerful coming of the gospel with the demonstration of their own model behavior of becoming the gospel: "just as you know what kind of men we became [Gk: ginomai] for your sakes.Read more ›
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Having in the past 2 months used 5 highly ranked commentaries on these two letters, I would rank Wannamaker's work behind Gene Green's 2002 work in Pillar Commentaries, Abraham Malherbe's work in the Anchor Bible series and Earl J. Richard's work in the Sacra Pagina series. The thoroughness of the line of thought notes and the Greek insights of these three are superior to the earlier work by Wannamaker.
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N.B. This review is not on the content of this book, but rather on the Kindle edition (based on how it appears in the Kindle Fire).
The Latin character typesetting is decent, at best. However, wherever Greek words appear the typesetting borders on unusable. It ranges from odd placement of accents (over a space, rather than over the character that should be accented) to artificial splits between letters and even to splitting individual Greek letters in two!
A few examples:
1. Just after location 1490, in the discussion relating to chapter 1, verses 9 and 10, the paragraph beginning "Paul says that the various church communities..." contains two strings of Greek text, one several words in a row (pos ... eidolon -- pardon the transliteration) and a single word (epistrephein; the lemma of one of the words in the earlier phrase). Oddly enough, the epestrepsate in the phrase is split into three parts: accented epsilon, 'pestre', and 'psate' all separated by a full space between each of them. This is awful. It makes reading the Greek (especially for those of us who aren't fluent in it) very difficult.
2. Even worse, however, is the single word, 'epistrephein', which follows in the next sentence. In this case, the second letter (pi) is split into two parts, looking like two tau characters rather than a single pi! Terrible.
And this is just a single example -- there are dozens I've encountered, and I'm only 27% of the way through the book.
I have many printed books published by Eerdmans, all of which show them to be an excellent publisher with the highest standards and quality. Unfortunately, Amazon does not provide a similar experience in the electronic version. Stick with the paper book.