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One of the great perks to writing reviews has been being introduced to many commentaries that I would have otherwise not known. This is certainly true of Galatians from the EP Study Commentary Series by Peter Barnes. I am always eager when receiving a new commentary to explore the style in which it is written and its range of use. For example, is this written exclusively for Pastors/Teachers or will other church members looking to enhance their study find it profitable as well. Below, I will try to briefly comment on the layout of the commentary and then the content of the commentary.
Barnes begins his commentary on Galatians with an introductory section that covers the background, dating and structure of the epistle. This section is written in chapter form and is presented in a very readable way. I did find the structure of the epistle section to be different than most commentaries. Here one typically finds some sort of outline of the layout of the book. Barnes instead chose to write a concise two paragraphs discussing the layout. While this isn't as profitable as a reference to come back to it does make the outline something that the reader can read in full. The terms Barnes uses here are the same terms that divide the commentary making it a helpful reference as well. Perhaps the most helpful section in the introduction is Barnes' examination of the New Perspectives view. Galatians is a polemic for justification by faith and is very strongly worded towards those who would add to this. Barnes is quite helpful here in seeing how the New Perspectives brings with it confusion that must be handled seriously. As he states, "the 'New Perspective' is certainly that. It has radical implications for our understanding of salvation.Read more ›
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