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The First and Second Letters to the Thessalonians (The New International Commentary on the New Testament)
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He does not disappoint here, with another fine commentary in the NICNT series, of which he is currently the editor. He had already penned an outstanding work in the series, his 1987 commentary on 1 Corinthians. At the time it was the largest and most substantial English-speaking commentary available on the book. Also in this series he penned the commentary on Philippians (1995).
The NICNT series was started in the late 1940s, and is near completion. All that remains is the 2 Peter/Jude volume. The two Thessalonian epistles were actually covered way back in 1959 by another great NT scholar, Australian Leon Morris. But a number of these volumes are now being replaced by more up-to-date commentaries. Thus Fee's replacement volume.
It joins several other recent conservative/evangelical commentaries on the letters, including Green (PNTC, 2002) and Witherington (2006). He is sparing on introductory matters (utilising only six pages on each epistle), and assumes Pauline authorship from around 49-50 CE. for both letters.
As to the commentary itself, it of course follows the format of the series, using an English text with more technical matters relegated to footnotes. Controversial sections, such as 1 Thess. 4:13-18 are dealt with in a careful and gracious manner. Fee argues that this passage is not about a secret rapture, as Paul was not concerned about "eschatological speculation" here.
In Paul's discussion of election in 1 Thess. 1:4-7, a corporate view is in mind, not an individual one, argues Fee.Read more ›
Fee steadfastly maintains that Paul wrote both 1 and 2 Thessalonians, in that order. He sagely notes that Paul introduces the theme of hard work and labor and perseverance early on in 1 Thessalonians 1:4-6 because these are themes that will be amplified later on in this epistle, and as it turns out, in 2 Thessalonians as well. Fee for some reason thinks that the emphasis in 1 Thessalonians 1:10 is on the wrath that will come upon the idolaters, when to me, the emphasis is ont eh coming of Christ to rescue those who have turned from idols.
In 1 Thessalonians 2, Fee strongly and (to me, successfully), defends the translation "infants" rather than "gentle" in 1 Thessalonians 2:7, and he wards off those who accuse Paul of anti-Jewishness in 2:14-16.
In 1 Thessalonians 3:11-12, he sees Paul rewriting the Shema of Deuteronomy 6:4, though this to me is uncertain. He also contends that the holy ones of 3:13 refer to angels, noting that it reflects the language of Zechariah 14:5 and is made clear by his identification of the accompanying angels in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:4: Fee translates skeuos as "vessel," meaning the male sex organs. Although Fee argues strenuously and is joined by I.H Marshall, this will not command assent amongst all interpreters.Read more ›
Just to add: I have also purchased Gordon Fees commentary on 1 Corinthians. I am finding that one an excellent work also. What I find refreshing is that Fee is not a cessationist. What puts me off other commentaries is when the writer says that the supernatural gifts ceased with the last Apostle died, which is nonsense without any evidence at all. Gordon Fee fully acknowledges from conclusive Scripture and historical evidence that the supernatural gifts of the Spirit are still available to the church. So, I would fully recommend Gordon Fees commentaries to anyone who wants a thorough and accurate commentary on the New Testament.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very helpful book in gaining a better understanding of 1st & 2nd Thessalonians.Published 4 months ago by Lester L Wooldridge