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Paul for Everyone: The Prison Letters: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon (The New Testament for Everyone) 2nd Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0664227883
ISBN-10: 0664227880
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Editorial Reviews

Review

[The For Everyone series] is probably the most exciting thing to have happened in Christian education in Britain for many years.Expository Times --Expository Times

About the Author

N. T. Wright is the Bishop of Durham in the Church of England. He is a prolific author and noted New Testament scholar, and was named by Christianity Today in 1999 as one of the world's top five theologians. He has written over thirty books, both at the scholarly level and for a popular audience.
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Product Details

  • Series: The New Testament for Everyone
  • Paperback: 227 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press; 2 edition (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0664227880
  • ISBN-13: 978-0664227883
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. G. Hollums on June 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
Tom Wright is amazing. He changed my Theology in Seminary (in a good way as "N.T." Wright and when he came to speak to Asbury) and now he amazes me with this easy to read and even easier to understand commentary set. I have only bought this one book, but will be saving up (as only a new pastor can) for the entire commentary set. Please find this book. Read page 100-104 about the mind of Christ (Philippians 2.5-11) section and realize how changed your life will be after reading this book. Thank you Tom! and God bless everyone who reads this review. (I hope it encourages you to find it in a librabry or book store, read it, and judge it for yourself)
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Format: Paperback
As a pastor I feel comfortable recommending this commentary and the entire Everyone series to them, because not only are these commentaries excellent scholarly interpretation, but are very readable. N T Wright has the ability to write in a very technical scholarly style or in a manner that everyone can understand and he masterfully demonstrates that fact with the Everyone series.

Wright provides a translation of the entire Epistle that starts each section, then he tells an applicable story that leads into his discussion of the meaning of the text.

The Prison Letters of Epheisans, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon are all covered in this book. Wright is remarkably consistent in his interpretations of the text. You never feel as though he is guessing at an interpretation, but most of his interpretations seem natural and never forced. What was most impressive for me was how he handled Philemon. It is not a very big book, but he shows that it has very big meaning.

If I had to disagree with something it would be his failure to recognize and emphasize the role of the Holy Spirit. I speak as a classical Pentecostal, but there are times when Paul emphasized the Spririt and Wright does very little with this emphasis. He most often uses a lower case "s" for spirit instead of Spirit. I am not sure why he does this and he fails to give an explanation.

Wright does have an excellent glossary of terms at the end of this book and every book in the series. The positive features in this book are well worth the five stars that I have given this book and I overwhelmingly recommend this commentary.
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Format: Paperback
Tom Wright (the more informal way N. T. Wright addresses himself in his more popular and accessible material) has shown his brilliance once again. He says more in 2 - 3 pages about a major section of Paul's letters than many commentaries say by using dozens of pages. This series is meant to be simple and accessible to the average layman, and yet, because of the author, the insights are profoundly brilliant. I can't think of a better series to use for devotions. Buy any of these -- you will not be disappointed.
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Format: Paperback
For those unfamiliar with Wright's "______ for Everyone" series, they are a series of commentaries on the New Testament books by Bishop Wright based on his extensive historical scholarship. He provides his own translation (based on his extensive knowledge and study of the source languages) which is a very engaging paraphrase. The text is divided up into chronological topic-based segments, followed by a 2-3 page sermonette/commentary based on that section.

In this book, it is interesting to learn of the continuity between the "prison letters" and details of Paul's life and the life of the local churches, in that some of them may have been circulars traveling through the same area, carried by certain people named in the letters, and giving insight into their lives. Because this book is divided up over four of Paul's shorter epistles, it helps to make the reading into manageable sections. Wright gives lots of details and imagery on first-century Jewish and Gentile culture that help the reader to become aware of hidden nuances in Paul's writing, as well as double-meanings and important plays on words that are not apparent in the English text.

As well, Wright often begins each commentary with a short illustration or personal vignette, some of which are quite entertaining. (I enjoyed his account of getting lost at my local Mall of America.)

Wright's writing style is very engaging and refreshing, as is reflected in his more scholarly works of deep theology.

This book (and series) are ideal for individual daily Bible study, devotions, and/or group study, as well as material for teaching.

I hope that when the entire series is completed Bishop Wright will consider releasing all his translations of the New Testament books as the "New Testament - Wright Translation." I think it would be very readable and enlightening for general religious study.
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Bishop Wright's commentaries, which is really what this series is (i.e., Paul for Everyone, John for Everyone, Luke fr Everyone, etc.) are a superb gift to the Church. Though one of the finest academic New Testament scholars alive, his commentaries are extremely readable and accessible for the layman.

Even though his audience is the layman or woman, his work is rooted in serious thought, scholarship and reflection. He doesn't always try to solve or answer every textual or theological problem but he will always give the basic tools or parameters allowing the reader to make one's own decision.

He is quite reliable in his underlying exegesis of the text. His tone is pastoral, hortatory and narrative. I use these commentaries for devotional reading.

Highly recommend Dr. Wright and this "Everyone" series.
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