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The Letters to the Colossians and to Philemon (The Pillar New Testament Commentary (PNTC)) Hardcover – August 25, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Douglas J. Moo (PhD, University of St. Andrews) is the Kenneth T. Wessner Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College. His work centers on understanding the text of the New Testament and its application today. He has written extensively in several commentary series, including the NIV Application Commentary, Pillar Commentary, Tyndale New Testament Commentary, and the New International Commentary on the New Testament.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Pillar New Testament Commentary (PNTC)
  • Hardcover: 504 pages
  • Publisher: Eerdmans (August 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802837271
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802837271
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bill Muehlenberg VINE VOICE on February 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Surprisingly, there have been very few substantial and recent commentaries on Colossians from a conservative/evangelical perspective. Somewhat older volumes of importance include those by O'Brien (WBC, 1982); Wright (TNTC, 1986); Dunn (NIGTC, 1996); Garland (NIVAC, 1998); and Thompson (THNTC, 2005). Thus there has been a slight dearth of new in-depth works on Colossians (and Philemon).

This volume nicely fills the gap. Moo, Professor of New Testament at Wheaton Graduate School in Chicago, has already authored several important commentaries, such as his top-rate 1996 volume on Romans (NICNT), and his 2000 work on James (PNTC).

This is a significant commentary in an increasingly significant commentary series. The Pillar New Testament Commentary series now has 10 commentaries available, and it serves as a very workable and substantive mid-range series of commentaries. While not overly technical in nature, the series does offer high-quality commentaries that both students and pastors will greatly benefit from. This volume is no exception.

At 471 pages, it is certainly the most lengthy of treatments thus far on these two books. Dunn and Garland were 388 and 389 pages respectively. So this volume is both the most up to date work to appear, taking into account all the recent scholarship on these epistles, and the most detailed and comprehensive.

Concerning the contentious issues of authorship and dating, Moo spends nearly 20 pages arguing for Pauline authorship and a writing of around A.D. 60-61. The place of writing was most likely Rome, and the occasion of the epistle was to promote a high Christology over against false teaching.

As to some of the hotly debated issues in the epistle, Moo provides careful guidance and discussion.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Douglas Moo's fresh commentary on Colossians does not fail to follow in the tradition of the writer's excellent and extensive work on Romans. The volume also contributes to what appears to be a very satisfying trend in the relatively new Pillar Commentary set by Eerdmans - solid conservative scholarship and excellent readability. The Wheaton Professor explains in his preface that the research for this work felt "like coming home" (x). This feeling of the writer's personal fascination and joy in study of the book overflows into its readability. Not even Bruce (see review on The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians (New International Commentary on the New Testament))can match these literary qualities in the mind of this reviewer.

As to the content of the work, Moo devotes 46 pages to an introduction to Colossians, 90 pages to Colossians 1 (30 of which are dedicated to the 6 verse "Christ hymn"), 79 pages to chapter 2, 73 pages to chapter 3, 36 pages to chapter 4, and 85 pages to the Book of Philemon. A thorough index of authors, subjects, scripture, and extra-biblical literature fills the final 28 pages. For the purposes of this review, a focus will be given to the majority of the book - the commentary on Colossians.

Moo's introduction to the book leaves nothing lacking. Initially Moo surveys the recipients and moves on to tackle the question of authorship.
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I have several commentaries, both academic and non-academic on Colossians, but I saw this relatively recent work by Moo on Colossians/Philemon and purchased it.

First, I absolutely enjoy the structure and work of Pillar New Testament Commentary. It does not waste the reader's time in wild speculation or endless conjecture or attempting to write a review of everyone's work on each verse.

Second, I think Moo's work is highly usable for preaching and teaching. Good background information and easy to follow exegetical development (with more detailed work in the footnotes) are what I find appealing.

Finally, I plan to purchase all the commentaries in this series (something I have seldom if ever done) because of the serious commitment to Scripture that follows in every treatment of Scripture.

After 25 years of buying commentaries, I'd buy this one again and give it away to friends!

Blessings,

Pastor Jon
[...]
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Format: Hardcover
Moo is perhaps the gold standard for exegesis of the tricky letter to the Colossians, a letter with a lot of difficult issues. Moo works through them clearly, generally presenting all of the exegetical options and then explaining why he prefers one over the others. His writing is crisp, and although this is a serious academic work which expects at least familiarity with Greek terminology, it never feels bogged down. For one who really wants to get into the original meaning of the text, you'll be hard pressed to do better.

There were two primary concerns I had with this commentary. First, there is no hint of application at any point. Moo is explaining the original meaning, but offers no thoughts about how these ideas apply to the modern Christian. Therefore, most will probably want to have at least one companion resource that aims in that direction, especially if looking for teaching this book from the pulpit or in Sunday school. Secondly, and perhaps this is just me ... the commentary often feels like an infomercial for TNIV, which frankly got wearisome. Moo was on the TNIV translation commitee, so it's no surprise that he favors it (NIV 2011 did not exist when this commentary was writte).

Having just completed a sermon series on Colossians, my thoughts were that this is a great resource, but I found as I was getting further into the series that I found myself using Moo less, with Pao and Garland becoming my go-to resources.
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