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The Letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon (The New Daily Study Bible) 3rd Edition
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Scholars have disputed Pauline authorship of the Pastoral Epistles (I and II Timothy, Titus). Barclay's introduction covers the issues involved well. He takes a middle position where a later teacher expanded genuine Pauline fragments. Unfortunately, he does not expound this view in the commentary itself; he is silent about which sections are genuine and which are later. Since "we are still hearing the voice of Paul" (13), it probably did not occur to him to make the distinctions. Barclay's introduction to Philemon includes an interesting if speculative account of how this short letter became included in the New Testament.
The commentary itself is best described as expository. Barclay does not only analyze the Greek text. Using exhortation, anecdotal stories, and other sources, he also suggests what these texts might mean today. From a strictly academic viewpoint, this commentary will seem superficial. For the popular audience for whom Barclay has intended this work, it should serve as a springboard for further study. Barclay provides a list for further reading for this purpose.
Though this book is a good introductory work overall, the reader should be aware of a couple points. The first relates to these epistles' stances on women and slavery. Any casual reading of the letters will strike the reader as bordering on misogyny and condoning slavery. Barclay places these tests in the situation of the Roman/Greek world in which Paul wrote them. He makes a valid point that doing almost anything else would be scandalous (with women) or even dangerous (with slaves).Read more ›
I have these in both print and Kindle editions. Using the Kindle app on my phone makes it portable. I can check it easily during church, Sunday school or Bible study without carrying a stack of books.
The only other concern is that Barclay does not believe Paul wrote these letters. Now there are lots of scholars who also agree with his assessment. But Barclay really has to jump through some theoretical hoops to come up with a theory on the real author of these letters if it's not Paul. That gave me a warning sign on this book — that the author would have to concoct some rather outlandish theory on authorship.
From that point forward, I read this book carefully and with a grain of skepticism. I would say that if you haven't read much of The Bible or any critical analysis, don't start with this book. Instead, find Gordon Fee's book on the Pastoral letters. But, this book is worth it as a secondary source.
Where Barclay's strength lies is in the meticulous analysis of the text. Paul tends to pack a lot in his sentences; Barclay picks the sentence apart and brings things into clearer view. While he does an admirable job discussing Paul's world in the light of the times (when slaves outnumbered free men, when women were neither to be seen nor heard, etc.); how Paul's words can be applied to a modern, slave-free, woman-respecting society; and spends a great deal of time analyzing Christian conduct.
While the commentary is generally good, it wasn't much that I hadn't heard or read before. It can be argued that this was Barclay's intention. Since he translated the entire text from the original Greek, quoted many other Bible verses and Paul's pagan contemporaries (to illustrate the thinking of the day), etc., he could have written a pretty good commentary series intended for Biblical scholars. Instead, he wrote one for the regular chruch-goers.
I do have to throw in one comment concerning the inerrancy of the Bible. Barclay speculates that Paul may not have written the entire epistle, but rather that someone found one of Paul's old letters and re-wrote it to address the Gnostic heresy in the Church. This speculation is dangerous as it encourages one to pick apart the Bible and throw away the parts that he/she doens't like.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Every line is explained. Perfect for understanding these letters.Published 10 days ago by Edward J. Miller
great item; meaning of scripture is thoroughly researched and fleshed-outPublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great look at the Apostle Paul's "charge" to Timothy to take over for him.Published 8 months ago by artie burnett
The view of book was good the front page cover was almost not used so it was goodPublished 9 months ago by IONE WINTER