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The Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon (The New International…
by James D. G. Dunn
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Bibliographies: pp. 3, 293. Includes indices
Colossians is a stunning letter. Written near the end of Paul’s life, his message to the church is rooted in a profound understanding of Jesus Christ and the implications of Jesus’ death and resurrection for both the universe and individual believers. Consider the epic vision of Jesus portrayed in the Christ Hymn:
"He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation
For in him were created all things
in the heavens and on the earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions
or principalities or authorities;
all things were created through him and for him.
He himself is before all things,
and all things hold together in him;
and he is the head of the body, the church.
He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
in order that he might be in all things preeminent.
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
and through him to reconcile all things to him,
making peace through the blood of his cross (through him),
whether the things on the earth or the things in the heavens"
(Colossians 1:15-20 Dunn).
In other words, “Christ is all and in all” (3:11 Dunn).
Having studied Dunn’s Theology of Paul the Apostle in detail (check it out here if you’re interested), I am always eager to read another of his commentaries. His NIGTC entry is detailed without feeling ponderous. Dunn brings out the meaning of the Greek language with clarity. He brings the perceptive reader to the point where the implicit relevance of the text shines through the exegesis.
The NIGTC series is written for the study of the Greek text. However, you don’t have to be a language expert to follow Dunn’s arguments. This commentary should appeal to any thoughtful Pauline exegete.
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English (2)
"Paul's Epistle to the Colossians merits detailed study for at least two reasons. First, it provides an unexpectedly interesting window into the character of Christianity in Asia Minor in the second half of the first century. With the information it gives about the religious tensions within which emergent Christianity was caught up, not least those between Christianity and diaspora Judaism, we begin to gain more insight into the influences and factors that shaped the transition from apostolic to subapostolic Christianity in the region. Second, Colossians represents a crucial stage in the development of Pauline theology itself. Whether it was written at the end of Paul's life or soon after his death, it indicates how Pauline theology retained its own vital character and did not die with Paul." "In this volume in the celebrated New International Greek Testament Commentary, James D. G. Dunn, author of numerous well-received works on the historical origin and theological interpretation of the New Testament, provides detailed expositions of the text of Paul's letters to the Colossians and to Philemon." "Dunn examines each of these letters within the context of the Jewish and Hellenistic cultures in the first century, and discusses the place of Colossians and Philemon in the relationship between the Pauline mission and the early churches that received these letters. Particular stress is also placed on the role of faith in Jesus Christ within and over against Judaism and on the counsel of these two important letters with regard to the shaping of human relationships in the community of faith."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)227.7077Religions Bible Epistles Colossians
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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
An edition of this book was published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co..