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Hiebert on Titus and Philemon commentary

This is a commentary on both the book of Titus and Philemon and is a good example of why you can’t judge a commentary by its size. Although it is small, it is a valuable commentary for devotional reading as well as a wonderful resource for the exegete. I first used this book as part of my research for sermon preparation for a series through Philemon largely because I found the author’s other books insightful in studying the Scripture. It turned out to be a pretty good commentary and was on par with some of the technical exegetical commentaries that were several times bigger than its size. A year after I used this book in studying Philemon, I picked this book up again as an aide for my devotional reading through the book of Titus; once again I enjoyed the author’s insight of Scripture. For instance, Hiebert has a good discussion of what else we know of Titus from other passages from the New Testament—this is helpful and one sees a portrait of a man of God whom Paul trusted for the work of the ministry. I also thought Hiebert did a good summary of five reasons why 2 Timothy 2:13 is referring to Jesus as “great God and Savior” and not God the Father. Like his other commentaries Hiebert dispenses a fair amount of lexical insights that contribute to one’s understanding of the passage. I wished this commentary would still be in print. I had to borrow it from the Library. I recommend this work as well as other works by the author.

You can get this book over at Amazon.

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Purchase: Amazon

I did enjoy this commentary. For readers who are unaware, Fitzmyer is a Roman Catholic but I did not find his tradition really coming out (for instance, his interaction of the word “saints” in Philemon is interpreted to refer to believers in general, not SAINTS, and he did not have any further discussion about that point of saints and SAINTS). In the past I have used various commentaries from this series and I think this volume is one of the better ones (there are some whacky ones in this series). I read this work primarily for my exegetical preparation for preaching, so in terms of it’s usefulness for the exegete I thought that this work was worthwhile in terms of the materials for the readers to interact with, though I feel that there was more that Fitzmyer could have said. By saying that this work is worthwhile, I do not mean that I agree with every interpretative decision made by the author, only that they were not outrageous or out of bounds where he landed. From time to time there were historical, lexical, grammatical and syntactical insights that I gained about the Greek text from reading Fitzmyer, that I didn’t not see on my own.

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