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This commentary on II Corinthians in the New Testament Library continues the exemplary quality of the series. Frank Matera provides a commentary that is a close study of the backgrounds and language of the text while also providing important theological insights into the message of Paul for his time and for the contemporary church.
The New Testament Library offers authoritative commentary on every book and major aspect of the New Testament, as well as classic volumes of scholarship. The commentaries in this series provide fresh translations based on the best available ancient manuscripts, offer critical portrayals of the historical world in which the books were created, pay careful attention to their literary design, and present a theologically perceptive exposition of the text.
|1:1-11: The Salutation and Benediction||35|
|Pt. 1||1:12-7:16: The Crisis over Paul's Apostolic Integrity||45|
|Pt. 2||8:1-9:15: An Appeal to Complete the Collection||179|
|Pt. 3||10:1-13:10: Defense and Warnings in Preparation for Paul's Third Visit||213|
|Index of Ancient Sources||315|
|Index of Authors||325|
|Index of Subjects||327|
Posted March 5, 2010
The easiest evaluation of this commentary is that it meets and in some cases exceeds the expectations I have of volumes in the New Testament Library series. If you have used and liked other volumes in either the OTL or the NTL, you won't be disappointed.
There are several things I look for in a commentary, and of course different commentaries serve different purposes. In a scholarly commentary intended for the preacher or teacher I look for solid coverage of critical issues, reasonable accessibility, good theological applications (or at least hooks on which to build them), and comprehensive coverage without going overboard. On all these points this commentary stands up well.
For my personal use I like good coverage of text-critical issues and language issues. As is usual with NTL or OTL volumes, the language and text issues are a little less prominent, being largely covered in short notes following the translation. Considering the purpose of the commentary, this is actually a feature, since overdoing minor textual issues is simply distracting for someone who need to go out and preach to a congregation that will have limited use for that type of information.
Two things stood out in reading the commentary.
First, Matera covers the literary integrity of the book in some detail, including discussion of the various arguments for believing that more than one letter has been combined to make the single book we call 2 Corinthians. Matera supports the literary integrity of the book as we have it. He does not treat the other side unfairly, however.
Second, Matera covers rhetorical issues in some detail, which helps the reader see the book as a whole as well as digging into the details. I had never been able to really "feel" 2 Corinthians, even though I've studied it and read it many times. It always seemed like a patchwork of topics. That's OK for a letter, but with Matera's comments I see more connection and structure and less of a loose collection of topics.
I strongly recommend this commentary.