In my pauline research, I am working through Paul’s letters (chronologically, hypothetically as they were written) and looking at how cultic metaphors are used. My last couple of months have been in 1 Thessalonians. Compared to Galatians and Romans there is very little good research on 1-2 Thess., but that is slowly changing. As far as commentaries go, my favorite has been Charles Wanamaker, in many ways because his attention to social and rhetorical aspects are well balanced with the more traditional interest in history and ‘theology’. After that, certainly Malherbe and Bruce are worthy of note, though I do not like the format of either the Anchor Series or the WBC. One major advantage of the WBC is the bibliography that appears before each pericope or section, but Bruce’s commentary is old enough to be a bit outdated and does not account for the excellent research that has appeared in the last couple of decades.
After that, I appreciate the briefly but still informative commentaries by Beale (IVP) and Gaventa (Interpretation) who both have expertise in things apocalyptic. Raymond Collins has authored a series of essays on 1-2 Thessalonians and has edited a collection of essays (both from Leuven UP) and these represent the best of scholarship on Paul’s letters to Thessalonica. In the future, we look forward to a commentary by Helmut Koester (Hermeneia) and by J. Weima (Baker) – both from very different theological backgrounds, but will have useful perspectives.