New Expository Times issue

July 2009 – see HERE.

In the new ExT issue, there is an interesting article by David Sim on the history of the interpretation of Matthew’s Gospel.  Here is the abstract (the title is: THE RISE AND FALL OF THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW):

The Gospel of Matthew, the most influential Gospel in the ancient Christian Church, has lost its primary position in the modern world. It has been replaced by John as the most popular Gospel, and it is challenged by Mark for second position. This study seeks to explain Matthew’s fall from grace by isolating a number of the Gospel’s features that are deemed to be either offensive or problematic by modern interpreters.

There are also some nice reviews, such as Paul Foster’s take on Eddie Adams’ new The Stars Will Fall From Heaven monograph; and Stephen Chester’s review of J.K. Riches’ commentary on Galatians.

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Review of G.D. Fee’s Galatians Commentary (Part I)

Gordon Fee is not someone that I expect that I need to introduce to most of my readers.  His work on the Holy Spirit, textual criticism (and NT exegesis in general), Philippians, 1 Corinthians, the Pastoral Epistles, and ecclesiology is well-known.  Most recently, he penned a mammoth volume on Paul’s Christology, a work that will likely be a standard reference tool on that subject for years to come.

We are fortunate to have a new commentary on Galatians (Pentecostal Commentary series; Deo publishing, 2007) from Fee.  This epistle gives us depth of insight into the apostleship of Paul, the Jew-Gentile issues, his relationship with Jerusalem/Peter/James, and, of course, the Holy Spirit and Christian ethic.  What a delight to have Fee’s perspective on such matters.

First – about the type of commentary.   It is in a series that is by pentecostals and speaks into the pentecostal community.  Fee is insistent, though, that his is not a ‘Pentecostal commentary’, but, rather, it is an exegetical commentary written by a NT scholar who happens to be a pentecostal.  He does not feel the need to support particular pentecostal doctrines.  In fact, when he does address pentecostals directly, his comments are more critical (as a fellow pentecostal) rather than sycophantic.

The format and style of the commentary immediately demonstrates that it is not of the same depth and critical-engagement as the ICC, Anchor, or NIGTC.  He spends no more than 10 pages on the ‘introduction’ (date/place/purpose/themes).  The commentary proper involves a standard pericope-by-pericope discussion followed by a ‘reflection’ (on theological issues and applications) and ‘response’ (which directly applies the teaching to the reader with penetrating questions and other thoughts).

Again, this is not a place to turn to for detailed comment or for an extensive bibliography.  On the other hand, it is helpful when someone has a short bibliography because he (or she) divulges the most salient books and articles.  It is worth reproducing here what books Fee consulted most often for Galatians:

Barclay, J.M. G. Obeying the Truth (1988)

Betz, H.D. Galatians (Hermeneia; 1979)

Bruce, F.F. Galatians (NIGTC; 1982)

Burton, E.D. Galatians (ICC; 1921)

Dunn, J.D.G. Galatians (BNTC; 1993)

Hansen, G.W. Galatians (IVPNT; 1994)

Lightfoot, J.B. Galatians (1865)

Longenecker, R.N. Galatians (WBC 1990)

Martyn, J.L. Galatians (AB; 1997)

Matera, F. Galatians (SP; 1992)

Witherington, B. Grace in Galatia (1998)

In the next segment of this review I will discuss the actual content of the commentary and Fee’s contributions to the various exegetical enigmas in Galatians.