Although relatively brief, Philippians is one of the most interesting and beloved of Paul's undisputed epistles. In Philippians and Philemon, Bonnie Thurston makes a convincing case that canonical Philippians is as Paul wrote it, one letter. Although there is not enough specific evidence to "name names," she suggests a number of possible audiences. A translation conforming as closely as possible to the original Greek is provided, along with a careful analysis of the language of the letter that yields insights into the context and theological underpinning of this epistle.The apostle's very brief letter to Philemon stands solidly within the Pauline collection of authentic and canonical letters. In this volume, Judith Ryan argues that Philemon makes two specific appeals. The first seeks to elicit Philemon's partnership and his community's support in welcoming Onesimus back as both beloved brother and honored guest. The second requests that Onesimus be allowed to use the freedom he already has to serve Christ and his Gospel. In this commentary Ryan provides a fresh translation, critical notes for each verse, and interpretation on defined sections. She situates the letter in the historical context of slavery in the ancient world and shows how Paul combined his theology with contemporary rhetorical strategies to produce an effective challenge to his audience.Bonnie B. Thurston, PhD, lives in West Virginia in solitude. She is ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the author of several books, including The Spiritual Landscape of Mark and Religious Vows, the Sermon on the Mount, and Christian Living (Liturgical Press) and Preaching Mark (Fortress Press).Judith M. Ryan, PhD, STL, is associate professor of New Testament at the University of St. Thomas School of Theology at St. Mary's Seminary, Houston, Texas. Previously she taught at Catholic University of America, Fordham University, the University of Scranton, College Misericordia, and St. Mary's Seminary and University, Baltimore, Maryland.
Now Available in Paperback!More than any other New Testament writing the Book of Revelation demands commentary. Its often-bewildering text is easily open to less than scholarly interpretation. Father Harrington brings his scholarship to the Book of Revelation and conveys its Christian message. He puts the work in its historical and social setting—a first-century CE province of the Roman Empire—and explores its social and religious background and its literary character. Through Father Harrington we hear clearly the challenge of John, the prophet, to the Churches of his time—and to ours—not to compromise the Gospel message.
Sacra Pagina is a multi volume commentary on the books of the New Testament.The expression "Sacra Pagina" ("Sacred Page") originally referred to the text of Scripture. In the Middle Ages it also described the study of Scripture to which the interpreter brought the tools of grammar, rhetoric, dialectic, and philosophy.This series presents fresh translations and modern expositions of all the books of the New Testament. Written by an international team of Catholic biblical scholars, it is intended for biblical professionals, graduate students, theologians, clergy, and religious educators. The volumes present basic introductory information and close exposition, with each author adopting a specific methodology while maintaining a focus on the issues raised by the New Testament compositions themselves.The goal of Sacra Pagina is to provide sound, critical analysis without any loss of sensitivity to religious meaning. This series is therefore catholic in two senses of the word: inclusive in its methods and perspectives, and shaped by the context of the Catholic tradition.The Second Vatican Council described the study of "the sacred page" as the "very soul of sacred theology" (Dei Verbum 24). The volumes in this series illustrate how Catholic scholars contribute to the council's call to provide access to Sacred Scripture for all the Christian faithful. Rather than pretending to say the final word on any text, these volumes seek to open up the riches of the New Testament and to invite as many people as possible to study seriously the "sacred page."
The Acts of the Apostles is really the second volume in the two-part writing scholars call Luke-Acts. It continues the story begun in the Gospel of Luke, showing how the Good News offered by Jesus to the outcast of the people was eventually extended "to the end of the earth," so that Gentiles as well as Jews came to share in the blessings of God. This commentary treats Luke-Acts as an apologetic history. It takes with equal seriousness both Luke's literary artistry and his historical interests, fitting his methods comfortably within the ancient standards of historiography. This perspective illustrates in particular that Luke's historical narrative serves a definite religious intent. Tracing that intent through the specific contours of Luke's story is the special contribution of this commentary.
Paul's Letter to the Galatians has played a major role in the history of theology, especially in the Church's teaching on grace, faith, and justification. This commentary argues that Paul's doctrine of justification by faith is essentially social in nature and has important ecumenical implications for the Church today. In its original setting, Galatians established a foundation for the unity of Jewish and Gentile Christians: all are justified by the faith of Jesus Christ. In addition to illuminating the historical situation that led Paul to write his Letter to the Galatians, this commentary pays careful attention to the rhetorical structure of this letter and its theological message. The author provides a fresh translation of Galatians, critical notes on each verse of the text, and a careful commentary of the letter in light of Paul's theology. Theories abound on the question of Galatians, why it was written, what it says, and what the implications of that message are. Yet few scholars have devoted themselves at length to this letter. What sets this work apart is the extent and detail of its scholarship. Includes an updated bibliography as an appendix. Frank J. Matera is the Andrews-Kelly-Ryan Professor of Biblical Studies at the Catholic University of America. A past president of the Catholic Biblical Association of America, he is the author of Strategies for Preaching Paul (Liturgical Press); New Testament Ethics: The Legacies of Jesus and Paul; New Testament Christology; and a commentary on Second Corinthians in the New Testament Library Series.