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Author: Stephen E Fowl
Published By: Eerdmans (Grand Rapids/Cambridge)
Pages: 264
Price: £11.99
ISBN: 0 8028 2551 6

Reviewed by Alun Brookfield.

This commentary by the Professor of Theology at Loyola College in Maryland is the latest addition to The Two Horizons New Testament Commentary series. The two horizons in question are those of biblical studies and systematic theology which this series of commentaries attempts to bridge.

The commentary is well written and easy to read, mainly because Philippians is dealt with section by section rather than verse by verse. Fowl wisely resists the temptation to give chapter headings, but does provide a thorough bibliography and set of indices.

A minor gripe is that the print size is rather small, making it easier for younger eyes than mine to cope with, but perhaps the reason is in order to minimise the number of pages and therefore to keep the price manageable.

This is an excellent addition to the library of any preacher or theological student, but I would counsel that it be used alongside other commentaries on Philippians. My reason for this caveat is that certain emphases which come through strongly in other commentaries seem to this reviewer to be rather weak in this one. In particular, there seems to be very little emphasis on the false teachers who appear, from Paul’s rhetoric, to have been troubling this otherwise delightful congregation of Christians. There is also little stress on the persecution which the Philippians appear to have been suffering and which made the easier-to-follow form of Christianity being peddled by the false teaches all the more attractive and tempting.

Generally, however, this is a commentary I am glad to have on my shelf and, at a mere £11.99, is an unquestionably useful addition to the library.

Alun Brookfield

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You are reading Issue 38 of Ministry Today, published in November 2006.

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