Colossians and Philemon
A Pastoral and Contextual Commentary
Paul’s epistle to the Colossians was written to a group of Christians who still held on to their past Jewish and pagan traditions alongside their faith in Christ. To help these believers, Paul provided guidance on how to deal with their past, showing them how faith in Christ brings new meaning to their situation. Similarly, in his epistle to Philemon, Paul addresses a culture where slavery was a common practice. He demonstrates the potential when slaves responded to the gospel and turned to Christ. Both of these epistles are extremely relevant to the church in Asia today, especially as it is confronted with syncretism, false teachings and the mistreatment of the less fortunate and marginalized in society.
The Asia Bible Commentary series empowers Christian believers in Asia to read the Bible from within their respective contexts. Holistic in its approach to the text, each exposition of the biblical books combines exegesis and application. The ultimate goal is to strengthen the Body of Christ in Asia by providing pastoral and contextual exposition of every book of the Bible.
Here you have a balanced, insightful, reliable and innovative commentary on two of Paul’s letters. Balanced, for it avoids extreme views and unnecessary technicalities and offers a convincing exegesis of the text in straightforward English. Insightful, because it contains many insights into the text that are unlikely to occur to the Western reader but will readily resonate with readers who have an Asian background. Reliable, for while it interacts with alternative understandings of the text, it always represents “informed orthodoxy.” Innovative, with its splendid special studies that are particularly relevant to Asian teachers and pastors – such as “Apostles and Apostolic Succession” and “Slavery: Then and Now.” Warmly and highly recommended.
Murray J. Harris, PhD
Professor Emeritus of New Testament Exegesis and Theology,
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois, USA
Two eminent scholars with almost a century of collective teaching expertise have successfully excavated Paul’s efforts to build bridges between “truth and grace,” “hope of the future and a victorious present” as nascent Christians of the Lycus valley were constrained by “faith in the pre-eminence of Christ” and the fear of their religious past. The sagely duo invest their first-hand knowledge of Asian philosophies and cultures to make the text speak to the context: Anatolia is bridged with Asia! This is a treasure of sagacious reflections, a must-read for pastors, theological educators and anyone who cares to hear God speak to Asians today through the gospel.
Idicheria Ninan, PhD
Professor of New Testament,
South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies, Bangalore, India
Table of Contents
- Series Preface
- Authors’ Preface
- List of Abbreviations
- The Letter to the Colossians
- Commentary on Colossians
- The Letter to Philemon
- Commentary on Philemon
- Selected Bibliography
- Apostles and Apostolic Succession
- The Place of Creedal Confession in Worship
- Idolatry in the Asian Context
- Folk Religion in the Lycus Valley
- Slavery: Then and Now