Letters and Homilies for Hellenized Christians, Volume 1: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on Titus, 1-2 Timothy and 1-3 John (Letters and Homilies for Hellenized Christians Set)
Letters and Homilies for Hellenized Christians is the first of three volumes extending Ben Witherington's innovative socio-rhetorical analysis of New Testament books to the latter-Pauline and non-Pauline corpora. A second volume will continue the focus on letters and homilies for Hellenized Christians (1-2 Peter), while a third will focus on letters and homilies for Jewish Christians (Hebrews, James and Jude). By dividing the volumes according to the socio-religious contexts for which they were written, Witherington sheds fresh light on the documents, their provenance, character and importance. Throughout, Witherington shows his thorough knowledge of recent literature on these texts and focuses his attention on the unique insights brought about through socio-rhetorical analysis that either reinforces or corrects those gleaned from other approaches. Strikingly, based on his rhetorical analysis of the Pastorals, he makes the case for Luke as Paul's amanuensis for these letters. He also makes a strenuous argument against New Testament pseudepigrapha. "Bridging the Horizons" sections point to the relevance of the text for believers today, making this volume of special value to pastors and general readers as well as students and scholars.
Great on the Pastorals and Solid on 1, 2 and 3 John
By Dr. Marc Axelrod "PM" - April 24, 2007
This is a very well written commentary on six New Testament books. Dr. Witherington does a good job of bringing out the meaning of the text. The first 390 pages covers 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus. He argues persuasively that the voice behind these letters is the voice of Paul, but the hand that wrote down the documents is the hand of Luke. He gives many different examples of how Luke's style of writing has appeared in these letters.
The commentary begins with a useful article about pseudepigraphy (writing a letter and signing it with a famous name to try and convince people that it is the famous person who really wrote it). Witherington contends that this is not what we have in 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus, and that Paul was responsible for these letters which were prepared with his authorization.
He shows in 1 Timothy 1:7-10 how Paul uses the term arsenokoitai to describe those who have sex with men. Therefore in his view, Paul is clearly condemning this... read more
Today is Good Friday and a great day to reflect on Witherington's 3 volume set of "Letters & Homilies"
By robert johnston - April 22, 2011
The Trilogy is a masterpiece for the aggressive God seeker. Individually, the volumes are superb; however only in the set do you get the grit and substance of the range and amplitude of the earliest churches in time and place, and among specifically Jewish temple Christians & `distant' Gentile grafts back in to the vine of God's grace.
The "Letters and Homilies" under Witherington's masterful intellect describe the churches of men struggling to comprehend the unified essence of Jesus teachings to accomplish the one Church of Christ. The cultural chasms among the new believers have been underappreciated in our own time. In one generation, individuals of fierce cultural differences are witnessed to become unified under the one ideal of Christianity. There is no modern parallel to look back upon to compare the magnitude of the attraction to Jesus `cult' that lives on to this day.
As to the trilogy, a straight through read is simply too daunting I think. I took a... read more
By cathcartboy "david_kinnon" - January 16, 2013
Prof Dr Ben Witherington is one of the best commentators around, but be prepared for a challenging read to reap the full rewards of his insights.