The latest volume in D. A. Carson’s Pillar New Testament Commentary series is now available:
From Carson’s preface (pp. ix–x):
Casual readers of the letter to the Philippians might think that it is one of the slighter contributions penned by Paul. Here one does not find, say, the massive theological reasoning of Romans, the emotional intensity of 2 Corinthians, or the contentious apologetic of Galatians. Some might almost find it bland. Yet those who have probed this letter more closely know that the first chapter finds Paul in one of his most reflective moods as, toward the end of his life, he contemplates the benefits of “departing” and “being with Christ” over against living on in this world to bring further gospel blessing to the churches for which he is responsible; that the second chapter includes one of the high points of New Testament Christology, the third is embroiled in contemporary debates about the New Perspective on Paul, and the fourth contains one of the most revealing pictures of the relationship between Paul and a supporting church. In all of this, the letter sings with the theme of joy and appeals to the Philippians to learn to “think the same thing.” Small wonder that this letter is so embracing when all along it keeps trumpeting the gospel.
With themes and emotions so varied, the letter to the Philippians needs a commentator with a sure grasp and a warm heart. It helps that Dr Hansen writes with admirable clarity and simplicity, even when he is unpacking notoriously complex matters. Perhaps he brings so many qualifications to the table because he himself has not only served as a pastor and a seminary professor, but as a missionary in another cultural context. Certain it is that this commentary will become “must” reading for many pastors, students, and scholars as they try to think Paul’s thoughts after him while reading this letter.
Hansen also authored Galatians in the IVP NT Commentary series.
Full disclosure: I’m grateful for Hansen’s scholarly contributions, but I have an even more personal reason to be grateful since I’m a Hansen fellow (2008–2010)!
Related: Cf. my review of the Pillar NT Commentary series.