My New “Go To” Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles

Michael J. Kruger

Posted on

May 31, 2017

When it comes to finding good commentaries, one of the challenges is that most commentaries are limited by the the niche they are designed to fill.

Some commentaries are devotional.  Some are exegetical.  Some are practical/pastoral.  And others are highly academic.

Rare is the commentary that can, at least at some level, address all of these important needs. While no commentary can do this perfectly (especially under 1000 pages!), some come closer than others.

One of those rare and exceptional volumes is the new commentary on the Pastoral Epistles–1 & 2 Timothy and Titus–by my friend Andreas Köstenberger. Andreas is the senior research professor of New Testament at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC.

This is a splendid new volume that is theologically faithful, academically rigorous, and yet practical and devotional. And only 605 pages!

One other aspect of this volume that I appreciate is its focus on biblical theology, which is the goal of the commentary series in which it appears: Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation.

I appreciate this emphasis because this was also a goal of the recent NT Intro that I edited which was released last year:  A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the New Testament: The Gospel Realized (Crossway, 2016). For more on that volume, see here.

Here is a description of Andreas’ volume along with the endorsements (including my own):

The Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation Commentary series explores the theology of the Bible in considerable depth, spanning both Testaments. Authors come from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives, though all affirm the inerrancy and inspiration of Scripture. United in their belief in the underlying unity of Scripture, each author explores the contribution of a given book or group of books to the theology of Scripture as a whole. All volumes provide a discussion of introductory matters, including the book’s historical setting and the literary structure.

Also included is an exegetical treatment of all the relevant passages in succinct commentary-style format. The major contribution of each volume, however, is a thorough discussion of the most important themes of the biblical book in relation to the canon as a whole. This format, in itself, would already be a valuable contribution to biblical theology. But there are other series that try to accomplish a survey of the Bible’s theology as well. What distinguishes the present series is its orientation toward Christian proclamation. As a result, the ultimate purpose of this set of volumes is not exclusively, or even primarily, academic. Rather, we seek to relate biblical theology to our own lives and to the life of the church. Our desire is to equip those in Christian ministry who are called by God to preach and teach the precious truths of Scripture to their congregations.

The author of Commentary on 1-2 Timothy and Titus is Andreas J. Köstenberger.

“Andreas Köstenberger is a first-rate New Testament scholar, and his commentary has much to commend it. Pastors and teachers will greatly benefit from this fine exegetical and theological tool.”
– Armin D. Baum, Professor für Neues Testament und Prorektor für Forschung, Freie Hochschule für Theologie, Giessen, Germany

“Köstenberger is to be commended for his careful biblical-theological method. I know no other major attempt to catalogue the theology of the Pastoral Epistles in this way.”
– Craig S. Keener, F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies, Asbury Theological Seminary

“While there are a number of good commentaries on the Pastoral Epistles, there are few that cover all the bases: scholarly, theological, pastoral, insightful, practical, and encouraging. But Andreas Köstenberger’s new volume is all of these. It is now my go-to commentary on these important books and is sure to be the standard resource for pastors and scholars in generations to come.”
– Michael J. Kruger, president and professor of New Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, NC

“This commentary makes a contribution both to scholarship and the church’s mission, a resource that will enrich the messages and messengers who support and sustain our experience of Christian existence. As a biblical scholar and a parish priest, I most heartily recommend this book.”
– Philip H. Towner, director and dean of the Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship at American Bible Society; assistant rector, St. Ignatius of Antioch Episcopal Church, NYC

“This should become a first go-to resource for advanced students in their research and for pastors concerned to do full justice to these writings in their ministerial labors and exposition of the Scriptures.”
– Robert W. Yarbrough, professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary

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