Book Reviews

The Second Epistle to the Corinthians

A Commentary on the Greek Text

Murray J. Harris Grand Rapids 2005-01-26

Volumes in this outstanding series emphasize a theological understanding of the New Testament text based on detailed historical-critical-linguistic exegesis. The primary purpose of the series is not to apply and expound the text for modern readers. The target audience is Greek scholars who are concerned with the grammar, syntax, and textual criticism of the New Testament documents.

This commentary does not attempt to give much history of interpretation of 2 Corinthians. The author has utilized some of the older versions of this epistle as well as standard modern translations. He discusses the major theological passages (1:8–11; 5:1–10; and 5:16–20) extensively, and he includes an excursus on Paul’s experiences in Asia that, Harris contends, affected the apostle’s theology. Another subject not discussed much elsewhere is the history and archaeology of Roman Corinth.

His introduction deals with literary issues, historical issues, a chronology of the relations of Paul, Timothy, and Titus with the Corinthian church, analyses of 2 Corinthians (rhetorical, chiastic, and epistolary), and a summary of the theology of the epistle. The indexes locate subjects, authors, and Greek words discussed in the commentary. Harris also includes his own expanded paraphrase of 2 Corinthians, as an appendix, which gives readers a quick way to discover how he understands a word or passage and the flow of Paul’s argument. His bibliographies are extensive.

Harris presents views on disputed subjects evenhandedly and dispassionately and then sets forth his own conclusions concisely. He is a master of the Greek language as well as the commentaries on 2 Corinthians. His warm heart for pastoral issues comes through in his comments on these portions of the epistle. Many readers will agree with David Garland’s comment that this work is “the gold standard for commentaries on 2 Corinthians.” Serious students of this epistle will benefit greatly from the author’s work.

Having taught for many years at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Harris is now professor emeritus of New Testament exegesis and theology.

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Thomas L. Constable
Thomas L. Constable is a former faculty member of DTS. Dr. Constable is the founder of Dallas Seminary’s Field Education department (1970) and the Center for Biblical Studies (1973), both of which he directed for many years before assuming other responsibilities. Today Dr. Constable maintains an active academic, pulpit supply, and conference-speaking ministry around the world. He has ministered in nearly three dozen countries and written commentaries on every book of the Bible. Dr. Constable also founded a church, pastored it for twelve years, and has served as one of its elders for over thirty years.
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