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The Letter to Philemon
POD; Published: 8/1/2000
ISBN: 978-0-8028-2745-6
Price: $ 53.99
588 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6.14 x 9.21
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This is a print on demand book and is therefore non- returnable.

Although sometimes regarded as trivial because of its brevity or its treatment of issues distant from the modern world, the letter to Philemon remains valuable both for its insight into the social setting of the New Testament and for its reiteration of a central component of the gospel — brotherly love.

This superb commentary by Markus Barth and Helmut Blanke is unique for its exhaustive study of the ancient world at the time Philemon was written. The volume examines the institution of slavery in Paul's day, drawing from secular Greco-Roman sources and from other Christian writers of the time. The references to slavery found in Ephesians, Colossians, and 1 Timothy are also compared and contrasted with Paul's statements in Philemon. In addition, the verse-by- verse commentary focuses on important themes in Pauline theology, including love, faith and faithfulness, church unity, providence, free will, and human responsibility. Finally, Barth makes his exposition even more useful by surveying the history of the interpretation of Philemon, from the patristic age to modern liberation theologians.

The product of Markus Barth's lifelong research, this volume was completed by Helmut Blanke.
The Expository Times
"Accessible, lucid, and broadly informative on many related theological and historical topics. . . From a narrow window, the authors have surveyed a very wide panorama. This commentary is immense, interesting, intriguing—but not intimidating."
The Master's Seminary Journal
"This work deserves a place as one of the best of all time in contributing information on background issues and exegesis of the epistle. . . The commentary is lengthy, but the information is much of value. . . Extensive discussions of the work form a major contribution to professors and students in deep NT scholarly study. Others who are patient to read and reflect, such as pastors who do in-depth study, will derive much profit, agreeing at times and disagreeing at others."
The Bible Today
"This is a major scholarly commentary on Paul's briefest and most enticing letter. . . The strength of the commentary is not only its judicious exposition of the text itself but also the extensive introduction which provides a wealth of information and perspective on the social and cultural context of the letter. Undoubtedly this will be a classic work on Philemon for many years to come."
David E. Garland
"Markus Barth provides us with an exceptional treasure trove of relevant ancient and modern material to enrich our understanding of ancient slavery and the interpretation of Philemon. A remarkable repository of learning, this volume brings Paul's world and thought to life as a seasoned guide takes readers on a fascinating tour of every nook and cranny of the apostle's most personal letter. This book will hardly be surpassed."