Monday, October 15, 2012

Review: Philippians Community Commentary

(Reposting because this was getting a lot of spam. I apologize for the broken external links)

Recently, a friend asked on Facebook to recommend a Bible commentary. I wanted to answer but was ill-equipped to do so. I was wondering the same thing myself quite honestly, because I get overwhelmed every time I browse the shelves at the local Christian book store or dig deep into the multiple study tools included in the numerous versions of Bible software I have downloaded. I was hoping someone would reply that would satisfy my own personal interest. Some friends on Facebook answered with the standard public-domain options- Matthew Henry or Adam Clarke- others recommended websites that are more topical Bible-studies than actual commentaries. So I am left back at square one. I go to the store and look and the numerous options, unsure of a particular author's doctrine, or feeling the sticker-shock of considering entire commentary volumes covering every book of the Bible. Other single-volume commentaries I find to be simply expository studies that are helpful to provide background for sermon preparation but lack in personal application.

Wouldn't it be great to have a commentary that offers a variety of perspectives as if the writers were sitting around a coffee table, offered not just informative insight but was also practical, that included Greek and English word studies, AND was affordable?

Well look no further because Dan King, the "chief instigator" of BibleDude.net and author of The Unlikely Missionary gathered a diverse group of bloggers to assemble a commentary on Paul's letter to the Philippians, titled simply Paul's Letter to the Philippians: BibleDude Community Commentary*.

Sales pitch aside, this is why I love blogging. Different voices from different backgrounds offering different perspectives of the same Biblical text. And because the discussion did not happen in a vacuum, the thoughts shared are in a sense peer-reviewed. So this is not some amateur effort but a thoughtful inspection into arguably Paul's most popular epistles.

As Dan puts it, "the Word of God was intended to be discussed and interpreted in community." And this commentary not only does that as the writers explore Paul's text, but it also enables the discussion to continue as it provides the tools you need for small group and personal study. Frustrated following link after link in blogs or tracking hundreds of Twitter accounts looking to get deeper into the Word of God? This commentary, unique in its scope and approach, takes advantage of social media to consolidate the advantages of blogs, tweets and online studies into a single, easy to read volume. I'm looking forward to additional commentaries to come.

*I am reviewing this book for the Philippians Community Commentary and received an advance free e-book. I am not affiliated with BibleDude.net, nor am I a contributor to the Commentary (at least not this one!). I received no other compensation for my review.

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