In this commentary, Fred Craddock focuses on the text of Philippians rather than on conversations among scholars about the text. He begins by exploring the importance of Philippians as a letter of Paul to a particular church. His commentary on the text differs from many other commentaries in that issue of authorship, date, place of writing, integrity, or purpose are dealt with at points where the text itself raises these issues. In order to assist those who preach, Craddock gives special attention to passages that appear in most lectionaries. Further, he draws attention to the theology of Paul as reflected in all of his letters wherever it enlightens or is enlightened by the text. Craddock helps the reader understand what it meant for an apostle and a church to be partners in the gospel.
“What we do know for sure, however, is that Paul regarded as inappropriate to the body of Christ the selfish eye, the pompous mind, the ear hungry for compliments and the mouth that spoke none, the heart that had little room for others, and the hand that served only the self.” (Page 38)
“ In a word, Paul sought to lay hold of him who had already laid hold of Paul” (Page 61)
“Suffering, injustice, even death can be endured if someone can make sense of it, if it can be shown that some cause, some purpose is served; but there is no pain so sharp as an uninterpreted pain, no tragedy so heavy as one without meaning.” (Page 24)
“Too many genuine Christian witnesses and workers have been made to feel guilty because on a given day they labored from commitment rather than a warm heart.” (Page 26)
“Giving ourselves up to God is total trust, having no claims, seeking no advantage, but in service to one another leaving our status before God entirely in God’s hands.” (Page 58)
The Interpretation series from Westminster John Knox Press is clearly established as a rich source for teaching and preaching. They have tapped the talents of a varied and esteemed group of contributors, resulting in what is clearly the essential comprehensive commentary series on the Bible.
—W. Eugene March, A.B. Rhodes Professor of Old Testament Emeritus at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
The Interpretation series is an invaluable resource for any leader or scholar interested in interpreting the biblical text to the broader church. Its works are essential for pastors, educators, and church libraries.
—Brian K. Blount, President and Professor of New Testament at Union Theological Seminary