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Philemon: Evangelical Exegetical Commentary (EEC)

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In Philemon, Seth M. Ehorn takes the uncommon stance that slavery is not the central issue of Philemon; instead, God’s providential work is. According to Ehorn, this is seen in the themes that Paul addresses throughout his letter: reconciliation, forgiveness, love, and faithfulness—attributes that Christ exhibited. Ehorn adopts the view that Paul wrote to his friend, Philemon, on behalf of Onesimus, Philemon’s runaway slave. As a “friend of the master,” Paul reminded Philemon of his Christian character, suggesting that he should continue to act accordingly. By using and interacting with various interpretive approaches (discourse, rhetorical, epistolary, sociological), Ehorn shows how Paul embodied Christ’s actions and how we can do the same.

Evangelical Exegetical Commentary series

The Evangelical Exegetical Commentary (EEC) series is a premiere biblical commentary rooted in the original text of Scripture. Incorporating the latest in critical biblical scholarship and written from a distinctly evangelical perspective, each comprehensive volume features a remarkable amount of depth, providing historical and literary insights, and addressing exegetical, pastoral, and theological details. Readers will gain a full understanding of the text and how to apply it to everyday life.

Learn more about the other titles in this series.

Top Highlights

“Whereas Onesimus’ prior identity was to be found in the confines of Greco-Roman slavery, Paul has given Onesimus a new identity by ‘fathering him,’ effectively rendering him as ‘[Paul’s] child’ (v 10). For the first time, Onesimus has an identity that transcends the boundaries of his status as a slave.” (Philemon)

“This has produced the notion that faithful Christian living, energized by the God who gives every good thing, unites the Christian community together for the sake of Messiah.” (Philemon 6)

“C. S. Wansink posits that Philemon actually sent Onesimus to Paul to assist him during his incarceration.47” (Philemon)

“The strength of this reading is the explanatory power of the possibility of Onesimus ‘finding’ Paul in an unlikely circumstance.” (Philemon)

“Either Rome or Ephesus, then, is a plausible option for the imprisonment mentioned in Philemon (cf. vv 1, 9, 10, 23).” (Philemon)

Product Details

  • Title: Philemon: Evangelical Exegetical Commentary (EEC)
  • Author: Seth M. Ehorn
  • Editors: H. Wayne House, W. Hall Harris III, and Andrew W. Pitts
  • Series: Evangelical Exegetical Commentary (EEC)
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date for Philemon: 2011

About Seth M. Ehorn

Seth M. Ehorn is currently a doctoral candidate studying New Testament language, literature, and theology at the University of Edinburgh, New College. Prior to studying at New College, he completed an MA in biblical exegesis at Wheaton College Graduate School in Illinois, where he was awarded the Merrill C. Tenney Award for New Testament studies. He has contributed several articles to the Baker Illustrated Bible Dictionary (forthcoming) and written many book reviews in academic journals.


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