In this scholarly work, F. F. Bruce gives a section by section commentary on Colossians, Philemon, and Ephesians. Based on an in depth study of the Greek texts, he starts with an introduction that covers the beginnings of the three books and gives particular emphasis to the geography of Asia Minor. Bruce compellingly argues for analyzing these three letters together as he discusses the Jewish community and the theological issues brought out in each book. Bruce’s commentary is a well thought out addition to the series of The New International Commentary on the New Testament
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“To say that Christ is the image of God is to say that in him the nature and being of God have been perfectly revealed—that in him the invisible has become visible.” (Pages 57–58)
“It is because man in the creative order bears the image of his Creator that the Son of God could become incarnate as man and in his humanity display the glory of the invisible God.” (Page 58)
“While the Colossian heresy was basically Jewish, it is not the straightforward Judaizing legalism of Galatians that is envisaged in Colossians, but a form of mysticism which tempted its adepts to look on themselves as a spiritual elite.” (Page 22)
“God is to be praised, then, because he has bestowed on his people ‘in Christ’24 every spiritual blessing. Spiritual blessings are to be distinguished, probably, from material blessings, which are also bestowed by God—such blessings as are promised in Deut. 28:1–14, for example, to those who obey his commandments. The nature of the spiritual blessings here referred to is not in doubt: they are detailed in the following words of the berakhah. They include election to holiness, instatement as God’s sons and daughters, redemption and forgiveness, the gift of the Spirit, and the hope of glory.” (Page 253)
“The implication rather is that Christian wives’ submission to their husbands is one aspect of their obedience to the Lord. This is found to be the more appropriate when their submission to their husbands is seen to have a counterpart in the church’s submission to Christ.” (Page 384)
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