The keenly awaited second volume completing this major commentary on 2 Corinthians. Volume II covers chapters 8-13. Dr. Thrall provides an exegetical verse-by-verse exposition and addresses all historical, linguistic and theological issues. This volume also contains two concluding essays, on the nature of the opposition Paul faced in the Corinthian church, and on Paul's understanding of apostleship, as well as excursuses on particular topics such as the question of Paul's Roman citizenship. The two volumes of this commentary now form the most comprehensive and up-to-date work available on 2 Corinthians.
For over one hundred years, the International Critical Commentary series has held a special place among works on the Bible. It has sought to bring together all the relevant aids to exegesis—linguistic and textual no less than archaeological, historical, literary and theological—with a level of comprehension and quality of scholarship unmatched by any other series.
No attempt has been made to secure a uniform theological or critical approach to the biblical text: contributors have been invited for their scholarly distinction, not for their adherence to any one school of thought.
The depth of analysis found in the International Critical Commentary (ICC) Series has yet to be surpassed in any commentary collection. One of the best features of this series is the extensive amount of background information given in each volume's introduction, where all of the analysis is provided before the actual commentary begins. Each volume packs more information into the introduction than you will often find in the body of most commentaries! Also consider that with the electronic versions of each volume, you will never need to leaf through the hundreds of pages in each volume searching for the passage you are studying.
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“In our view, it is most likely that Paul is referring to some form of physical illness, and that either migraine or recurrent fever would be a possibility. He has come to see it as something bestowed on him by God, and yet at the same time it is inflicted by the agency of Satan. Perhaps there is a parallel to this idea of dual agency, divine and demonic, in Mt 4:1, where we read that Jesus was led into the desert by the Spirit, to be tempted by the Devil.” (Page 808)
“But the word here is part of the image, and must therefore denote the flesh of the physical body.272” (Page 807)
“it is possible that he suffered from some illness whose symptoms were analogous to the receiving of blows” (Page 808)
“Against the identification of the σκόλοψ with opponents” (Page 817)
“Spitting was (or could be) a preventive gesture to avoid infection by means of averting evil spirits347 and was particularly connected with epilepsy.” (Page 815)
It is difficult to praise Margaret E. Thrall's commentary on 2 Corinthians too highly. In my notice of the first volume I called attention to Dr Thrall's immense scholarship, clarity of mind, and lucid writing. These qualities continue through Volume II…Here is everything that could be wished for in a commentary…Throughout, the text is carefully analysed, the views of a wide range of scholars are set out and judicious decisions between them made - all with a beautiful clarity. Even when the reader disagrees with Dr Thrall's conclusions, he or she will have had their understanding enlarged and be given a deeper insight into the epistle. Reading this commentary one wonders why anyone should be satisfied with anything less elegant.
—The Bulletin for the Institute for Reformed Theology (Spring/Summer 2001)
The high standard of meticulously detailed exegesis displayed in the first volume of Dr Thrall's magisterial commentary is continued in its sequel . . . In all respects, this volume and its predecessor surely deserve to be regarded as one of the most impressive contributions to this fine series . . . Historians and theologians alike will find this commentary an indispensable resource for the interpretation both of key passages and of others that might at first sight look innocent of historical or doctrinal significance.
—Journal of Theological Studies, 53.1 (April 2002)
Students and scholars with good Greek skills who are working on 2 Corinthians must engage with this commentary.
—Foundations (May 2002)
Margaret Thrall . . . is the perfect guide to assist the reader through this difficult text. . . . After a lifetime of work on Paul, she commands an awesome familiarity with every aspect of II Corinthians and the forest of literature upon it. The ICC commentaries are renowned for their thoroughness in exegetical detail, and Thrall provides translation, textual notes, linguistic analysis and historical discussion in full . . . Thus this is an ideal commentary for those engaged in serious, detailed engagement with the (Greek) text.
—Anvil, 18:4, 2001
She has completed the first of two volumes of what will become a standard work of detailed exegesis on the Greek text of 2 Corinthians and a model of thorough interaction with current scholarship.
—Philip H. Towner, Scottish Journal of Theology
Few of the canonical books makes such exacting demands on the commentator as 2 Corinthians. Anyone attempting to reconstruct from oblique and allusive references what had actually happened in Corinth faces unusually baffling problems, for the most part excluding all solutions save those with their degree of probability carefully quantified (as is conscientiously done by Thrall). The same is true of the cruces which stud almost every chapter. No wonder that the vast literature on this epistle is particularly taxing to interact with. All the more credit, then, to Thrall for her achievement in giving us so much, in the space available, about a document which has recently been attracting even more attention that before. Dr Thrall manages to combine remarkable conciseness with almost unfailing clarity.
—C. J. A. Hickling, Journal of Theological Studies
This is a magnificently substantial volume, the rich fruit of a super-abounding labour. This large and generous and patient work does not belong on a large shelf, but on the large desk of any who is willing to engage, no holds barred, with the mind and/or imagination of the apostle. Everyone awaits with eager expectation the next enthralling installment.
—Douglas A. Templeton, Epworth Review
A fine accomplishment and an important addition to the commentaries on 2 Corinthians.
—E. Earle Ellis, Southwestern Journal of Theology