The Letter to Philemon

Joseph A. Fitzmyer

The Letter to Philemon
The Letter to Philemon

Book Details

Series: Anchor Yale Bible
Categories: Philemon
Tags: PastoralTechnical


To review this book, please Login or Register.

4.925 out of 5 based on 8 user ratings
Princeton Seminary December 2, 2017 5 5
Robert M. Bowman, Jr December 11, 2016 5 5
Standard academic commentary by a renowned Roman Catholic NT scholar. [Full Review]
Graham Ware July 12, 2016 5 5
Philemon is so often treated as an appendix to Colossians, and gets a few dozen pages at the back of another commentary which focuses much more attention and space to Colossians (obviously Colossians will require more pages given the difference in length, but I find many Philemon commentaries treat it as less important). The Anchor Bible editors made the welcome, but bold choice to have a separate volume dedicated to Philemon, and should be applauded for allowing this potent little letter to be handled well, and given full attention by a gifted scholar. Fitzmyer has published in the AB series several times, and so is able to work well in a format which isn't as user friendly as some others, so in this case the layout doesn't become distracting. The detailed intro gives a solid overview of the history of interpretation and the difficulties of reconstructing the situation the letter is addressing. Although AB is a more critical and academic series, this volume is still relevant for pastors. Most of the difficult issues of the historical situation is in the intro, so Fitzmyer's exegesis of the text doesn't get sidetracked. At just over 120 pages (before indexes) it feels like the right length for an in depth, but still usable treatment. Highly recommended.
Phillip J. Long July 5, 2012 4.9 5
Unlike Barth and Blanke, Fitzmyer’s commentary on Philemon is more or less the length that one would expect. At only 138 pages (78 of which are introduction), the commentary is tiny in comparison to Barth and Blanke’s girth. Fitzmyer was chosen to replace Barth who died before completing the commentary on Philemon. Fitzmyer had written the article on Philemon for both the Jerome Bible Commentary in 1968 and the revised New Jerome Bible Commentary in 1990, so he was prepared to expand his work for the Anchor volume. His introduction has a mere 8 pages on slavery, but it is enough to set the context of the letter. More important is Fitzmyer’s survey of the occasion and purpose of the letter. Fitzmyer argues that Paul is serving as a friendly intermediary (amicus domini), attempting to exert some influence over Philemon and reconciling him with Onesimus. As evidence, he includes several letters from Pliny which serve a similar purpose. This explanation of the letter has been widely accepted. The body of the commentary begins with a fresh translation, followed by comments and notes. He treats the Greek through transliteration, commenting on lexical and syntactical matters, as well as text-critical issues. As with Fiztmyer’s other commentaries for the Anchor series, he concludes each section with a bibliography which includes English and international scholars. [Full Review]
Jim Rosscup September 20, 2008 4.5 5
danny September 18, 2008 5 5
Stand alone commentaries on Philemon are few and far between (Barth & Blanke being another), which has caused Fitzmyer's work to fall between the cracks. Fitzmyer offers some interesting thoughts regarding the occasion of the letter. He argues that Onesimus has not run away from Philemon, but rather is seeking Paul to intervene on his behalf, though the letter doesn't tell us what problem arose between Onesimus and Philemon. Paul is writing from an Ephesian imprisonment, probably a few years before he writes Colossians (where Onesimus is mentioned as a faithful brother). He also has an informative discussion on slavery in Paul's time. If you're working through Philemon or even studying the institution of slavery in NT times, you should definitely consult Fitzmyer.

Goodreads Reviews

Google Book Preview


Top Commentaries by Book Top Commentaries by Series Forthcoming & Unreleased Commentaries
Pentateuch History Poetry Prophets Minor Prophets
Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy Joshua Judges Ruth 1/2 Samuel 1/2 Kings 1/2 Chronicles Ezra/Nehemiah Esther Job Psalms Proverbs Ecclesiastes Song of Songs Isaiah Jeremiah Lamentations Ezekiel Daniel Hosea Joel Amos Obadiah Jonah Micah Nahum Habakkuk Zephaniah Haggai Zechariah Malachi
OT Primary Source Material OT Canon OT Textual Criticism OT Hermeneutics OT Introductions OT Theology OT Theological Dictionaries OT Archaeology Hebrew Lexicons Hebrew Grammars (Introductory) Hebrew Grammars (Intermediate) Hebrew Grammars (Advanced) OT Backgrounds OT Dictionaries / Encyclopedias OT History and Religion Ancient Near Eastern Histories Israelite Religion OT Extra-Biblical Literature Studies Documentary Hypothesis Deuternomic History Other OT Studies and Issues
Gospels/Acts Pauline Epistles General Epistles
Matthew Mark Luke John Acts Romans 1 Corinthians 2 Corinthians Galatians Ephesians Philippians Colossians 1/2 Thessalonians Pastoral Epistles Philemon Hebrews James 1 Peter 2 Peter/Jude Johannine Epistles Revelation
NT Primary Source Material NT Canon NT Criticism NT Textual Criticism NT Hermeneutics NT Introductions NT Theology NT Theological Dictionaries NT Archaeology Greek Lexical Analysis Greek Lexicons Greek Grammar (Introductory) Greek Grammars (Intermediate) Greek Grammars (Advanced) NT Backgrounds NT Dictionaries / Encyclopedias NT History and Religion NT Near Eastern Histories NT Church History / Apostolic Period NT Extra-Biblical Literature Studies Jesus and the Gospels Synoptic Gospels and Surrounding Issues The Book of Acts in its First Century Setting Pauline Studies Johannine Studies Petrine Studies Lukan Studies Other NT Studies and Issues
Systematics Subjects
Systematic Theology Bible/Bibliology Doctrine of God/Theology Humanity/Anthropology Sin/Harmartiology Jesus Christ/Christology Holy Spirit/Pneumatology Salvation/Soteriology Angels and Demons/Angelology The Church/Ecclesiology End Times/Eschatology Israel/Israelology Rewards/Misthology Other Systematics Biblical Theology Biblical Hermeneutics Biblical Canon Scriptures and Revelation Narrative Themes Prolegomena Trinitarianism Sacraments Providence/Soveriegnty Heaven and Hell Worship Theology Ethics Origins Apologetics Worldviews/Philosophies Biblical Archaeology Environmental Issues Ancient Near Eastern Theology Modern Near Eastern Theology Judaism Messianic Judaism Church History (incl. Post Apostolic) Historical Theology Second Temple Judaism Eternal Security / Assurance Israel and Church - Supersessionism Other Theological Subjects
Christian Life Ministry
Workplace Home Anxiety / Depression etc. Technology Prayer / Intercession Bible Study Cultural Issues Other Life Issues Mission / Evangelism Church Growth Preaching Church Leadership Discipleship Pastoral Care Biblical Counseling Worship Praxis Teaching (Biblical and Rabbinic) Other Ministry
Controller: 00:00:00.0119544 ; Template: 00:00:00.0311923