C. E. B. Cranfield


Book Details

Series: International Critical Commentary
Categories: Romans
Tags: Technical

Romans Volume 1: 1-8

Pages: 496
Publisher: T&T Clark
Published: 1975
ISBN-10: 0567050408
ISBN-13: 9780567050403

Romans Volume 2: 9-16

Pages: 496
Publisher: T&T Clark
Published: 1975
ISBN-10: 0567050416
ISBN-13: 9780567050410


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4.79230769230769 out of 5 based on 13 user ratings
Tim Challies April 29, 2013 4.8 5
Romans is a book aptly highlighting that up-to-date commentaries do not represent historical arrogance as much as sheer necessity. A commentary written in the 70’s may still be useful, but it will not interact with the contemporary challenges such as the new perspective. Cranfield’s commentary is regarded as a classic. [Full Review]
Phillip J. Long June 4, 2012 5 5
Cranfield replaced the venerable Sanday and Headlam volume on Romans in the ICC series (available for free via Google Books). Since that volume appeared in 1904, much has happened in Pauline studies! Cranfield’s commentary is a masterpiece of exegesis, covering the nuances of the Greek text of Romans with detailed syntactical comments. Cranfield excels in bringing the syntax to bear on theology. For example, in Romans 5:12, he gives six options for understanding the relative clause “in whom all sinned.” He shows why some ought to be dismissed on exegetical grounds, but others are dismissed for theological reasons (one is too Pelagian, for example!) [Full Review]
J L Smith June 9, 2010 4 5
This is an excellent commentary. Some knowledge of Greek is required. It was at the cutting edge in the 70s and has left a lasting impact upon the scholarship of Romans. He handles Romans 7 and 9-11 quite well as well as his handling of Romans 16:1-2 on Pheobe which would have raised a few eyebrows back when it was written. It is a pricey double volume but if you watch enough you should get a decent special like I did on it (from memory 40 USD for both volumes).
Scot McKnight May 6, 2009 5 5
I begin, out of habit, with CEB Cranfield's 2 volumes in the ICC series [Full Review]
redpoba April 8, 2009 4.5 5
An amazing book, extremely intense. Cranfield offers very precise and powerful arguments; this is definitely the best exegetical commentary on Romans. His explanation of the why and what of the Greek is very helpful in understanding this great book. Only down side is that you have to work through some other language quotes in order to grasp his full arguments
Marcus Maher December 31, 2008 5 5
Cranfield’s two volume commentary in the ICC series hardly needs any introduction. It has long been regarded as one of the best, alongside the likes of Calvin, Barth, and Kassemann. It is also significant because it was the first of the second generation of International Critical Commentaries to be published. Cranfield set the bar high for the rest of the contributors of the series in his model commentary.

The work is very mature. Few commentators show the depth and breadth of their command of the material as clearly as Cranfield does, while at the same time avoiding bogging down the reader with unnecessary interpretive options. He knows which views to dismiss and which to discuss while providing compelling reasons for the position he opts for. This not only makes the job of the reader easier, it also keeps the work reasonably concise, which is a very difficult task when writing a commentary on Romans.

On grammar, no one is better than Cranfield. I don’t think this is even open for argument (despite what I believe to be the helpfulness of Jewett in this area).

As an added bonus, he is profoundly theological at times. This is a rarity in advanced commentaries, since that is not their primary task. I often found that his insight was even more penetrating than Moo. This is one of the main reasons why I still highly recommend this commentary even when you consider that Jewett’s commentary is 30 years newer and overlapping in many respects. Jewett generally does not reflect theologically (and when he does, he’s usually wrong), where Cranfield does at most of the key junctures, and his insight is excellent and helpful in the homiletical task. Overall this is an excellent work by Cranfield. In some ways the timing of it, being right before the birth of the New Perspective on Paul, is unfortunate, in that Cranfield does not get to weigh in on the debate here. On the other hand, its timing is a blessing in disguise, as it remains unencumbered with that debate (not that I find that the debate has been unhelpful and not that Cranfield’s commentary wouldn’t have benefited, but it is refreshing to read a Romans commentary that does not have the shadow of Sanders, Dunn, and Wright looming over it as e.g., Moo’s and Schreiner’s often do). If your Greek is up to it (and honestly, even if it isn’t give it a try) I fully endorse this commentary. It pairs well with Schreiner and Jewett.

Derek Thomas September 20, 2008 5 5
John Glynn September 20, 2008 5 5
Jim Rosscup September 20, 2008 5 5
Anyone doing serious in-depth study of the book of Romans will need to consult Cranfield's technical two-volume commentary. This is one of the most thorough commentaries on this book, and because it deals with every aspect of the Greek text, it does require a working knowledge of the original language. Readers should also be aware that Cranfield at times takes a somewhat Barthian approach to Romans, so the commentary should be used with care. For those who do not require the detailed exegetical information an abridged version is also available. [Full Review]
D. A. Carson May 26, 2008 5 5

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