Paul's Letter to the Philippians
This book appears in the following featured collections.
- Favorite Advanced Commentaries (NT) by Jeremy Pierce (parableman)
- Recommended NT Commentaries by Denver Seminary Journal
- D. A. Carson's "Best Buys" by D. A. Carson
- Ultimate Commentary Collection - NT Technical by John Glynn
- Commentaries I Would Not Do Without by R. Hansen
- Essential Commentaries for a Preacher's Library - NT by Derek Thomas
- Essential Pauline Commentaries by Marcus Maher
- New Testament Advanced Commentaries by Moore College Journal: Societas
- Basic Library Booklist by Detriot Baptist Theological Seminary
- Building a Commentary Library - New Testament by Invitation to Biblical Interpretation
- The Pastor’s Bookshelf by Scot McKnight
- New Testament Commentaries & Monographs by Princeton Theological Seminary
Fee’s 1995 commentary has stood the test of time as a wise and mature treatment of Philippians, that relates Paul’s zeal for the work and mission of Christ to theology and ministry today. [Full Review]
Possibly the best commentary I have ever read. Fee is an outstanding scholar who’s love for the Lord oozes out in his writing. His writing is not only doxological, but engaging and easy to read. Furthermore, his exegetical skill and ability to follow Paul’s train of thought is masterful. He takes Paul to be the author of the letter and sees the purpose of the letter to “[lie] with the phrase ‘your progress in the faith’ (1:25), which for Paul ultimately has to do with the progress of the gospel, both in their lives and in their city.”... [Full Review]
Among the best NT commentaries ever written, Fee has achieved an amazing balance in this volume between scholarly rigour, and passionate appreciation for the spiritual potency of the text. This volume is a must for preachers and students, and, along with his 1 Cor. commentary in the same series exemplify everything a good commentary should be; scholarly without being detached, detailed but still accessible, sensitive to historical context and the contemporary application. On the list of must have commentaries, this is near the top.
Fee’s commentary is considered almost the equal of O’Brien’s, though with the advantage that it is far more readable (since, after all, it comments on the NIV rather than the Greek text). The commentators on the commentaries praise his attention to the text and the liveliness of his writing. [Full Review]
Many beneficial things are found in Fee’s commentary on Philippians: 1) There is no one better than Fee at tracing Paul’s flow of thought. Fee is always thinking contextually. His is the opposite of atomistic exegesis. 2) He shows how Greco-Roman friendship sheds light on much in this letter. 3) Fee has caught the true spirit of the Apostle, emphasizing that Christ is the center of Paul’s existence and that the advance of the gospel is always Paul’s primary concern. 4) Fee gives helpful explanations of the difficult words in the Christ narrative (2:6-11). 5) He has memorable phrases like “living a cruciform lifestyle” and “in Paul’s hands everything turns into gospel.” 6) Fee clearly lays out the difficulties that confront us in a given passage and then offers reasonable solutions to those difficulties. 7) Preachers and adult Bible class teachers will appreciate Fee’s contemporary applications. There are many other little gems along the way. I frequently found my Christian faith being edified by reading this commentary. There is only one thing that makes reading this commentary difficult: The footnotes are so extensive that it is difficult to decide whether to skip them (and thus miss much good information) or read them (and thus make the reading experience cumbersome). I guess I would recommend skipping the footnotes if you are reading the commentary through cover to cover, but reading the footnotes if you are doing intensive study on a particular passage. However you decide to use it, this commentary will enrich your reading of Philippians.
This is the first volume from this series I have included thus far, although it is not because others in the series are weak. For the most part, this commentary is more brief than the others and perhaps for that reason more accessible for the layman or busy pastor. What sets this commentary apart is Fee’s use of the Greco-Roman ideal of friendship as a model for understanding the letter. In this he follows closely the work of Stanley K. Stowers (“Friends and Enemies in the Politics of Heaven” in Pauline Theology edited by J. M. Bassler [Minneapolis: Fortress, 1991]), 105-121 and Ben Witherington, III (Friendship and Finances in Philippi [Trinity, 1994]). The body of the commentary is based on the English text, Greek appears only in transliteration, with only light comments on syntax only when necessary. Fee interacts with other scholars, but for the most part these are his observations on the text. This makes for a very readable commentary which will be quite useful for sermon preparation. [Full Review]
This is the heftier of the two commentaries I read on Philippians (the other was Silva's). It was more in-depth and where Silva erred, Fee was correct. I did, however, find this commentary to be less readable and less user-friendly than Silva's. Scholastically, this work is superior to Silva's, but Silva provided a better reading experience, in my opinion. Nevertheless, this commentary is invaluable in counterbalancing Silva's less-than-perfect ideas (though those are few), and I would highly recommend this commentary to anyone. (In fact, if you buy only one commentary on Philippians, buy this one, rather than Silva's, simply because this is the more thorough commentary and contains less exegetical and interpretive errors, in my opinion.)
The first commentary I consult on Philippians is Gordon Fee, and I do so in part because he's such a good writer, because he is sensitive to Greek exegesis and because he's theologically alert to the text for preaching and pastoring [Full Review]
This commentary rightly deserves to be near the top of the list of Philippians commentaries. I would highly recommend it as first choice for any pastor. If you are looking for more of a devotional commentary or a more simple one just to help you understand the text better, then Thielman may be a better option.