The First Epistle to the Corinthians
This book appears in the following featured collections.
- Favorite Advanced Commentaries (NT) by Jeremy Pierce (parableman)
- D. A. Carson's "Best Buys" by D. A. Carson
- Essential Pauline Commentaries by Marcus Maher
- New Testament Advanced Commentaries by Moore College Journal: Societas
- New Testament Commentaries & Monographs by Princeton Theological Seminary
At 1400+ pages this is one of the most comprehensive studies of 1 Corinthians available. This series (NIGTC) is designed to give careful attention to the Greek text, and Thiselton does so admirably. But he also has expertise in systematic and historical theology, as well as philosophical hermeneutics. [Full Review]
The weakest aspect of this work is the textual criticism. Thiselton usually just resorts to the Metzger Textual Commentary. In this regard, Fee’s decisions are going to be more reliable. In spite of that, this is without a doubt the best exegetical resource on 1 Corinthians (though I believe Clarke will surpass Thiselton when he is published). Fee and Thiselton are all you “need” on your shelf. Other commentaries can be acquired/ read digitally or from the library (the amount of overlap and repetitive material is not worth your shelf space and money right out of the gate).
The clear consensus for the top commentary on 1 Corinthians is Anthony Thiselton’s volume in the NIGTC. This is a series for academics, so it will prove difficult for the casual reader. [Full Review]
Massive, philosophically and exegetically sophisticated commentary, notable for its standout, vigorous defense of the materiality of the resurrection body in 1 Corinthians 15. [Full Review]
This is a beast of a commentary. For pastors it is more detail than necessary, but for nerdy pastors like me, it is appreciated. If I could give half stars, I'd give 4 1/2, because I don't like the formatting at times. Unlike most commentary series, NIGTC does not have a consistent format for all its volumes which can be a bit annoying. Most of the newer volumes have been standardized from what I can tell (I don't have them all). But this volume, and some older ones (Galatians and James) have some odd choices with respect to formatting (citations, excurses, bolding, etc.).
Like most of the NIGTC series, Thiselton’s commentary is magisterial. At over 1400 pages, the commentary contains highly detailed exegesis and theological interest. Thiselton also includes what he calls a “posthistory reception” of the text (Wirkungsgeschichte). Here he draws on the apostolic fathers, patristic, medieval, Reformation, and modern eras and briefly summarizes how each age has read the text of 1 Corinthians. These are interesting, although they go beyond what is typically included in a commentary (although Bruner does this in his Matthew and John commentaries). Eerdmans did publish another version of this commentary, A Shorter Exegetical and Pastoral Commentary. For most pastors, the shorter commentary will be sufficient. [Full Review]
Thiselton's work is one of the better detailed commentaries of any book. It's about as comprehensive as you could ask for without going into multiple volumes. There are times when, after laying out the numerous options of interpretation for any given passage, it's hard to tell exactly where Thiselton stands. With that said, though, it's nice to have a commentary for some one-stop shopping. For the pastor, this commentary will no doubt consume much time (especially if you're Greek is a little rusty), but it's time well spent. His critiques of different viewpoints will prove helpful for those wading through all the options (especially in 14:34-36). For those working through 1 Corinthians, this is a must.
Anthony Thiselton's commentary on 1 Corinthians is the most thorough and complete commentary on this book available in English. Thiselton set forth to address virtually every imaginable question that one could ask about the text, and he appears to have succeeded. Although quite readable, this is a technical commentary on the Greek text, so it is not for everyone. For those who do not have enough background in the Greek language to use a technical commentary, Thiselton has also produced something of an abridged version with more focus on practical application. Pastors may find the abridged volume more immediately helpful, but all students should consult the larger work as well. Very highly recommended. [Full Review]
Pride of place goes to the NIGTC volume on I Corinthians by Anthony Thiselton (2000). This is now the most in-depth recent commentary on this book. It's based on the Greek text, and it includes a number of long excurses on difficult issues, so this isn't an easy read, but it's not mainly the Greek that's the issue. It's just a very dense, scholarly work, and it's hard to capture that in popular-level writing (although I think Thiselton is clearer most of the time than most academics are). Thiselton gives close attention to the Greek lexical and grammatical issues, the social background of the letter, Paul's rhetoric, and other elements commonly found in commentaries. Thiselton is also an expert in hermeneutics. One unsual thing about this commentary is that he also includes a lot more of the history of interpretation than is typical, since one of his strengths is the history of theology. I've read some lengthy enough sections of it to know that it's tough-going if you're not up on your Greek, and the excursus I read (on gender issues) was so detailed that it was difficult to get a clear sense of what Thiselton's conclusions amount to. The wealth of information and close attention to detail make it an excellent resource for consultation, even if it might be more difficult to read the whole book cover-to-cover the way I like to. I expect this to be an important scholarly standard for some time, even if Ellis has a good chance of eventually take that place (see forthcoming commentaries below). I also very much appreciate Thiselton's application of speech-act theory (from my own field of philosophy) in biblical studies. Thiselton's philosophical background also makes him more trustworthy on the moral philosophical background of the Greco-Roman world. [Full Review]
While there are a number of recent commentaries on 1 Corinthians, both brief and detailed, it has been a long time since there has been a detailed commentary in English on the Greek text of the epistle, and students and scholars will be grateful for Anthony Thiselton’s massive and detailed work. After the prefaces and general bibliography, the volume opens with a fifty-two-page introduction dealing in turn with Roman Corinth in the time of Paul, the Christian community in Corinth, the occasion of the epistle, and its argument and rhetoric. In the commentary proper, there is an introduction to each major section of the text, followed by Thiselton’s own translation of the Greek, a bibliography, then a verse-by-verse commentary. Here there are short sections on significant textual variations, where appropriate (and in a smaller typeface), along with a considerable number of excursuses on points of particular significance or debate (also marked out clearly by the use of a different font). There are also a number of representative sections dealing with the “posthistory, influence (Wirkungsgeschichte), and reception” of various portions of the letter, which serve to illustrate how the text was taken up in the patristic, medieval, Reformation, and modern periods. Finally, there are extensive indexes. A number of features of the general approach adopted in the commentary are noteworthy. First, Thiselton suggests that “Corinthian culture has much in common with the social constructivism, competitive pragmatism, and radical pluralism which characterizes so-called postmodernity as a popular mood” (14; cf. 12-17, 40-41). [Full Review]