2 Peter & Jude
This book appears in the following featured collections.
- Commentaries by Female Scholars by John Dyer
I have become a collector of commentaries ever since my seminary days in the 1990s. As such, I am only going to recommend the best overall commentary for each book of the Bible on this site. I absolutely love Reese's contribution on 2nd Peter/Jude. Her commentary, while shorter than others on the two biblical books, is insightful and to the point. Her theological reflections section provides further depth and great thoughts for applying the texts. (For a single book on 1/2 Peter & Jude, I would refer you to Schreiner in the NAC series).
Achieves the goals of the series quite well, balancing semi-technical exposition of the text (not verse by verse, but section by section), and theological reading.
This commentary is in the Two Horizons series from Eerdmans and is a bit more theological than exegetical. Reese accepts the traditional view of the authorship of both 2 Peter and Jude. The commentary is based on the English text with sources cited in footnotes. After the commentary for each book, Reese provides a section entitled “Theological Horizons” which identifies a number of themes found in the book and connects them to larger canonical theology. The style of the commentary emphasizes this sort of biblical theology; these sections are as long as the traditional commentary sections! Since Jude makes use of the Hebrew Bible, she includes several pages on allusions to the Hebrew Bible in Jude and how they function as metaphors for salvation. The final section of this theological commentary attempts to bring the teaching of Jude and 2 Peter forward to the “contemporary context.” In the case of Jude, she engages Volf’s Exclusion and Embrace to discuss how the modern church deals with “outsiders.” In her comments on 2 Peter, Reese asks how 2 Peter’s eschatology impacts our ethical thinking. [Full Review]
Reese is one of the commentators Gene Green criticizes for saying the historical questions are unimportant. He uses an article by Reese which I do not have so I cannot comment on that. But from the her commentary it is clear that she does not discount the questions and unimportant or irrelevant. Indeed, the first part of the commentary when she interprets the text, much of the material Green speaks about is included and discussed (in a much shorter and more readable form). But her concern is that other factors are also important. She attempts to bring in this thinking in the second part by discussing theological concerns of text and how Jude fits into the cannon. Her concern is that discussion of Jude does not start and end in the academy with debates about historical questions. Commenting on the text must include thinking about how this text would have practically been heard by the readers and also by us. She traces themes through the book thinking about how Jude helps us understand the themes in light of the larger cannon of Scripture. It is brief but a good start of what can become discussions in Bible studies about their significance for today. She has a good discussion about how “the Beloved” are to relate to and interact with “the Others” in the book of Jude. Both showing to them the same mercy they have found so that they might join the ranks of “the Beloved”, all the while showing caution and remembering their own faith lest they fall into the error of “the Others” and join their ranks. Overall a recommended commentary.
The Two Horizons New Testament Commentary series is a bit different than most others. The first section of the commentary is a typical mid level commentary, I would say somewhere between what you would find in the Pillar series and in the Interpretation series. What makes this commentary series unique is the collection of theological essays after the regular commentary which discuss theological themes, in this case of Jude, first discussing Jude in its own right, then in the context of the wider cannon, and finally it applies the theology of Jude to our contemporary context. I would describe the regular portion of the commentary as workmanlike. It's solid. A couple of times she did raise my eyebrows with thought provoking interpretations, but the value of the commentary doesn't lie in that section. I found the essays to be much more helpful and interesting. She thought hard about some of the difficult issues raised in the letter. I especially enjoyed Reese's efforts on the 'Us and Them,' 'Responses to Division in the Cannon,' and 'The Theology of Jude in Contemporary Contexts.' 4 stars out of 5. [Full Review]
The Two Horizons New Testament Commentary series focuses on theological reflection. According to the editors, Joel B. Green and Max Turner, the commentary series “takes many forms, including locating each New Testament book in relation to the whole of Scripture—asking what the biblical book contributes to biblical theology—and in conversation with constructive theology of today” (i). In the general introduction (1–16) Reese, who is Associate Professor of New Testament at Asbury Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky, offers an overview of the book. She describes it metaphorically: “exegesis, theology, and communities of faith are joining hands in a dancing circle around the Trinity” (2). She does not want to practice exegesis from a distance, although she makes use of the methods in question (from historical criticism to linguistics and sociology). She mainly wants to elaborate the theological relevance of the texts (in the canon as well as in modern theology and piety). Both letters are investigated in the same manner: “Introduction,” “Commentary,” and “Theological Horizons.” Reese starts with the introduction to Jude (17–27). She leaves the question of authorship unanswered but obviously prefers authenticity (19: the arguments against it are said to be speculative); according to Reese, the time of origin is between 70 and 90 C.E. (20); the audience was Jewish or pagan Christians. [Full Review]