Jude and 2 Peter
in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
Pages 432 pages
Publisher Baker Academic
This book appears in the following featured collections.
- Building a Commentary Library - New Testament by Invitation to Biblical Interpretation
- The Pastor’s Bookshelf by Scot McKnight
One of the best recent evangelical commentaries on the epistles; recommended by both Bauckham and Davids. [Full Review]
Green’s volume in the BECNT is a great alternative to Bauckham’s. Keith Mathison puts it at the top of his list and says, “Until very recently, there were not a lot of choices for good commentaries on 2 Peter and Jude. The situation has changed dramatically in recent years with the publication of several very good works. If you are able to have only one commentary on 2 Peter and Jude, this recent commentary by Gene Green should be at the top of your wish list. At 450 pages, it is thorough without becoming inaccessible. It should be of use to both students and pastors. Highly recommended.” [Full Review]
Bauckham correctly summarizes on the back of the book, “This commentary is full of careful historical exegesis that is especially well informed by the literature, philosophy, and rhetoric of the Greco-Roman world. It is an ideal companion to a detailed study.” As he says, it is more a companion for those looking to do a detailed study of the book to get background information. My guess is the pastor and lay person can find all the relevant historical background in commentaries that would better serve them. Green says that theological concerns must go together with historical concerns in exegesis and he also says that the series is designed to engage scholars as well as pastors and others who preach and that it should invite lay people to join the discussion. But one will not find a lot of theological reflection here and the format of the book does not serve the lay person well (see below). He also mentions he hopes Jude will be reclaimed by the church but his comments rarely reflect on or seek to apply the text of Jude to today. Though this commentary is not so technical as to be only for scholars, I found the format of putting notes on authors and Greek text simply in parenthesis all through the commentary disruptive. The use of footnoting and notes to make the text more readable is sorely needed in this book. It makes the book more like a reference than something that is easily read through. He comments that some writers discount historical questions saying they are of little importance to the message of the book. I would agree. But I wonder if he misrepresents them in this and then goes on to write a commentary which exemplifies their true concerns. Not that historical questions are unimportant and not necessary, but that too many commentaries somehow go back and forth in debates on historical questions and never bring in other interpretive factors or indeed ever get to making it real for the church today. Jude remains in the academy for scholars to debate about. That is my sense with this commentary. One can use it to get good historical background. One needs that and can use this book as a good companion to a study. And I give it a 4 for meeting just those purposes. But for most pastors and lay people, commentaries such as Reese and Davids will serve them better.
If it weren't for Bauckham's excellent commentary, Green's would be the commentary of choice for a detailed treatment of Jude. Green's primary strength lies in incorporating insight from the social sciences into a traditional commentary, making Neyrey, in my opinion, superfluous for all but those who are very interested in social science approaches to Jude. This is part of the biggest advantage that Green has over Bauckham, which makes Green worth owning in addition to Bauckham, since it's much more recent. Bauckham's commentary is phenomenal, but published in 1983. Green's commentary is not quite as good in my opinion (but still very good), but published in 2008. A lot of research has been done in the mean time, especially in sociology, and Green's commentary definitely benefits from it. 4 stars out of 5. [Full Review]
Until very recently, there were not a lot of choices for good commentaries on 2 Peter and Jude. The situation has changed dramatically in recent years with the publication of several very good works. If you are able to have only one commentary on 2 Peter and Jude, this recent commentary by Gene Green should be at the top of your wish list. At 450 pages, it is thorough without becoming inaccessible. It should be of use to both students and pastors. Highly recommended. [Full Review]
The Baker Exegetical Commentary series purports to be aimed at a broad audience, with pastors in the center, scholars on one side, and the informed layperson on the other. More important, it is self-consciously written from a particular theological stance, that of neo-evangelicalism, and who better than Gene L. Green, a professor at Wheaton College, to represent that stance? The question for this reviewer, of course, will be whether this reading stance is in genuine dialogue with those holding alternative positions (as is expected by the series introduction) or is either reactive or blind to issues raised by others. The commentary itself, a major one by most standards, is organized in the order that the books were believed to have been written, Jude first, then 2 Peter. Jude is given 137 pages (42 of which are introduction) and 2 Peter 206 pages (33 of them introduction). The 31 pages of works cited is respectable, the 44 pages of indexes exhaustive. Right in the table of contents one can see that the commentary is in some ways innovative in that the outline is organized by letter conventions: greeting, letter body (with body opening, middle, closing in the case of 2 Peter), then letter closing or closing doxology. Summary text boxes precede each section of “Exegesis and Exposition.” The page headers are unique in that they show not only where one is in the biblical text but also where one is in the outline of the biblical book in four levels of depth. [Full Review]