Reading the New Testament, Second Series
In Reading Ephesians & Colossians, David Starling offers a close reading of both books, attending to both the theological ideas of the two letters and the literary and rhetorical forms in which they are communicated. The commentary is intended to be useful for students of Ephesians and Colossians, within the academy and the church, who desire to listen closely to the text, discerning the original communicative intentions of the author and the significance of the text for Christian readers today.
David Starling has produced a concise, sure-footed commentary on Ephesians and Colossians that is marked by careful research, balanced judgments, and clear prose. He helpfully illumines both the Greco-Roman context in which Paul produced these letters and their deep indebtedness to the Jewish Scriptures. Serious students of the Bible will find in this commentary a competent guide to Paul’s argument in Ephesians and Colossians and an invitation into their rich theological truths.
Presbyterian Professor of Divinity Beeson Divinity School
David Starling has given us a fine, accessible commentary on these two important letters. He writes clearly, lucidly and readably, and guides readers well through debates about the letters. His discussion of exegetical issues in the text is judicious, and makes fine use of existing scholarship without being bound by it, and without undue speculation. He makes a solid case for authentic Pauline authorship of Ephesians and Colossians—something in considerable dispute in the last 150-200 years—and reads the letters as reflecting genuine issues facing these early Christian communities in their discipleship. This commentary is one to which I shall return in my teaching and preaching: students, pastors and professors will be delighted with it!
Professor and Associate Research Fellow and Tutor in New Testament
Trinity College, Bristol
A real strength of this commentary is Starling’s attention to the literary structure of these letters. He attends carefully and helpfully to the ways in which they are structured as wholes and to the relationship of each section of the letters to what precedes and follows. This helps readers think carefully about the flow of the arguments. It will help all readers attend to the flow of thought in these letters.
—Jerry L. Sumney
Lexington Theological Seminary
Review from Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology