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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

1 and 2 Thessalonians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary
Witherington III, Ben

Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2006 pp. xxxi + 286. $30.00

Description: Paulís two letters to the Thessalonians stand as some of the very earliest Christian documents, yet they appear well into Paulís missionary career, giving them a unique context well worth exploring. In this first full-scale socio-rhetorical commentary on 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Ben Witherington gleans fresh insight from reading Paulís text in the light of rhetorical concerns and patterns, early Jewish theology, and the first-century historical situation in Macedonia. Witheringtonís distinctive socio-rhetorical approach helps unearth insights that would otherwise remain hidden using only form criticism, epistolary categories, and traditional criticism. Witherington details Thessalonicaís place as the ďmetropolisĒ of Macedonia, and he carefully unpacks the social situation of Paul and his recipients. Scholars will appreciate the careful analysis and rhetorical insights contained here, while Witheringtonís clear prose and sensitivity to Paulís ideas make this work ideal for all who desire a useful, readable commentary on 1 and 2 Thessalonians.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Pauline Epistles, 1 Thessalonians, Deutero-Pauline Epistles, 2 Thessalonians, Literature, Methods, Literary Approaches, Rhetorical Criticism

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Review by Craig L. Blomberg
Published 3/31/2007
Citation: Craig L. Blomberg, review of Ben Witherington Iii, 1 and 2 Thessalonians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2007).

Review by Mark R. Fairchild
Published 3/31/2007
Citation: Mark R. Fairchild, review of Ben Witherington Iii, 1 and 2 Thessalonians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2007).

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