Keener Galatians 3D Hands down, Craig Keener has consistently remained one of my favorite New Testament commentary writers in recent years. As stated by his publisher, Keener is “widely respected for his thorough research, sound judgments, and knowledge of ancient sources.” For anyone interested in biblical backgrounds and the contexts from which the New Testament writings sprang, Keener’s new commentary on Galatians is a must-have addition to one’s personal Accordance Library.

Keener’s commentary on Galatians, published by Baker Academic is an expansion of his previous Galatians commentary written for Cambridge University Press. And expansion may be too conservative of a term. Consider that at nearly 900 pages, Keener’s Baker commentary on Galatians is nearly three times the size of his Cambridge volume. But even with Keener’s no-rock-unturned approach, the commentary never becomes tedious or too technical so as only to be accessed by only a few.

Keener - Galatians - macOS

Click/tap on the image above for a larger view of Keener’s commentary on Galatians.

This commentary on Galatians begins with Keener’s own translation of the epistle, presented in entirety so that the reader can read it in its entirety before even beginning the Gospel. The translation itself is described “as a more colloquial, dynamic-equivalent rendering except where it would impair the connection between the translation and the notes.” I found Keener’s translation to be somewhere between the NIV and NLT, but even that is an unfair comparison as the flavor and style is all his own.

Keener - Galatians - iPhone The introduction to the commentary covers all the required elements: history of interpretation, theology, themes, literary style, audience and more, compromising the equivalent of about 45 pages in print. The actual commentary on Scripture includes and introduction by section before verse-by-verse treatment. I found the footnotes to be a rich treasure trove of both ancient sources as well as contemporary thought.

To the right: Keener’s translation of Galatians. Click/tap for a larger view.

Although Keener makes use of original languages, these are most often in parentheses and include transliteration for the non-specialist. This approach opens the commentary to a much wider audience of scholars, pastors, and serious readers of the Bible. The commentary also includes 35 excursuses, mini articles, written on a variety of subjects such as “Righteous Abraham in Jewish Tradition,” “Paul and the Law,” and “The ‘Flesh,’” among others.

I first discovered Craig Keener through the IVP Bible Background Commentary on the New Testament and have thoroughly enjoyed his more detailed offerings on John and Acts. The new commentary on Galatians is a welcome addition to these. If Keener wants to work his way through the entire New Testament, that’s okay by me because our understanding of these writings will be all the better for it.

Galatians: A Commentary
Regular Price $59.90

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