One of my favorite Bible scholars, Nijay Gupta, has come out with a new resource on Philippians. I’ve had the great honor of sitting under Dr. Gupta for a few years and can honestly say that he knows how to bring the world of the New Testament, which happens to be quite complex and layered, down to the level of non-academic Christians.
Philippians being one of my favorite texts of the entire New Testament, I have come across a fair share of resources on this letter and Gupta’s short treatment shines as being accessible without watering down Philippians. (Note: if you’re looking for a more advanced treatment on Philippians, Gupta has co-written a new commentary with Michael F. Bird that is great–see here).
If you are someone who is not used to reading dense commentaries, get this book. Many great scholars try but fail to bridge the gap between the academy and the church. Gupta isn’t one of those scholars, understanding well both how the ancient world thinks, as well as our modern world.
When reading Philippians, it’s important to know that we’re reading someone else’s mail, and someone’s mail from two thousand years ago. This comes with challenges since we live in a different time with different values and assumptions. The author recognizes this as he carefully unpacks Paul’s letter to Philippi, a letter that is brimming over with insight and wisdom and relevance for the Church.
Though written in a readable fashion, Gupta is an expert on Paul in his historical context. Gupta is a trusted exegete well-acquainted with Paul and the general world of the New Testament. I appreciate the care with which Gupta cautiously attempts to reconstruct Paul and his theology. That said, one quickly forgets they’re reading a historical theology book with Gupta’s wit, pop culture references, and the overall tone of Reading Philippians.
More often than not, certain phrases get thrown around in Christian circles which give credence to a separation between the spiritual/sacred and the mundane. Gupta does not care so much for this spiritual/physical dichotomy which separates discipleship from the nit and grit of real life in a fallen world. Through and through Reading Philippians presents a well-rounded theology and a gospel which is just as much about politics and bodies as it is about heaven and our souls.
Creative, interactive, and rooted in the world of the Bible, grab yourself a copy–it comes at a great price (link here)!
An invaluable tool for those who want to deepen their understanding of this epistle, Reading Philippians is a relevant resource that pastors and laypeople alike can benefit from.
Thank you Wipf & Stock for the complimentary copy.
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