It’s not a commentary. It’s not a basic introduction. So what is it? It is a critical guide to the key issues in the study of a particular NT book.
About seven years ago, Mike Bird approached me with this project. He inspired me to do two things: (1) research and write this volume on the level of something in the Anchor-Yale reference series and (2) read every academic writing on 1-2 Thess in English written after 1984 (and the most importance works in German and French). Bottom line: this is not your grandparents’ critical introduction. The works cited contains several hundred items and on a rough calculation this took me about 2000 hours to research and write. The exciting part is that Zondervan has made this work very affordable compared to what a university press might charge.
What kind of topics are covered? Think of injecting the introduction to a commentary with (very healthy, legal) steroids. This series treats matters like text-critical issues, Greek style, genre, structure, historical background, methods of study, major exegetical debates, key theological themes, most influential scholars and scholarship, and history of interpretation and reception.
What are some of the key debates that are covered?
- Did Paul write 2 Thessalonians?
- Did Paul write 1 Thess 2:14-16? Is this passage anti-semitic?
- What was the situation that gave rise to 1 Thess? 2 Thess?
- How are 1 Thess and 2 Thess related?
- Who is the Man of Lawlessness? The Restrainer?
- Is 1 Thess 5:3 (“peace and security”) a reference to a Roman slogan (pax et securitas)?
…and much more!
Thanks to Mike Bird and Katya Covrett for the hundreds of hours they have poured into dreaming up this series and launching it. As I was writing this book, I kept thinking, I would love to get my hands on ZCINT Romans, ZCINT Galatians, or ZCINT Revelation.