Murray J. Harris, Colossians and Philemon (Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament)

Murray J. Harris, Colossians and Philemon (Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament; Nashville: B&H Academic, 2010).

My regular teaching responsibilities often include second year Greek, which guides students through a host of things necessary for the exegetical task: Greek grammar and syntax, textual criticism, word studies, exegetical outlines, and so on. Part of the difficulty is the complexity of the task: There are so many moving parts to the exegetical machine that it is difficult to stay focused on the end goal. Students often need tools which help them along, both as a teaching aid for method but also as an exegetical aid for content. This text is a great tool for those dual purposes.

Designed to be a handbook of sorts for the exegetical process, Harris has written what amounts to an exegetical commentary on Colossians and Philemon. The entire Greek text of each book is examined in detail for all of the issues that affect exegesis, like grammar, textual criticism, and lexical questions. There are numerous references throughout to standard reference tools plus well-received commentaries on each book. Harris even includes brief homiletical outlines for each major section.

What I really like about this book is that it is pitch perfect in what it gives. Harris offers just the right amount of information each time. He does not overwhelm the reader with details, but he does not leave one wanting more either. He wisely chose from the start a good complement of tools and commentaries which form the backbone of his extra-biblical references. The level of his discussion and use of additional references is right where I would hope a student who finishes the NT104 class at DTS would land. In short, for both method and content, Harris offers the reader a great example of the exegetical process.

I cannot find information of forthcoming volumes in this series, but I hope there are many and they match what Harris has done in this volume.