With Murray Harris’ inaugural book on Colossians and Philemon the potential for success of the Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament series was looking bright – and it continues to be so. Though only in its third of twenty books, this series has already made its mark as a standard Greek text commentary series for serious students of the Greek New Testament.
The most recent installment is on 1 Peter by Greg W. Forbes who is the head of the Department of Biblical Studies at Melbourne School of Theology in Australia. In his contribution to the series, Forbes shows himself to be an able exegete of what many regard to be the some of the most difficult Greek in the New Testament.
In keeping with the aim of the series, Forbes book accomplishes two primary services for the reader. First, the commentary is solely based on the Greek of the New Testament primarily using the fourth edition of the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament with some minor variations (xvi). 1 Peter is divided into pericopes by its Greek text, block diagrammed and then exegeted phrase-by-phrase. A good grasp of New Testament Greek is required to benefit from this book as well as an ability to understand the grammatical abbreviations used in the book.
Second, as a guide, the reader is presented with a number of helps in their own study of the Greek text. The purpose of the book is not to do all of the work for the reader, but, rather, to “provide all the necessary information for understanding the Greek text.” (xvi) Having a lot of the time consuming work done for you helps the reader to focus more on interpreting the information and developing the sermon. By breaking the book up into pericopes the reader already has a good idea as to how to lay out their sermons. There are suggested homoletical outlines (often giving more than one) as well as suggested further reading based on the subject matter of each verse or group of verses examined. When more than one suggestion is offered by commentators Forbes presents them along with his reasons for which one seems to fit the text best.
All of the books in The Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament are must haves for every pastor, student and teacher who is a serious student of the Greek. Murray Harris started a remarkable series and I trust that each successive contributor will be able to follow suit in his ability to handle the Greek New Testament. Forbes book is a must have for preachers and teachers of 1 Peter who want to dig into the original Greek.
I received this book for free from B&H for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”