Out of all the Pauline Epistles, the book of Colossians can arguably be labeled as one of the most overlooked. This is in part understandable given the plethora of material within the Pauline corpus. For that matter, think of the last book from the Minor Prophets you engaged lately. Furthermore, even on the most neglected of books in Scripture, there are many, many commentaries available making it at times difficult to know which ones are worth reading.
Let me recommend two things at the outset of this book review. First, do not ignore the book of Colossians. Second, if you are looking for a high quality and most importantly a readable commentary on the book of Colossians, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of Brian Hedges’s effort aptly titled, Christ All Sufficient. My friend Dave Jenkins correctly notes in his endorsement of this book that Hedges avoids the ditches of where so many commentaries fall short, namely the reality they are either “too scholarly” or “overly simplistic”.
While a short exposition in length, Hedges contribution to the study of Colossians is powerful in content. It is a gift to be able to exegete Scripture in a manner that extracts the meaning and application of the text so the one reading the commentary can fully grasp what God is telling His people in the text. Not everyone has that gift, but Hedges most certainly does.
An example of the valuable commentary provided by Hedges can be observed in his analysis of Colossians 1:9-14, specifically the subject of prayer. As one who admittedly struggles in this area of my walk with God, I appreciated Hedges noting that while “Nothing is more basic to the Christian life than prayer”, “Nothing is more difficult in the Christian life than prayer.” With that as a foundation for discussion, Hedges then outlines what Paul has to say to us about the subject. He saliently notes that prayer is not to be rooted only in personal circumstances. Conversely, he notes we must “ground our decision-making not in the fluctuations of feelings or the mystical discernment of future events, but rather in the unshakeable purpose of God’s saving plan to redeem his people and reconcile all things in Christ.”
Given the title of this commentary is “Christ All Sufficient”, one would expect to find a Christ- centered approach to the material. That is exactly what one will find throughout this commentary as noted by the above-provided example on prayer. This is a Christ-centered, gospel-focused work, not in the buzz word sense we find today in far too many books carrying those titles, but rather in the true sense of the term, namely the discovery in this case of how Paul clearly outlines how our hope is rooted in the redemption and restoration provided at the cross.
This is a great commentary on Colossians. I truly hope Brian Hedges tackles other Pauline texts as I truly enjoyed his exegesis of the text. He has provided the perfect balance of devotional thoughts and sound theological insight. If you are searching for a commentary on the book of Colossians, I highly recommend you look no further than Brian Hedges’ excellent effort. You will not be disappointed and you will most importantly grow in your knowledge of how Christ is truly all sufficient.