Saturday, May 9, 2009

Colossians: Moo or Sumney?

I was recently taking stock of my commentary collection and realized to my horror that I only own 3 volumes on Colossians, none of which are a commentary per se. I have Colossians Remixed; John Barclay's brief, but helpful, Colossians and Philemon (T&T Clark Study Guides); and Allan Bevere's revised doctoral dissertation, Sharing in the Inheritance: Identity and the Moral Life in Colossians (Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement).

I have been eyeing Jerry Sumney's Colossians commentary for the New Testament Library series (WJK, 2008). I have really benefited from his Philippians handbook, probably the most beneficial book I have owned and used in some years.

Another item I have been looking at is Doug Moo's contribution Colossians & Philemon in the Pillar series. I have enjoyed Doug's work in the past, namely, his commentary on Romans (NICNT) and his work on James in the Pillar series.

So, I pose the question: Have any of you worked through either one of these, or both? And if so, which one would you recommend? FYI: I probably plan on buying both at some point; but I'm wondering, which one should I purchase first?

Another question: If not these two, than what other commentaries should I be considering?


Patrick G. McCullough said...

What about Barth/Blanke or Dunn?

Byron said...

I have not found Barth/Blanke very helpful. Dunn is good and you might also try Mariane Maye Thompson's work.

Scripture Zealot said...

Do you have the one by O'Brien?

I'd love to hear about the two you list. They look to be good so far.

Sean said...

I'd seriously go for Dunn and Sumney. Moo is helpful, but quite predictable. Although, he does discuss the grammar better than Sumney. Sumney suggests Colossians is pseudonymous, while Moo argues for Pauline authorship, quite persuasively. Sumeny is quite persistent in his engagement with the issues at Colossians, while Moo sometimes gets distracted. But Dunn is still my favourite on Colossians.

Nijay K. Gupta said...

I tend to consult O'Brien (WBC) and Dunn. Between Moo and Sumney, Moo has a more rigorous semantic-grammatical approach and dips more into theology. Sumney (due to space and size) does not provide detailed exegesis. Sumney's is a rhetorical approach with some theological interest as well. Sumney also does a good job of flagging up counter-imperial language and his discussion of the household codes is excellent.