in Anchor Yale Bible

by John H. P. Reumann

4.7 Rank Score: 5.48 from 5 reviews, 3 featured collections, and 3 user libraries
Pages 832 pages
Publisher Yale University Press
Published 12/2/2008
ISBN-13 9780300140453
In Philippians John Reumann offers both classical approaches and new methods of understanding this New Testament book. With fresh commentary on the social world and rhetorical criticism, and special focus on the contributions of the Philippian house churches to Paul’s work and early Christian mission, Reumann clarifies Paul’s attitudes toward and interactions with the Philippians.

Departing from traditional readings of Philippians in light of Acts, Reumann allows Paul to speak in his own right. His three letters from Ephesus shed new light on relationships, and we come to see how he approves some aspects of the dominant “culture of friendship” in Greco-Roman Philippi while disapproving others. He seeks to help the Philippians discern how to be citizens of the heavenly kingdom and also Caesar’s state, though there is an undercurrent of “Christ vs. Caesar.” Scholars, students, and general readers alike will find much of interest in John Reumann’s deeply researched and insightful new volume.


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Nijay K. Gupta Nijay K. Gupta August 30, 2019
Reumann had written extensively on Philippians before publishing this commentary. And his knowledge of the text and related scholarship is evident in this massive tome. But the reader should be warned that the style of writing of the commentary makes it more like a dictionary than a readable “commentary.” It serves best as a guide to a particular verse or section. I should also mention that Reumann treats canonical Philippians as a composite of three separate Pauline letters. [Full Review]
Warren Truesdale Warren Truesdale September 15, 2017
A treasure trove of information, but sometimes you must really dig! Ruemann is a Lutheran scholar with a liberal leaning who has written the most detailed commentary on Philippians to date. Essentially, the information in this commentary is massive and it’s a reference that a scholar or seminary student must use when studying Paul’s letter, but it is not as useful for the pastor or laymen (partly because the discussion is so technical and also because of the sheer time it takes to get through it all). Ruemann does think that Paul wrote the letter, but he argues idiosyncratically that Philippians is actually a combination of three separate letters that Paul had written to the churches in Philippi... [Full Review]
Robert M. Bowman Jr. Robert M. Bowman Jr. December 11, 2016
tandard liberal Protestant academic commentary. [Full Review]
Scot McKnight Scot McKnight August 2, 2009
The big kahuna for Philippians -- over 800 pages! -- is John Reumann. [Full Review]
John Reumann, who, sadly, died in 2008, was emeritus Professor of New Testament and Greek at Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, where he taught for some fifty years. He became well known in the 1960s and 1970s as editor of Fortress Press’s Facet Book Biblical Series, which brought many fine lengthy essays to English language readership, and also for his participation in the ongoing Lutheran-Catholic dialogue on justification that climaxed in the Joint Declaration agreed in 1999. But his long term research focused on Paul’s letter to the Philippians, on which he worked for more than thirty years. This volume marks the climax of Reumann’s career, clearly attests the high quality of his scholarship, and reminds its users of how great a loss his death has been. As his own preface tells us, the length of time taken to produce the commentary resulted, perhaps inevitably, in a too-lengthy manuscript, which, at the publisher’s insistence, had to be cut almost in half. The result is a somewhat lopsided treatment that is sometimes frustrating to use. Following the Anchor Bible format, the body of the commentary is divided between Notes and Comment, Comment being divided into A, on sources and forms that shape the pericope, and B, Reumann’s own conclusions, “where the aim is to present what Paul meant, and the interpretation given to his words by the Philippians and others since then” (xviii). [Full Review]