First and Second Peter, James, and Jude
Publisher Westminster John Knox Press
This book appears in the following featured collections.
- Commentaries by Female Scholars by John Dyer
First and Second Peter, James, and Jude are not amongst the best known books of the NT. As Pheme Perkins points out in her Introduction, all apart from 1 Peter belonged to the disputed edges of the canon until the fourth century, and (with the partial exception of 1 Peter) have remained ever since "practically unknown" and merely "marginal" as far as "expressions of the apostolic faith that form the belief of Christians at large" are concerned. The reasons for this relative neglect are not difficult to find: all these letters appear to be theologically lightweight, and all four, especially 2 Peter and Jude, have obscure passages in them. Hence it is one of the considerable achievements of Perkins's commentary that she shows them to be interesting and relevant, theologically and otherwise. Perkins provides an introduction and section-by-section commentary for all four letters. In keeping with the format of the series, there are no footnotes and she makes only brief reference to secondary literature. The series is not intended primarily for fellow NT scholars, but Perkins shows that she is au fait with recent scholarship on all the works that she is dealing with, without letting this clog up the commentary. In line with the main consensus of modern scholarship, she sees all four works as pseudepigraphical. 2 Peter is taken to be the latest of the four, dependent on (amongst others) Jude. She again stands in the mainstream of modern scholarship in what she identifies as the main theological themes of each work. Here I remain unconvinced by the view that James is permeated by the theme of wisdom. [Full Review]