in Sacra Pagina
Pages 503 pages
Publisher Liturgical Press
This book appears in the following featured collections.
- New Testament Commentaries & Monographs by Princeton Theological Seminary
Jesuit scholar Brendan Byrne has put together an outstanding semi-technical commentary, in a series focused on exposition of the text itself, avoiding delving into secondary debates. Byrne makes use of rhetorical critical methodology to demonstrate the text's focus on persuading the audience of the implications and fullness of the Gospel. Byrne's translations follow a fairly conventional line. He offers an interpretation of each pericope followed by textual notes which explore lexical, syntactical, and intertextual aspects (though other volumes in the series do the interpretation after the notes).
Detailed commentary by a Jesuit scholar that supports at crucial points the correctness of the Protestant interpretation. [Full Review]
Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1996. Pp. xix + 503, Cloth, $29.95, ISBN 0814658083. Series Editor: Daniel J. Harrington Leander E. Keck Yale Divinity School New Haven, CT 06510 This commentary clearly achieves the aims of the series in which it appears: to provide “basic introductory information and close exposition, adopting specific methodological perspectives while maintaining a focus on issues raised by the New Testament compositions themselves.” It also provides a lucid translation at the beginning of each section and a judiciously selected bibliography at its end. In between is a clearly written “Interpretation,” followed by “Notes” on details of the text. Indexes of scripture, ancient writings, scholars, and topics complete the volume. The interpretation is more catholic than Catholic (Byrne teaches NT at the Jesuit Theological College, part of the United faculty of Theology in Melbourne, Australia). The Introduction is more concerned to explain the methodological approach used than to state the customary historical-critical judgments. They are, in fact, rather conventional; for example, chap. 16 is an integral part of the letter, though its vv. 17-20 are probably interpolated; 13:1-7, however, is not. Byrne relies on rhetorical analysis. He pointedly eschews, however, assigning each passage to its alleged category in ancient rhetoric, and instead, following the lead of the “New Rhetoric” based on Perelman, focuses on the rhetorical situation. Thus he brings into view both the task of each unit within the text’s own flow of thought and Paul’s actual aims in persuading his Roman readers to understand the gospel his way. As a result, neither the rhetorical analysis nor the alleged historical situation in Rome dominates the exegesis, but each is used to support the other. [Full Review]