The newest entry in the Paideia Commentary on the New Testament series is James and Jude. The commentary on James is by John Painter. David deSilva wrote the commentary on Jude. This really is a good series which has not received enough attention. Last year a pastor asked me for some recommendations for commentaries on the Gospel of John. Among the ones I showed him was the one from this series by Jo-Ann Brant. After taking a few days he came back to me and had settled on three or four of the ones I had given him. Among his choices was Brant’s commentary and he said that she had some incredible insights. He said he was remarkably surprised with how much he liked it and based on that was going to look into some of the others in the series. Here’s a short paragraph from deSilva’s commentary on Jude 16-25 from the “Theological Issues” section.
“The dynamics of Jude’s situation and response suggest that the new teachers will either be evaluated on the basis of the words of the apostles and prophets or be allowed potentially to divert the congregation from the trajectory set by the apostles and prophets (vv. 17-18). In current church settings, it is often too easy and attractive to apply dismissive labels to those with whom we disagree and, in doing so, to become more sophists defending our turf rather that disciples contending for the faith. Nonetheless, Jude would have us be watchful for instances when we need to call teachers to account on the pavement of the apostolic foundation. Does a preacher proclaim a ‘gospel’ that gives quarter to the passions of the flesh that wage ware against the soul? Does a teacher or writer dismiss the witness of the apostolic teaching as ‘outdated’ or ‘uninformed,’ nurturing new disruptions of the unity of the church? For Jude, a teacher’s authority comes from teaching in harmony with the tradition, which can include development and reconfiguration but never a change in trajectory, and a message that lacks such consonance lacks authority and Spirit. Jude’s example and instructions counsel careful discernment through prayer and study done in a spirit of humility before the God who alone knows the complete truth but gives wisdom to those who ask.” (226)
Here’s what Craig Evans (Acadia Divinity College, Nova Scotia, Canada) has to say about this commentary:
“James and Jude makes an excellent contribution to the impressive Paideia commentary series. John Painter’s commentary on James exhibits all the traits of a master interpreter. The introductory material is rich without being dense or convoluted. The commentary itself is concise and loaded with insight. David deSilva’s commentary on Jude is a gem. Who knew that so much of interest could be extracted from such a brief epistle? Students will benefit greatly from this well-written volume. Veteran scholars are also encouraged to add it to their library.”
James and Jude is from Baker Academic. It is a paperback with 272 pages and sells for $27.99.