Colossians Recs and Note on Parables - Dec 8
I resume my commentary recommendations with Colossians. Colossians: I really like Peter O'Brien's Word commentary. I think it is extremely well done. Bruce's work is good but I rate oBrien's better. The background of the Colossian heresy is much discussed. It is a movement influenced by Jewish mysticism (So O'Brien) or does it come from a syncretism with Greco-Roman ideas (so Clint Arnold's work on these letters in technical monographs). What makes it hard to know is the syncretism that often came with religion in these areas of the world. So this one is a tough call. What is clear is that what was being taught was some form of special experience beyond Christ that Paul reacts against. Another very technical commentary is by Lohse. It also is nicely done. On parables: I just want to start by pointing out that parables are not only given to one point. Craig Blomberg has made a study on parables (The Parables of Jesus) where he equates the points with the number of key characters or elements in the parable (one, two or three point parables). This is more likely to be on track. For example, it is clear in the parable of the wicked husbandmen that there are several characters who reflect a real point of reference (servants- prophets; Son- Jesus; Vineyard keepers - Israel's leaders; vineyard - Israel). So the parables are rich in their thurst, although this is not the same as the medieval way of looking at parables in a fourfold manner. Many of those readings did tend to allegorize where there was no intended symbolism.