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Jouette Bassler's objective in this commentary is to "... combine skepticism concerning the Pauline authorship of these letters, respect for the pseudonymous author's literary and rhetorical skills, and sensitivity to the ethical and theological dimensions of his argument." Bassler evaluates the arguments of the Pastoral Epistles and agrees with some and contends with others. The commentary itself is highly readable, providing lay readers with a useful critical commentary on these unique epistles. A select bibliography points readers to further resources for study.
"Jouette Bassler's volume on the Pastoral Letters is a model of careful, clearly written cogent interpretation. She gives faithful attention to the problematic trees along the exegetical path, yet without losing sight of the forest. Organized by literary units but not avoiding difficult verses, Bassler's commentary keeps before the reader the unfolding history of the early Christian community from which the text emerges. It is unquestionably the best resource we have on the Pastoral Letters." -- Charles B. Cousar, Columbia Theological Seminary
"Bassler's commentary has the crispness of style and no-nonsense quality about it that one has come to expect from its author. The underlying learning is evident throughout. It results in careful, critical exegesis that places the Pastorals securely in their social and historical context. All relevant issues are explained and discussed. Bassler is particularly good at referring the reader to other texts that illuminate her own, with a broad range over Jewish, Greco-Roman, and Christian texts. She presupposes the non-Pauline authorship of the Pastorals, but otherwise has no special axes to grind. As an introductory commentary for theological students, it could not be bettered." --Troels Engberg-Pedersen, Copenhagen University, Denmark
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