The Letters to Timothy and Titus (NICNT) by Phillip H. Towner

51yksffnjtl-_sx338_bo1204203200_Three of the hardest books to preach through are the letters to Timothy and Titus. The Letters to Timothy and Titus are an New Testament commentary, written by Phillip H. Towner and published by Eerdmands.  Commentaries on the these epistles can be either highly critical or devotional in nature.  I therefore was pleasantly surprised when I read Towner’s work and found it to be more or less on the conservative side while still engaging with high criticism scholarship.  It has been a long time since a scholarly mostly conservative work has been published on the Letters to Timothy and Titus and Towner did not disappoint, weighing in at just under 1000 pages.

This commentary is a newer edition of the famous New International Commentary on the New Testament Series, a series which is synonymous with excellent exegesis and superior application, this volume not only continues this legacy, but truly propels it to new heights.  This volume is one of the most articulate and practical commentaries on the one of the books of history which is usually bogged down by from criticism and or long discussions on genocide.    Yet while Towner does answer these critical issues, something he does flawlessly by the way, he interacts with critical scholarship in a way most conservative commentators don’t.  From this it is easy to see why Towner is a highly regarded scholar and superior exegete.

The Letters to Timothy and Titus has two main sections the typical general introduction, and then followed by a insightful exegetical commentaries on the letters to Timothy and Titus.  With regard to the general introduction it is the typical study into the introductory matters of the book and how they relate to the Bible as a whole.  This is a serious scholarly work which dives into contextual as well as the as the different methodical approaches to study of this book  Towner takes great care in carefully showing the original context of passage while applying it directly to the modern day reader.  He does not use his own translation of the Greek text, yet this is not common in the NICNT series as a whole.    I  do wish though that there was more application to some of the more difficult passages.

While I disagree with Towner on a few minor issues with regard to New Testament date of writing, the arguments he makes are sound I just adhere to a earlier date of composition.  One are I did greatly enjoy is Towner discussion of the offices of the church.

Towner is innovate in his interpretation and application while staying stalwart in his commitment to orthodoxy. In the vein of recommending, The Letters to Timothy and Titus, to others I would recommend this commentary to pastors and scholars, yet I would highly recommend pastors, such as myself, to pair this scholarly commentary with one that is one that has more of a pastoral tone.  There are many commentaries about the letters to Timothy and Titus available at this moment but The Letters to Timothy and Titus of the New International Commentary on the New Testament series is a very scholarly works worthy of your time.

This book was provided to me free of charge from Eerdmans in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.


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