The bottom line: A solid commentary on the book of Philippians with many teachable points.
Philippians Interpretation succeeds in extracting deeper meaning from this New Testament epistle from the writer (Paul) to the Philippian church.
Reading a letter to someone else is like listening to one end of a telephone conversation—you have to piece together what the other party is saying and thinking based upon what one side says. This commentary effectively gives the reader such insight by giving an introspective look into the forces, emotions, dynamics, and external variables at play when Paul wrote this letter to the first-century church. Through such understanding, you feel closer both to the apostle Paul and the congregation he speaks to. This intimacy breathes new life to the words written on paper, and stimulates the theological imagination.
Philippians Interpretation is brief, and for a commentary, is straight to the point. It doesn’t spend much time on academic or historical interests (such as authorship and dating) unless such matters have a specific relevance to understanding the text. Resultantly, the book gets right into what the text “really means.” In this pursuit, Craddock places a particular emphasis on Paul’s theology and how this practically applies to the day-to-day affairs of the church. Personally, I would have liked to see the author expand more on his already enlightening analysis of the Kenosis (Philippians Chapter 2).
I have read over 15 books in the Interpretation Series and this volume is another solid addition to the lineup. As with the other books in the series, this is not a word-for-word technical commentary but focuses on broad themes and main ideas. Philippians Interpretation is short (<100 pages), easy to get through and written on a very accessible level. This is a valuable resource for Bible students, those who teach in the church, Christian educators, preachers, and seminarians.
Dr. C. H. E. Sadaphal