Moyer Hubbard – 2 Corinthians Commentary – Q & A

2 Corinthians commentary hubbardMoyer Hubbard (D.Phil., University of Oxford) is the Professor and Chair of New Testament Language and Literature at Biola Univeristy. He is also the author 2 Corinthians in the Teach the Text commentary series.

Moyer Hubbard’s area of specialty is the Pauline epistles and the Greco-Roman context of the New Testament. His books include Christianity in the Greco-Roman World (Baker), New Creation of Paul’s Letters and Thought (Cambridge) and two commentaries on 2 Corinthians (Zondervan, Baker).

He has contributed articles to New Testament Studies, the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, the Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha and the Journal for the Study of the New Testament. He has served on the pastoral staff to youth in the local church, and he is engaged in applying biblical exegesis to the development of Christian spiritual formation.

7 Questions on 2 Corinthians in the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary Series

Recently, Dr. Moyer kindly answered my questions about his 2 Corinthians commentary. Readers will learn how this commentary came to be, what is unique about it among 2 Corinthians commentaries, and how the project edified him personally.

1. What previous research and/or personal interests led you to this project and helped prepare you to write this commentary on 2 Corinthians?

My doctoral work focused on the motif of “new creation” in Paul’s letters, which figures prominently in 2 Corinthians (see 2 Cor. 5:17). This led to several projects focusing on 2 Corinthians, including a backgrounds commentary on 2 Corinthians for Zondervan, and laid the groundwork for this larger exposition of the letter

2. Who is the intended audience for this commentary? Would it benefit pastors? professors? students? lay Christians in the local church?

The primary audience for the Teach the Text Series is pastors and interested lay Christians. The commentary is structured around preaching units tailored to the needs of a preaching pastor.

3. What is unique about this commentary? What contribution does it make to studies of 2 Corinthians?

The uniqueness of this volume on 2 Corinthians is connected to the goals of the series. In addition to a clear exposition of the text, it provides theological summaries of each passage along with suggestions for illustrating the main points of the text. The needs of the busy pastor are kept in view, which results in a commentary that delivers deep historical, cultural, and linguistic research in a concise, readable, preachable format.

4. What section or passage of this commentary was particularly memorable to research and write? Why?

I think the most important truth in 2 Corinthians is found in chapter 12 verse 10: “When I am weak, then I am strong.” This verse summarizes Paul’s position that the presence of the crucified Christ is mediated to the world more perfectly and more profoundly through our weaknesses—our hardship and suffering—than through our triumphs. This is a lesson that every Christian, including myself, needs to learn and relearn daily.

5. What personally edified you in writing this commentary, increasing your affections for Christ?

In 2 Corinthians Paul is remarkably candid with the Corinthians, expressing both his love and his anger toward this wayward assembly. As someone who is involved with pastoral work and discipleship, I found myself relating to Paul’s emotional range as I reflected on various people and situations I have been involved with. At times I feel encouraged and at times I felt chastened when reading 2 Corinthians and studying Paul’s pastoral method. Not all of Paul’s letters to Corinth have survived, so I am grateful that God, in his providence, determined that this wide-ranging and at times fiery exchange between an apostle and a young, secular assembly would find a place in our canon of Scripture. It is a reminder of the humanity of the apostle Paul and the gritty, painful labor of discipling others.

6. Besides your commentary, what are your top recommended books (commentaries or otherwise) on 2 Corinthians?

The best technical commentary on 2 Corinthians is Murray Harris’ in the NIGCT series (Eerdmans). Probably the most useful commentary for teaching and preaching would be George Guthrie’s exposition of 2 Corinthians in the BEGNT series (Baker). Two monographs that I have found helpful are Scott Hafemann’s Suffering and Ministry in the Spirit (Eerdmans), and Timothy Savage’s Power Through Weakness (Cambridge).

7. What is next for you? What project are you currently working on? How can people follow your work and ministry?

I am currently under contract to write a commentary on 1-2 Thessalonians for Kregel Academic as part of their new Kerux commentary series. I am also involved in a project exploring Paul’s conversion and apostleship through the lens of trauma theory.

Own Moyer Hubbard’s 2 Corinthians commentary

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