One of my favorite books of the New Testament is the short letter of the Apostle Paul to Philemon. Coming in at just over 250 words the letter is short, but full of power. Never read it? I encourage you to as it is a constant reminder on how to treat our fellow man. In this commentary, author Scot McKnight, provides excellent insights into this underrated book.
The letter itself deals with the topic of slavery as Paul is writing to Philemon on behalf of Philemon’s slave Oneisimus. McKnight gives an excellent account of slavery in ancient Rome, and in doing so he calls to mind the church’s job of reconciliation. On page five he writes, “Reconciled people become agents of reconciliation”. With this in mind McKnight calls Philemon to a new relationship as siblings in Christ with his runaway slave.
Intermingled in the commentary the author provides various essays and takes aim at the very real problem of slavery in the 21st century. These essays alone are worth the cost of the book. The message of Philemon applies to the modern travesty as well, and the church needs to be a place of reconciliation and justice.
Overall this commentary was very well written and researched. It is a fairly short book and is only 114 pages long, but those pages are power packed. This is an excellent resource for any serious student of the scriptures. I highly recommend it!
[Note: This book was provided free of charge from Eerdamans in exchange for an honest review.]