My friend, Constantine Campbell, was kind enough to answer a few questions about his Colossians in the Baylor Handbook on the Greek New Testament. With no further ado, take it away Con!
Thanks Dr. Campbell for taking sometime to answer a few questions. When it came to choosing Colossians/Philemon, was there any specific reason why you chose to write on these two letters of Paul?
I was asked to do Colossians/Philemon! While that’s true, I’ve had a longstanding interest particularly in Colossians (and Ephesians) for its contribution to Paul’s theology of union with Christ, and the spectacular supremacy of Christ in the letter.
Because the BHGNT is very different from traditional commentaries, how did this affect how you researched and eventually wrote your BHGNT volume?
My approach is always to do my own work on the text first, then read the commentaries. The pattern was no different for the BHGNT volume. The only real difference was that I was not interested in “everything,” only syntactical and grammatical commentary.
What resources were close at hand while you were researching/writing your BHGNT?
In particular, Murray Harris’ books on Colossians/Philemon and prepositions, O’Brien’s commentary, Moule’s commentary, and my own Paul and Union with Christ.
You have done quite a bit in the field of verbal aspect. How did your previous work in this field play a part in the writing of your handbook?
This was a good opportunity to model the use of verbal aspect through two letters. I was a little surprised at how uncontroversial most of my claims really are once my approach to aspect is applied to text.
For the student or pastor who may be considering picking up your BHGNT, what is the best way to use it for teaching/preaching?
It’s a great tool for thinking through syntactical issues. It’s meant to be used alongside a normal commentary, which will address theme, context, and broader exegetical issues. But often such commentaries cannot afford the close attention to syntax that features in the BHGNT series, so the series is an excellent complement to standard resources.
Thanks again Dr. Campbell for your time. Before we go, can you tell us what you are working these days?
I’ve just completed a manuscript for a new book, due out next year, called Advances in the Study of Greek: New Insights for Reading the New Testament. I’m now focussing on my commentary on the Johannine Epistles for Zondervan’s Story of God series.
Oh yeah, when should we expect your Evangelical Greek to hit the market?
Expect it out soon!
You can get Con’s Colossians as well as the rest of the Baylor Handbooks for 20% off the normal price. If you are a student of the GNT, you owe it to yourself to get the volumes in this series! Go and order now! Use the code BGNT at checkout.