Category Archives: Publishing

Noteworthy Book – Philippians: A Mentor Commentary

CoverAs some of you know, I have been working on a Philippians commentary for the past several years. What a privilege it has been to live inside this rich letter and see my joy in Christ and his gospel deepen as a result. Philippians has much to say to us as believers today, so I have written this commentary to help pastors, missionaries, Sunday school teachers, Bible study leaders, and all Christians understand and apply it to their lives.

I am excited to announce that it has finally been released in the United Kingdom (the publisher, Christian Focus, is located in Scotland) and will soon be available here in the United States and internationally. You can order it through Amazon or

Here are the endorsements:

Matt Harmon explains Paul’s letter clause by clause, traces Paul’s argument, reads Paul’s argument in light of the rest of the Bible, and applies the letter to people today. He reminds me of two of his professors when he was working on his PhD at Wheaton: Doug Moo and Greg Beale.

Andy Naselli, Assistant Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Bethlehem College and Seminary in Minneapolis


Historically aware, exegetically astute, and theologically sensitive, Matt Harmon’s commentary on Philippians is full of insight and ideas for those who want to understand this beautiful epistle. He is not simply up to date on recent scholarship, but digs deeply and appropriately into evangelical commentaries of the past too, to enliven and enhance his own exposition. His suggestions for preaching and applying Philippians are crisp, clear, and eminently useable. A new go-to resource for pastors and students!

Dr Lee Gatiss, Director of Church Society and Editor of the NIV Proclamation Bible.


Our Lord calls his own to love God with all their heart, soul and mind (Mt. 22:37). This blend is seldom seen in commentaries, which tend to favor either the academic or the devotional. Authors write as believing pastors, or as detached scholars – which would seem to sunder what God has explicitly joined. Matt Harmon represents this happy marriage in his commentary on Philippians. Harmon has no less a keen eye for the particulars of the Greek text and academic illumination than he does for the splendorous and transforming truths that text communicates. It is clear that Matt has put the text under a microscope; it is just as clear that he is thrilled with the Savior and Gospel it reveals. This will now be my “go-to” book for teaching or preaching Philippians, joining Martin and Silva and Lightfoot and the others. I can’t commend Matt Harmon’s commentary on Philippians highly enough to pastors and students in all areas of church ministry and life. It is deep-rooted, solid, and broadly accessible. God grant that it receives the visibility and use it merits, to His glory and His church’s edification!

Dan Phillips, Pastor, Copperfield Bible Church


Matthew Harmon has given us a fresh and faithful reading of Philippians that will be a powerful help to all who preach and teach the word.

James M. Hamilton, Professor of Biblical Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary


Matthew Harmon’s commentary on Philippians is a model of good commentary writing: clear prose, adequate interaction with the array of scholarly perspectives, and helpful application. I commend his work to students, teachers, and preachers who seek better to understand this important letter of Paul.

Douglas J. Moo, Wessner Chair of Biblical Studies, Wheaton College


Matthew Harmon is a gifted and trustworthy guide for helping us to understand and apply this Pauline epistle of joy. This commentary strikes me as just the right combination of what most of us need: clear prose, sufficient background and lexical information (without overwhelming the read in technicalities), insightful theological analysis, and practical pastoral application. Pastors and laypeople alike can benefit from this finely crafted work.

Justin Taylor, managing editor, The ESV Study Bible


This commentary is a study in clarity and balance. It is simple in expression, yet profound in insight. It is thorough in scope, yet selective enough not to overwhelm. It is informed by recent scholarship, yet avoids fruitless complexities. It draws on knowledge of ancient languages, yet makes its case in plain English. It is classic in its focus on God, Christ, and redemption, yet current in showing how a gospel from long ago is just as true and powerful today. In a word, this is a fine resource for serious students of Philippians in both church and college settings.

Robert W. Yarbrough, Professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, MO


Matthew Harmon’s commentary on Philippians is an outstanding work. We find careful exegesis and a clear explanation of the the text. The commentary is theologically rich, in terms of both biblical and systematic theology, and so there is more than a running commentary. Harmon also applies the text to readers in practical ways. Scholars, students, pastors, and teachers will profit significantly from this work.

Tom Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Professor of Biblical Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary





Announcing: Studies in the Pauline Epistles: Essays in Honor of Douglas J. Moo

Last night at a dinner celebrating the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Committee on Bible Translation (responsible for the NIV Translation), I had the distinct privilege of presenting a Festschrift to my doctoral mentor and friend, Doug Moo. For those who don’t know what a Festschrift is, it is a volume written to honor a scholar who has made significant contributions to his/her field. So along with Jay E. Smith, I edited Studies in the Pauline Epistles: Essays in Honor of Douglas J. Moo , a volume of essays on various aspects of Pauline studies, published by Zondervan. We managed to assemble an outstanding team of former students, colleagues, and prominent Pauline scholars.

It is available for purchase here at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in San Diego. It should be available for purchase through the usual outlets within a matter of days. (When links become available I will post them on the blog).

Here is a look at the table of contents:



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Here were my comments when presenting Doug with this volume:

God calls us to show honor to whom honor is due, and that is what Jay and I are here to do tonight for Doug Moo. Over the course of his academic career and ministry in the church, Doug Moo has proved himself to be a faithful servant of Christ and steward of God’s mysteries. During his years at Trinity and Wheaton Doug has prepared countless men and women for gospel ministry. Both of us had the privilege of doing our doctoral work under Doug’s supervision: Jay while at Trinity and me while at Wheaton. He proved to be a terrific mentor, blending high expectations and critical analysis with timely encouragement.

Doug is well-known for his numerous biblical commentaries that are models of careful exegesis, thoughtful theological analysis, and wise pastoral application. The clarity of his prose is matched by his commitment to represent the views of others in terms they themselves would recognize.

Doug’s most significant contributions as a scholar center on two primary areas: Pauline studies and Bible translation. He has actively engaged the complex issues surrounding the New Perspective on Paul, as well as the relationship between the Mosaic Law and the gospel. And of course we are here tonight because of Doug’s role as the chair of the Committee on Bible Translation. In this capacity he has overseen the production of the most recent revision of the New International Version released in 2011. In this role, Doug has proved an able advocate of the NIV, carefully explaining the rationale for various decisions of the CBT and graciously responding to critics.

So for the past four years, Doug, Jay and I have been secretly working behind your back to produce a Festschrift as a small token of our love and appreciation for you and your faithfulness as a servant of Christ and steward of God’s mysteries. We have assembled an outstanding team of former students, colleagues, and prominent Pauline scholars to write on various subjects focused on Pauline studies and translation issues. So it is our distinct honor to present this volume to you tonight.


Noteworthy Book – The Baker Illustrated Bible Dictionary

One of the most helpful tools that any student of the Bible can own is a good Bible dictionary. While there are a number of different ones available, there has been a recent addition that is worth noting: The Baker Illustrated Bible Dictionary, edited by Tremper Longman III.

Weighing in at a hefty 5.6 pounds, this reference work contains over 5,000 articles in its 1,700+ pages. Complementing the articles are over 400 full color illustrations, maps, and pictures to further enhance the content. Colored tabs on the edge of the pages makes it easy to find a subject quickly. Despite its girth this dictionary uses readable font and is attractively laid out. More than 100 different scholars contributed articles.

I had the privilege of contributing the following articles: citizen/citizenship, Clement, courier, fellowship, fulfill/fulfillment, impute/imputation, inheritance, new birth, paraclete, priesthood of believers, reconciliation, regeneration, salvation, and sin.

If you are interested in taking a sneak peek inside the dictionary, you can follow the link above to the Amazon page and click on the image of the book. I highly recommend this resource as a companion for your own reading and study of the Bible.

Sabbatical Update

As you may know, I was on sabbatical during the Spring Semester of the last academic year. Since I have now finished that sabbatical (and the summer as well) and resumed by teaching responsibilities at Grace College and Theological Seminary. So here is a brief summary of what, by the grace of God, I spent my time working on:

  1. I finished the draft of my Philippians commentary. I have been working for almost four years (off and on) on this commentary in the Mentor Commentary Series by Christian Focus. It is now in the hands of the publisher, so Lord willing it will come out in 2014.
  2. I began working on a commentary on Galatians. Having written my dissertation on Galatians, I am excited to now be working on a commentary on Galatians. It will be part of a new series published by Broadman & Holman entitled Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation. Look for more details on this series down the road; the lineup of contributors is stacked! At this point I am still in the early stages of writing, but it is not due for another few years.
  3. I began co-writing a book on inaugurated eschatology in the life of the church. My friend Ben Gladd and I are under contract with Baker to write a book that explains how inaugurated eschatology applies to the different aspects of life in the church such as preaching, missions, prayer, worship, etc. The goal is to finish the manuscript early in 2014 with a likely publication date sometime in 2015.
  4. I wrote an essay entitled “Allegory, Typology, or Something Else: Revisiting Galatians 4:21-5:1.” Although I am not at liberty to discuss where this will be published, this essay is my attempt to explain how Paul is using Scripture in this challenging passage. I will be presenting a version of this essay in November at the annual conference of the Evangelical Theological Society in Baltimore.
  5. I wrote the introductory notes for Philippians in the forthcoming NIV Proclamation Bible. I will give more details when this is published later this month, but in the meantime you can find more information here.

I’m grateful to God for the opportunity to step away from the classroom to focus on these writing projects. May God use them to display the beauty of Christ and advance his kingdom in this world.

How I’m Spending My Sabbatical

Yesterday I began my one semester sabbatical from teaching at Grace College & Theological Seminary. Although many have joked that this is merely a 4 1/2 month vacation, the reality is that my sabbatical will be quite busy with writing projects. Here are the two main things I will be working on:

  1. Finish a commentary on Philippians. I have been working for almost four years (off and on) on this commentary in the Mentor Commentary Series by Christian Focus. My hope is to complete the draft by the end of January and send it out to colleagues and friends for feedback. Once I receive feedback from them I hope to send it off to the publisher by the beginning of the summer, if not sooner. Lord willing it will come out in 2014.
  2. Begin a commentary on Galatians. Having written my dissertation on Galatians, I am excited to begin work on a commentary on Galatians. It will be part of a new series that Broadman & Holman entitled Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation. Look for more details on this series down the road; the lineup of contributors is stacked!

In addition to these two major projects, there are also some smaller ones (a journal article here, a chapter in an edited volume there, etc.) that will keep me busy as well. And from March 1-12 I will be leading a group of college and seminary students from Grace on a trip to Israel.

Please join me in praying that God will bless this season of writing to proclaim his glory and encourage his people.

Now Available – She Must and Shall Go Free: Paul’s Isaianic Gospel in Galatians

Looking for the cure to insomnia? Or perhaps have an extra $140 burning a hole in your pocket that you are just desperate to spend? Then I have good news for you. My dissertation has now been published and is available for purchase. Here is a brief description:

Scholars have long recognized the importance of Paul´s citations from the Pentateuch for understanding the argument of Galatians. But what has not been fully appreciated is the key role that Isaiah plays in shaping what Paul says and how he says it, even though he cites Isaiah explicitly only once (Isaiah 54:1 in Galatians 4:27). Using an intertextual approach to trace more subtle appropriations of Scripture (i.e., allusions, echoes and thematic parallels), Harmon argues that Isaiah 49-54 in particular has shaped the structure of Paul´s argument and the content of his theological reflection in Galatians. Each example of Isaianic influence is situated within its original context as well as its new context in Galatians. Attention is also paid to how those same Isaianic texts were interpreted in Second Temple Judaism, providing the larger interpretive context within which Paul read Scripture. The result is fresh light shed on Paul´s self-understanding as an apostle to the Gentiles, the content of his gospel message, his reading of the Abraham story and the larger structure of Galatians.