6680. Nothing is more detrimental than when one becomes confused and goes so far as to dream that he believes and understands the Gospel completely (p. 384).
6664. We are all great sinners, but we should not despair or abandon hope because of our sins. For God has made it known to all that forgiveness of sins applies to everyone who acknowledges and confesses their sins from the heart, and that no one is excluded who remains true to his word and clings to the faith (p. 466).
This past November I had the privilege of revealing the “secret project” I had been working on for four years: Studies in the Pauline Epistles: Essays in Honor of Douglas J. Moo. We surprised him with it at the dinner celebrating the 50th Anniversary celebration of NIV, held during the annual ETS conference. Here is the video of our presentation:
Zondervan has also posted brief interviews with me and my co-editor Jay Smith, highlighting some of the distinctive features of this collection of essays:
You can purchase it on Amazon and other places online.
1340. Theology thrives in use and practice, not in speculation. In summary, every household and worldly craft which is not put into practice, but remains only learned in theory, will be lost and amount to nothing. When one in a trade calculates how much business he would like to do that year, he is only speculating and is in the thinking and estimating stage, and when it comes to actuality, things are quite different. Just like in these days as it generally happens, for example, as I well know and have experienced. (p. 407).
3335. Clouds, which drift overhead but produce no rain, are like the righteousness of the Laws, which promise much, but yield nothing but hypocrisy. (p. 419).
2206b. That marriage is marriage, a hand is a hand, and riches are riches, that everyone understands and believes. But to believe that marriage is founded by God, that a hand is a hand created by God, and that the nourishment that I enjoy, and everything else I need is God’s creation and given to me by God, to believe that is not a work of mankind, but God’s work in mankind, that is something else. (p. 332).
As 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 ChristianBook.com.
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
The relationship between the Old and New Testaments is notoriously complex, and there are a variety of different ways of approaching the issue. I believe that one of the most fruitful is studying how the New Testament authors quote from, allude to, or echo Old Testament texts. Yet even when one does this, the way that NT authors interact with OT texts can often seem strange. At times they seem to assert that certain events fulfill what was promised in the OT, yet when one reads the OT text(s) in question it can sometimes be hard to see it.
Enter the new book by G.K. Beale and Benjamin L. Gladd: Hidden but now Revealed: A Biblical Theology of Mystery.
They use the concept of “mystery” as their entry point for exploring the relationship between the OT and NT. They define mystery as:
the revelation of God’s partially hidden wisdom, particularly as it concerns events occurring in the “latter days.”
Their starting point is how the term is used in Daniel, since that sets the foundation for how it is used in the NT. From there Beale and Gladd look at specific occurrences of the term mystery in Early Judaism, Matthew, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, and Revelation. They also include chapters on the concept of mystery in the NT where the specific word does not occur, as well as the difference between mystery within Christianity and the pagan mystery religions.
Also of note is an appendix by Beale entitled, “The Cognitive Peripheral Vision of Biblical Authors.” It tackles the thorny issue of cases where the NT authors appear to draw meaning from an OT text that goes beyond the conscious intention of the OT human author.
As a Ph.D student at Wheaton College, I had the privilege of learning from Dr. Beale, as well as become good friends with Ben (who was studying under Beale). I can think of no two men better qualified to trace the theme of mystery and tease out the implications for our understanding of the Old and New Testaments.
You can find an early review of the book here. It promises to be a significant contribution to our understanding of biblical theology and how the Old and New Testaments relate to each other.
6305. The torment of the soul suffered by God-fearing Christians is highly useful and a good experience for flesh and blood. He who has never experienced it knows nothing. That is why all the Psalms in each and every verse use nothing but temptation, anguish, affliction, and a book full of the torment of the soul. The tormenters of the Holy Fathers (Patriarchs) arise out of the most basic admonishments in the first tablet of the Ten Commandments, such as Saint Hieronymous’ [Jerome] torments of the flesh (p. 447).
Now that we have reached the end of our journey through Jeremiah, we spent our final class period reflecting on what we have learned about God, humanity, and redemption. It was a great discussion of what God was doing in people’s lives through the timeless message of Jeremiah.
On a personal note, I think the most significant insight I gained was seeing a glimpse of imputation in Jeremiah I had never noticed before. In Jer 23:5 YHWH promises to “raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shalll reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.” He will be called “The LORD is our righteousness” (23:6). Later in Jer 33:15 God reiterates this promise of a righteous Branch from the line of David. But in this passage it is Jerusalem that is given the name “The LORD is our righteousness” (33:16). The righteousness of the righteous Branch is given to the people whom he redeems. As such it aligns with what Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Interested in hearing more? You can listen to the audio below and follow along with the handout: