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The Pastoral Epistles

A Commentary on the Greek Text

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New Testament scholar Stanley Porter offers a comprehensive commentary on the Pastoral Epistles that features rigorous biblical scholarship and emphasizes Greek language and linguistics.

This book breaks new ground in its interpretation of the Pastoral Epistles by focusing on the Greek text and utilizing a linguistically informed exegetical method that draws on various elements in contemporary language study. Porter pays attention to the overall argument of each book while also delving into the semantics and lexicogrammar to tease out the textual meaning. Attentive to the history of scholarship on these three controversial works, the commentary addresses the major exegetical issues that arise in numerous highly disputed passages and offers innovative answers to traditional exegetical problems. Professors, students, and scholars of the New Testament will value this substantive work.


"Porter's commentary on the Pastoral Epistles is one of the most, if not the most, detailed grammatical commentaries on the Greek text. This commentary exhibits Porter's signature approach to Systemic Functional Linguistics and offers a plethora of new insights for scholarly discussion."

Craig S. Keener, F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies, Asbury Theological Seminary

"Porter writes a different kind of commentary for the Pastoral Epistles, one devoted to an accessible linguistic interpretation of the Greek that helps the reader understand the language of the texts and their situational context. While focusing on insights at the clause level, he also sheds new light by bringing linguistic theory and the data of the texts to bear on the critical issues and the notorious interpretive problems of these controversial and intriguing letters."

Cynthia Long Westfall, associate professor of New Testament, McMaster Divinity College

"This is the most thorough commentary in English since the 1999 commentary by Marshall. The introduction is itself a reason to buy this commentary. Porter's vast knowledge of linguistics and primary and secondary sources is on display in this magnificent commentary, which I suspect will become the standard for the exegesis of the Greek text."

Osvaldo Padilla, professor of divinity, Beeson Divinity School

"This is a much-needed book on a contentious group of writings. Porter sheds fresh light on the Pastoral Epistles and the issues surrounding them, especially authorship, by applying a consistent and rigorous linguistic model (Systemic Functional Linguistics) and placing emphasis where it belongs, on the Greek text. No one will want to study these books without recourse to Porter's meticulous, judicious, and thought-provoking work. Get this book, and refer to it often."

David L. Mathewson, associate professor of New Testament and chair of the New Testament department, Denver Seminary

"This is not just one commentary among many but a unique commentary on the Greek text of the Pastoral Letters. It is intensive and detailed (clause by clause, not word for word, explaining the meanings in context), consistent (based on the linguistic method, Formal Systemic Functional Grammar, explained in the prolegomenon), thorough and encyclopedic (discussing the opinions of other commentators), and extensive (about 1,000 pages). Its language is accessible to the average reader, avoiding technicalities as much as possible. This is a commentary full of original interpretations that presents a new and comprehensive reading of the Pastoral Letters."

Jesús Peláez, professor of Greek philology, University of Córdoba, Spain

"If Mount Rushmore honored great and recent English-language commentaries on the Pastorals, alongside the works of I. Howard Marshall, Philip Towner, and Gerald Bray would now appear this offering by Stanley E. Porter. Through rigorous application of Formal Systemic Functional Grammar, Porter sets forth a reading that will provoke and inform constructive discussion for years to come, not least because of conclusive arguments advanced for Pauline authorship."

Robert W. Yarbrough, professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary

The Author

  1. Stanley E. Porter

    Stanley E. Porter

    Stanley E. Porter (PhD, University of Sheffield) is president, dean, professor of New Testament, and Roy A. Hope Chair in Christian Worldview at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario. A prolific scholar, he has authored, coauthored, or edited...

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