Who would not relish the opportunity to read two-thousand-year-old letters? These four of the seven catholic letters are addressed not to any specific church, as are Pauls epistles, but to the church in general. Giving us valuable insights into early Christianity, they insist on the need to join good works with faith, present Jesus sufferings as the model for enduring persecution and warn against intruders intent on undermining traditional faith and morals.
Far from being mere exercises in nostalgia for the good ol days, the letters offer principles that have not lost their value for the Church of the third millennium. Patrick Hartins clarity and conciseness update the Churchs earliest struggles to remain faithful to the spirit of Jesus Christ. These are letters for us today, too.
Fr. Patrick J. Hartin, Ph.D., is professor of New Testament at Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington, and the author of the Sacra Pagina commentary on James and A Spirituality of Perfection: Faith in Action in the Letter of James, published by Liturgical Press.
...provides clear, well organized commentary.
- Writing Works
"This book offers thorough, organized exploration of some very neglected letters of the New Testament, the general letters. Hartins learned, meticulous commentaries on the letters bring much needed contemporary scholarship to this important literature of the early church, and will help bring them back into the spotlight of academic discussion. The book is an excellent resource for college classrooms and individual study alike."
- Vasiliki Limberis, Professor of Ancient Christianity, Temple University
"It has been said that the best and most enduring popularizations of biblical scholarship are those by the scholars who themselves are the major contributors to the technical, high-level academic conversation on the Bible - those who know that conversation from the inside. This is certainly the case with Hartins commentary on the Catholic letters, which in brief compass presents a succinct, balanced, and highly readable compression of the best scholarship on James, First Peter, Jude, and Second Peter. "
- John S. Kloppenborg, Professor of Religion, University of Toronto