Commentary writing can be a bit of a mystery, and with Doug Moo’s highly anticipated Galatians (BECNT) commentary being released in just over a month I thought I’d ask Moo a little about how it’s done.
Doug Moo Interview
Why Galatians? What do you hope your commentary will contribute?
Having written extensively on Romans, I viewed Galatians, because of its similar themes, a natural place to write a commentary. Both these letters are at the heart of continuing debate about the nature of Paul’s theology, especially in relationship to Paul’s Jewish background and context. While not a supporter of the “New Perspective” as such, I do appreciate many of the emphases this movement has introduced into the study of Paul. I view my work as incorporating the best of these new approaches into a largely “traditional,” “Refomational” approach to Paul.
Were there any surprises during your study of Galatians?
One is always surprised by finding things in a biblical text that one had not seen before intensive study of that text. My work in Galatians convinced me that Paul views justification as both an “already” and “not yet” phenomenon – a view that stands in contrast to what I argued in my Romans books.
What are you working on at the moment? (How is your Pauline Theology coming along?)
I have several little projects, one major editing job almost finished (a new NIV Study Bible), and two books in progress: a Theology of Creation Care that I am writing with my son, Jonathan Moo, and a Pauline Theology (both books with Zondervan). The Pauline Theology scares me (see the comment about lack of creativity above): I feel like waiting until my deathbed to commit on certain controversial matters of Paul’s theology. But, D.V. [Deo Volente/Lord Willing], I am hoping to finish my writing in about a year.
Here are some early reviews from Biblical scholars:
“There is certainly a place for many commentaries on Galatians, but those who invest in only one would do well to make it Moo’s. Careful in its exegesis, balanced in its judgments, fair in its treatment of others, and theologically sensitive, Moo’s Galatians, like his commentary on Romans, is sure to become a standard work in the field.”
–Stephen Westerholm, professor of early Christianity, McMaster University
“Douglas Moo’s expertise as a commentator is well known, and his skill is on display in this outstanding commentary on Galatians. Moo is scrupulously fair to opposing viewpoints and nuanced and careful in his explication of the text. In addition to a line-by-line explanation of the letter, Moo also offers a substantive and satisfying explanation of Paul’s theology in Galatians.”
–Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary