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The Epistle to the Hebrews (New International Commentary on the New Testament) Hardcover – 25 Nov 2011

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (25 Nov. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802824927
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802824929
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16 x 5.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 539,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Grant Osborne -- Trinity Evangelical Divinity School"We are living in an age of incredibly good evangelical commentaries. Gary Cockerill's Hebrews is among the best, a first-rate work that is both readable and very deep. The centrality of rhetorical analysis and structural concerns adds a lot to the value of this work, and his insights about the use of the Old Testament in understanding the book's message are extremely helpful. . . . Readers will gain a fine understanding of this incredibly important epistle and its place in the life of the church." I. Howard Marshall -- University of Aberdeen"It is no easy task to write a replacement for the work of such a scholar as F. F. Bruce on so demanding a book as Hebrews, but Cockerill amply justifies the trust placed in him by the editor of this series. In particular the attention that Cockerill pays to the author's use of the Old Testament and to the book's structure takes readers beyond Bruce's work. The exposition of the letter is profound and practical and yet so clearly presented that preachers will be particularly grateful for this volume." David A. deSilva -- Ashland Theological Seminary"As in the best commentaries, this volume is more than a rehashing of scholarship; it is also a contribution to the same. Cockerill advances new proposals regarding the structure of the sermon and its author's hermeneutics of the Jewish Scriptures. Cockerill's Hebrews will proudly take its place alongside Attridge's, Lane's, and Koester's commentaries as an essential resource." George H. Guthrie -- Union University"Gary Cockerill successfully integrates a thorough immersion in contemporary research on Hebrews with exegetical insight and pastoral sensitivity. This masterfully organized, crisply written commentary pulls together Cockerill's untiring work over the past three and a half decades. I highly recommend it."

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Stephen Redman VINE VOICE on 15 Feb. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The NICNT remains at the forefront of modern Christian commentaries, and is currently edited by Gordon Fee. This replacement for FF Bruce's legendary 1990 commentary in the same series is larger (742 pages vs. 426) and very scholarly, being suitable for a Masters student or a serious amateur. This is also Fee's last outing as editor of the series.

Cockerill places a lot of emphasis on Hebrews use of the Old Testament, and the reader will learn a lot about the sense of the book, its thrust and its nuances.

Like most commentaries this is not really a book for reading in one go, but rather a lifelong reference. Whereas one can just look up a verse or a passage, it has to be said that a greater understanding is achieved by a thorough reading of the volume.

Cockerill is not preaching in this volume, he is leading the reader by hand through a comprehensive exegesis with reference to all the best modern scholarship. You will feel able to disagree with Cockerill without having to close the book in shame, but this is a comprehensive work and to disagree too much is to approach the work with a closed mind.

There is something here for every Christian believer and theology student, and along with Lane this shares the spot of best Hebrews commentary in my library.
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Format: Hardcover
As this kind of commentary goes, one that is seriously engaging with the Greek text, this is one of the best. It may not be as technical as some others (Ellingsworth for example) but with his own translation of the text Cockerill is definitely worth checking out if you are involved in that kind of study.
The other really good thing about it is that it is pretty easy to read and therefore very good in just a straightforward exegesis of the text (in other words what it's all about). Also a major strength of it as a commentary is that Cockerill never fails to bring the reader's attention to the cultural significance. So many illustrations that the author of the letter uses would have had huge significance to his Jewish readers. Cockerill always draws the reader's attention to the cultural significance of such illustrations which is incredibly helpful if you want to fully understand the letter.
I've used as a bit now as I am involved in some in-depth study of the book of Hebrews, and I certainly think it stands up pretty well alongside the more technical commentaries without taking anything away from a straightforward understanding of what the book of Hebrews is all about.
It is a bit on the expensive side (academic commentaries like this are never cheap) but if you're aiming to buy just one commentaries this type I suspect this would be one of, if not the best one. Great if you preaching through the book of Hebrews. If you doing some personal Bible study, you could start with this but you might like something a bit lighter like Wiersbe or Olyott to start with. I know I certainly would!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
Justification of Volume 2 by Works 1 July 2012
By Dr. Chuang Wei Ping - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This exposition is premised on two themes. (1) The ultimate self-revelation of God's word in the Son was anticipated in the OT; the final word in the Son was a fulfilment of all that God has said before under the rubric of the prophets. (2) The promise of the Gospel is obtained through Christ by a pilgrimage to the heavenly "city", for those who hear, embrace and persevere in the word of God.

Hebrews is presented as a pastoral sermon. The message assumes the validity of OT passages. God has spoken in Psalms and other OT passages. Moses bears witness to things that would be spoken. The finality of Christ is shown by how Christ fulfils God's covenant in the Pentateuch. Through His word in the Son, God invites his people into a life based on the certainty of His promise of future salvation.

Gareth Cockerill's prose mirrors the powerful rhetoric of Hebrews. There is a certain hymnic quality about it, his twin themes pounding like a Gregorian chant. Cockerill's exposition shifts in three movements from the all sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice, through freedom from a broken old covenant, to the sanctuary of the new and better covenant.

I cannot pare down a single superfluous clause or word anywhere; it is a very crisp and intense read. A highlighter is superfluous, unless you are hunting for the many gems in the exegetical footnotes and helpful remarks in smaller print pacing the text, which reads like a parallel book explaining exhaustive secondary literature. Consider the whole commentary underlined, unless you are colour coding your own themes.

Cockerill's focus on his two main themes and tight structure leaves no room for familiar troublesome controversies, for which one has to fall back on other works. No Calvin versus Arminian debate etc. This is a new work, but hardly a "new edition" and it would be wrong to call this a "replacement edition". FF Bruce's 1988 NICNT should be considered Volume 1 and Cockerill's 2012 Hebrews Volume 2 because there is virtually no repetition of material, as hard as this is to achieve. At double the size of 1988 Bruce, Gareth's Volume 2 also shrinks basics covered by Bruce, which frees ample space for post-1988 academic works and more discussion.

Harold Attridge, Hermeneia 1989 and Paul Ellingworth, NIGTC 1993 are indispensable technical works; the list of 154 unique Greek words is set out in full in NIGTC. Peter O'Brien, Pillar 2010 has a devotional flavour. Luke Timothy Johnson, New Testament Library 2006 is a fascinating read, and its compressed print contains more material per page than the well-spaced and larger print of 2012 NICNT. LT Johnson's NTL has a fairly different slant, e.g. OT passages being considered metaphors in Hebrews. It is no surprise that Johnson is rarely quoted in 2012 NICNT, but cited with approval in "moral purity in the Son is in his obedience to his father". Moffatt's 1924 ICC reads quirky nowadays, but he might eventually be proven right.

Most expositions, like Word, IVP, NIVAC,etc follow the Melchisedec overture until its crescendo at Hebrews 11:1, but the two books with distinctive views are LT Johnson's and Gareth's on the same book of Hebrews. I knocked my brains out with 2006 LT Johnson's Catholic angle, only to have an encore opposite knocking from Gareth's Southern Protestant perspective, the concussions resulting in "Synoptic Headache with double vision". Koester is arguably more conventional.

Gareth Cockerill did his dissertation and doctoral thesis on Hebrews 7 (the chapter heavy on Melchisedec). I initially thought he was a young theologian in academic purgatory, but his photo (Eerdmans blog) looks like a cantankerous grandpa who will put you down with a cynical observation. Gordon Fee says in his preface that this is his last editorial effort; frankly revealing he has incipient Alzheimer's. Incidentally, Fee's 2007 "Pauline Christology", now in its third printing, does not discuss Hebrews. An interviewer asked Gareth about the authorship of Hebrews, and he says Hebrews is by a pastor familiar with Paul's works, but deftly adds that most scholarship excludes Paul as the author. Gareth's 2012 Hebrews notes Eta Linnemann's recent attempt to revive Pauline authorship. Eta writes incisively and sensibly, so I am with Eta on Paul. She said elsewhere (Is there a Synoptic Problem?) that a massive collection of scholarly opinions does not make a position more valid.

No digest of Spicq's work - relevant Spicq appears in footnotes. Almost nil on Shepherd of Hermas or Ignatius of Antioch. Jeremiah 31:31 not belaboured. No Holocaust theory. Warning passages not over-emphasized and worked subtly into text. Weak on 11Q13 (11QMelchizedek). No scalometric links to Petrine authorship or Silvanus of 1 Peter. Index at the end is skeletal and perfunctory, wisely leaving Biblical word order to point to corresponding text. There is a full discussion of extant Codices, Chester Beatty II p46, other papyri, but curiously omitting Codex Vaticanus B03 having Galatians ending on Chapter 58, and Hebrews beginning as Chapter 59 in B03. The Galatians-Hebrews nexus has mind-boggling implications, if explored.

2012 NICNT gives explicit critiques of the Suffering Son and the Mercy Seat. Esau is given a lengthy treatment not found elsewhere. Every reader will find sweet spots in this text. I lost a few weekends on the web looking for a proper exposition of 4QDeut32 (4Q44) until the arrival of this book. 2012 NICNT shows the superiority of the traditional book. I was happy to find an authoritative multi-page discussion of 4QDeut32, covering, inter alia, the MT, other Hebrew text and LXX translations. There are a large number of Hebrew passages and references. The Hebrew typeface in this volume of the New Testament is bold and very clear, with the letter "shin" especially well rendered.

Clearly, 2012 NICNT should not be used as a beginner's guide to Hebrews. Nothing in FF Bruce's 1988 Hebrews "Volume 1" is dated. Bruce's enduring relevance is preserved as a cheaper paperback edition, like John Murray's 1965 NICNT pre-Douglas Moo Romans surfacing as a current paperback reprint. As far as commentaries go, 2012 NICNT Hebrews is a bargain at below 5 cents per page of high quality paper. Even cheaper logistically than a "free" download. It is exquisitely bound and printed in the USA. The cover board hinges are tougher and more robust than previous NICNT volumes. The sewn-down binding merits the cost.

Justification for this new NICNT volume is surely by faithful works of the author. Gordon Fee says it best: The reader will quickly recognize that the author is well acquainted with the secondary literature on this great biblical book. He has brought his own deep love for Hebrews...this love shines throughout these pages. I am glad to be able to commend it to one and all.

Gordon Fee manifestly understated his recommendation.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Faithful and true to the text. 12 Oct. 2013
By Halo Faire - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of the outstanding commentaries in the series .

The author clearly has an outstanding theological grasp of the book and shows great enthusiasm for its teaching.

Rarely have I seen combined such great scholarship and pastoral insights, which are woven together in a single ' heavy' commentary.

One of the great things in reading this work is his openness to just let the text speak for itself.A lot of current commentaries are coming now from the reform Calvinist school and so they tend to focus in their writings with doctrinal sunglasses on. But rarely does this author feel the need to toe such a party line; he seems to much prefer to concentrate his time on what the author of Hebrews is emphasizing as important. Repeatedly then he draws our focus onto Jesus, as the great saviour of our faith .

I do have two or three of the other major commentaries on Hebrews which are helpful; but this one defiantly is a work of excellence
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Incredibly helpful so far... 13 July 2013
By austenfan442 - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dr. Cockerill's commentary is thorough yet accessible, providing great background, recent scholarship, and fascinating exposition of the text. He acknowledges diverse viewpoints while defending what he sees as the most accurate--it's not wishy-washy--and he admits when facts about this unique book are not certain. His dealing with the author's use of the OT is most beneficial and a great help to anyone seeking to understand the difference between the old and new covenants. I've only just begun using this as a reference for grasping Hebrews for a Sunday school project I'm working on and I don't think I'll need to use much else.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An excellent Commentary 2 Jun. 2014
By L. Osborne - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Cockerill does an excellent job of explaining the background and meanings behind the letter to the Hebrews. His work can be understood by the non-academic minded.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
... this series and have found them all to be excellent so far 2 Dec. 2014
By ShepTim23 - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I own several commentaries in this series and have found them all to be excellent so far. They really do a great job of combining thorough scholarship with a faithfulness to the text and present it in an accessible manner. I have found them helpful in preparing both to teach and preach.
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