Previous | Next

Fall 1994 · Vol. 23 No. 2 · pp. 131–32 

Book Review

First and Second Thessalonians

D. Edmond Hiebert. rev. ed.. Chicago, IL: Moody, 1992. 415 pages.

Reviewed by Rueben Baerg

This commentary is written from an evangelical, pre-millennial, and scholarly perspective. Invited to revise the Commentary on the Thessalonian Epistles (Moody Press, 1971), the author has here added to the previous work, not in its essential content, nor as to its evangelical interpretation or format, but with some fresh insights from “several recent commentaries on Thessalonians.” Hiebert re-examines what the Bible itself says about the great doctrinal truths of the Second Coming of Christ and their implications for godly living.

As in his former work, so also in the revised edition, “all Greek words, whenever they are used are translated in the context and transliterated.” Obviously, any Bible student, even one who lacks a working knowledge of the Greek New Testament, will find this to be an open door “into the riches of the inspired Word of God” (p. 11). The general introduction guides the reader through some of the critical problems with a genuine sense of evangelical scholarship and careful attestation as to the divine origin and authenticity of the Holy Scriptures as the very Word of God. Unabashedly, too, yet without insolent boldness, the author sets forth the pre-millennial position on the rapture of the church (p. 200).

Hiebert is well-known for his thoroughgoing exegesis of the New Testament. He earned his B.A. degree in history (John Fletcher College) and his Th.M. and Th.D. in religious education and Greek (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary). From 1955 until his retirement (1985), he was professor of Greek and New Testament at Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary, Fresno, California, where he was one of the original professors. {132}

Besides the commentaries on the Thessalonian Epistles, Hiebert has written several other biblical studies, including First Timothy, Second Timothy, Titus and Philemon, Introduction to the Pauline Epistles, and Introduction to the Non-Pauline Epistles.

With respect to a difficult passage of Second Thessalonians (2:1-12), Hiebert clearly expounds on the two great events that must precede “the Day of the LORD,” namely: 1) “The apostasy within the circle of the professed Christian church” (p. 331); and 2) the manifestation of the “man of Lawlessness” (p. 332). “An attentive reading of this passage,” says Hiebert, “uninfluenced by theological presuppositions, naturally leads to the conclusion that Paul is describing an actual eschatological individual, not a mere principle, or even a succession of persons” (p. 334, emphasis mine).

Hiebert’s commentary serves as an excellent source for exegetical studies, as well as a fine study book for laymen who may not be proficient in the Greek of the New Testament. This volume is extremely beneficial because of the careful outline, the extensive footnotes, and an up-to-date bibliography.

Dr. Rueben Baerg
Pastor and Professor (retired)
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Previous | Next