The good folks at Baker Academic have sent along a hot-off-the-presses copy of $amz(0801035813 First and Second Timothy, Titus), from the newly-commenced commentary series Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture. The text of the NAB (New American Bible) is provided in the commentary.

If you’re unfamiliar with the series, a video overview is available on the series web site.

There are excerpts from the book on Baker Academic’s web site (here, here and here); there is a 16-page discussion guide designed for “Personal Reflection or Small Group Study”. This is cool stuff; Baker should be commended for putting together the whole package on the book’s web page.

Most of the blurbs in the front matter and back cover are about the series, not the book. Here’s the book blurb from

George Montague offers a Catholic pastoral commentary on the letters to Timothy and Titus in the second volume in the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture (CCSS). He presents sound exegesis followed by reflection on the pastoral, theological, and practical applications of the text.

Here’s the blurb from $amz(0801035813

In the second volume of the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture (CCSS), George Montague offers a Catholic pastoral commentary on the letters to Timothy and Titus, presenting sound exegesis followed by reflection on the pastoral, theological, and practical applications of the text. The CCSS offers readable, informative commentaries from the best of contemporary Catholic scholarship to help readers rediscover the Word of God as a living word in which God himself is present. Each commentary relates Scripture to life, is faithfully Catholic, and is supplemented by features designed to help readers understand the Bible more deeply and use it more effectively in teaching, preaching, evangelization, and other forms of ministry. This series is perfect for professional and lay leaders engaged in parish ministry, lay Catholics interested in serious Bible study, and Catholic students.

Yeah, pretty much the same thing though the blurb works in the series description as well.

Here’s the table of contents:

Editor’s Preface
Introduction to the Pastoral Letters

The First Letter to Timothy
Timothy’s First Charge (1 Timothy 1)
Liturgy and Conduct (1 Timothy 2)
Qualifications of Ministers (1 Timothy 3)
False Teaching and Advice to Timothy (1 Timothy 4)
Rules for Different Groups (1 Timothy 5)
Final Directives: Slaves, Truth, Riches (1 Timothy 6)

The Second Letter to Timothy
Timothy’s Gifts and Paul’s Lot (2 Timothy 1)
Counsels to Timothy (2 Timothy 2)
Meeting the Challenges of the Last Days (2 Timothy 3)
Final Charge to Timothy and Paul’s Faith amid His Loneliness (2 Timothy 4)

The Letter to Titus
Organizing the Church in Crete (Titus 1)
Virtues for Different States of Life (Titus 2)
How We Should Live—and Why (Titus 3)

Suggested Resources
Index of Pastoral Topics
Index of Sidebars

I have not had a chance to read the book yet. I will say it was designed well. And it is one of the few commentaries that I have seen that actually has pictures (black & white photos) of different areas or artifacts relevant to the discussion. That’s pretty cool.

I couldn’t contain myself, however, and peeked to see how 1Ti 1.20 is handled. You know:

18 This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare,  19 holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith,  20 among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme. (1Ti 1.18-20, ESV)

I’ve never checked an explicitly Catholic commentary on this verse and wanted to see how the verse was related to excommunication. Well, it is directly and equivalently related: “These two Paul handed over to Satan, a technical term for excommunication.” (Montague 47, emphasis his). That doesn’t surprise me, and it doesn’t seem altogether wrong to me either. These guys were given the right boot of fellowship. It’s just that ‘protestant’ commentaries rarely ever cross the line and call it excommunication. The goal isn’t separation, the eventual goal is reconciliation, as Montague aptly concludes.

I’m looking forward to giving this one the once-over. Thanks, Baker Academic!