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The Letter to Philemon


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About the Author

Scot McKnight is Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies at North Park University, Chicago, Illinois. His many other books include The Jesus Creed: Loving God,Loving Others; A Community Called Atonement; NIV Application Commentary volumes on Galatians and 1 Peter;and (co-edited with James D. G. Dunn) The Historical Jesus in Recent Research. He also writes the award-winning Jesus Creed blog at


-- Jerry L. Sumney
Lexington Theological Seminary
"Scot McKnight has given us a bold study of this controversial little letter. He stares unflinchingly into the realities of slavery. . . . Working from conservative positions on critical issues, McKnight sees the letter to Philemon as demanding that the church today work in society to bring reconciliation and liberation to a world in need of both."

-- Jennifer Glancy
author of Slavery in Early Christianity
"With thoughtful attention to the painful realities of Roman slavery, McKnight invites churches to approach this 'deeply disturbing letter' as an invitation to become spaces of reconciliation, communities that subvert slavery 'by naming it, by fighting against it, and by embodying a new way of life.' "

-- Michael F. Bird
Ridley College, Melbourne
"A lucid and illuminating verse-by-verse analysis of Paul's letter to Philemon. Scot McKnight soberly tackles the topics of Roman slavery, reconciliation, and Paul's vision for churches to be dominated not by power relationships but by sibling-like relationships rooted in the new creation. McKnight makes this small letter stand tall among the writings of the Pauline corpus. A sheer joy to read!"

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