'Understanding the New Testament' illuminates four Pauline epistles

By Rosemarie Howard

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Aug. 12 2011 5:00 a.m. MDT

"UNDERSTANDING THE NEW TESTAMENT, 1st and 2nd Timothy, Titus and Philemon," by William Victor Blacoe, Cedar Fort, $19.99, 237 pages (nf)

“Understanding the New Testament: 1st and 2nd Timothy, Titus and Philemon” by William Victor Blacoe reflects the author’s 25 years of dedicated interest and research in the New Testament, particularly the life and writings of the Apostle Paul.

The complete text of 1st and 2nd Timothy, Titus and Philemon is included in the book. Each verse is considered individually and variants in translation from the original Greek are examined. Frequently the notes include a comparison of the Greek version to translations in other languages, among them Latin, German, Spanish and Hebrew.

A prologue, an epilogue and extensive notes for each epistle give historical background and additional helpful information.

In addition, four appendices offer insights into ancient Greek thinking about the soul, slavery, conscience, ethics and morals, and the structure and functions of the imperial Roman army. There is also 12-page bibliography.

In the introduction, Blacoe credits those who have done previous research, saying: “This work draws liberally upon the scholarly works of centuries of biblical champions, translators and commentators, in most European languages.”

Blacoe has contributed a valuable resource to help gospel scholars better understand the intent and meaning of many passages in these four books of the New Testament.

The book provides historical, political and geographical information as well as insights to the culture, customs and daily life of Paul’s time that are enlightening. It would be a fine addition to the library of anyone seriously interested in studying the New Testament.

Blascoe, a native of Ireland, joined the LDS Church in 1978. Since 1982 he has lived in Germany where he currently works as the manager of LDS Family Services.

Rosemarie Howard lives in a 100-year old house on Main Street in Springville, Utah. She enjoys creating multimedia content. Her website is at www.dramaticdimensions.com.

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