Subscribe now

Let’s Study Colossians & Philemon

By Mark G. Johnston
March 2014 | Review by Stephen Holland
  • Publisher: Banner of Truth Trust
  • ISBN: 978-1-84871-239-3
  • Pages: 188
  • Price: 7.75
Buy this book »

Book Review

Let’s Study Colossians & Philemon
Mark G. Johnston
Banner of Truth Trust
188, £7.75
ISBN: 978-1-84871-239-3
Star Rating: 4

This book is in the Banner’s ‘Let’s study…’ series. The aim is to help the reader in the pew, rather than the theologian and preacher, in reading the New Testament. Even so, you will not find much practical application or ‘devotional reading’. The emphasis is on the meaning and sense of the biblical text. This is, no doubt, the correct approach to reading and studying Scripture.

The author begins well by stating: ‘Bible study is not a luxury. It is a necessity!’ None of us should say what was once said to me: ‘I don’t need what other men have said; I just need the Bible’. Apart from the arrogance of this attitude, it is not true and has no biblical basis. God has given ‘pastors and teachers’ to his church and, it so happens, some of them write books!

The linking of Colossians with Philemon in a one-volume book is helpful, as there is a clear connection between these epistles. The author has the unenviable task of writing on the two within a limited space. However, he succeeds well and gives an evenly balanced treatment.

Both epistles are given a brief introduction. We are taken through them section by section. Given the limited size of the book, you will not find an exhaustive treatment of the passages, and that includes the controversial ones!

However, it would have been helpful to have at least mentioned the oft disputed meanings of ‘psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs’ — there is not even a hint of varied meanings associated with these terms. But he does tell us ‘that the use of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs is one of the greatest didactic tools the church has’, and none can disagree with that! 

There is a group study guide at the end, for further thought and discussion. This book — and others in this series — is highly recommended. 

Stephen Holland
Westhoughton

 

Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Never Enough: Confronting Lies about Appearance and Achievement with Gospel Hope
Sarah Ivill

Never Enough is a well-written, thoughtfully structured series of ‘teachable moments’ based on the author’s own testimony of suffering from eating disorders and a battle between fitness and obsession. Ivill talks of how her need to be romantically loved made…

See all book reviews
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
God’s design for women in an age of gender confusion
Sharon James

Is our belief in male headship culturally outdated, and should we see alternative ideas of marriage as ‘progress’? Is it possible to be born into the wrong body, and is sexual freedom good for women? Does Scripture show us a…

Sexuality and Identity (trilogy)
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Sexuality and Identity (trilogy)
Owen Strachan and Gavin Peacock

These three punchy books address pressing issues: what the Bible teaches about lust (on desire), about homosexuality (on Biblical sexuality) and about transgenderism (on identity). The trilogy approach keeps each book short and focused while dovetailing effectively. Each book has…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
A Beginner’s Guide To Church History
Philip Parsons

This book is a must-read for every Christian, which covers a wide period from the apostolic age to the church under Communism. There are numerous excellent works on church history, like Philip Schaff’s eight volumes, or Andrew Miller’s three volumes,…