Book Review: Jude and 2 Peter

Jude and 2 Peter NCCS

After enjoying Gupta’s excellent commentary on 1 and 2 Thessalonians in the New Covenant Commentary Series, it was a no-brainer for me to pick up another one, and dig in to Jude and 2 Peter. I read this commentary devotionally – in chunks, for personal application and reflection, and pray for my local church – though naturally some of the notes and corners folded have wider application.

The author of this commentary, Andrew M. Mbuvi, offers helpful comments both on the text and its application – with his challenging observations from an African perspective being particularly relevant to the concerns in Jude and 2 Peter around in groups and out groups, and the dehumanising language that so often marks disputes, and was a hallmark of the colonial era. This does not come, however, as an imposition on the text but rather a right application. Mbuvi’s primary focus is what the text says to the faithful community – which he does with a masterful blend of engagement with the text, and explaining it in simple, readable english. I particularly appreciated – having not really studied Jude and 2 Peter before, other than hearing sermons – the balancing of virtue and vice, and ethics and eschatology. Mbuvi comments that “Eschatology lays the¬†groundwork for the ethics for the community“. To our individualistic, contemporary-obsessed, ‘liberated’ society, Jude and 2 Peter have much to say.

If you are looking for a short and readable commentary, then I think that the NCCS series is looking to me to be a good choice. Mbuvi carefully and helpfully blends serious engagement with the text with a real sense of how this text can apply to churches today. Other than some occasionally poor copy-editing (‘fairy inferno, anyone?!?!) this is a nicely put together and very readable commentary.

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