In Philemon, Seth M. Ehorn takes the uncommon stance that slavery is not the central issue of Philemon; instead, God’s providential work is. According to Ehorn, this is seen in the themes that Paul addresses throughout his letter: reconciliation, forgiveness, love, and faithfulness—attributes that Christ exhibited. Ehorn adopts the view that Paul wrote to his friend, Philemon, on behalf of Onesimus, Philemon’s runaway slave. As a “friend of the master,” Paul reminded Philemon of his Christian character, suggesting that he should continue to act accordingly. By using and interacting with various interpretive approaches (discourse, rhetorical, epistolary, sociological), Ehorn shows how Paul embodied Christ’s actions and how we can do the same.
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The Evangelical Exegetical Commentary series incorporates the latest in critical biblical scholarship, yet each volume is written from a distinctly evangelical perspective. The authors explore the context and meaning of the biblical books while showing the value and truth of the texts in ancient times and today. These commentaries present historical and literary insights for understanding the text within the Bible’s larger story and applying it to everyday life.
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Seth M. Ehorn is currently a doctoral candidate studying New Testament language, literature, and theology at the University of Edinburgh, New College. Prior to studying at New College, he completed an MA in biblical exegesis at Wheaton College Graduate School in Illinois, where he was awarded the Merrill C. Tenney Award for New Testament studies. He has contributed several articles to the Baker Illustrated Bible Dictionary (forthcoming) and written many book reviews in academic journals.