Philippians, Colossians, Philemon

Elsa Tamez, Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, Claire Miller Colombo, Alicia J. Batten

326pp., 6 x 9
Publication Date: February 2016


Hardcover: $39.95


eBook: $19.99

Standing Order


Philippians lends itself to a political-ideological reading. To take into account that the document is a writing from prison, and to read it from a political-religious and feminist perspective using new language, helps to re-create the letter as if it were a new document. In this analysis Elsa Tamez endeavors to utilize non-patriarchal, inclusive language, which helps us to see the contents of the letter with different eyes.


Cynthia Briggs Kittredge and Claire Miller Colombo argue that Colossians’s contradictions and complications provide opportunities for entering imaginatively into the world of first-century Christian women and men. Rather than try to resolve the controversial portions—including the household code—they read the letter’s tensions as evidence of lively conversation around key theological, spiritual, and social issues of the time.


Taking into account historical, structural, and rhetorical dimensions of Philemon, Alicia Batten argues against the “runaway slave” hypothesis that has so dominated the interpretation of this letter. Paul asks that Onesimus be treated well, but the commentary takes seriously the fact that we never hear what Onesimus’s wishes may have been. Slaves throughout history have had similar experiences, as have many women. Like Onesimus, their lives and futures remain in the hands of others, whether those others seek good or ill.

Elsa Tamez is a Mexican-Costarrican New Testament biblical scholar and earned her ThD at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. She is a member of the Methodist church and is professor emerita and former rector of the Latin American Biblical University.

Cynthia Briggs Kittredge is dean and president and professor of New Testament at Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas.

Claire Miller Colombo is director of the Center for Writing and Creative Expression at Seminary of the Southwest, where she also teaches in the areas of theopoetics, theology and literature, and writing.

Alicia J. Batten is associate professor of religious studies and theology at Conrad Grebel University College at the University of Waterloo.


"Focusing on three letters from the Christian Scripture, this commentary features a unique social justice lens. A volume necessary to any preacher or teacher of these text."

"The commentaries are refreshingly unique in their use of polyvocal dialogue and reconstructions, and the writing is clear and generally accessible. I highly recommend this text for introductory and elective biblical studies courses and to churches that value serious, relevant, informative biblical studies that engage justice issues like incarceration, modern-day human trafficking and sex slavery, and violence against women and gender equity."
Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology