1 Peter, 2 Peter, and Jude: Worship Matters

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9781620324370: 1 Peter, 2 Peter, and Jude: Worship Matters
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This book proposes new and comprehensive chiastic structures as well as new unifying themes for the often-neglected New Testament letters of 1 Peter, 2 Peter, and Jude. In accord with these structures, which organize the oral performance of these letters in a context of communal worship, the subtitle of the book, "Worship Matters" expresses the letters' main concern. By "worship" is meant not only liturgical worship but also the ethical behavior that complements it for a holistic way of worshiping God. "Matters" refers not only to the "matters" or issues regarding worship in these letters but also to the fact that worship "matters" in the sense of making an all-important difference to Christian living, not only for the original audiences of letters, but equally for their contemporary audience. Accordingly, this book proposes that: 1 Peter exhorts its audience to worship for life, both present and eternal, through the sufferings of Jesus Christ; 2 Peter exhorts its audience to worship in the knowledge regarding the final coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; and Jude exhorts its audience to worship in the mercy and love of God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

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About the Author:

John Paul Heil is Professor of New Testament at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He is the author of The Letter of James: Worship To Live By (2012).

Review:

John Paul Heil applies to the letters of Peter and Jude the thoroughgoing chiastic analysis he has previously applied to Philemon, Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, Hebrews, and James. He argues that they are focused on worship, broadly understood, as he has previously argued is true of the letters of Paul, Hebrews, and James. All should find his application of these perspectives to the letters of Peter and Jude illuminating.
--Terrance Callan, Dean of Special Studies and Professor of Biblical Studies, The Athenaeum of Ohio

This is not a standard commentary in that few of the traditional introductory topics are covered. Nor is it a discussion of classical rhetorical methodology, but that allows Heil to focus on structure, specifically the macro- and micro-chiastic structures he sees in the letters. Having already applied such analysis to James, Hebrews, and several Pauline letters, Heil is no stranger to this methodology. I look forward to the response his contribution receives in this new field.
--Peter H. Davids, Visiting Professor in Christianity, Houston Baptist University

John Paul Heil offers new proposals for the structures and main themes of these three closely related letters. . . . Heil's very careful attention to the texts has revealed their chiastic structures, which convey the authors' thinking. With 'audience response' Heil clarifies the reactions sought in each letter and presents these to his own reader. The book is truly insightful; and, as always, Heil's treatment scholarly.
--Robert F. O'Toole, S.J., S.S.D., Professor Emeritus, Pontifical Biblical Institute --Wipf and Stock Publishers

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