1 & 2 Timothy For You by Phillip Jensen: A Book Review
As a pastor, I keep encountering the God’s Word For You series from The Good Book Company. I’ve used a couple different resources in this series as I’ve prepared messages. The more I use them, the more I like them. If you’re not familiar with them, each book is a commentary of a specific book of the Bible. They are written by different authors and they are very applicable.
These resources are meant for the reader to read, feed, and lead. These commentaries aren’t technical, but are meant to be devotional and practical. I really like this aspect because application can be one of my weaker points when it comes to teaching. You don’t have to be a teacher though to enjoy them. They are devotional and include questions at the end of every section to help you meditate on and interact with what you’ve read. They would be especially helpful for small group leaders as well.
The author of 1 & 2 Timothy for You is Phillip Jensen. He’s been preaching the gospel since 1959 and he is full of wisdom. I first encountered Jensen at a conference I was attending and really enjoyed what he had to say. Being British, I think he at times brings a different worldview which can be helpful to those of us living in other countries.
That being said, I didn’t agree with all of Jensen’s conclusions, but one lesson we must take when using devotions and commentaries is that we must consult more than one because people can derive different applications from the text. Jensen argues for a distinction between overseers and elders that I am not fully convinced on. He also says, “an elder was older man.” The difficulty here then becomes the question, “How old?” Who gets to decide what age is appropriate? Timothy himself was an elder, but was told to not let those in the church look down on him because of his youth. I find myself not fully convinced by Jensen’s conclusions.
That being said, we won’t ever fully agree with anyone one hundred percent and that’s ok. Jensen has given us a great work in a great series and I think whether you use it devotionally, to lead a small group, or to aid in you in sermon preparation, you would do well to add this work to your collection.
Out of kindness, The Good Book Company is giving away a free digital book in this series this month titled Ephesians for You. All you have to do is click this link and sign up for their email list to receive your free digital download. This is an incredibly nice resource to get for free so head over there to get your copy.
You can pick up your copy of 1 & 2 Timothy for You here.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.