Douglas Moo is a veteran and respected commentator, particularly in the area of Paul’s epistles. Having written the esteemed Romans commentary in the NICNT series, he is a natural choice for a guide to this most sweeping of Paul’s letters. I had the pleasure to read the second edition of Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey in the Encountering Biblical Studies series from Baker, and now it’s my privileged to review it.
Encountering the Book of Romans is laid out like a textbook, with an attractive layout, wide margins, and tables, illustrations and maps. Each chapter begins with an outline and objectives, and ends with a few study questions for retention and to consider the information further. Throughout each chapter are inserts that either pursue a rabbit trail of sorts or develop a point in more detail. There are 26 vocabulary words (such as diatribe or corporate solidarity) that appear throughout the book in bold font and with the word repeated in the margin to draw attention to the fact that a definition is in the back. This helps expose students to new concepts without burying them in scholarly lingo.
Moo introduces the reader to Romans in 16 pages over two chapters. The first chapter familiarizes the reader with ancient letters and a brief history of how Romans has been understood, particularly by the Reformation and New Perspective readings and their key players. Moo does an admirable job of boiling down the debate in two pages. Fundamentally, critics of the Reformation view find fault in an individualistic reading and in the portrayal of first-century Judaism as legalistic. Moo accepts these criticism as “somewhat justified” and proceeds to take a “modified Reformation approach” (p9) throughout this book.
The majority of the book is then devoted to surveying the sub-units of Romans. Moo breaks the letter down into 7 parts (all beginning with “encountering” in the title), fowling a fairly standard structure. Within each part are a few chapters averaging to 12 pages each. Each chapter is like a mini-introduction/commentary on the unit, summarizing and explaining the contents.
When it comes to debatable issues, such as the identity of the “I” in Romans 7, Moo presents a list of simplified options, but certainly moves forward with his own conclusion. Though Moo is fair to these views, he is not a detached observer. This comes through in his comments on Romans 9:6-13, where he introduces the Calvinism/Arminianism debate. He deftly makes the arguments plain, but concludes that despite Arminian arguments have a point, “I do no think that they can succeed in overturning the usual Calvinist interpretation of these verses…the issue is, finally, about the salvation of individuals.” (p135). After this statement, he moves on; though making his view clear, by no means does Moo force the issue.
Moo’s prose is ordered and clear, though not overly winsome. However, while Moo may be accused of being dull, he is certainly never careless. He is a reliable and level-headed guide to the letter, and depending on the reader this will delight or tire them.
On the topic of accessibility, the images are all top-notch in quality, however the book is grayscale. Colour would certainly have been more inviting to students.
After reading it for myself, I used this with my Romans students in this Spring (2015) semester at CCBCY. My class consisted mostly of North American and European students from various religious backgrounds, averaging in the early 20s. While some students complained that it was “difficult”, “dry” and “dense” at times, others said it “stretched” them and was “helpful” for preparation by giving them the big-picture of the section before our in-class lecture.
Encountering the Book of Romans does what it says on the box, batteries included. It is a textbook theological survey of Paul’s letter, written by one of the ablest Pauline scholars and author of arguably the greatest modern commentary available. While it would be a fine introduction to Romans to the earnest reader, it is best used as a textbook for undergraduate students.
Many thanks to Baker Academic for providing a copy in exchange for review. Their generosity did not affect my opinions of this work.
- Publisher: Baker Academic
- Paperback: 240 pages
- Date: July 2014
- ISBN: 9780801049668
Colin G. Kruse is senior lecturer in New Testament at Melbourne School of Theology in Australia. He has also produced commentaries on John and 2 Corinthians in the Tyndale New Testament Commentary series as well as the Johannine epistles in the Pillar series. I used his commentary on Romans (also for the Pillar series) this past semester at CCBCY and will review it in this post.
For those unfamiliar with the Pillar series, it is an evangelical mid-level commentary aimed for “serious pastors and teachers of the Bible” (xiv) that takes a verse-by-verse format, much like the NICNT series. The series also uses the NIV (2011) as its base translation.
Colin G. Kruse: Romans (Pillar)
The 33-page introduction sets the tone for the rest of the commentary: competent and concise. Kruse surveys topics such as Rome and Roman Christians, the purpose behind the letter’s existence, authorship and provenance, the integrity of the letter, Paul’s use of rhetoric, the influence of the New Perspective, and theological themes. Paul’s primary purpose for the letter is to “minister to the believers in Rome” (p11) through explaining his gospel, although Kruse allows for secondary purposes such as preparing the way for a mission to Spain and soliciting prayers for his visit to Jerusalem. As to the New Perspective, Kruse appreciates some of the insights it has produced, but reaches broadly “old perspective” conclusions.
Although one should not choose a commentary based purely on its conclusions, it can help one’s decision so I have chosen a few representative samples below.
- Rom 2:6-11 is not hypothetical; rather it lists “behavior expected of followers of Christ, those who are already saved” (p124).
- Rom 2:14-16 refer to “Christian Gentiles upon whose hearts the law has been written by the Spirit, those in whom the new covenant promise to Israel finds fulfilment” (p132).
- Rom 3:22 is translated “through faith in Jesus Christ”, in agreement with the NIV.
- Rom 7:7-12 “refer primarily to Israel’s experience before and after the Mosaic law was given to them” (p298).
- Rom 7:13-25 “refer to the ongoing experience of the unbelieving Jewish person under the law” (p298). However, Paul “could readily identify” with this character when considering his own pre-Christian experience.
- Rom 8:28-30 “has implications for an understanding of the doctrine of predestination, [but] it was not the apostle’s intention to formulate such a doctrine in these verses” (p358).
- Rom 9:6-29 teaches unconditional individual election to salvation.
- Rom 11:26 is tentatively understood to speak of “the elect of Israel of all time” (p451) being saved through jealousy at God blessing the Gentiles.
- Rom 14:1-15:6 describe a conflict between Jewish Christians along with possibly proselytes (“the weak”) “who practiced essentially Jewish customs”, and Gentile Christians with some Jewish believers (“the strong”) “who felt no obligation to practice these customs” (p510).
Kruse is concise, careful and comprehensible throughout; impressive considering this is a Romans commentary. One can easily become bogged down in the minutia in this letter, but Kruse mostly avoids this pitfall and keeps the big picture in view. This, combined with the verse-by-verse format, certainly enhances the ease with which one could turn to any given verse and obtain relatively straightforward and uncluttered commentary on it.
The footnotes take up about 1/5 of a page on average, where most interaction with other scholars takes place. A glance at the author index shows that the most regular interaction is with Byrne, Cranfield, Dunn, Fitzmyer, Jewett, Moo, and Wright. Though released in 2012, I could not find any reference to material more recent than 2006, which was surprising.
Of note are the 47 Additional Notes sections scattered throughout. These relegate the more technical and/or lengthy discussions to their own section. Examples include “Gentiles Who Do The Things Required by the Law”, “The Works of the Law”, “Adam’s Sin in Jewish Literature”, “Hope in the Pauline Corpus” and “Kissing”! These help keep the commentary tidy, and allow for further specific research when desired. Sometimes assigning fuller discussion to its own section results in a repetition of argumentation in both the commentary and the additional note or undefended conclusions in the commentary. However, these sections are of considerable help to the reader.
At times, Kruse’s commentary is scant or inconclusive. Examples include the above quote from Rom 8:28-30, confessed ignorance as to Paul’s intention for quoting Ps 69:22-23 in Rom 11:10 (“[it] is not easy to see how Paul wanted this quotation to function here” [p426]) and no explanation on what “prophecy” actually is (p470). Another example is found in Kruse’s treatment of the ever-controversial Romans 5:12. Kruse presents four options for interpreting “because all sinned” (ESV), but then does not provide any criticism of these nor a concluding opinion of his own.
The Pillar series’ verse-by-verse structure is a two-edged sword. It is easy to dip in and read up on a verse, but it also results is repetition and the author being forced to explain the material in order and comment on each verse in isolation. Of course, the paragraph-style commentaries (like the BECNT series) have their own drawbacks too.
The Pillar series is based on the NIV, but Kruse finds fault with it on several occasions for “obscuring” Paul’s intentions (p155. C.f. 211, 394, 402). In one instance he appears to prefer descriptive rather than imperative participles in Rom 12:9-13, but then resigns to comment “on the NIV translation, which treats the participles as imperatives” (p475). Other disagreements include, but are not limited to, Rom 2:23, 28; 3:22; 4:13, 16; 7:1; 8:5; 9:30; 10:4; 12:1, 2.
One’s appreciation of Kruse’s Romans will vary. Except for Romans 2:14-16, Rom 11:26 and a few others, the conclusions largely neighbor those of Moo and Schreiner. However, Kruse is newer, slightly less technical and briefer (although not as new as it appears, as mentioned above). While I would prefer Moo or Schreiner, this would serve nicely as a humble substitute for those uninterested in the level of depth reached by these scholars. I recommend this commentary to students since it is easier to grasp and comprehend.
Unfortunately, the commentary offers little by the way of fresh ideas or presentation. Kruse even sometimes refrains from giving his own view. I’d prefer to read a poorly argued view than what sometimes happens: a series of quotes from others, then the revelation that he himself is undecided. At worst, this falls into little more than a summary of the views of others, often containing large quotations in the place of original material. However, the Additional Notes remain excellent and in many ways pull this commentary up to the next level and help it stand on its own.
Colin Kruse’s Romans is recommended for serious students and pastors, particularly those who want a newer, shorter and less technical commentary than others such as Schreiner and Moo, but more extended than others such as Osborne or Stott.
Many thanks to IVP UK for providing a review copy of this book. Their generosity did not affect my review.
The warning passages in Hebrews regularly come up in discussions over whether a believer can lose their salvation. The warning in Hebrews 6 in particular is a common talking point. However, interpretation of these passages throughout the centuries has not been unanimous. How are we to understand these warnings? Thomas Schreiner, author of a recent commentary on Hebrews in the Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation series from B&H, recently addressed RTS Jackson on this very topic and I found his overview helpfully lucid and his proposed solution compelling.
Here is a link to the audio.
He also spoke on other issues from Hebrews, which were also excellent. Links to audio from Peter Gentry and Richard Gaffin are also available.
Schreiner helpfully categorizes the common solutions under four headings with subpoints:
The Loss of Salvation View (or as he calls it, the “Arminian view”)
a) The warnings are addressed to Christians
b) They warn against apostasy
c) The consequence is loss of salvation
The Free Grace View
a) The warnings are addressed to Christians
b) They warn against a lack of fruitfulness
c) The consequence is loss of rewards
The Tests of Genuineness View
a) The warnings are addressed to a mixed audience of believer and unbeliever
b) They warn against apostasy
c) The consequence is recognition that one was never saved
He evaluates each view and argues well that none make full sense of the context, then argues for a fourth view.
The Means of Salvation View (the view for which Schreiner argues)
a) The warnings are addressed to Christians
b) They warn against apostasy
c) The consequence is loss of salvation
Though this appears identical to the Loss of Salvation View, there is one fundamental difference. These warnings are prospective, not retrospective. That is, they serve the function of warning one from danger, but do not set out to explain the spiritual state of one who falls away. That means these warnings can and should be read by Christians as warning against apostasy, and heed these warnings. As such, they function as a means by which God preserves His own. This then, in contrast to the “Arminian view”, harmonizes with other NT teaching that teaches salvation cannot be lost.
To hear the full weight of Schreiner’s argumentation, check out the audio, or better yet, buy his commentary! I’m working through it in my morning Bible reading and will review it in the upcoming months. For a book-length treatment of Schreiner’s view on harmonizing the warnings and promises in the Bible, check his Run to Win the Prize.
Peter acutely said that Paul’s letters contain “some things in them that are hard to understand” (2 Peter 3:16). We need all the help we can get in grasping this monumental letter and passing on its transformative teaching; this is all the more true for pastors and teachers. The new commentary on Romans by Steven Runge meets a unique need in achieving these goals of clarity and communication.
Steven Runge: Romans (High Definition)
There are at four three things that set Romans apart from the pack:
- This is a digital book, fully integrated with Logos Bible Software.
- This commentary is less interested in other scholars, details of theology, or word studies. Instead, Runge – an expert in discourse analysis – applies these insights to the text, so that “by looking at how Paul phrased things in Greek, we can see the progression of his thoughts” (p1). The emphasis is on how Paul communicated, not just what he communicated.
- Runge writes in a very accessible and down-to-earth style. There are no footnotes and no acadamese. So the insights of discourse analysis are brought down to the lower shelf so that all can enjoy its benefits.
- Each section of text also includes 2-3 graphics drawn from the content of the text.
We’ll begin by with the commentary proper. One of my deepest concerns when I study Scripture is to ensure that I am paying attention to the flow of the text (I recommend Bible arcing). This is so important, but sadly, so often neglected. Even more surprising is that commentators sometimes fall into this trap as well, by commenting on each verse in isolation. It is common to read Romans for the “key verses” or the “Romans road”, but do we try to follow Paul’s own rhetorical logic? This is exactly what Runge is attempting to do here.
Runge is interested in how Paul communicates, so in numerous places Runge will draw out the rhetorical strategy in Paul’s words. For example, in discussing Romans 2:1-3, Runge highlights that Paul refers to one “passing judgment” three times, but delays his third repetition as “a rhetorical delay tactic, drawing extra attention to the important idea of supposing to escape God’s judgment” (p39). It separates “do you suppose” from Paul’s uncomfortable implication that they will not escape God’s judgment of them. This delay tactic makes the punch hit harder when it lands. Paul has not only carefully chosen his words, but also the arrangement of his words to support his point; Runge’s commentary is incredibly fruitful in drawing out these insights. I do wish at times that I saw more of Runge’s “working out” rather than merely his conclusions, but that would have resulted in a less accessible commentary.
Keeping the focus on the how rather than the what is appreciated and what sets this commentary apart. For the most part, he avoids the controversial what questions. For example, Runge’s take on Romans 9 is balanced and sticks to the text, avoiding more controversial points of interpretation. However, there are times where a theological view of the text must be taken. For example, Romans 2:14-16 results in different implications depending on how one reads it. The nature of this commentary prevents Runge from examining other options and he simply presents one view (the traditional one) as if it were the only way of reading the passage. Again, this is due to the nature and aims of the commentary, but it is worth noting.
Next, the graphics also set this commentary apart. These serve a supporting role to Runge’s commentary on the text and for the most part they illustrate the text helpfully. These graphics are especially helpful at making a point memorable. The majority of the graphics illustrate the text of Romans but also sometimes they visualize an idea from Runge. Logos Bible Software integrates these graphics with one’s presentation software (e.g. PowerPoint), to make it incredibly easy to insert these into a slide.
As seen above, these graphics are catchy and memorable and some are even humorous. I trialed these out with my Romans class at CCBCY and found most of them useful. The students (average age: early 20s) enjoyed them as they interrupted the often bewildering content of the letter! Often the slides would be met with amusement, and a number of students told me that they really helped things “click”. In fact, rather than hearing it from me, here are a few quotes from student feedback forms:
- I thought they were really helpful to explain the topic
- very funny
- I really liked the pictures – they are memorable
- really helpful
- I love the illustrations
- I enjoyed the pictures, they were funny, which was nice because Romans is so dense at times
- the artwork was always helpful to illustrate the point
At times there were a few missed opportunities, such as the graphic for Rom 1:3-4 (see left). Rom 1:3-4 is not simply a list of titles for Jesus, but is made up of two parallel lines that describe two stages to Jesus’ incarnational existence: son of David according to the flesh, and Son of God in power according to Spirit by His resurrection. These verses can be difficult to explain, so a visual illustration of the parallelism would have been immensely helpful here. There are a few areas in which the graphics could improve. First, many of the graphics simply visualize a passage but don’t necessarily aid in understanding something difficult in the text. Second, I would like more visual representation of Runge’s insights from discourse analysis, since this would aid the main purpose of the commentary by illustrating how the text functions rhetorically. Third, a layout of the letter’s overall structure would have been helpful also.
Surrounded by pixelated monochromatic commentaries, Steven Runge’s Romans is truly high definition. The commentary and graphics work hand in hand to provide a unique and valuable asset for understanding and teaching Romans. This commentary is highly recommended for teachers and pastors. While it meets its aims, it does not do everything. This will need to be supplemented by an exegetical commentary for the more technical interpretative needs. However, Romans is a welcome addition to the teacher’s arsenal.
Many thanks to Lexham Press for providing a copy in exchange for review. Their generosity has not affected my opinions of the book.
We are continuing our review of Practices of Power by Robert Ewusie Moses, an investigation of Paul’s teaching on the powers and principalities and the practices he advocates in response to them. We are turning now to Galatians and its discussions of bondage under the elements. Unlike the previous positive practices of power – baptism, Gospel preaching and church discipline – in Galatians we find Paul warning against a negative practice of power: living under the Law.
Practices of Power: Life Under the Law
Galatians 1:4 says that Christ “gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age”. As is the case with Paul’s other letters, this early verse sets the stage for what follows. Since Christ died to free us from this age, to submit to “practices that are characteristic of this present age” is to “become subject to enslaving powers that rule the present age” (p119). We have been delivered from the powers of darkness, so must not engage in the practices of this age, the sphere in which Satan and his followers continue to have power (John 12:31; 2 Cor 4:4 [lit. “this age”]; 1 Cor 2:6-8). Utterly shocking, however, is that Paul considers life under the Law to be one of those practices!
But how can this be? There is a “link between life under the Law and life under the στοιχηἶα (‘the elements’)” (p120). And what is that link? Moses’ thesis is that “what links the Law and the elements for Paul is his discovery, in retrospect, that both the Law and the elements can be co-opted by higher powers” (p120). This is a fairly long chapter, so I will have to leave out the majority of the details in this summary.
Angels and the Law
Paul says that the Law was given “through angels” (Gal 3:19), which is consistent with Deuteronomy 33:2 and texts such as 1 Enoch 82:7-10 and Jubilees 15:25-26. For Moses, this “[shows] that the Law is mediated and [hints] at the reality that the Law can fall into the hands of higher powers” (p123). If higher powers have hijacked the Law, this would explain why we should not live under it. Romans 7 gives the same idea: “Sin” has co-opted the Law and used it to produce negative results.
The “Elements” and the Law
Moses then argues that Paul equates past life under the elementary principles of the world (Gal 4:3) with life under the Law (Gal 4:5), so that taking on the Law would be as disastrous as living under the elements again (Gal 4:9).
Angels and the “Elements”
The last stage of Moses’ argument is to establish the identity of the elementary principles of the world (στοιχεἶα τοὖ κόσμου). This is a complicated issue, but Moses compellingly argues that the elements are not spirits but are the four elements (earth, fire, wind, water). However, he hastens to add that “there are spiritual powers who co-opt the elements” (p146), which fits texts such as Wisdom of Solomon 13:1-4, Isaiah 44:9-17, and 1 Corinthians 8-10.
So the argument goes like this: The Law was given through angels, but angels have hijacked it to their own ends. Submitting to the Law would be like parking in pagan worship of the elements, as angelic beings stand behind both the Law and the elements. Therefore, taking on the Law would entail slavery to the powers of this age. Christ died to redeem believers from this age (Gal 1:4), so believers must not take on the Law.
There is much to appreciate and consider in Moses’ arguments, though I have a few lingering questions.
- At what point was the Law hijacked by demonic powers?
- How would Moses’ view of στοιχεἶα affect Colossians 2:8?
- If the only association between the Law and the elements is that both are co-opted by the powers, then why did Paul say a return to the Law is a return to the elements, rather than re-enslavement to the powers?
- Practically, what would this mean today for Christians who live under the Law in a more comprehensive way? What about Torah-observant Messianic Jews? Are they exposing themselves to spiritual attack and division? Or is the issue not observing the Law but in living under the Law like the Galatians?
I’d love feedback on Moses’ argument and/or my own questions. This concludes my survey of Practices of Power, certainly a thought provoking book that moves the discussion in a helpful direction. I hope that it sparks further research into the Biblical worldview of the spiritual world.
Many thanks to Fortress Press for providing a copy of Practices of Power in exchange for a review. Their generosity has not affected my opinion of the book.
Psychedelic visions, “crazy man” activities, risqué r-rated parables, and a final LOTR-scale epic battle, it’s strange to me that Ezekiel is overlooked. Isn’t everything listed above on the TV shows today that people watch? Not Christians, of course… and perhaps this is why Ezekiel is avoided! Or perhaps we simply need an able guide; and who better to explain this enigmatic book than Daniel Block who has studied it for more than twenty-five years and produced what is widely considered its greatest commentary? Admittedly, reading Block’s two-volume work is a little daunting even for nerds, so you may be glad to know that he has produced two smaller topical books on Ezekiel. In this post I will review the first, entitled By the River Chebar: Historical, Literary, and Theological Studies in the Book of Ezekiel. I will also review the second title in due course.
By the River Chebar
Since By the River Chebar is a collection of essays on various topics, arranged in a basic structure:
- Preaching the message of Ezekiel
- The theology of Ezekiel
- Five topical studies
- Two studies on particular texts (Ezekiel 1:4-28 and Ezekiel 24:1-14)
The five topical studies cover diverse territory:
- Ezekiel’s portrayal of God.
- Ezekiel’s adaptation of the divine abandonment theme found in Ancient Near Eastern (ANE) texts.
- The history of Babylon seen through the eyes of their god Marduk.
- The use of רוּחַ (ruach = spirit/breath) in Ezekiel.
- Ezekiel’s view of death and the afterlife.
As you can tell by the descriptions, some of these essays are more accessible than others. In fact, the chapters gradually become more rigorous, academic and specific as the book goes on. For example, the first three essays serve as excellent introductions to Ezekiel and would serve any reader, particularly pastors. All of the chapters address central issues in Ezekiel. For example, Ezekiel is controversial to some due to his representation of YHWH. Is YHWH ugly in Ezekiel? Block fairly responds to such criticisms. Also, Ezekiel is known as the prophet of the s/Spirit, but we must be careful not to impose anachronistic concepts if we want to understand him rightly.
Each of these essays highlight Block’s scholarly competence with the text of Ezekiel. He clearly has mastered the book, so he is an ideal person to consult on these issues! I appreciated his intellectual care and honesty in each of these essays. At the same time, he is able to step back and offer proposals that are simple but compelling. As one example, Ezekiel 1:4-28 has many issues for the interpreter and student. At times it seems like Ezekiel has thrown out basic rules of Hebrew grammar and is so incredibly vague in his descriptions that scholars have speculated wildly on issues with transmission of the original text. After surveying these so-called solutions, Block takes a simple ad sympathetic approach: “[i]t is apparent that the vocabulary and forms of expression available to the prophet fall far short of the requirements of this vision, which transcends all of the bounds of normal human experience” (p213). Put simply, Ezekiel was lost for words. This may seem too easy of an answer, but sometimes the simplest solution is the best and Block argues well for it.
Also on display, particularly in the first three essays, is a pastoral concern for the readers of Ezekiel. As an evangelical, Block not only has an academic interest but a concern that Ezekiel be understood and taught well to the church. Fittingly, Block’s chapter on preaching through Ezekiel is a standout chapter (see my friend Spencer’s post on this chapter) and well worth reading.
However, the topical studies, and especially the two text studies, are considerably more specialist in language and topic. This is not to say that patient and interested non-academic readers will gain nothing, but that they are difficult reads. What’s more, some of the later chapters require both a familiarity with scholarly discussions and a basic understanding of Hebrew to get the most out of them.
On the note of readership, there are two basic issues that hinder the book. Since most of these essays began as journal articles or dictionary entries, some residues remain. For example, the chapter The God Ezekiel Wants Us to Meet refers to a paper that was presented to “this society last year” (p47) and another that was given “last year” (p50). These are references to the context where Block first presented the content of this chapter: an address to SBL in 2012. Another example from a different chapter reads “as recently as 1985″ (p198). Of course time frames are relative, but since that’s the year of my birth, I don’t consider it recent! However, if I were sitting in on Block’s first reading of this essay in 1991, his comment would have been less odd.
The second issue seems to be editing mistakes. For example, the chapter entitled Preaching Ezekiel gives six propositions for preaching Ezekiel faithfully, however the subheading reads “four propositions for preaching from Ezekiel” (p2), so the last two are a nice surprise! This chapter also contains helpful images for visualising the book’s contents, but they appear mislabeled. On page 6 the reader is referred to “figure 2″, but the image with this label doesn’t match the description. Instead, the image labelled as figure 3 is clearly the intended image. Further down on page 6 is a reference to “figure 3″, but no image in the chapter matches its description, so it appears to have been forgotten. Also, the image actually labelled as figure 2 is never mentioned in the essay. If that was confusing to read, then it reflects how confused I was at this point! I will give one more example from pages 16-17. Proposition five has five numbered sub-points. Proposition six also has three numbered sub-points, but instead of re-starting at #1, these begin at #6. It appears that the word processor software continued the numbering from the previous section. This is clearly unintentional.
All that to say, thorough editing could have both helped tailor the book to be read more naturally by a wider audience and also avoided these issues that make the book more confusing than it has to be.
For someone studying or teaching through Ezekiel, most or all of these studies will no doubt prove beneficial. Taken individually, these chapters are also excellent foundations for grasping an unwieldy book. For those with a casual interest in Ezekiel, the first three chapters are highly recommended. For those completely uninterested, I am confident that if you start reading Ezekiel, you be inspired but also have a ton of questions. Then go pick up By the River Chebar and enter the weird and wild world of this prophet!
This book was generously provided from Wipf & Stock for review, but that did not affect my opinions.
- Publisher: Wipf & Stock
- Softcover: 336 pages
- ISBN: 9781620329993
- Date: August 2013