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Category: Commentaries (page 1 of 4)

Review of Micah (Two Horizons) by Stephen Dempster

I must admit I’ve delayed writing this review. It’s not that I didn’t like Stephen Dempster’s Micah commentary; in fact, it was the opposite. I liked it so much that I was intimidated to review it (even after writing so many reviews). It’s just that good. Micah all the expected features of a commentary in the Two Horizons series. A 50-page introduction discusses usual issues such as authorship, setting, and structure as well as Micah’s placement in the Book of the Twelve (interestingly, Micah’s prediction of the temple’s destruction is at the very center of the Twelve). A 120-page commentary follows; one that somehow doesn’t feel as brief as it may look. A 70-page theological reflection concludes the commentary, in which Dempster considers Micah’s themes (e.g. justice, land, temple, messiah), contribution to Biblical theology, and contemporary relevance (e.g. cheap grace, justice, idolatry).

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Review: 1, 2, & 3 John by Karen Jobes (ZECNT)

Karen Jobes, having written on the General Epistles already, is a fine choice for this commentary on the Johannine Epistles.  Two distinctives set her 1, 2, & 3 John commentary apart from others. First, Jobes is unconvinced that 1 John responds to (proto-)Gnosticism. She also considers John’s Gospel as the interpretive framework for the Johannines. These two factors influence her opinions on the text.

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Review: The Epistles of John by Peter J. Leithart

The Epistles of John are commonly overlooked and that’s unfortunate but understandable. The logic is often obtuse. The structure appears cyclical. As I prepared to teach 1 John, I wanted a fresh take, and Peter Leithart’s Epistles of John: From Behind the Veil commentary did not disappoint.

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Review: Colossians by Christopher Seitz (Brazos Theological Commentary)

The Brazos Theological Commentary series enlists “leading theologians [to] read and interpret scripture for today’s church, providing guidance for reading the Bible under the rule of faith.” The emphasis is upon a theological and unashamedly “Christian” interpretation. This pushes back against attempts for “objective” historical readings stripped of tradition. The choice of commentator is unique, such as philosophers, theologians and historians of varying traditions. The Colossians volume is by Christopher Seitz. Seitz an OT scholar with expertise on canonical reading of Scripture. The result is a fresh reading of Paul’s letter.

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Review: Philippians (Mentor) by Matthew Harmon

Philippians is rightly one of the most popular letters of Paul. Highly quotable verses such as Philippians 1:6; 1:21; 2:5; 3:13-14; 3:20-21; 4:6-7; 4:8; 4:13; and 4:19 are lodged in the minds of many. As such, fresh study of the letter is always enjoyable. I had heard good things about Matthew Harmon’s Philippians commentary, and so I used it in my recent preaching through the letter. Let me say up front, it is truly excellent!

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Review: Ruth (ZECOT) by Daniel Block

ruth1Though widely admired, Ruth is often misunderstood. Too often have I seen Ruth lumped in with Esther (and maybe Proverbs 31) as the “books for women” since these are apparently the few sections of Scripture about women and for women. Such an attitude is a disservice to everyone involved, as all Scripture is for women, these books are for men too, and the purpose of the books themselves is overlooked. Though its beauty as a love story cannot be ignored, Ruth was not preserved in Scripture as a sanctified romance novel. Don’t get me started. Thankfully, Daniel Block avoids such marginalisation and sentimentality in his recent Ruth commentary.

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