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Category: The Twelve

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: Text and Canon edited by Robert Cole and Paul Kissling

John Sailhamer did not produce many books, but I’m gradually recognizing the impact that he has made. I’m regularly bumping up against ideas and emphases that were entrenched in his vocabulary; ideas such as composition, intertextuality, Text vs. Event, and Pentateuch 2.0. Considering Sailhamer’s impact and his passing this year, it’s fitting that editors Robert Cole and Paul Kissling would produce a festschrift in Sailhamer’s honor. Those familiar with Sailhamer will recognize the significance of its title: Text and Canon.

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Review: Jonah by Kevin Youngblood (Hearing the Message of Scripture)

JonahAh, Jonah. Unlike Obadiah – the Macaulay Culkin of minor prophets – Jonah is infamous (i.e. “more than famous“). We all know the story of Jonah, so who needs a 192-page commentary explaining it? How much really is there to say? Well, Kevin Youngblood, author of a new Jonah commentary certainly asked this question, and found a novel answer: “Good commentaries on Jonah don’t bring the discussion of the book’s meaning to an end; rather, they take the discussion to a new level” (p13). In the case of Youngblood’s Jonah at least, this is more than just a cop-out answer to sell more books.

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Review: Obadiah by Daniel I. Block (Hearing the Message of Scripture)

Daniel Block ObadiahThe little book of Obadiah is much like Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone: destined to be forgotten, being the most minor of the minors (prophets, that is)! In fact, Obadiah is the least read book of the Bible. This is why I was so glad to read and review a commentary on it! Maybe I’m a sucker for the underdog, but if you hold to a high view of Scripture then surely the least popular book of the Bible will also be one of the most underestimated and one that rewards close study.

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