Though 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.
Tag: Hearing the Message of Scripture
Ah, 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.
The 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.
The summer of Lindsay is continuing, with a number of review books arriving from Zondervan and IVP (USA). The two IVP books will help me with teaching Christ & the Cross again next semester, and the two from Zondervan are part of the new Hearing the Message of Scripture series, which looks absolutely excellent.