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.
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Review: Ruth (ZECOT) by Daniel Block
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.
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