Skip to main content

Book: A Commentary on Judges and Ruth

I have pointed you to the Kregel Exegetical Library at times in the past. Today we will revisit the series and examine the volume A Commentary on Judges and Ruth. Authored by Robert B. Chisholm, Jr., who is a professor of Old Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, this is 697 pages bound in a sturdy hardcover. It’s not much to look at, with muted colors on the cover and only black and white text throughout, but the power is in the words.
http://store.kregel.com/productdetails.cfm?PC=2966

Some commentaries excel at attention-holding for casual reading. A Commentary on Judges and Ruth is not one of those commentaries. This is a text for the more serious researcher or student, teacher or preacher, rather than for the light and fluffy among us.
A Commentary on Judges and Ruth takes the text of Scripture at face value. While there is some discussion of the textual critical issues, Chisholm clearly sides with the idea that we should take the Bible to be accurate and intentional in all matters. This is certainly a strength for those of us who are wanting to get into the meaning of the text more than having to defend the text’s existence.
Chisholm does his own translation work here, something I alternate between liking and disliking. In an academic/study work like this, I am more accepting of it than in a popular-type work, and his translations are nearly the same (by his admission in a footnote) as his translation work for The NET Bible. As such, they are not independent or unverifiable for the reader.
Looking at Judges and Ruth in the same volume is not the same as looking at them together. This is essentially a commentary on Judges bound with a commentary on Ruth.
Subject matter for A Commentary on Judges and Ruth focuses on a section-by-section look at the verses. This includes wrestling in both the introductory material and in order with the sacrifice of Jephthah’s daughter and Ruth with Boaz at the threshing floor. In both of these oft-debated passages, Chisholm is more focused on evidence for his view than on strictly refuting other views. The other views are clearly represented, but instead of being “dismissed,” Chisholm presents a clear picture of what he thinks. The reader is assumed smart enough to know one must choose one view or the other.
Chisholm’s treatment of the chronological questions in Judges is well-handled, and I liked his use of tables showing how the years add up. I have seen this tackled with just text, and it’s confusing.
All told, A Commentary on Judges and Ruth justifies its 2-inch slot on the bookshelf. It’s clear, though technical, and the focus on the text is well-held. Chisholm adds some basic preaching suggestions, but keeps his effort solidly on understanding what is in the text, leaving the reader to find his own way to preach and teach it.

(Free book from Kregel Academic in exchange for the review. They also publish the Philips Commentary Series. I’m getting the better end of them on this stuff, that’s for sure.)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Book: By the Waters of Babylon

Worship. It is what the church does as we strive to honor God with our lips and our lives. And then, many churches argue about worship. I have about a half-dozen books on my shelf about worship, but adding Scott Aniol’s By the Waters of Babylon to the shelf has been excellent.

First of all, Aniol’s work is not based on solving a musical debate. While that branch of worship is often the most troublesome in the local church, By the Waters of Babylon takes a broader view. The starting point is the place of the church. That place is a parallel of Psalm 137, where the people of God, Israel, found themselves in a strange land. The people of God, again, find themselves in a strange land.
Second, in summary, the book works logically to the text of Scripture, primarily Psalm 137 but well-filled with other passages. Then it works outward from how the text addresses the problems submitted in the first chapter into how worship, specifically corporate worship, should look in the 21st century Weste…

Sermon Recap for October 14

Here is what you'll find: there is an audio player with the sermon audios built-in to it, just click to find the one you want. You'll also find the embedded Youtube videos of each sermon.If you'd like, you can subscribe to the audio feed here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/east-end-baptist-church/id387911457?mt=2 for iTunes users. Other audio feeds go here: http://eebcar.libsyn.com/rssThe video is linked on my personal Youtube Page here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJBGluSoaJgYn6PbIklwKaw?view_as=publicSermons are stockpiled here: http://www.doughibbard.com/search/label/SermonsThanks!