It’s a tale of two books. There’s the narrow part on Ruth’s canonical placement and how that affects theology and the warm part on the great theological themes of Ruth. One is esoteric and the other is quite helpful to anyone who might be studying the Book of Ruth.
Peter Lau and Gregory Goswell provide this latest entry in the reputable New Studies In Biblical Theology series edited by D. A. Carson. It’s clear they have studied their subject carefully even if there is a mixture of the obscure and the enlightening.
As for that canonical placement there was no information given that would have made me reject Ruth’s current placement and its closest relation to Judges. I’m not saying their conclusions were bad, but I wonder if that whole section would have been better placed in a lengthy appendix.
The book gives its value to our studies when it takes theology straight on as is more traditional in such volumes. For example, the authors really mined the significance of famine and tied it in to the Bible at large. There were profound insights in that section. The volume also, as you would expect, tackles redemption in Ruth. The corollary thoughts on typology (Is Boaz a type of Christ?) are also discussed to advantage.
Overall, despite some chapters that would only appeal to specialists, this is a helpful volume.
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