Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah (OTL) by Roberts

book nahum otl

This commentary on the little-known books of Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah has been influential since it was written and is one of the better volumes in the Old Testament Library (OTL) series. Mr. J. J. M. Roberts has given us a probing volume here. Though this volume is not as conservative as my personal beliefs, I’ve noticed other influential conservative scholars speak highly of this book. You might say, that this book is the best we have from that side of scholarship.

The General Introduction opens with a discussion on how to read a prophetic book. Mr. Roberts unique perspective is that looking at prophecy in terms of biblical books is not as effective as looking at individual oracles. I was surprised to read that Mr. Roberts felt that “the intricate connections discovered in such redactional analyses tend to be artificial, contrived, and obvious only to the critic proposing the analysis”. To that statement I give a hearty amen. As he explains, there’s too little evidence to describe the redactional process or what was behind it.

After a select bibliography on all three books, he launches into approaching each of the three books separately including giving an Introduction to each book. In each case, he gives some basic background, an outline, a discussion of the date (his conclusions here are pretty conservative after all), and a discussion of the prophet and his message. Then he gives commentary that includes much textual help and some interesting theology. With that commentary, he gives his own translation followed by even more detailed textual notes.

At around 225 pages, Mr. Roberts has struck the right balance between brevity and detail. I agree with others who say they have found this commentary rich. I have most of the major commentaries on these books of the Bible and I assure you I’ll be consulting this book each time I study these three obscure prophets.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Hear, My Son (NSBT) by Daniel Estes

book hear son

Daniel Estes, a fine scholar on the poetry of the Old Testament, contributes this volume in the celebrated New Studies in Biblical Theology (NSBT) series by IVP and edited by D. A. Carson. This monograph considers Proverbs 1-9 for what it tells us about teaching and learning.

He feels that the obvious pursuit in Proverbs is one of education or instruction. The teacher speaks to the student throughout. Though there appears to be a random order in our collection of Proverbs, he see seven pedagogical categories that holds them together. These seven are worldview, values, goals, curriculum, instruction, teacher, and learner.

He encourages us to notice “hear my son”. He covers a few more broad issues in the introduction. In chapter 1 he uncovers the worldview of Proverbs 1-9 and explains the assumptions of it. He says it’s evident that it “implies a prior faith commitment.” Further, in biblical wisdom there’s no differentiation between the sacred and the profane. From there, Mr. Estes traces out the theological points at work.

The book hits its stride in chapters 2 and 3 when the values and goals for education are explained. It was in these two chapters that I learned the most and felt he made the strongest case for his premise. Chapters 4-7 cover his other pedagogical categories in turn. Along the way many key words and verses are brought to light.

Though it only covers 9 chapters, this book is an excellent resource for studying Proverbs. It certainly lives up to the lofty status of this series.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Biblical Hermeneutics (2nd Ed.) by Corley, Lemke, and Lovejoy

book herm corley

This volume on biblical hermeneutics, edited by Bruce Corley, Steve Lemke, and Grant Lovejoy, is offered up as a comprehensive introduction to interpreting Scripture. Its approach is different than many such volumes in that each chapter is written by scholarly expert in that field. Usually, one or only a few contribute to such a book. The book is divided into five parts presented in the logical order of how to study the Bible, biblical hermeneutics in history, the authority, inspiration, and language of Scripture, the genres of Scripture, and going from exegesis to proclamation. The book is aimed at students and ministers and has been widely used as a textbook.

The book begins with a fine primer for exegesis to help those with little background and to define the keywords any student will need to know in the subject. As with each chapter, the contributor provides a bibliography for further study. Chapter 2 explains the grammatical – historical method and puts this book on a firm conservative foundation. From there, inductive Bible study methods are explained.

The next section covers biblical hermeneutics in history in eight chapters. While that might be more history than some would want, it covers all the bases and is well done. Part 3 brings in the often-forgotten subject of the authority and inspiration of Scripture and introduces us to textual criticism.

One of the best sections of this book is part 4 where the genres of Scripture are discussed in seven chapters. To my mind, this is where the student most often needs help and they’ve gone out of their way in this book to provide it. Biblical hermeneutics that doesn’t go on to preaching is rather pointless, so the final five chapters teach us how to take the hermeneutic process and translate it into biblical preaching.

This book is a solid effort. I prefer it as a secondary resource as it complements well with other volumes that might have gaps. This volume is well worth securing.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.