Luke 2 (Hermeneia) by Bovon

book luke 2

Francois Bovon continues the high standard of commentary that he began in the first volume of this three-volume set in the Hermeneia series. The level of scholarship and probing theological reflection remains at its commendable level. This volume is huge as it is actually one combined volume of what was two volumes in the original German and French. The translation is so well done you would never know it was originally in another language.

This volume covers Luke 9:51-19:27. That section is known as the Travel Narrative and is Luke’s most unique section. Bovon continues with the same format as we found in volume 1. In each section of commentary, he begins with a bibliography and translation. From there, he provides a section he calls “analysis” that discusses sources. That is, to my mind, the least valuable section and his certainty when he discusses sources is somewhat grating.  Next, he moves into commentary verse-by-verse of a most outstanding quality. A final section of the history of interpretation really moves this commentary into a special category.

Maybe the best way I can illustrate why this book is such a jewel is to refer you to some great passages of Luke that are favorites of many of us. In the section on The Good Samaritan, Bovon goes through the story seeing details others miss as well as their theological significance. Both in his own analysis and his discussion of the history of interpretation he allows for the allegorical interpretation of Christ being the Good Samaritan. Most modern exegetical commentaries run right by that possibility.

Then there’s his discussion of the Parable of the Prodical Son, which he wisely calls the Parable of Two Sons. He explains inheritance in those days as well as I’ve seen. He shares so many theological nuggets that most miss. It was truly an exciting section to read. There are many other such passages in this commentary.

This commentary is truly special and unique, and I highly recommend it.

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.

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