This commentary on Esther is my first foray into the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary (EEC) series. I don’t, therefore, know how this volume compares to others in the series, but I can assure you that this volume by Anthony Tomasino is outstanding. It’s my understanding that this series is produced by Logos Bible Software in digital form for readers. For guys like me who simply must have a hard copy in their hands and can’t quite put up with digital volumes of anything, I’m glad Lexham was produced to release these volumes in print. The good news, then, is that this fine commentary is now available to tech savvy readers and dinosaurs like me.
The Introduction to Esther runs to 130 pages! Don’t let that scare you away. All the pages are put to good use and the layout is such that you can easily skip areas that are not of particular interest to you. After opening with proof that this story has incredible relevance by the repeated attempts at Jewish extermination across the years, he gives a thoughtful synopsis and historical background to Esther and her times. He covers textual issues, sources, date and provenance from every angle. While I could not agree with all the author sees in sources and redaction, this commentary falls firmly into the conservative category. He further explains canonicity. All scholars obsess over genre and historicity when it comes to Esther. I appreciate that when he lists the historical difficulties that most every Esther commentary mentions, he at least doesn’t deny that they could have happened.
If the aforementioned subjects are not that important to you, please pick up reading again on page 70 with the purpose of the book of Esther. Purim, resistance, and all kinds of other literary features are discussed. The characterization is fully developed and well done. I underlined many sentences in the section on motifs, and for the record, I’ve never seen that better done. That takes him through structure and then he dives into theology. When he is finished, it’s clear that he is written the best Introduction in a commentary on the book of Esther that we have today.
The commentary proper includes his own translation, textual notes, commentary biblical theology comments, application and devotional implications, and a selected bibliography. Though it is a scholarly heavyweight, pastors can jump right in and enjoy this commentary thoroughly. At least, I know I did. Mark this down as holding the number one position in major exegetical commentaries on the book of Esther. 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.