Volume 1 in Eugene Carpenter’s two-volume set on Exodus in the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary (EEC) series covers Exodus 1 – 18. I heard discussion as far back as 2003 of a coming, major commentary on Exodus by Mr. Carpenter as one to be highly anticipated. As it turns out, and as the acknowledgment explained, Mr. Carpenter completed the work just days before his accidental death in 2012. It is a blessing that the work was finished before his death.
Since the EEC began as a digital commentary series, it’s exciting to see these two volumes available as a hardback for a wider audience. I imagine this commentary will continue to raise the reputation of this budding commentary series.
Mr. Carpenter begins the Introduction with a discussion of textual issues. He concludes that the text is well preserved. He further explains the significance of the title as well as the canonicity of Exodus, which has not been majorly challenged. When he discusses authorship, he concludes: “Moses was most likely the focal inspired author-editor and originator of the Pentateuch and thus of Exodus, with the gifted Joshua and possibly Eleazer serving as important early inspired editors or contributors.” While my beliefs would be even more conservative than that, it’s clear he’s more conservative than most of the major Old Testament commentaries on Exodus we have today. He’s a little more nebulous on date and gives too much credence to some of the critical theories out there. Still, I was pleased when he discussed the history of the book that he said, “the events in Exodus are real history; it is accurate history as intended by the author”.
Next, he goes into the theological elements of the book. In that section, he discusses the God who speaks and acts, the people of God, and Exodus: a lasting paradigm. After a brief discussion of structure, he gives a detailed outline and a select bibliography.
The commentary section is very full. For each passage he gives an introduction, a translation, textual notes, and very detailed commentary verse by verse, all followed by biblical theology, application and devotional implications, and a selected bibliography for the passage itself.
This commentary by Eugene Carpenter is clearly a top-three commentary for what we have available today. I imagine it will be used for many years to come and I highly recommend.
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.
The second volume by Eugene Carpenter in the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary (EEC) series covers Exodus 19 through 40. The commentary maintains the high standards set in volume 1. Without a doubt, this is a major exegetical commentary on Exodus. Mr. Carpenter has clearly done a great deal of work that he shares here.
The Introduction that Mr. Carpenter writes for Exodus is in volume 1. This volume picks up at 19:1 with the same type of commentary we saw in the earlier volume. He has an introduction for each passage, followed by a translation, verse by verse commentary, biblical theology comments, application and devotional implications, and a selected bibliography for that passage.
The work is deep, full, and yet accessible. He succeeds on the exegetical and the theological level. He interacts with some scholarly opinions that I find little value in, but he does provide much that is of great help.
This volume covers the 10 Commandments as well as the ceremonial laws in the later chapters of Exodus. Scholars will find a treasure trove of footnotes for further study.
This work is well done and it is well worth adding to your library. I recommend it.