William P. Brown, a prolific writer on Wisdom literature, contributes this commentary on Ecclesiastes in the Interpretation Bible Commentary series. I’ve had the privilege of reviewing the better titles in this series, and for its theological offerings, this title is certainly in that category. In fact, it gets its higher ranking for that theology far more than for its academic weight. That’s not to say that he fails to address scholarly issues, just that its theology is its best feature. As expected for this series, the conclusions come from a fairly critical perspective.
In my mind, the Introduction was not the success that the commentary was. His bizarre comparison to the epic of Gilgamesh sent much of the Introduction awry. Why not use Solomon, or at least the Bible, instead of something with such a dubious connection! Brown does seem at least to love Ecclesiastes even if he finds it the strangest book in the canon.
The commentary digs out much theology and well describes “vanity”. If you like to check out either the critical perspective or some theology that’s a little different than what you find other places, then you will want to check out this commentary.
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.