Jeremiah (NICOT) by John Goldingay

The NICOT gets a major replacement in this massive commentary on Jeremiah. The series likewise snagged a prolific scholar in John Goldingay to provide this commentary on one of the harder books of the Old Testament. One can only marvel at the output of Goldingay, and whatever you might think of him, you can find no evidence of haste in this thorough production. As I perused this volume, I repeatedly found myself thinking what intense and intimate time he has spent in Jeremiah. Both the depth and scope are impressive. I can just imagine what a conversation on Jeremiah with Goldingay would be like. I bet he could cite the most obscure passages to make his point.

Before I discuss the particulars of this commentary, I must admit that this commentary is easily, by a wide margin, my favorite work by Goldingay. For comparison’s sake, I find this work much more useful than his work on Daniel in the WBC series. The format may have helped that be so, but the work itself was better to me across the board. Sometimes Goldingay makes conclusions in his writings that seem bewildering to me for an evangelical to make, and though that occasionally shows up here, he seems to mention those things but concludes more evenly this time around.

The first part of the Introduction really shines. Here we find background information that really opens Jeremiah to our understanding. In the section on the unity of composition he thoroughly discusses five major perspectives (he calls horizons). Some are nonsense, but all are exquisitely explained. He covers authorship and date next and makes Jeremiah come alive even if one can’t agree with all he says. After canonicity and textual discussions, he dives into an enlightening presentation of Jeremiah’s theology. Don’t miss the last section called “analysis of contents”. “Wow” is the word that comes to mind there.

The commentary proper also shows a depth that impresses. What are you looking for? Background? Textual matters? Theology? Details? Big picture? It’s all to be found here. Again, you may not agree with all he says, but you will leave knowing far more than you came with on the passage. As you probably know, that can’t always be said in commentaries, even major ones. In far to many of them, the mass of details can’t be harnessed and made into anything of substance.

I’ll rate this commentary higher than I expected when I first cracked it open. It’s a big one. In size and usefulness.

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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