Judges (ZECOT) by Boda & Conway

The ZECOT has certainly found its own niche with its discourse analysis orientation and in the process has become a commentary series you simply must not miss. Here the wooly Book of Judges gets its turn and it seems to me the discourse analysis approach especially gives a rich payload in this book that many don’t know what to make of. Boda, whose commentary on Zechariah impressed me a few years back, and Conway have done good work here. The two are colleagues at McMaster Divinity College and proved to be seamless collaborators as well.

After a bibliography and translation, there’s a successful 50 page introduction that slows down where it should while zipping along where it should as well. When discussing Judges and its historical context, the authors see a dichotomy between the history itself and that of the original readers as they see Judges being written later on. Obviously, much of that is speculative. The intent of the writer taken from clues from the text is the rose among the thorns of this section. That next section leads them to an in-depth look at clause function as originated by Roy Heller. The detail is complex, but the conclusions are easy to follow and quite interesting.

My favorite section of the Introduction, entitled Judges and its literary shape, is eye opening. The earlier detailed work is marshaled into an outstanding explanation of the structure. That means, of course, the unique goal of this series is fully realized here. You’ll understand Judges fair better because of it too.

The theology section was a little brief but perhaps some would blame Judges for that.

The commentary proper with the good foundation laid in the Introduction is ideal. One of the strengths of the ZECOT is its layout and its advantages are evident here. People love Daniel Block’s work on Judges and rightly so, but you’d do yourself a favor to get this one too.

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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