Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Ruth by Daniel I. Block

book cover
by Daniel I. Block

ISBN-13: 9780310282983
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Zondervan
Released: Dec. 15, 2015

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from NetGalley:
The Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament serves pastors and teachers by providing them with a careful analysis and interpretation of the biblical text, rooted in a study of the Hebrew text of the Old Testament and intended to track the flow of the argument in each book and passage.

A visual “thought flow” of the passage will enable the reader to grasp quickly and accurately the main idea of the text, its development, and supporting ideas. For readability, the graphical display will be done in the commentator's own English translation of the passage. The author also identifies and discusses the main thrust of each passage and shows how it contributes to the development of the whole composition. Whenever a Hebrew construction affects the interpretation of the text, it will be discussed and explained. The author will also provide a theological and applicational discussion of the main thrust of the passage.

My Review:
Ruth is an in-depth examination of the text of Ruth along with a discussion of what the reader was probably intended to understand from it. For example, why was the book of Ruth included and placed where it is in the various cannons?

The author started by discussing the various possibilities of who wrote the book and when. He then examined the Hebrew text for overall sentence structures (A B C C B A patterns and such) as well as Hebrew words and sentence constructions that have significance but which don't translate well into English.

You don't have to know Hebrew to understand this analysis, but you'll probably get more out of it if you do. I know only a little Hebrew, but I still found the discussion very interesting. Some parts of the discussion really made me think, and others helped to clear up my thinking about conflicting opinions I've heard. For example, I always felt that "feet" literally meant "feet" in this story, and the author's analysis confirmed that this was true.

The author also gave some application points. These Zondervan Exegetical Commentaries tend to get more in-depth than most laymen (like me) need, but I've always learned new and interesting things from them. I'd recommend this commentary to teachers, students, pastors, and anyone who wants an in-depth look at Ruth.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

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