Francis I. Andersen


Book Details

Series: Anchor Bible
Categories: Habakkuk
Tags: PastoralTechnical

Book Information

Pages: 416
Publisher: Yale Press
Published: 2001
ISBN-10: 030013973X
ISBN-13: 9780300139730


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4.75 out of 5 based on 2 user ratings
Jeremy Pierce (parableman) August 7, 2009 4.5 5
Francis Andersen's Anchor Bible volume on Habakkuk is the best of the mainstream academic commentaries. Anderson co-wrote the Anchor Bible volumes on Hosea, Amos, and Micah with David Noel Freedman, and he wrote the TOTC volume on Job by himself. Andersen is more conservative than most authors in this series and less conservative than most authors in the Tyndale series. As with most Anchor Bible volumes, it is intended to be readable by non-scholars, using only transliteration and translation of Hebrew terms. However, it is extremely detailed on matters related to poetic structure, literary devices, word meanings, textual variants, and so on. It is hard to follow if you don't know a lot about the forms and features of Hebrew poetry, grammar, etc. On some matters, it is far more detailed than most pastors would want for use in sermon preparation. He uses lots of technical terminology without defining or explaining most of it. To a scholar, this is a great resource, with full argumentation as to his reasoning process. However, it should be left in the hands of scholars, since others will have a hard time understanding most of that reasoning. Often the focus is just on producing the correct translation of the text, without connecting it up with the historical setting or theological meaning. Andersen does ultimately ground his theological reading in later revelation through Jesus Christ, and thus his interpretation of the book is Christian. However, it isn't much of a focus even in such a large volume. Andersen ultimately defends the unity of the book and the reality of predictive prophecy in the book. He strangely thinks "the righteous" in the book is just Habakkuk, and "the wicked" in the book are only Babylon and never Judeans, a conclusion I find hard to fit with the book (and indeed seems to me to miss one of the major points of the book). [Full Review]
John Glynn September 20, 2008 5 5

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