in Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary
Pages 750 pages
Publisher Smyth & Helwys
The book of Job is considered by many to be the crown jewel of biblical literature in its claim to speak about God. The word that defines the challenge for every reader of the book is “struggle.” The struggle results from the fact that whatever Job’s truth may be, he was neither the first nor the last to try to articulate it. In the midst of so many words in this world about God from writers within and outside the scriptural witness, this book offers a truly astonishing declaration about what it means to live in a world where order breaks down and chaos runs amok, where the innocent suffer and the wicked thrive, where cries for help go unanswered. This new commentary by biblical scholar Samuel Balentine leads readers on an in-depth and far-reaching look at the nature of the book of Job and the various attempts by the many who have sought to further explore Job's essential struggle.
This book appears in the following featured collections.
- Top Old Testament Commentaries by Crux Sola (Nijay Gupta's Blog)
This beautifully laid out commentary takes a predominantly literary approach, with fascinating inserts (some visual) that link Job with many interpreters throughout history, both religious and secular (some extra materials are included on the CD-Rom). [Full Review]
Balentine approaches Job with nuance and care, producing, in my experience, the best commentary on this book.
For a consistently sensitive theological reading of the book. Especially interesting in this work are the numerous forays into the reception history of the book in literature, music, and the visual arts.
For a consistently sensitive theological reading of the book
The commentary opens with “advance praise” by some distinguished scholars who do not hesitate to use phrases that will scare off some senior colleagues, at least in Europe, who, as the present reviewer, are less used to marketing their products. Honesty obliges to relate the sequel to my first impression: the design of the book made me curious enough to immediately start browsing, and this led me to the tentative conclusion that a magnificent, user-friendly model of commentary was in front of me. The “series preface” announces a multimedia layout that has specifically been developed in order to bridge the gap between the scholarly insights and the needs of lifelong readership: students of all levels, pastors in search of critical biblical instruction at whatever activity, and local communities seeking to animate their spiritual and liturgical meetings. Both the faithful perspective (Christian and Jewish) and the general interest in religion and philosophy have been godparents for this undertaking, while literature and arts did not stay aside. An accompanying CD-ROM contains the commentary text, sidebars, and other material digitally reproduced, indexed, and searchable. The “introduction” to the book of Job lives up to these promises while providing the usual information. [Full Review]