Monday, January 19, 2015

JONAH: GOD'S SCANDALOUS MERCY in the Hearing The Message of Scripture Commentary Series

God desires to communicate with his creation.  He chose a variety of means, modes, and methods, and he spoon-fed those who chose to come to the table, because they were not able to take it all in at once.  He spoke through dreams and visions, allegory and parable, preaching and teaching.  He spoke through His Son, Jesus Christ.  And He speaks to us in His Word, the Bible. 

Still, there remain barriers to that communication.  Barriers of time, culture, language, geography, philosophy . . . all of these distort the message and drive those who desire to hear from God to distraction.

That’s why we have commentaries.  Scholars who love the Lord and have been gifted with the time and talents necessary to tear the Bible apart and put it back together again in a form that is easily readable, and yet does not compromise the message God wishes to communicate.

This latest series of commentaries is one that has been a long time coming.  Drawing on the latest scholarship, yet remaining steadfastly conservative and evangelical in their stance, the HEARING THE MESSAGE OF SCRIPTURE commentary series approaches scripture with an eye to disclosing the tools and techniques that the original authors of the various “books” of the Bible used as they strove to communicate the message that God wanted their generation to hear.  From the introduction to this commentary on Jonah, the editors speak concerning the principles that guide the writing of each commentary in the series:
“Like effective communicators in every age, biblical authors were driven by a passion to communicate a message.  So we must inquire not only what that message was, but also what strategies they used to impress their message on their hearers’ ears.”

Each commentary follows the same format:  The Date of the Book, The Author, The Main Idea, Literary Context, Translation and Exegetical Outline, Structure and Literary Form, Explanation of the Text, and the Canonical and Practical Significance are addressed.  Then the commentator will highlight what they consider to be the main theological themes of the book, and illuminate how the style and structure of the book develop those themes.

In other words, here is strong meat to go with the Bread of Life.  What a meal!  Enjoy!

5 stars for a series that is serious about feeding the Church

Kevin J. Youngblood
ISBN 978-0-310-28299-0
Bible / Jonah / Commentaries
Revell Publishers
192 pages
$29.99 U.S.