I requested this book from NetGalley, one of the first I did there, not realizing it was a text book. When I realized what I had done, I was initially hesitant about reading it (I read a lot of books, but I wasn’t really ready for the college text book experience) and so, I put it off for a little while. I’m sorry I did. The book is incredibly readable, and remarkably well written and thought out.
Now I’m disappointed I only have the Hebrews section! This was a great book for reading through the letter to the Hebrews and understanding the way that the author was tying together the Old Testament (the Septaquint) with the life, sacrifice, and resurrection of Jesus. It is an amazing construct – the whole concept of the Old Testament being a ‘shadow’ or ‘copy’ of the new covenant with Christ is a beautiful picture of how our God has been working throughout history to point his people to the plan of redemption. He planned all of this from start to finish, and made it clear to the Israelites that he had it all figured out and under control.
The theology of Hebrews is well covered, and the discussion of how it points to God is interwoven with an understanding of culture references that makes the whole text engaging. Just based on reading this text, I feel more than a little more knowledgeable about theology, and I’m not a seminary student or theologian. What made this so good was that it really whetted my appetite for the historical and cultural contexts of the Word in general, and for the New Testament letters in particular. Karen makes a point of saying that she wants students to fall in love with God’s Word the way she has, and she writes in such a way as to make that goal both achievable and recognizable in her work.
Disclosure of Material Connection: 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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Review 2 for Letters to the Church: A Survey of Hebrews and the General Epistles - eBook
Karen H. Jobes does for commentaries what Zondervan's Encyclopedia of the Bible did for Bible dictionaries. Besides the usual textual notes, the book is full of aids helping in understanding the lives, the purpose, and intent of the original author. Beside a great deal of insets (as expected in a modern commentary), the text contains a great many full color images augmenting the text.
When I chose to review this book, I had hoped that it would include a commentary on the book of I John, the book I am currently studying for our Sunday services. Sadly, this was the abbreviation in the copy provided for the review. The commentary on Hebrews was readable. Issues of authorship and dating were broadly and fairly discussed. I will look forward to adding this commentary to my library when in is published later this year.
The review was prepared from an abbreviated electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.