The Minor Prophets, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs

Overview

Many today find the Old Testament a closed book. The cultural issues seem insurmountable and we are easily baffled by that which seems obscure. Furthermore, without knowledge of the ancient culture we can easily impose our own culture on the text, potentially distorting it. This series invites you to enter the Old Testament with a company of guides, experts that will give new insights into these cherished writings.
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* Over 2000 ...
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Overview

Many today find the Old Testament a closed book. The cultural issues seem insurmountable and we are easily baffled by that which seems obscure. Furthermore, without knowledge of the ancient culture we can easily impose our own culture on the text, potentially distorting it. This series invites you to enter the Old Testament with a company of guides, experts that will give new insights into these cherished writings.
Features include
* Over 2000 photographs, drawings, maps, diagrams and charts provide a visual feast that breathes fresh life into the text.
* Passage-by-passage commentary presents archaeological findings, historical explanations, geographic insights, notes on manners and customs, and more.
* Analysis into the literature of the ancient Near East will open your eyes to new depths of understanding both familiar and unfamiliar passages.
* Written by an international team of 30 specialists, all top scholars in background studies.
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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
“This is a unique and important commentary. It is a milestone in the collection and comparative interpretation of ancient Near Eastern texts, pictures, and other archaeological materials as well as geographical, historical, and cultural information as they relate to the Old Testament. There is nothing else like it available today. The interpretations provided are usually cogent and convincing. Where there is legitimate debate, the explanations generally show due caution. There will always be disagreements between scholars on such matters, but the many comparative and archaeological resources assembled in these volumes make it a veritable gold mine for those who desire to take the ancient context of the Lord’s work and word seriously in their study, teaching, and preaching of Holy Scripture.” -- Richard E. Averbeck

“As a pastor, I am certain that the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary: Old Testament is a deeply valuable tool for ministry. With rock-solid scholarship, relevant commentary, and gripping visual illustrations, this will be a great tool for believers for years to come.” -- Kevin G. Harney

“This tool is a rich gift to everyone who seeks to teach the Scriptures.” -- John Ortberg

“This is an impressive and rich resource for scholars, students, seminarians, and interested lay readers. The volumes, with their insightful and perceptive commentaries, updated footnotes, wonderful illustrations, and sidebars---all judiciously researched---contain a veritable thesaurus of enlightening information relating to the Hebrew Bible within the cultural, ideological, and religious world of the ancient Near East. Notwithstanding their traditional approach to Scripture, I heartily recommend this series with enthusiasm.” -- Shalom Paul

“The publication of the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary: Old Testament marks a major step forward in the systematic integration of the textual and artifactual evidences from the ancient Near East that inform the context of Scripture. This important reference work will serve as an essential starting point for an ancient “contextual criticism” of the Hebrew Bible, enabling scholars, pastors, and laity to access the rich data from over one hundred and seventy years of explorations and excavations in the Near East. Readers will find the visual materials particularly valuable, since often these are scattered in many diverse places. While there will always be disagreements concerning the interpretations of the data, the collection in a single source will be a boon to all.” -- K. Lawson Younger

“Biblical commentaries have traditionally explicated the text verse-by-verse. By contrast, evidence from the wider archaeological, institutional and literary context has typically been organized thematically. John H. Walton and his collaborators have combined these two methods, presenting the context verse-by-verse. They have done so in a responsible manner, which will satisfy both maximalists and minimalists as well as the majority of Bible readers who find themselves between these two extremes.” -- William W. Hallo

From the Publisher
'This is a unique and important commentary. It is a milestone in the collection and comparative interpretation of ancient Near Eastern texts, pictures, and other archaeological materials as well as geographical, historical, and cultural information as they relate to the Old Testament. There is nothing else like it available today. The interpretations provided are usually cogent and convincing. Where there is legitimate debate, the explanations generally show due caution. There will always be disagreements between scholars on such matters, but the many comparative and archaeological resources assembled in these volumes make it a veritable gold mine for those who desire to take the ancient context of the Lord's work and word seriously in their study, teaching, and preaching of Holy Scripture.' -- Richard E. Averbeck, Ph.D., Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

'As a pastor, I am certain that the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary: Old Testament is a deeply valuable tool for ministry. With rock-solid scholarship, relevant commentary, and gripping visual illustrations, this will be a great tool for believers for years to come.' -- Kevin G. Harney, pastor and author of Organic Outreach for Ordinary People

'To me, every Christian should own these commentaries. I say that very seriously because when you study Scripture without looking into the historical and cultural background of what was happening when each part of the Bible was written, we miss incredibly so much meaning, understanding and depth. Using these commentaries when studying Scripture turns our study into a multi-dimensional and extremely colorful study. You will have so many 'Oh! That's what that means!' or 'Now that makes sense!' moments when studying with this commentary. I cannot imagine doing any study of the Bible without it quite honestly and couldn't recommend a commentary of this type any higher.' -- Dan Kimball, pastor and author of They Like Jesus but Not the Church

'This tool is a rich gift to everyone who seeks to teach the Scriptures.' -- John Ortberg, author and pastor, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church Menlo Park, California

'This is an impressive and rich resource for scholars, students, seminarians, and interested lay readers. The volumes, with their insightful and perceptive commentaries, updated footnotes, wonderful illustrations, and sidebars---all judiciously researched---contain a veritable thesaurus of enlightening information relating to the Hebrew Bible within the cultural, ideological, and religious world of the ancient Near East. Notwithstanding their traditional approach to Scripture, I heartily recommend this series with enthusiasm.' -- Shalom Paul, Professor Emeritus and former Chair of the Bible Department, Hebrew University

'The publication of the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary: Old Testament marks a major step forward in the systematic integration of the textual and artifactual evidences from the ancient Near East that inform the context of Scripture. This important reference work will serve as an essential starting point for an ancient 'contextual criticism' of the Hebrew Bible, enabling scholars, pastors, and laity to access the rich data from over one hundred and seventy years of explorations and excavations in the Near East. Readers will find the visual materials particularly valuable, since often these are scattered in many diverse places. While there will always be disagreements concerning the interpretations of the data, the collection in a single source will be a boon to all.' -- K. Lawson Younger, professor of Old Testament, Semitic Languages, and Ancient Near Eastern History

'Biblical commentaries have traditionally explicated the text verse-by-verse. By contrast, evidence from the wider archaeological, institutional and literary context has typically been organized thematically. John H. Walton and his collaborators have combined these two methods, presenting the context verse-by-verse. They have done so in a responsible manner, which will satisfy both maximalists and minimalists as well as the majority of Bible readers who find themselves between these two extremes.' -- William W. Hallo, The William M. Laffan Professor Emeritus of Assyriology and Babylonian Literature, Yale University

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Product Details

Meet the Author

John H. Walton (PhD, Hebrew Union College) is professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College Graduate School. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including Chronological and Background Charts of the Old Testament; Ancient Israelite Literature in Its Cultural Context; Covenant: God’s Purpose, God’s Plan; The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament; and A Survey of the Old Testament.

Izak (Sakkie) Cornelius (D.Litt., University of Stellenbosch) is professor of ancient studies at the University of Stellenbosch (South Africa). He is the author of The iconography of the Canaanite gods Reshef and Baal. Late Bronze and Iron Age I periods (c 1500-1000 BCE) and several other works in ancient near eastern studies.

John W. Hilber (Ph.D., Cambridge University) was an associate professor of Old Testament, Dallas Theological Seminary and is now teaching Old Testament exegesis courses at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Tremper Longman III (PhD, Yale University) is the Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies and the chair of the Religious Studies department at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, where he lives with his wife, Alice. He is the Old Testament editor for the revised Expositor's Bible Commentary and has authored many articles and books on the Psalms and other Old Testament books.

Duane Garrett (Ph.D., Baylor Univerity) is John R. Sampey Professor of Old Testament Interpretation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

J. Glen Taylor (Ph.D., Yale University), is associate professor of Old Testament, Wycliffe College and the School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto.

Mark W. Chavalas (Ph.D., University of California at Los Angeles) is professor of History, at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse.

Philip S. Johnston (Ph.D., Cambridge University) is Senior Tutor, Hughes Hall, Cambridge, UK.

Alan Millard (M.Phil., Oxford Univeristy; F.S.A.) is Emeritus Rankin Professor of Hebrew and Ancient Semitic Languages, The University of Liverpool.

Daniel M. Master (Ph.D., Harvard University) is associate professor of Archaeology, Wheaton College.

Victor H. Matthews (PhD., Brandeis University) is professor of Religious Studies, Missouri State University.

Kenneth Hoglund (Ph.D., Duke University) is professor in the Department of Religion, Wake Forest University.

Andrew E. Hill (PhD, University of Michigan) is professor of Old Testament studies at Wheaton College in Illinois. He is the coauthor with John Walton of A Survey of the Old Testament and the author of Malachi in the Anchor Bible commentary series. His articles have appeared in such scholarly publications as Hebrew Annual Review, Journal of Biblical Literature, and Vetus Testamentum.

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