THE NEW AMERICAN COMMENTARY is for the minister or Bible student who wants to understand and expound the Scriptures. Notable features include:* commentary based on THE NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION;* the NIV text printed in the body of the commentary;* sound scholarly methodology that reflects capable research in the original languages;* interpretation that emphasizes the theological unity of each book and of Scripture as a whole;* readable and applicable exposition.
About the Author
Daniel I. Block is the Gunther H. Knoedler professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. He holds degrees from the University of Saskatchewan, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and University of Liverpool and has lectured and preached in Russia, Denmark, and China. A prolific writer, Block's previous books include the Judges, Ruth volume of B&H Publishing Group's esteemed New American Commentary series.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
"No book in the Old Testament offers the modern church as telling a mirror as this book." So ends Daniel Block's New American Commentary on Judges.* One might very well add, "The book is a telling mirror of American society as a whole." Block takes a biblical book describing events that took place 3,000 years ago and shows how relevant they still are through his solid exegesis of the text.Throughout his commentary, Block reviews and expounds upon the continual decline of Israel after they entered the Promised Land, during the time of the shofetim (traditionally translated "judges," but Block uses the more technically correct term "tribal leaders"). Block traces two main themes of of Judges throughout his commentary. The first is the gradual Canaanization of Israel. In every episode, Israel and her shofetim take on more and more of the characteristics and culture of the surrounding peoples (the Canaanites), which of course is in direct disobedience of God's original command to them to completely and utterly destroy the native peoples. By the end of the book, the only people Israel attempts to destroy in this manner is the tribe of Benjamin--their own brothers and sisters! Block shows that this is the dramatic effect of acquiescence and indeed full acceptance of a sinful culture. The second main theme Block traces throughout the book is God's grace. Israel and her leaders follow and disobey the laws of God in whatever manner is most convenient for them at the moment. Although they cry out to God on multiple occasions, it is always a cry for help and never a cry of repentance. Every judge, save two (Othniel and Deborah), are shown to be poor leaders. And yet God continually saves them from destruction! As Block mentions several times, God is more concerned with redeeming his people than they are!There are several other important topics that Block tackles in his commentary, not the least of which is the narrator's repeated observation that "there was no king in Israel." For those discussions, I would refer you to the commentary itself, which I felt was a good resource overall. Block provides the reader with the usual discussions of grammar, history and so forth that one expects in a quality commentary. I appreciated, too, how he wove the aforementioned themes together to provide his commentary and the biblical book with a good and memorable flow. On the other hand, I felt his "theological and practical implications" sections were rather weak. I would have liked to have seen some of these implications more drawn out, since Judges is so incredibly apropos to today's culture (and indeed, it was all too easy for this reader to find his own implications). I also must sadly admit that the commentary suffered from bad proofing. I have never seen so many basic grammar and punctuation errors in a published book. (I even found some of the Hebrew transliterations to be incorrect!) All in all, though, these negatives did not detract from the overall quality and value of Block's commentary, and it has become a welcome addition to my personal library.*Note: The volume also includes a separate commentary on Ruth, which I have not yet read.