Review: Kregel continues to raise the bar in quality and useful commentaries. Chrisholms' is no exception to the growing library of commentaries the publisher has been putting out.
The author understands narrative structures, which is often neglected in commentaries. Judges contains big, epic, long-form stories. Chrisholm recognizes this and divides the book into eleven stories. He discusses these sections as stories and outlines them as stories. He follows the tension and the themes as they unfold in the text.
The exposition is detailed, but not bogged down in minutia. Chrisholm focuses on the main issues, and resists going down too many rabbit trails.
The commentary also seeks to provide "big ideas" for the text. The reader is given an exegetical idea, theological idea and a preaching idea. Being a "big idea" preacher myself I find this rather useful. My only criticism in the whole book, though, is that these ideas are often clunky and unfocused. A good "big idea" is very simple. A "big idea" should have no, or very few conjunctions. Chrisholm has many. However, his big ideas are useful and function as good sounding boards for the ideas I've devised from the narrative.
His work on Ruth is also quite wonderful. I won't go into detail, but his analysis of Ruth and Boaz at the threshing floor is masterful. He rightly rejects traditional and progressive interpretations and understands the text on its own terms. In literary terms.
I have no plans on preaching through either of these books anytime soon, but Chrisholm's treatment of the text makes me want to scrap my other plans and work my way through these books.
Rating: 5/5 (I Loved It!)
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