The book of Amos is arguably, one of the most troubling books of judgment in the Bible. It functions, according to Garrett, as an apology of Amos' prophetic ministry during a time of deceptive of prosperity in Israel. With this context in mind, Duane Garrett in Amos: A Handbook on the Hebrew Text focuses on the text of this troubling book.
For Garrett this is a strict focus: he works from the MT and has little time for the speculative emendations of scholars, or for the historical background of the book. His focus is the text. This, of course, constitutes a new emphasis in modern commentary. There are many commentaries on the context and theology of the text, but very few that focus almost exclusively on the text itself.
As such, it is extremely useful for anyone who wants to study the Hebrew Scriptures by focusing on the received text, i.e. the MT. But Amos is a difficult book. With elements of genres, structure, and text history all in question conducting a linguistic and grammatical examination of Amos can prove extremely difficult. But Garrett is a masterful Hebrew technician, and he weaves a grammatical analysis that skillfully brings the book alive, and elucidates its meaning though grammar.
Not only do I recommend this book because of the series it is in, and the much needed text-focus scholarship desperately needs, but because of the voice behind it, Dr. Duane Garrett. A recognized expert in Hebrew, Garrett has excelled in his discipline and makes him the perfect person to handle a book such as Amos.
This third volume in the "Baylor Handbook on the Hebrew Bible" series provides expert, comprehensive guidance in answering significant questions about the Hebrew text. While reflecting the latest advances in scholarship on Hebrew grammar and linguistics, the work utilizes a style that is lucid enough to serve as a useful agent for teaching and self-study.
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