4 Stars Out Of 5
Technical commentary for average readers
October 16, 2012
The "Cornerstone Biblical Commentary" brings together a wealth of scholarship in a clearly presented and highly accessible format. Each larger section of text gets its own introductory section. Then each textual unit, usually of a chapter or two in length, gets its own separate treatment. The full text from the New Living Translation opens the section, then footnotes to the text, and detailed notes follow. The commentary section is next and covers sources used by the Chronicler, the structure and content of the section - which is where the primary exegesis happens, and then a concluding section titled "significance" where the author brings home the main themes from the text.
A detailed introduction to the books of Chronicles opens the work, and enumerates the setting, author, date, and audience. The canonicity and textual history of Chronicles are detailed, and literary and theological concerns are addressed. Space is also devoted to the major themes of the books of Chronicles, of which the author finds covenant relationship, an emphasis on renewing the present through remembering the past, and the prophetic office as key. And while the Chronicler emphasizes Judah's history, he repeatedly refers to "all Israel," Boda sees in this a concern for the fulfillment of a truly united Israel "comprised of inhabitants from both north and south united around the Temple, King, and Jerusalem" (p. 18). And intriguingly, he argues that "The omission of the history of the northern kingdom throughout the account is not intended as a slight against these tribes, but rather is used to play down the schism and to include them in â€˜all Israel'" (p. 18). The introduction also includes a detailed outline of the books of Chronicles.
Other features of the commentary include a proprietary numbering system from Tyndale for the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek words - similar to Strong's numbers, but coded to other reference works from Tyndale. Some numbers are also provided that key to Zondervan resources as well. A detailed list is also provided of key textual witnesses to 1 and 2 Chronicles, and the Old and New Testaments as a whole. Also included is an extensive explanation of the transliteration and numbering system employed in the commentary. Throughout the volume, charts, maps, chiastic structures, and timelines are provided, but all in black and white. The commentary makes thorough use of end notes after every section and introduction, as well. This allows it to remain highly technical but also more accessible to the average reader.
This commentary over and again proves faithful to a high view of Scripture. Yet it is also extremely helpful in sorting out the techincal details in the text and catching the underlying theological vision of the Chronicler. Some of my readers may not be aware of how very different the books of Chronicles are from the books of Kings, and this commentary helps underscore and interpret these differences as being loaded with theological import rather than evidence against the divine ispiration of both groups of books. The books of Chronicles are full of lists and genealogies, and the technical bent of this commentary proves helpful in catpuring what is being communicated theologically by the Chronicler. The material is presented in a clear way and remains accessible to a wide variety of readers. I recommend this book for anyone who desires to study the books of Chronicles. I'm confident that it will prove helpful and steer you right.
This book was provided by Tyndale House Publishers. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.