Arguably the largest obstacle in understanding the OT today, is the separation of time between ancient cultures and our own. This problem undermines our attempts to understand the message of Scripture in its original intention as well as our efforts in applying it to today's increasingly troubled and complex world.
The Apollos Old Testament Commentary takes this gap seriously and bridges it by providing both detailed exegetical examination, and also a theological commentary that sets the text in the context of the modern world, applying it with wisdom and clarity.
Yet, the challenge to interpret the text theologically and in conjunction with the both the ancient and modern context, made even more acute by growing recognition of the hermeneutical gap between God's revelation, and human understanding of it. This is another bridge that The Apollos Old Testament Commentary addresses, and which further grounds its theological articulation of the text in sound exegesis and theological articulation.
Within all of these complexities, the question is begged: how could anyone, other than scholars access such a commentary when it deals with such complex issues?
The answer quite simply is that the series does not engage the issues in abstract terms, but rather only as it applies, and relates directly to, the questions and issues raised by the text itself, not speculative theology or abstract philosophy.
Each em>Apollos begins with an overview of the issues of date, authorship, sources and other historical details, but which also outlines the theology--more than in most commentaries--the theological emphasis of the particular biblical book under examination. Thus, the The Apollos Commentary Series, does not merely commentate on critical questions such as grammar and history, it interprets those elements in support of a broader theological project that supports the application of the biblical text to our culture and our time.
The theological emphasis is located distinctly within the theology of the biblical narrative, and with a full commitment to the Bible's authority, inspiration, and universal application to humanity. Thus, what we have here is a commentary that provides a detailed exegetical examination that leads---as all study of Scripture must, into a theological and life-giving understanding of the Bible for the Christian.
In many ways, the Old Testament book of Daniel is an enigma. It consists of two different kinds of material: stories about Judean exiles working in the court of pagan kings (chapters 1-6) and accounts of visions experienced by one of these exiles (chapters 7-12). It is written in two languages, Hebrew and Aramaic, and the language division does not match the subject division. Whether the book's affinities lie more with the Hebrew prophets or with later Jewish apocalypses is debated, as are its affinities with the wisdom traditions of both Israel and Babylon. Refreshingly, Enest Lucas postpones much of the discussion of such issues to an Epilogue, and invites the reader to an investigation of the meaning of the text in the form in which we now have it. He identifies the central theme of the book as the sovereignty of the God of Israel. With even-handedness and clarity, Lucas demonstrates that, for preachers and teachers, there is much in Daniel that is fairly readily understandable and applicable, and that there are also theological depths that are rewarding for those willing to plumb them and wrestle with the issues they raise.
Lucas is vice-principal and tutor in biblical studies at Bristol Baptist College in England. He is the author of a number of scholarly articles on the book of Daniel and, at the popular level,
"What every preacher and student needs is a commentary that makes positive use of the results of scholarly research while at the same time integrating them sympathetically into a contemporary Christian theological worldview. Many series have set out to achieve this, but few have succeeded. Now at last the Apollos series looks set to do so: the names of the editors and potential contributors, together with the evidence of these early volumes, all inspire confidence."
"There has been plenty of interest in the book of Daniel on the part of commentators over the past generation or two. The one that I have found of the most all-round benefit is Ernest Lucas in the Apollos Old Testament Commentary series. Lucas succeeds in drawing out the message of the book while also paying judicious attention to complex issues of history, eschatology, and composition."
"Students, scholars, and ministers will derive much profit from this commentary."
"At last! A commentary series that combines the best of biblical scholarship with a passion for the message of the text. Besides, it actually answers the questions I ask when I read the Scriptures. This series by the finest evangelical scholars is designed for students and pastors who are serious about understanding the Old Testament in its context and translating its message for the church in the twenty-first century."
"Evangelical Old Testament study has made huge strides in the second half of the twentieth century. Tyndale House in the U.K. and IVP internationally were central to that renaissance. And now at the start of the twenty-first century the Apollos Old Testament Commentary Series will build on that foundation as it showcases some of the best contemporary Old Testament interpretation. This series rightly insists on rigorous scholarship but always in the service of the theology and message of the books of the Old Testament. Some outstanding scholars are signed up for this series, and I look forward very much to having these commentaries on my shelves as they appear."
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