While many biblical handbooks are on the market, the new Baker Academic Old Testament Handbooks are, arguably, the best available. This is due undoubtedly to their comprehensive approach a firm understanding of their audience. Intended for advanced undergraduate students, seminary students, and pastors, these handbooks provide a wealth of information while also preparing the reader for further study. This is achieved by providing three essential components. First, matters of introduction, authorship, date, etc, are outlined. Second, an exposition of the book is given. Finally, the authors lay out the interpretive conclusions they have come into about their books. In the present volume Handbook on the Wisdom Books and Psalms Daniel Estes does an excellent job of holding to this format and elucidating the background, contents, and interpretation of Job, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Solomon, Proverbs, and the Psalms. Within his given format Estes approaches the introductory mattes straightforwardly, while slightly tweaking his expositional format. He provides full treatments of Job, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon, but changes slightly the presentation of the Psalms and of Proverbs. In Psalms he identifies ten types of psalms and treats each one according to its form and typical contents. Similarly in Proverbs, Estes identifies topics and synthesizes them into a coherent exposition on the books contents. Estes Interpretations are firmly rooted and derived from his interaction with scholarship. This interaction is made accessible to the reader by a number of direct interactions with other scholar's writings, and by a succinct but comprehensive bibliography. For those teaching courses on the Poetic literature of the OT, there is no better resource for orienting your students, or even yourself. The wealth of information provided here is matched only by the accessibility of the handbook's format and the excellence of its composition.
This valuable resource introduces readers to the Old Testament books of wisdom and poetry--Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs--and helps them better understand each book's overall flow. Estes summarizes some of each book's key issues, offers an exposition of the book that interacts with major commentaries and recent studies, and concludes with an extensive bibliography. Now in paperback.
Daniel J. Estes (PhD, University of Cambridge) is distinguished professor of Bible at Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio, and author of Hear, My Son: Teaching and Learning in Proverbs 1-9.
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