Joshua: Word Biblical Commentary [WBC]
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Reconstructing the formative years of the people of Israel is one of the most challenging tasks in Old Testament research. In this regard, the Book of Joshua has been a major focus of scholars for more than a generation.
Now Trent C. Butler has addressed the whole range of issues emerging from Joshua, from its earliest narratives, oral and written, to its textual history, both before and after its reception into the canon.
Dr. Butler combines his use of the tools of textual and literary analysis to provide a new perspective from which to appreciate the value of the Book of Joshua. From this new perspective, both the scholar and the minister receive valuable insights:
- The oral stages of the traditions, as Dr. Butler assesses them, "center on certain life and death questions for God's people as they seek to settle in the land and establish their grip on its territory."
- Then came the transformation into materials for worship, which "illustrate the mighty acts of God in continuing the work he began at the Exodus"-and which focus on priestly activity rather than on the role of the military conqueror.
- At the literary stage, the Compiler ties the materials together into a continuous narrative "that emphasizes the importance of a committed leader and a responsible people."
- In its final, canonical form, the text of Joshua "is a program for a life beyond the Jordan for a people who have lost the land and seek new hope . . . the exiles in Babylon."
Trent C. Butler is a freelance author and editor. He served ten years on the faculty of the International Baptist Theological Seminary in Rüschilkon, Switzerland, and for twenty-two years as editor and editorial director for Holman Bible Publishers and LifeWay. He wrote the Word Biblical Commentary volume on Joshua, the Laymans Bible Book Commentary on Isaiah, the Holman Old Testament Commentaries on Isaiah and Hosea through Micah, and the Holman New Testament Commentary on Luke. He served on the editorial Board of the Holman Christian Standard Bible, and edited the Holman Bible Dictionary. Dr. Butler has a Ph.D. in biblical studies and linguistics from Vanderbilt University, has done further study at Heidelberg and Zurich, and has participated in the excavation of Beersheba.
RICHARD HOLTClovis, NMAge: 45-54Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5Among the best commentaries on JoshuaApril 11, 2011RICHARD HOLTClovis, NMAge: 45-54Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 3Meets Expectations: 4Butler, a moderately conservative scholar has written one of the five best commentaries I've seen on Joshua (Hess, Howard, Woudstra, and Harris are the others). [I have not yet seen the commentaries by Hubbard or McConville & Williams, but based upon their previous work, I suspect their contributions will also be impressive]. Butler provides detailed discussions of textual and grammatical issues. He also provides an interesting introduction and extensive bibliographies. He sees more editorial activity than most conservatives do (but less than most liberals). His suggestion that the book is intended to be a biography of Joshua as the leader of God's people, is interesting and helpful, but probably overstated.