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The Geeky Calvinist
5 Stars Out Of 5
A Great Work of Critical Scholarship
September 1, 2017
The Geeky Calvinist
1 & 2 Samuel, written by A. Graeme Auld and published by Westminster John Knox Press, is one of the most well written modern commentaries on this book of the Bible. 1 & 2 Samuel is one of the more recent volume of the Old Testament Library, a series which is synonymous with critical scholarship, this volume continues this legacy. Auld is no stranger to studious commentaries series on scripture yet this is his first foray into the Old Testament Library Commentary series.
1 & 2 Samuel begins with the typical study into the introductory matters of this book of the Bible, yet while introductions are common; this introduction is atypical of most commentaries. It is not that this work doesnt dive into history and recent scholarship, which 1 & 2 Samuel does a phenomenal job of; rather, it is the thoroughness that Auld takes with these introductory matters which makes this commentary atypical. In a day where these matters are either glossed over to get to the exegesis of the text or are so cumbersome that they become useless, Auld has found a good balance in being thorough, communicating depth and attention to recent scholarship, all without losing the forest in the trees. I must readily admit that while Auld shows the depth of scholarship, some of the conclusions that he draws are more liberal than my taste. This in no way negates his scholarship or his contributions Old Testament scholarship.
In reference to the commentary on the text of these books of the Bible, Auld takes great care in carefully showing the original context of passage while sprinkling practical application to the reader throughout the textual commentary. This book is helpful to any pastor who is looking for a depth that other commentaries do not provide.
This book was provided to me free of charge from Westminster John Knox Publishing in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.
Heres one of the more substantial volumes in the well-known Old Testament Library (OTL) series. A. Graeme Auld has been turning out scholarly writings for a long time and is highly respected, particularly in critical circles. I often dont agree with his critical conclusions, but must admit that he can make some brilliant observations and has a keen eye for what others miss.
After a bibliography, Auld jumps into an Introduction that begins by rightfully seeing I & II Samuel as the Book of David. To his mind, all the other characters are merely the supporting cast. He explains how no other biblical books in such detail take us into the lives of their principal characters and families. Next he delves into textual issues of Samuel. That takes him onto the slippery slope of sources and some opinions that could never be substantiated.
By page 20 we are into the commentary proper that runs all the way to page 630. This is the section where the nuggets lie in this book. Again, I couldnt possibly agree with all his critical presuppositions and conclusions, but I appreciated his ability to point out things that I found no where else.
I love a commentary that can spur thinking even if there are things I disagree with. For that reason, I find it easy to recommend this commentary.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255.