Should we interpret Song of Songs as romantic poetry or as an allegory? Should some people even read it at all? Steering a middle way between symbolic and literal approaches, Iain Duguid contends that the book is meant to shape our understanding of human relationships and reveal the love that Christ has for his bride, the church.
To many of us, Song of Songs is a puzzling book. Often were not sure whether we should read it as romantic poetry or as allegory, and an answer either way raises new questions. Why is a love poem a whole book of the Bible? If its allegorical, what are we to make of the imagery used? And if were not married or dating, should we be reading this book at all? As a part of Scripture, Song of Songs is God-breathed and useful to instruct all Christians, single or married, divorced or widowed, straight or struggling with same-sex desires. Pastor-scholar Iain Duguid steers a middle way between allegorical and literal approaches, showing that this books celebration of the love between a man and woman can not only shape our thinking about human relationships but also give us profound insight into the love that Christ has for his bride, the church.
Iain M. Duguid (PhD, University of Cambridge) is professor of Old Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia. He has written numerous works of biblical exposition, including Esther & Ruth in the Reformed Expository Commentary series, Ezekiel in the NIV Application Commentary series, and Numbers in the Preaching the Word series.
This book helps us. As a wise and seasoned pastor, Iain gently weeps with us in our broken search for false loves. Yet he strongly rouses our affections to the One whose love is true, satisfying, lasting, romantic, and alluring. Practi- cal, tasty, and invigorating, Iains prose and poetry offer a timely guide for anyone who desires the lovers of Solomons Song to disciple them in Jesus.
Heres the work of a multi-gifted scholar on display! Here Iain Duguid is the expositor, the biblical theologian, the pastor, the counselor, andquite often!the surgeon. This exposition is vintage Duguidsneakingly convicting and awash in grace. He lures me to oversimplify: if someone asks me how best to prepare for marriage, I will be tempted to say, Study the Song of Songs and read Duguids commentary.
Iain Duguids Song of Songs is not your typical commentary. Though based on solid scholarship, it is completely pastoral in tone, easy to read, and rich with insights. Dr. Duguids pastoral experience anticipates the modern readers experiences and concerns, and helps us avoid reading the Song of Songs strictly as an allegory or, alternately, as a dating or sex manual. Instead, Song of Songs teaches us to appreciate the beauty of married sexual love, while at the very same time enriching our understanding of Gods love for us.
So is the Song of Songs really about sex or Jesus? Iain Duguid steers a wise and pastoral path between those simplistic choices. He demonstrates how this poetic book on the excellencies of human love is not merely a practical marriage guide, nor an allegorical representation of the coming Christ. Rather, this book is the best song of all songs because it provides divinely inspired insights into the blessings and weaknesses human love in order to point us toward the goodness and necessity of the grace of God, whose love is perfected in Christ alone.
Iain Duguid takes a book of the Bible that many Christians are intimidated by and showcases it in its rightful place as the finest of songs. Perhaps weve been as insecure about tackling the allegorical and literal interpretations in this Song as we may be in our own relationships. Not any more! Of all the songs written to explore the age-old questions of love, this commentary will prove the Song of Songs as the one that we cannot and do not want to get our of our heads.
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