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Job (Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms) Hardcover – August 1, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Praise for previous volumes in the Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms series

"[Tremper] Longman is to be congratulated for producing a valuable translation of Proverbs and a user-friendly commentary that takes seriously the needs of the contemporary audience for which he writes. Pastors and seminary students will gain much from studying Proverbs with an expert interpreter who is attuned to the rhetoric of the text, its ancient context, and its possible contemporary import. Scholars, too, will profit from Longman's often provocative and creative work."
--Timothy J. Sandoval, Review of Biblical Literature

"[Craig] Bartholomew's writing style is elegant, and he keeps the reader's interest. . . . [Ecclesiastes] is worthy of purchase certainly by Qohelet experts but also by general scholars and educated laypeople. Young scholars will find it especially helpful as an introduction to contemporary issues. It is eminently readable, original, interesting, and deep."
--Mark Sneed, Catholic Biblical Quarterly

"I trust that clergy and future clergy will hear, learn from, and share the message of the Psalms that [John] Goldingay has so effectively illuminated, as this series of commentaries intends. As for biblical scholars, many of us too will certainly appreciate Goldingay's illumination of the message of the Psalms; and in any case, his work will be an indispensable resource for future academic study of and comment upon the Psalms."
--J. Clinton McCann Jr., Journal of Hebrew Scriptures

"[In Song of Songs, Richard Hess] provides a translation of the text under consideration and extensive critical explanation of that translation. The commentary itself moves through the text line by line, attending to the intricacies of the Hebrew language and the power of the erotic imagery. Throughout the commentary he weaves in intertextual references, thus relating the content of these poems with other biblical material. . . . Though the analysis here has been done with both care and skill, the text is quite readable. This book will be a helpful resource for students and teachers alike."
--Dianne Bergant, CSA, Bible Today

From the Back Cover

In this addition to the Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms series, Tremper Longman combines a careful exegetical reading of the book of Job with keen theological insights. The series is tailored to the distinctives of poetry and Wisdom literature, featuring emphasis on the message of the biblical book; special attention to poetic structure and literary devices; incisive comments based on the author's translation of the Hebrew text; exegetical rigor that incorporates linguistic, historical, and canonical insights; closing reflections on each section that explore the text's theological dimensions; and textual notes that highlight important features of the Hebrew text.

"I have greatly benefited from Longman's excellent new translation and commentary on Job. He masterfully guides the reader through the book's challenging, complex grapplings with the question of undeserved suffering. All this grappling with suffering, he argues, is the means to a greater end: debating and exploring the nature of true wisdom. In his interpretations, Longman presents his own penetrating reflections and gleans rich insights from the vast world of Job commentary. He has a rare, enviable talent for presenting solid scholarship in well-written prose that is eminently understandable and immediately relevant. I highly recommend this volume."
--Stephen L. Cook, Virginia Theological Seminary

"When a singular biblical text causes an accomplished commentarial hand to tremble in attempting to grasp it, we are struck with respect for both authors. Here a biblicist conversant with Wisdom literature sifts reams of earlier commentary to identify the genius of Job as a pointed poetic challenge to reducing Scripture to 'retribution theology' and thus allows the 'voice from the whirlwind' to move us from expecting answers to responding to an encounter."
--David Burrell, CSC, Tangaza College, Nairobi; University of Notre Dame

"This latest gift from the trusted pen of Tremper Longman evinces the rare combination of stretching the most learned mind and touching the most tender soul. Grappling with the intricacies of this most difficult of biblical texts and the opaqueness of much of its theological argument, Longman offers here a work of inestimable pastoral and practical value."
--Eugene Merrill, Dallas Theological Seminary
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Product Details

  • Series: Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms
  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic (August 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801031079
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801031076
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #814,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tremper Longman III (PhD, Yale University) is the Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies and the chair of the Religious Studies department at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, where he lives with his wife, Alice. He is the Old Testament editor for the revised Expositor's Bible Commentary and has authored many articles and books on the Psalms and other Old Testament books.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Tremper Longman III has written an excellent commentary on one of my favorite books of the Bible: Job. This commentary completes the Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms series (in which series Longman also wrote the Proverbs volume). In his Introduction to Job, Longman helpfully avoids speculations as to the book's composition history; his task is to interpret the book as it has come down to us. This Longman does ably and thus defends the authority and reliability of the Bible. Longman also structures Job in his Introduction into seven sections: The Prologue (1:1-2:13), Job's Lament (3:1-26); The Debate Between Job and His Three Friends (4:1-27:23); Job's Monologue (28:1-31:40); Elihu's Speech (32:1-37:24); Yahweh's Speeches and Job's Responses (38:1-42:6); and Job's Restoration (42:7-17).

In the commentary proper, Longman provides his own translation of Job's text. His translation is readable but faithful to the original languages. Before commenting on individual thought units within Job's chapters, Longman summarized that section's message. These sections were very helpful in clarifying the progression of thought within individual chapters. Even more helpful are the Theological Implications sections at the end of each commentated section. If not giving direct application, the Theological Implication "reflective essays" at least drew out the broader implications of any given section of Job, oftentimes pointing explicitly to how the New Testament takes the principles espoused in Job and explicates them.

Despite the commentary's excellence, however, there were a couple of points on which I disagreed with Dr. Longman.
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Format: Hardcover
The newest release in the Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms is Tremper Longman III's commentary on the book of Job. Job is perhaps one of the most interesting and perplexing books of the Bible, and Longman's commentary does much to shed light on some of the primary difficulties people often encounter when engaging with Job.

Longman presents Job as a long work of poetry sandwiched between a prose prologue and a prose epilogue, while revealing how the book of Job should be read in light of its literary features. The commentary is also enlightening on how Job explores the topic of wisdom. Particularly revealing was how the three friends plug Elihu all essentially saw God the same way, interpreting reality as God rewarding good and punishing bad across the board (i.e., do good and expect blessing; do bad and expect difficulty). The book of Job essentially turns this whole idea on its head.

Perhaps the only discomfort I had with this commentary, which I think most people would have, is the idea that the events recorded in Job may not have even really happen. Instead, Job may be a fictional story written to teach us something about God. Longman does a great job of explaining why this may true, so I can't just dismiss the possibility. However, I remain convinced that job was a real person.

The Baker Commentary on the book of Job will be a great resource for students of the Bible. It is written for more of a scholarly audience, but much can be learned about the biblical book by anyone interested in investing the time in studying it.

I received this book for free for review from Baker Academic, and the opinions contained in this review are completely my own
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For an introductory level commentary, this is fine. I would recommend it for the average lay user. And for the price, this is probably the intended audience. For more advanced work, though, there just aren't many details as to why Longman chose the translations he did and it doesn't address many of the text critical issues in Job.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
You won't agree with some of what Tremper concludes, but his insights and knowledge of the OT text is a great help to your study. The challenge will be to not quote his thoughts as the main thrust of your Bible teaching time. Use him as a rudder and not as an anchor.
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I love how this commentary helps get the original meaning of the text.
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