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Esther: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching & Preaching) Hardcover – August 31, 2002


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Esther: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching & Preaching) + Whispering the Word: Hearing Women's Stories in the Old Testament + Daniel (Westminster Bible Companion)
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Product Details

  • Series: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching & Preaching
  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press (August 31, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804231133
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804231138
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,275,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Carol M. Bechtel is Professor of Old Testament at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. She is the author of Life After Grace, Glimpses of Glory, and Esther in the Interpretation commentary series, all published by WJK.

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Charles S. Houser VINE VOICE on March 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The John Knox Press INTERPETATION COMMENTARY series provides thoughtful but highly readable insights into the various books of the Bible. I haven't picked up a volume yet which disappointed me. But Carol Bechtel's commentary on ESTHER really goes the extra mile. It's chock full of fresh perspectives well stated. (Although she borrows many of these insights from the recently published commentaries of Adele Berlin and Jon Levenson, she is quick to credit her sources. And she is very selective about what she restates.)
The commentary is directed primarily to Christians, and to Protestants specifically. She raises an interesting point that Christians who "get their Scripture" solely from the lessons that are read aloud as part of Sunday services, are only exposed to a reading from Esther once every three years: Esther 7:1-6,9-10; 9:20-22. This clearly is not the best way to experience a book of the Bible that is a cleverly constructed "novella" with exciting characters, court intrigues, and dizzying plot reversals. She encourages Christians to imitate Jews by reading the book repeatedly, aloud, and in its entirety. As Bechtel points out, "It is a book, after all, about the struggle to be faithful in the midst of an increasingly unfaithful culture. It is a story of courage, faith, and deliverance. It is the story of men and women working together with a God who is not always obvious, but who is always gracious."
To use this commentary most effectively, you need to have a copy of the New Revised Standard Version Bible (preferrably with the Apocrypal/Deuterocanonical books) since the biblical text is not printed in the commentary. You do not need any knowledge of Hebrew (or Greek), however. Where an understanding of the Hebrew is essential, Bechtel provides clear explanations.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Smith on December 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have used Interpretation copmmentaries before and this is rather less scholarly than I am accustomed to. The author treats the book of Esther in a rather flippant manner. Even if she considers the story to be overly dramatic and exaggerated, she could have treated the subject with more respect.
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