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Exodus Through the Centuries Hardcover – December 23, 2005

2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0631235231 ISBN-10: 063123523X Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews


"The series emphasises the influence of the Bible on literature, art, music and film, its role in the evolution of religious beliefs and practices and its impact on social and political developments. Drawing on work in a variety of disciplines, it is designed to provide a convenient and scholarly means of access to material until now hard to find, and a much needed resource for all those interested in the influence of the Bible of Western culture."
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"The interpretative material is especially rich, in both quantity and significance … This is a mine of information which should both delight and inspire."
Journal for the Study of the Old Testament

"On the history of reception, there is no equal to this fine book. A feast for historians of Western culture!"
International Review of Biblical Studies

"Preachers will enjoy using Exodus through the Centuries by Scott M. Langston, in which the author shows the varying ways in which this key book has been understood, not least by liberation movements down the centuries. Truly a commentary with a difference, offering much illustrative material." Ministry Today

"It is almost impossible to convey the breadth of the scope of this book … A very well researched and interesting book, containing an extensive bibliography, useful biographies and glossary and name and subject indexes. The main strength of this book is the author’s ability to engage with a diversity of sources, traditions and artistic expressions and examine a variety of theological and secular interpretations of the Exodus story with a consistent academic rigour. This book is recommended for all serious students of scripture." Journal of Beliefs & Values

"Langston’s book, and the entire Blackwell series, offers a compact and focussed entrance into sources for the interpretation and reception of the Bible."
Peter D Miscall, Denver, Colorado

“There is much to reflect upon from this presentation of the ‘reception history’ of Exodus across the ages and Scott Langston is to be thanked for his labours.”
Ernest Nicholson, Oxford

"Langston has offered an accessibility to the book of Exodus that opens the imagination … Biblical scholars interested in sociology and anthropology should certainly read this book."
Benjamin Bury, University of Birmingham

“Presents a colorful tapestry … illustrating multiple interpretations … and the sheer creativity of recontextualization … .Langston fills a gap.”
Religious Studies Review

Book Description

This bible commentary focuses on Exodus, one of the key books in the Old Testament, which features such colorful stories as the plague on Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, the burning bush, and the giving of the Ten Commandments. The commentary considers the ways in which Exodus has influenced and has been influenced by history, religion, politics, the arts and other forms of culture in Jewish, Christian and secular settings. The author traces the book's various uses throughout the centuries, from Old Testament times, through the Patristic and Reformation periods, to the present day. He pays particular attention to how Exodus has served as a tool of liberation and tyranny, and to how it has helped to shape collective and personal identity. More information about the Blackwell Bible Commentary series is available at

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (December 23, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 063123523X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631235231
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,151,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Temple Books on November 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Langston's commentary on Exodus grants biblical scholarship new and welcomed insights into the "reception" of the biblical text across the centuries. Building on the conceptualization of Reception History in literary analysis, this early volume in the Blackwell series provides a "first glimpse" for many into considerations that a text "exists" only as it is heard by the reader.

While biblicists may shout "heresy" and call for Langston's death at the stake, the author draws on examples from both sacred and secular literature, the plastic arts, even American political rhetoric to demonstrate that, so very often, a biblical text "means" what a particular community says it means.

A highly recommended read for those seeking to draw new wine from ancient skins.
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4 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Shaw on August 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is not for those looking for a commentary to explain the Book of Exodus, all of those odd laws and practices, in its ancient context. Nor is this book for those who are seeking a commentary to explain the theological significance of Exodus in the modern setting.

Instead, this book is intended for the reader who wants a glimpse into the past of how Exodus has been used. It is an eclectic collection drawn from the histories of theology, art, and literature.

Langston has divided Exodus into eight sections of uneven length. In each section he moves through the history of interpretation, dealing with the text as it has been used in various contexts. These contexts fall under the rubrics: Jewish and Christian uses, political and social uses, oppressive and contradictory uses, and artistic uses.

It is an interesting read, and Lanston's research has ranged far and wide, but it is ultimately disappointing. It leaves the reader with the sense that the biblical text is a nose of wax, capable of being twisted into any entertaining shape one wishes. Apparently according to Langston, any reading of the text is as legitimate as any other, even if they are mutually contradictory.
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Exodus Through the Centuries
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