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Joel and Obadiah (2001): A Commentary (Old Testament Library) Hardcover – April 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Series: Old Testament Library
  • Hardcover: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press; First Edition edition (April 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0664219667
  • ISBN-13: 978-0664219666
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,251,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

John Barton is Oriel and Laing Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture at the University of Oxford in England. His publications include The Oxford Bible Commentary, The Original Story, Understanding Old Testament Ethics (WJK), and How the Bible Came to Be (WJK).

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Richard Hogaboam on January 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Barton, J. (2001). Joel and Obadiah: A Comentary. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Know Press.

John Barton offers many insights into the text of Joel in this commentary. I will rehash some of his thoughts here and offer some of my own comments.

Barton suggests it as "reasonable" that the first half of Joel was dealing with a contemporary situation, whereas the second half is eschatological (p.27). Interestingly, though, Barton doesn't believe that the events discussed in the second half were imminent for the author. "...there is no particular reason to think the author of the second half also believed in the imminence of his expectation" (p. 29). Barton is contrasting the imminence of the first half versus what is considered to be a "determinism" in the second half, assuring that Yahweh will in fact act on behalf of His people. I would concur with Barton that the main theme of the second half of Joel (2:28-3:21) is mainly the concrete promise that Yahweh will intervene into the affairs of Judah, blessing them, saving them, and judging their enemies. At the same time, I wouldn't say that such was imminent or necessarily distant, but it is worth noting that the apocalyptic expectations in Israel's life often varied and reached a fever pitch when Jesus was born.

Barton commenting on Joel's concern in 2:28-3:21,
This is quite distinct from the concern of the so-called apocalyptic type of seer, who thought that the end time would be breaking in at any moment. It is focused on the reliability of God, not on any expectation of imminent intervention....It seems to me that the second half of Joel belongs more to the world of a concern for theodicy than of bated-breath expectations of imminent divine salvation for the righteous in Israel (p. 31).
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