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1 & 2 Kings (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible) Hardcover – November 1, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Praise for the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible

"The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible makes a most welcome contribution to the church, the academic world, and the general public at large. By enlisting a wide range of Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox theologians who differ on much, but who agree on the truth of the Nicene Creed, the series also represents ecumenical activity of the very best kind. It is always a daunting challenge to expound the church's sacred book both simply and deeply, but this impressive line-up of authors is very well situated for the attempt."--Mark A. Noll, University of Notre Dame

"Preachers and teachers in particular, but thoughtful Christians more generally, have long lamented the slide of biblical scholarship into hyper-specialized critical studies of ancient texts in remote historical context. It is no wonder, therefore, that the Brazos Theological Commentary is being so warmly welcomed. The outstanding array of authors, beginning with Jaroslav Pelikan's splendid commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, are, at long last, reclaiming the Bible as the book of the living community of faith that is the church."--Richard John Neuhaus, editor in chief, First Things

"What a splendid idea! Many preachers have been longing for more commentaries that are not only exegetical but theological in the best sense: arising out of the conviction that God, through his Word, still speaks in our time. For those of us who take our copies of Martin Luther's Galatians and Karl Barth's Romans from the shelves on a regular basis, this new series in that tradition promises renewed vigor for preaching, and therefore for the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church in our time."--Fleming Rutledge, author of The Bible and The New York Times and The Seven Last Words from the Cross

"This new series places the accent on 'theological' and reflects current interpretive ferment marked by growing resistance to the historical-critical project. With a focus on the theological tradition, this series holds the promise of asking interpretive questions that are deeply grounded in the primal claims of faith. The rich promise of the series is indicated by the stature and erudition of the commentators."--Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

"The Brazos Theological Commentary exists to provide an accessible authority so that the preacher's application will be a ready bandage for all the hurts of life. We who serve the pulpit want a commentary we can understand, and those who hear us expect us to give them a usable word. The Brazos Commentary is just the right level of light to make illuminating the word the joy it was meant to be."--Calvin Miller, author of A Hunger for the Holy and Loving God Up Close

Projected volumes in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible include:

John Behr (St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary) on Exodus

Telford Work (Westmont College) on Deuteronomy

Stephen Fowl (Loyola College, Maryland) and Samuel Wells (Duke University) on Ruth & Esther

Ellen Charry (Princeton Theological Seminary) and Anne Astell (Purdue University) on Psalms

Paul Griffiths (University of Illinois at Chicago) on Song of Songs

Kevin Vanhoozer (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) on Jeremiah

Robert Jenson (Center of Theological Inquiry) on Ezekiel

Stanley Hauerwas (Duke University) on Matthew

David Lyle Jeffrey (Baylor University) on Luke

Bernd Wannenwetsch (Oxford University) on 1 & 2 Corinthians

Kathryn Greene-McCreight (Yale University Divinity School) on Galatians

John Webster (King's College, Aberdeen) on Ephesians

George Hunsinger (Princeton University) on Philippians

Christopher Seitz (University of St. Andrews) on Colossians

Douglas Farrow (McGill University) on 1 & 2 Thessalonians

David Hart (University of Virginia) on Hebrews

Timothy George (Beeson Divinity School, Samford University) on James

Geoffrey Wainwright (Duke University) on Revelation

From the Back Cover

1 & 2 Kings, the second volume in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible, is the first Old Testament commentary in the series. It follows Jaroslav Pelikan's volume on Acts, winner of a 2006 Catholic Press Association Award. This commentary, like each in the series, is designed to serve the church--through aid in preaching, teaching, study groups, and so forth--and demonstrate the continuing intellectual and practical viability of theological interpretation of the Bible.

Praise for previous volumes in the series

"This remarkable project is especially lucky in its inaugural volume on Acts of the Apostles by the noted historian of dogma, Jaroslav Pelikan. If the rest of the commentators live up to the high standard set by Pelikan . . . the series could end up marking a turning point in the history of biblical hermeneutics. . . . One finishes this marvelously lucid book not only excited at the prospect of future volumes, but also wondering if this series will be revolutionary in another sense: Could this be a set of commentaries on the Bible that people will actually read?"--Edward T. Oakes, S.J., First Things

"This significant commentary [Acts] kicks off the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible. . . . Unlike other commentaries that are written mostly by biblical scholars, these books will be penned by theologians interested in what the Bible has to say about enduring theological questions. . . . Pelikan asks big questions: what is sin? what were the earliest creeds? what is the nature of apostleship? He is sensitive to nuances of Greek but not obsessed by them. As such, this book will be helpful to preachers and, to a lesser extent, general readers who are sometimes flummoxed by more specialized and technical biblical commentaries."--Publishers Weekly

"Brazos's Theological Commentaries on the Bible, of which [Acts] is the first volume, will feature theologians commenting on scripture using ancient Christian sources. The result is a treasure both new and old, more akin to medieval gloss than historical-critical commentary. Yet it is also a resource for preachers, since its format is akin to that of a modern commentary."--Christian Century

General editor: R. R. Reno (Creighton University). Series editors: Robert W. Jenson (Center of Theological Inquiry); Robert Louis Wilken (University of Virginia); Ephraim Radner (Ascension Episcopal Church in Pueblo, Colorado); Michael Root (Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary); and George Sumner (Wycliffe College in Toronto).


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Product Details

  • Series: Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Brazos Press (November 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587431254
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587431258
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #380,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Peter Leithart's 1 & 2 King's is required reading for anyone wishing to understand the theological underpinnings of these two books. It divides the entire text of both books into sections. While Leithart explores certain themes, he does not treat the books piecemeal the way Pelikan does Acts in the series' first installment. The end result is a more complete, user-friendly commentary. I certainly hope that Leithart's format is used for subsequent volumes in the series. Its greatest strength is its Christological interpretations. The introduction to reading 1 & 2 Kings from a Christian perspective which begins this commentary is excellent, setting the tone for the rest of the book. It doesn't leave readers stranded in the Old Testament era, but helps them better understand what 1 & 2 Kings means in light of Christ by relating each section to the New Testament. This commentary will appeal particularly to Reformed Christians, since it serves as an excellent exercise in redemptive-historical interpretation and covenant theology, which are two mainstays within that tradition. Leithart's excursions into theology, Church history, literature, typology, and even some current trends within the Church today provide excellent guidance for those who struggle with how to preach or teach these sometimes difficult texts. While the Brazos Theological Commentary is ecumenical in its intention, its editors do not force contributors to hide their theological convictions to the point where volumes in the series have no substance, which is very commendable on their part. Leithart's commentary is written unabashedly from a Reformed perspective, discussing doctrinal disagreements with Roman Catholicism in a friendly tone that seeks genuine reconciliation between the two camps rather than division.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Peter Leithart's study of 1 & 2 Kings is the third installment in Brazos's projected forty-volume series of theological commentaries on the Bible. Jaroslav Pelikan led the series with a masterful study of the book of Acts (2005), Matthew Levering explored Ezra and Nehemiah (2007), and Stanley Hauerwas of Duke University tackled the gospel of Matthew (2007). With a PhD from Cambridge and extensive pastoral experience at Trinity Reformed Church in Idaho, Leithart made me feel like I was enjoying the best of academic scholarship, linguistic analysis, literary insights, historical reflections, and thoughtful applications to contemporary Christian discipleship.

1 & 2 Kings begins with Solomon's ascension to power and ends with Judah's banishment to Babylon, which means that Leithart makes a panoramic sweep of roughly 400 years of salvation history in Israel. For him this story of the politics of God and the politics of humanity is not merely historical, prophetic, or sapiental (as a type of wisdom literature), which it is, but rather and especially it is a "gospel text" that has practical applications to our ecclesial experiences today. There is the inseparable interplay between a king's private life and his public office. Idolatry, of course, looms large in these stories, especially the "guns, gold, and girls" of Solomon. The partition of Israel and Judah is redolent with applications for post-Reformation divisions in the church and the nature of genuine ecumenicity. There's the prominent role of "outsiders" like the Gentile Naaman among the "insider" elect Israel. The providence of God over the history of humanity is a major theme in this "court history" of Israel's kings.
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Format: Hardcover
Death and Resurrection.

Leithart employs intricate typologies to show Israel/Judah undergoes a death and resurrection in this narrative, pointing to the death and Resurrection of One who will be the New Israel.

Whether people like it or not, and granted that it can be overdone, typology is becoming the norm in biblical studies in all traditions (post Liberal, Reformed, and Catholic). And so it is common to see how, for example, David typifies Christ. However, there are intra-textual types as well, showing how later Israelite kings are antitypes of David and Solomon.

Pros of the Book:
The writing is typical Leithart: masterful. Leithart has also successfully interacted with the best of modern biblical, theological, and ethical scholarship. He is the most underappreciated Reformed writer. His interactions with Aquinas O'Donovan, and Milbank provided for stimulating ethical reflections and the book leaves us hanging with the hope for a renewed Christendom. I mean, really, if anyone can successfully interact and dialogue with John Milbank and Oliver O'Donovan, they automatically deserve our respect.

This book cannot easily be translated into aids for sermon prep. He doesn't do verse by verse exposition, but rather "text by text." While that is more faithful to the "flow of the passage," most congregations do not let you preach from two or three chapters at a time
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Run! Don't Walk! To any commentary that Peter Leithart writes on a book of the Old Testament and buy it immediately. You won't be disappointed. His insights into past and future typology are incredible and he has the great ability to focus the reader on each pericope's trajectory toward Christ. Quite often Leithart directs his audience from basic story to the Gospel in just a few short paragraphs. And his writing style is easy to follow and very compelling. I thought preaching through 1&2 Samuel and 1&2 Kings was going to be horribly difficult at times, but with Leithart's insights, it has been a real joy. I highly recommend this commentary to all Pastors and teachers.
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