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Ruth (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries)

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0300139464
ISBN-10: 0300139462
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About the Author

Edward F. Campbell, Jr., is Professor of Old Testament at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries (Book 7)
  • Paperback: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (May 6, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300139462
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300139464
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #307,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
When searching for resource material for a series I am currently doing on the Book of Ruth, I picked up a copy of The Anchor Bible: Ruth commentary by Edward Campbell, Jr. Having been familiar with the structure and focus of the Anchor Bible series as a result of utilizing a number of other volumes in this series for other research papers and personal Bible study, I was confident this particular volume would be true to form as the others, namely a commentary replete with scholarly information on the subject matter, in this case the Book of Ruth. I was not disappointed.

For anyone not familiar with the Anchor Bible Commentary Series, the stated purpose of this series is to “provide a fresh approach to the world’s greatest classic. Its object is to make the Bible accessible to the modern reader; its method is to arrive at the meaning of biblical literature through exact translation and extended exposition, and to reconstruct the ancient setting of the biblical story, as well as the circumstances of its transcription and the characteristics of its transcribers.” Also of note, the Anchor Bible series is somewhat of an “interfaith” effort, utilizing the works of Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish scholars. With that said, as with any commentary, it is important to read the comments made by the author with that needed proverbial grain of salt, always keeping in focus what God has to say in His word as being the true foundation.

What became readily apparent as I began to journey through the Book of Ruth is that despite being only four chapters in length, God has much so say in those four chapters.
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The biblical book Ruth is one of the most delightful books of the Bible. Jews read its four short chapters, totaling only 85 sentences, entirely each year in synagogues during the holiday of Shavuot, known in English as Pentecost. Christians do not read the book during their services, which pleased some ministers and priests who feel that the book cannot be appreciated by reading isolated passages; the story must be read as a whole to be appreciated, for it is one of the best stories in the Bible.

Dr. Campbell explains the story, its history, and the meaning of its unusual practices excellently. He addresses more than a hundred items, such as the story may not be true. This should shock no one because many parts of the Bible were written as parables to teach lessons. The Jewish sage Moses Maimonides (1138-1204) wrote, for example, that the book of Job and the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden are not true experiences.

The general theme of Ruth is hesed, a word that reappears several times in the tale. It signifies "doing more good than is required." Thus, after Naomi and her two daughters-in-law spend about a decade together, Naomi decides to return home to Judea after the death of their three husbands. Ruth and Orpah, the wives of her two sons, say they want to accompany her, even though they are Moabites and Judea is a strange land to them. After much discussion, Orpah decides to stay in Moab, but Roth resolves to join her mother-in-law in Judea. Orpah showed that she was an excellent daughter-in-law, but Ruth went beyond excellent and demonstrated hesed. Later, Boaz will show Ruth hesed in various ways, including marrying her.

Is God directly involved in the events that occur in Ruth?
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