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Berit Olam: 2 Kings Hardcover – April 1, 2000

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews


Robert Cohn is one of the most perceptive literary interpreters of biblical narrative at work today. He combines an unrivaled sense of literary artistry with a profound empathy for the religious dimension of the text. Professor Cohn's commentary on 2 Kings is a delight to read and a source of instruction and spiritual enrichment for anyone lucky enough to dip into it. I commend it with enthusiasm. There is nothing else like it."
Jon D. Levenson, Albert A. List Professor of Jewish Studies, Harvard University

Cohn's probing eyes surface narrative worlds, each focused yet open to unexpected horizons.
Wolfgang Roth, Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary

Robert Cohn has written a refreshingly different commentary on 2 Kings . . . . Graced by a clear, accessible style, Cohn's 2 Kings is an exemplary demonstration of what close interpretation of a text is all about.
Peter Machinist, Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages, Harvard University

It introduces its readers into the literary richness of a text that too often has been reduced to merely a historical source.
Journal of Hebrew Scriptures

In 2 Kings, Robert Cohn, the Philip and Muriel Berman professor of Jewish Studies at Lafayette College, offers an admirably clear, jargon-free commentary on what he calls 'the literary dimension of history writing.' . . . He well serves general readers and professionals engaged with the Bible who will be able to make their own contemporary applications.
Hebrew Studies

About the Author

Robert L. Cohn is professor of religion and holds the Philip and Muriel Berman Chair in Jewish studies at Lafayette College. Under the auspices of the American Jewish Committee, he lectured on Jewish interpretations of the Bible as the first American Jewish-scholar-in-residence at four Roman Catholic seminaries in Poland.

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Product Details

  • Series: Berit Olam
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Glazier (April 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814650546
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814650547
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 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: #2,057,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

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I bought this book on the basis if having read Jerome Walsh's 1996 Berit Olam volume on 2 Kings. A follower of Christ since 1980 & now in my late 50's, 'Kings has always been a little problematic to me - my exposure to it has been primarily from the pulpit around the life of Elijah & therefore a highly truncated understanding. Jezebel seems blamed a lot for many an unfortunate experience/circumstance in the life of Jesus' followers down the ages!
Furthermore post-modern imperatives of radical individualism, deification of children, radical [psuedo] inclucsivism find this book problematic at a surface (suspicious) reading. Therefore rather than succumb to a Marcionite temptations I decided 2 years ago to spend 15-20 minutes per day for the following 3 years reading the text and a commentary to acquire some sort of understanding of Kings to live by with confidence.
I found Cohn's (1999) book not near as profitable as Walsh's (1996) treatment of 1 Kings from the same series; even though they both approached the text from a narrative critical approach Walsh's examination seemed a lot more thoroughgoing and I appreciated his more numerous theological reflections.
I am reading Nelson's (1987) commentary for the 2nd time - Cohn's treatment seems to offer little that this does not. I have read Leithart's (2006) theological commentary and found it to be an excellent companion to Walsh & Nelson's works.
Lastly, some of the moral questions asked of post-modern readers of 'Kings are helpfully addressed by Copan's 2011 title 'Is God a Moral Monster' - an excellent read.
However some questions still remain; Cohn alludes to that ongoing dialogue both the original hearer/reader & ourselves have with the text & its principle character.
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