- Series: Apollos Old Testament Commentary (Book 20)
- Hardcover: 359 pages
- Publisher: IVP Academic (October 16, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0830825193
- ISBN-13: 978-0830825196
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,234,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Daniel (Apollos Old Testament Commentary) Hardcover – October 16, 2002
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"There has been plenty of interest in the book of Daniel on the part of commentators over the past generation or two. The one that I have found of the most all-round benefit is Ernest Lucas in the Apollos Old Testament Commentary series. Lucas succeeds in drawing out the message of the book while also paying judicious attention to complex issues of history, eschatology, and composition." (Tim Meadowcroft, Catalyst, Vol. 40, No. 3, March 2014)
"Students, scholars, and ministers will derive much profit from this commentary." (James Chukwuma Okoye, The Bible in Review)
"What every preacher and student needs is a commentary that makes positive use of the results of scholarly research while at the same time integrating them sympathetically into a contemporary Christian theological worldview. Many series have set out to achieve this, but few have succeeded. Now at last the Apollos series looks set to do so: the names of the editors and potential contributors, together with the evidence of these early volumes, all inspire confidence." (H. G. M. Williamson, FBA, Regius Professor of Hebrew, University of Oxford)
"At last! A commentary series that combines the best of biblical scholarship with a passion for the message of the text. Besides, it actually answers the questions I ask when I read the Scriptures. This series by the finest evangelical scholars is designed for students and pastors who are serious about understanding the Old Testament in its context and translating its message for the church in the twenty-first century." (Daniel Block, Professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College)
"Evangelical Old Testament study has made huge strides in the second half of the twentieth century. Tyndale House in the U.K. and IVP internationally were central to that renaissance. And now at the start of the twenty-first century the Apollos Old Testament Commentary Series will build on that foundation as it showcases some of the best contemporary Old Testament interpretation. This series rightly insists on rigorous scholarship but always in the service of the theology and message of the books of the Old Testament. Some outstanding scholars are signed up for this series, and I look forward very much to having these commentaries on my shelves as they appear." (Craig Bartholomew, Senior Research Fellow, University of Gloucestershire, editor of the Scripture and Hermeneutics series)
About the Author
Lucas is vice-principal and tutor in biblical studies at Bristol Baptist College in England. He is the author of a number of scholarly articles on the book of Daniel and, at the popular level, Can We Believe Genesis Today?
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Daniel is a difficult book to comment on because it has been the subject of much heated debate between conservative and liberal scholars, its visions have been wildly and carelessly interpreted, and its stories are familiar to the point of meaninglessness. On each of these points Lucas has provided a sane and helpful alternative.
While remaining somewhat noncommittal about the authorship and date of the book, he intelligently interacted with the most recent critical scholarship on Daniel and presented a reasoned defense of generally conservative positions. He leaves open the possibility that chapter 11 may be pseudonymous in keeping with the typical conventions of that genre.
Regarding the visions Lucas presents interpretations that are well informed by his familiarity with ANE parallels and relevant historical background. He takes the culmination of all the visions to be the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes. His approach to these texts is strengthened by his sensitivity to the apocalyptic genre and its effects on the meaning of the language employed.
In dealing with the stories, Lucas employs the tools of literary criticism to great advantage. The result being fresh and deep interpretations of the text that can take the typical reader beyond the simplistic readings she is probably familiar with from childhood.
The commentary is highly recommended. The series is aimed at both scholars and pastors, so the discussions can get a bit technical for some, but generally they will be understandable to most lay people. As with any book, no one commentary can say everything nor get everything right. The reader may want to compare other volumes such as those by Collins, Goldingay, Baldwin, Lacocque, or Longman.
Addition as of 25 Nov 2014:
For the class, I looked at Archer (EBC), Calvin, Collins (Hermenia), Goldingay (WBC), Longman (NIVAC), Lucus (AOTC), Miller (NAC), Montgomery (ICC), Wood, Young, Zoeckler and Strong (Lange) on interpretive issues in ten passages: 1:2; 2:2; 3:25; 4:13; 5:1; 5:31; 6:18; 8:25; 9:26; 11:17. I rated each commentary on a scale of 1-5 (5 being the best). The rating was based both on coverage and content.
On 1:2 he had a nice, full discussion, but the conclusion was unhinged from the discussion that he and others engaged in. On 2:2, he covered the basics, but Archer, Calvin, Goldingay, and Young all had superior discussions. On 3:25 he has a decent discussion, but he dismisses out of hand and with no discussion the idea this could be a preincarnate appearance of Christ. Even Collins in Hermenia interacts with this view. On 4:13 he again covered the basics, but his discussion was again less full than Collins, Golidngay, Montgomery, Wood, Young. On 5:1 Lucas had a good discussion which helpfully brought illuminating archaeological finds. Other commentaries had good discussions, but Lucas may have been the best on this passage. On 5:31 Lucas has an evenhanded survey of all the major views, and, in my opinion lands on the most likely conclusion. I found him more helpful than the other commentaries surveyed on this passage. On 6:18 he simply notes the options and refers the reader to Montgomery. Not impressive. On 8:25 his coverage was also overly brief. On 9:26 he proposes emending the text when good alternatives for translating what is there exist. On 11:17 he offers his conclusion without explanation.
So on two passages I found him very helpful, but too often I found his discussion much thinner than the other commentaries I was consulting for the project. I've benefited from other commentaries in this series, but this volume falls below the standard set by the others.