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Daniel (Apollos Old Testament Commentary Series, Volume 20) Hardcover – September 16, 2002
In many ways, the Old Testament book of Daniel is an enigma. It consists of two different kinds of material: stories about Judean exiles working in the court of pagan kings (chapters 1-6) and accounts of visions experienced by one of these exiles (chapters 7-12). It is written in two languages, Hebrew and Aramaic, and the language division does not match the subject division. Whether the book's affinities lie more with the Hebrew prophets or with later Jewish apocalypses is debated, as are its affinities with the wisdom traditions of both Israel and Babylon. Refreshingly, Enest Lucas postpones much of the discussion of such issues to an Epilogue, and invites the reader to an investigation of the meaning of the text in the form in which we now have it. He identifies the central theme of the book as the sovereignty of the God of Israel. With even-handedness and clarity, Lucas demonstrates that, for preachers and teachers, there is much in Daniel that is fairly readily understandable and applicable, and that there are also theological depths that are rewarding for those willing to plumb them and wrestle with the issues they raise.
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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
"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
- Publisher : IVP Academic (September 16, 2002)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 359 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0830825193
- ISBN-13 : 978-0830825196
- Item Weight : 1.51 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.25 x 1.25 x 9.25 inches
- Customer Reviews:
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This commentary is the newest edition of the Apollos Old Testament Commentary Series with editors David W. Baker and Gordon J. Wenham, a series which is synonymous with excellent exegesis and superior application, this volume continues this legacy, but does not propel it to new heights. This volume is one of the weaker volumes in the series, but to its less than anticipated conservative approach. Yet while Lucas answer the critical issues yet he yielded to far left critics on many issues such as date and historical reliability of the kings and rulers of Babylon. While this is an issue, do not dismiss the work completely rather use it with discernment, for while it it critical it does produce some great thought provoking exegesis and well informed applicaiton.
Daniel has two main sections the typical general introduction, and then followed by a insightful exegetical commentaries on this partly historical and partly prophetic book. With regard to the general introduction it is the typical study into the introductory matters of the book and how they relate to the Bible as a whole. This is a serious scholarly work which dives into contextual as well as the as the different methodical approaches to study of this book Lucas takes great care in carefully showing the original context of passage while applying it directly to the modern day reader. He also uses his own translation of the Hebrew text, which demonstrates his depth of knowledge of the text itself.
While I disagree with Lucas on a great many major and minor issues with regard to Old Testament interpretation, the arguments he makes are intriguing and brought up new ideas I had never considered before. Lucas is innovate in his interpretation and application while staying mostly in the realm of orthodoxy. In the vein of recommending, Daniel , to others I would recommend this commentary to some pastoral and all scholars, but to the pastor I again suggest that this work be used with discernment. There are many commentaries about the book of Daniel available at this moment but Daniel of the Apollos Old Testament Commentary series is a very scholarly works worthy of your time.
This book was provided to me free of charge from IVP Academic in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.
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.