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Deuteronomy (The NIV Application Commentary) Hardcover – August 25, 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Daniel I. Block (D.Phil, University of Liverpool) is Gunther H. Knoedler Professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College.

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Product Details

  • Series: The NIV Application Commentary
  • Hardcover: 880 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (August 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310210488
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310210481
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Overview

I've had a keen interest in studying Deuteronomy more in-depth for a while. It's one of the most frequently quoted Old Testaments book in the New Testament and it's foundational for understanding the rest of the Old Testament. I requested the book from Zondervan and upon arrival was immediately intimidated. It's over 800 pages long. I actually put off starting to read it multiple times but once I jumped in I was pleasantly surprised. NIVAC Deuteronomy is readable and practical. Each chapter starts with Scripture and then immediately wades into the exegetical deep end ("Original Meaning") and is followed by "Bridging the Context" and "Contemporary Significance."

Three Important Focuses

I especially appreciated three focuses of NIVAC Deuteronomy. First, Block writes with an intentional gospel focus. He sets the expectations early on and didn't fail to follow through. Throughout he contrasts common misconception that Moses is all law and the New Testament is all grace. He strongly argues that Deuteronomy actually contrast "mediated grace (`through Moses') and embodied grace (`in Jesus Christ')" (p. 57). So there's not two gospels--it's rather an issue of intensity (Hebrews 3:1-6 compares Moses and Jesus as servant versus son). Just a few pages later, Block says,

[T]his book present the gospel according to Moses. This is a gospel of divine grace lavished on undeserving human beings. Moses's vision of humanity as a whole. The book points the reader to the Lord God, who has redeemed his people and assigned them the mission of radiating his grace to the world (p. 59 also see pp. 116, 122-23, 145-46, and especially 200-01).

I want to offer the most prominent example of his gospel focus.
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Format: Hardcover
This new volume on Deuteronomy in the NIVAC series is quite hefty weighing in at almost 900 pages. Not only is the size of the volume impressive, but the depth and comprehensiveness of the content is also impressive. Daniel Block is a well-respected OT scholar and commentator having written commentaries on Judges and Ruth (NAC) and Ezekiel (NICOT). His two-volume work on Ezekiel is considered as one of the best commentaries on Ezekiel and one of the largest most comprehensive commentaries in the NICOT series.

This commentary on Deuteronomy is another very helpful resource that Block has provided for the student and pastor. This commentary is clearly informed by massive scholarship throughout. As an application commentary, the exegesis is not as in-depth as a technical commentary, it is still quite thorough (as the footnotes clearly indicate). The strengths of this commentary are its sensitivity to theological issues along with a respect for the history of interpretation within the Christian tradition.

Block is also helpful in drawing New Testament connections to Deuteronomy showing the vital importance of this book within the biblical canon. His applications are generally helpful but sometimes he fails to mention even basic applications (see his discussion of Deuteronomy 6:4-7) or balks at applying various law codes to the contemporary culture and situation. For those in the Reformed tradition who hold to the general equity of the civil law, his applications are sometimes weak.

Block's introduction to the book is mercifully short but still helpful in providing a context for understanding the book as a whole.
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Format: Hardcover
Deuteronomy is more important than what many of us may have thought. Daniel Block, Old Testament Professor at Wheaton College, has reminded us again that if anyone has a negative view of the Old Testament, the book of Deuteronomy is the antidote. Jewish tradition has called the book the "Torah." The Church fathers have tried to interpret the book "Chrsistologically," just like the Apostle Paul. The Reformers like Luther and Calvin tend to elevate the point of grace and their efforts have unwittingly put down the place of Old Testament law. Modern scholarship during the Enlightenment era tends to be more critical, seeing Deuteronomy more as "pseudepigraphic" (meaning not written by Moses, but use the name of Moses), or primarily a book re-discovered by Josiah for the purpose of reforming Israel. Still, other scholars have pointed to Moses being merely a "legendary" figure. More recently, scholars have painted Deuteronomy as a book to help tide the people of God over during a time of crisis. Block dispels these by affirming the place of Deuteronomy as a book of expositions by Moses, interpreting law from the lens of God's grace. It is Moses who ordered the Torah to be written and placed with the Ark. It is Moses who has personally given the sermons to remind the people of Israel to remember, to be taught about the book of the Law, and to learn to trust and love God.

This is a great commentary from an application angle. Block makes sure that the scholarship involved does not wear down the reader. Exegesis has been provided when the contexts require it. The strongest part of the commentary comes from the application perspective and the way to interpret the book with New Testament grace.
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