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Ecclesiastes & the Song of Songs (Apollos Old Testament Commentary) Hardcover – April 23, 2010
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"The authors succeed in combining an eye for technical detail with an alertness to the message for today." (Tim Meadowcroft, Catalyst, Vol. 40, No. 3, March 2014)
"The organization, sound scholarship, and engaging writing style of the authors makes the commentary a fantastic resource for pastors, scholars, and laypeople alike." (Russell L. Meek, Midwestern Journal of Theology)
About the Author
Daniel C. Fredericks is senior vice president and provost at Belhaven College, Jackson. He is the author of Coping with Transience: Ecclesiastes on Brevity in Life and Qoheleth's Language: Re-evaluating Its Nature and Date.
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Ecclesiastes & The Song of Songs, begins with a through yet accessible introduction to both books. Fredricks and Estes gives a spectacular see you want bibilcial theological study on the value of each book as well as its connectivity to the rest of the Bible but to the modern-day reader. To further this and his introduction he takes painstaking effort to place both of the books in their original context as it was intended. This helps the student of scripture understand the original intent of each passage instead of placing his own contextualisation on top of it. Concluding his introduction Fredricks and Estes gives their take on the question of authorship and intent of both Ecclesiastes and the SOng of Solomon, something that is a deeply contested and debated subject.
With regard to the commentary on individual passages themselves Fredricks and Estes give detailed analysis of the Hebrew text, including its composition and constraints. Furthermore he also examines any textual variants that are present in a particular pericope. This is particularly helpful to the Hebrew student who wishes to give a proper treatment of the Hebrew text. When Fredricks and Estes begins to to get his exegetical analysis on the text and they give a very pastoral summary as well as a detailed exegetical outline, which is gold to the exegetical preacher. Furthermore the commentary on the text itself is thorough yet not overwhelming. Each is dealt with intern foregoing the modern tendency to do passage by passage or thought by thought. What was of the greatest joy to see in this commentaries was his section on how to apply the pericope to preaching / teaching. Fredricks and Estes has this section at the end of each pericope which turns this commentary from solely exegetical commentary to an application based commentary hybrid. There are few commentaries like this on the market that are of high scholarly caliber, conservative nature, yet pastorally focused.
With regard of recommending, Ecclesiastes & The Song of Songs, to others I would whole heartily recommend this commentary to students of scripture, with one caveat. By this I mean I recommend this work to Pastors, Bible Teachers, Bible College Students, there is enough scholarly weight to this work to understand a particular issue in the text while giving aid to pastors in preaching the text. The caveat is in rearguard to laymen, unless a person has a basic understanding of Biblical Hebrew, a person can not dive into the meat of the commentary.
There are many commentaries about the second book of the Pentateuch available at this moment but Ecclesiastes & The Song of Songs of the Apollos Old Testament Commentary series are a giant leap above all other commentaries on the books of Ecclesiastes & The Song of Solomon.
These books was provided to me free of charge from IVP Academic Press in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.
Fredericks writes in a different vein than most because he sees “vanity” (“hebel”) as “transience.” I must admit that affects every conclusion he makes. Some who hold that “hebel” means “emptiness” criticize this volume. I still hold to the idea of vanity personally, but see a wide meaning that includes both emptiness and transience. For that reason, the commentary was enlightening to me. I would recommend owning another commentary to explain the emptiness angle, but you will enjoy Fredericks.
He is conservative on other introductory matters and writes well. I rank it highly.
Estes sees the Song as almost every modern commentator does–as holding a natural meaning rather than a spiritual or typological meaning. To me, that comes out a little strange on a few passages particularly and makes its very inclusion in the Bible hard to explain, but again, that is true in every modern commentary.
Still, among those modern commentaries this volume is in the upper echelon out there. Like the Ecclesiastes portion, it is conservative and well written. It is also not as graphic as some.
I highly recommend this volume for a modern, exegetical commentary that gives you a two-for-one deal on these two fascinating books of the Bible.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.