1 & 2 Kings (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible) Hardcover – November 1, 2006
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From the Inside Flap
"The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible makes a most welcome contribution to the church, the academic world, and the general public at large. By enlisting a wide range of Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox theologians who differ on much, but who agree on the truth of the Nicene Creed, the series also represents ecumenical activity of the very best kind. It is always a daunting challenge to expound the church's sacred book both simply and deeply, but this impressive line-up of authors is very well situated for the attempt."--Mark A. Noll, University of Notre Dame
"Preachers and teachers in particular, but thoughtful Christians more generally, have long lamented the slide of biblical scholarship into hyper-specialized critical studies of ancient texts in remote historical context. It is no wonder, therefore, that the Brazos Theological Commentary is being so warmly welcomed. The outstanding array of authors, beginning with Jaroslav Pelikan's splendid commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, are, at long last, reclaiming the Bible as the book of the living community of faith that is the church."--Richard John Neuhaus, editor in chief, First Things
"What a splendid idea! Many preachers have been longing for more commentaries that are not only exegetical but theological in the best sense: arising out of the conviction that God, through his Word, still speaks in our time. For those of us who take our copies of Martin Luther's Galatians and Karl Barth's Romans from the shelves on a regular basis, this new series in that tradition promises renewed vigor for preaching, and therefore for the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church in our time."--Fleming Rutledge, author of The Bible and The New York Times and The Seven Last Words from the Cross
"This new series places the accent on 'theological' and reflects current interpretive ferment marked by growing resistance to the historical-critical project. With a focus on the theological tradition, this series holds the promise of asking interpretive questions that are deeply grounded in the primal claims of faith. The rich promise of the series is indicated by the stature and erudition of the commentators."--Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary
"The Brazos Theological Commentary exists to provide an accessible authority so that the preacher's application will be a ready bandage for all the hurts of life. We who serve the pulpit want a commentary we can understand, and those who hear us expect us to give them a usable word. The Brazos Commentary is just the right level of light to make illuminating the word the joy it was meant to be."--Calvin Miller, author of A Hunger for the Holy and Loving God Up Close
Projected volumes in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible include:
John Behr (St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary) on Exodus
Telford Work (Westmont College) on Deuteronomy
Stephen Fowl (Loyola College, Maryland) and Samuel Wells (Duke University) on Ruth & Esther
Ellen Charry (Princeton Theological Seminary) and Anne Astell (Purdue University) on Psalms
Paul Griffiths (University of Illinois at Chicago) on Song of Songs
Kevin Vanhoozer (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) on Jeremiah
Robert Jenson (Center of Theological Inquiry) on Ezekiel
Stanley Hauerwas (Duke University) on Matthew
David Lyle Jeffrey (Baylor University) on Luke
Bernd Wannenwetsch (Oxford University) on 1 & 2 Corinthians
Kathryn Greene-McCreight (Yale University Divinity School) on Galatians
John Webster (King's College, Aberdeen) on Ephesians
George Hunsinger (Princeton University) on Philippians
Christopher Seitz (University of St. Andrews) on Colossians
Douglas Farrow (McGill University) on 1 & 2 Thessalonians
David Hart (University of Virginia) on Hebrews
Timothy George (Beeson Divinity School, Samford University) on James
Geoffrey Wainwright (Duke University) on Revelation
From the Back Cover
--Randall L. McKinion, Review of Biblical Literature
"Both content and structure contribute to the value of the commentary for sermon preparation and lay use. Chief among the distinguishing features of Leithart's work is the way he travels from the text to multiple disciplines that benefit from the narrative theology described therein. . . . [Leithart's] aspiration of bringing the OT to the church as an ongoing source of revelation is refreshing. In a discipline felt by many to have become increasingly distant from the church, theology, and even exegesis, biblical studies is in need of 'reform.' Like Elijah, Leithart attempts to address the problem from within, rather than casting aspersions from a distance. For this, as well as for his engaging style and challenging observations, his contribution is welcome."
--Amber Warhurst, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
"Leithart's work [is] stimulating in its unabashedly theological interpretive stance. Such a starting point for the exegetical task inquires differently of the text and renders fresh applications and observations. The two disciplines of biblical and theological studies can only benefit from cross-disciplinary engagement and, certainly, Leithart demonstrates that both disciplines can be used critically and in service of the Church."
--Lissa M. Wray Beal, Toronto Journal of Theology
"[Leithart's] introduction, '1-2 Kings as Gospel,' is well worth reading and will be a great help in preparing to preach through these books, which are not often chosen for expository series. This commentary will be a great supplement to other tools when preaching in 1-2 Kings."
- Publisher : Brazos Press (November 1, 2006)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1587431254
- ISBN-13 : 978-1587431258
- Item Weight : 1.26 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.25 x 1 x 9.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,914,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Years ago as I went through the Bible with commentaries, I unfortunately couldn’t find anything that was very useful for 1 & 2 Kings. Based on the strength of Bishop Robert Barron’s 2 Samuel, I decided to try another book in the Brazos Theological line, which is ecumenical in nature, scholarly in its treatment of the texts, but also written for practical and contemporary theological reflection.
This book did not disappoint!
At its most basic level, and while this is not a line by line analysis commentary, Leithart’s book succeeds in highlighting much of what would go unnoticed without a trusted commentary. For example, he breaks down the various chiastic structures of the composition, showing the book to have very neat internal structures. And he points out the rich Biblical and narratives typologies and details of the Hebrew translation.
But beyond that, the author also discusses a myriad of other interesting political, social, and philosophical themes. Take, for example, the “theological historiography” of 1&2 Kings, in comparison to secular historiography. Leithart notes that, “The narrative [of 1Kings 1] is utterly realist in its unblinking depiction of conflict, interest, manipulation, and sexuality in political life, yet at the same time the author insists that Yahweh fulfills his purposes for Israel and the nations through these very strategies of realpolitik. (p. 35)”
Leithart draws out themes from the text to sustain commentary and critique with figures as diverse as Jacques Derrida, Locke, Rousseau, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Nietzsche, Niebuhr, Orwell and many others. The book is also fascinating in its sections discussing the acedia (sloth) and its relation to modernity, 1 & 2 King’s treatment of the problem of evil, the category mistake inherent in comparative religions, the surprising nature of God in history, and modernity as the place of an “exiled” church, and many other themes.
While Jewish readers, and readers of other faiths or agnostic/atheists, may enjoy this book as well, Christians may be most intrigued by the Leithart’s argument that Kings is a “gospel text” (p. 21). This is true not only in the many Christological allusions, but also true in the themes of resurrection and life, and by showing that the mechanism of wisdom, prophets, and temple for salvation, and the impotence of the law, leading to the need for “an incarnate word who shares his Spirit” (p. 217).
On a personal level, I love the gospel of Luke, not only as a text that prioritizes the marginalized, women, Gentiles, but also for its rich stories brimming with multiple layers of meaning and allusions (such as the parable of the Prodigal Son or the Emmaus Road). After reading this book, I think one will come to realize that 1&2 Kings is, not unlike Luke, a text worthy of equal study and contemplation.
Leithart's other concern is a dialogue between the text of scripture and the answers that philosophy provides. He frequently interacts with the ideas of Nietzche, Sartre, Aquinas, Plato, John-Paul II, Kant, and many others. By doing this, Leithart shows how 1-2 Kings is addressing not just the needs of our souls, but also answers many questions that the larger culture is asking. It's worthwhile to note that he spends far more time interacting with these sorts of texts than with other commentators on Kings.
I didn't notice much in the way of the Federal Vision theology which makes Leithart a lightning rod to many. He did approach the scripture consistently and unapologetically as the word of God. There is no discussion of redaction criticism and the like. He accepts the text as it is and interacts with it on multiple levels, always showing how the fundamental problems introduced by the text find their final resolution in Jesus. Each chapter usually has a few phrases of unpointed Hebrew, but it is always translated.
This probably would not be sufficient as a sole commentary on Kings, but I found it very good to read alongside the Scriptures as a devotional and expect it will be helpful for providing perspective on the passages when preaching the text.
I always highly recommend buying Leithart’s books whenever you can find them.