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Ezra & Nehemiah (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible) Hardcover – October 1, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Praise for previous volumes in the series

"This remarkable project is especially lucky in its inaugural volume on Acts of the Apostles by the noted historian of dogma, Jaroslav Pelikan. If the rest of the commentators live up to the high standard set by Pelikan . . . the series could end up marking a turning point in the history of biblical hermeneutics. . . . One finishes this marvelously lucid book not only excited at the prospect of future volumes, but also wondering if this series will be revolutionary in another sense: Could this be a set of commentaries on the Bible that people will actually read?"
--Edward T. Oakes, SJ, First Things

"Pelikan's inaugural volume on Acts sets a high and honorable standard for the series. . . . Pelikan's interpretive focus on creeds and other church traditions results in an evocative network of conceptual associations, linking words and ideas in Acts to doctrines from church history. . . . The reader's theological understanding of Acts is enriched by Pelikan's successful effort to place Acts in theological conversation with centuries of Christian creeds and other rules of faith."
--John B. Weaver, Calvin Theological Journal

"Jaroslav Pelikan is a good choice to help launch a series like this. He moves through the Acts of the Apostles, commenting astutely on the theological implications of key passages."
--Donald Senior, CP, The Bible Today

"The comments that Pelikan has to offer on each point [in Acts] are truly valuable, insightful, and clearly articulated, a masterful treatment from a true master of his discipline. . . . [The series editors] have invited a diverse range of theologians and historians of theology to this project: We await with anticipation the wide range of offerings that are sure to emerge."
--John Behr, Pro Ecclesia

"What's nice to see is that the individual commentators have been allowed to retain their own voices in this series; [in Matthew, Stanley] Hauerwas is as delightfully irascible and hard-hitting as ever. . . . Hauerwas attends to the Gospel chapter by chapter, teasing out theological themes while resisting the temptation to create a systematic Christology. He draws on theologians like Barth, Augustine, Origen and especially Bonhoeffer, whom he quotes and paraphrases often, as well as New Testament scholars and eclectic writers like Wendell Berry. Insightful and provocative, Hauerwas adds a valuable theological perspective to the Gospel of Matthew."
--Publishers Weekly

From the Back Cover

The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible enlists leading theologians to read and interpret scripture for the twenty-first century, just as the church fathers, the Reformers, and other orthodox Christians did for their times and places. Ezra & Nehemiah is the fourth volume in the series. This commentary, like each in the series, is designed to serve the church--through aid in preaching, teaching, study groups, and so forth--and demonstrate the continuing intellectual and practical viability of theological interpretation of the Bible.

Praise for previous volumes in the series

"The editors could not have found a more qualified person to probe the thick pages of the history of interpretation and Christian doctrine [in Acts]. One might expect a wooden catalog of ancient comments . . . but Pelikan serves up richer fare. Drawing on a stunning array of theological writings, he looks beyond the text of Acts to themes and ultimately dogmas hovering over the text. . . . For many [readers], general editor Reno's vision for the Brazos series will be satisfied: 'We must rehabilitate our exegetical imaginations.'"
--James Howell, Christian Century

"[Acts] has all the marks of Pelikan's scholarship: a close reading of the Greek text; a verse-by-verse commentary on that text studded with references to the great patristic commentators; and a constant eye on the theological and homiletical possibilities of the text itself, as well as its place in the liturgical life of the church both West and East."
--Lawrence S. Cunningham, America

"What Jaroslav Pelikan offers us [in Acts] . . . is neither a commentary nor a book of homilies, but rather a set of observations on what phrases and passages in Acts might remind us of in the later history of Christian doctrine. As a sampler of vintage Pelikan tidbits, it is a scintillating piece of work, a tour de force in the history of dogma, a kaleidoscope of brilliant reflections by a generous and faithful Christian scholar."
--Brian E. Daley, SJ, Pro Ecclesia

General editor: R. R. Reno (Creighton University)
Series editors: Robert W. Jenson (Center of Theological Inquiry)
Robert Louis Wilken (University of Virginia)
Ephraim Radner (Wycliffe College, University of Toronto)
Michael Root (Catholic University of America)
George Sumner (Wycliffe College, University of Toronto)
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Product Details

  • Series: Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Brazos Press (October 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587431610
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587431616
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,404,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Matthew Levering's volume on Ezra-Nehemiah is an interesting exercise in both inter-canonical and redemptive-historical interpretation of Scripture. He manages to succinctly trace the events of Israelite history that set the stage for Ezra-Nehemiah as well as to demonstrate how the rebuilding of the Temple points forward to the coming of Jesus Christ, the bodily manifestation of God's presence who dwelt among us (cf. John 1:14). The inter-canonical discussion helps readers understand why Ezra-Nehemiah is included in the Old Testament canon and its rightful place within the chronology of redemptive history. He clearly shows how the events of Ezra-Nehemiah are the fulfillment of Jeremiah's prophecies and are the remedy for sins committed during the time of Ezekiel and at other points in Israel's history. Since Ezra-Nehemiah are shorter than most Biblical books, Levering conveniently includes the full text of the book(s) set off by italics for his chapter-by-chapter analysis, although he doesn't designate verse numbers, so you'll need an English translation beside you in order to follow him. It was refreshing that Levering clearly shows his interaction with outside sources, most notably commentaries by the Venerable Bede (the eighth century mystic), Joseph Blenkinsopp, F. Charles Fensham and Mark A. Throntveit. (It's disappointing that the series editors couldn't wait until after the release of the forthcoming replacement volume for Fensham's NICOT by Hannah K. Harrington before releasing this volume by Levering. The newer NICOT volumes surpass the older ones in both exegetical depth and theological reflection. It would have been great to read Levering's interactions with her work and undoubtedly improved this commentary.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Levering's is the fourth installment in Brazos's projected forty-volume series of theological commentaries on the Bible. Jaroslav Pelikan led the series with a masterful study of the book of Acts (2005), Peter Leithart studied 1-2 Kings (2006), and Stanley Hauerwas of Duke University tackled the gospel of Matthew (2007). Levering's commentary stands or falls on his three working assumptions.

First, he takes as a "template" the idea of "holy people and holy land" from a previous work of his published in 2005. It's obvious that Ezra and Nehemiah treat of Israel's post-exilic return to the land, the rebuilding of the temple, and the restoration of liturgical life under the Torah. But if you are unfamiliar with or take exception to this "template," then the commentary will disappoint. Second, Levering reads Ezra and Nehemiah in light of other canonical books, which left me feeling like the books had little meaning or significance of their own for readers back then or now. Passages that speak of the exiles observing the passover, for example, evoke John 1:29 that Jesus is the passover lamb. References to the rebuilding of the walls elicit cross-references to Christ the foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11) and corner-stone (1 Peter 2:7). The walls of Nehemiah draw comparisons to a theology of the church. With the renewal of the covenant in Nehemiah 10 he draws an extended "connection" with the Lord's Prayer (pp. 191-194). Whether consciously or not, these spiritualized comparisons seem to follow the mystical commentary of the Venerable Bede of the eight century, which might be Levering's single most-quoted source. He's surely right that his way of reading Scripture "gives the commentary the flavor of a pastiche of biblical quotations.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I try to buy hardcovers, even 'like-new' used ones, because paperbacks don't hold up.
Here's the problem with MOST hardcovers less than 300 pages:
This one has 236 pages...Remember,we're talking about a $24+ BOOK! 4 of 'em =+/- $100!

subtract the bibliography, index etc.
subtract the TWO prefaces
subtract the TWO introductions
You have a 179 page book for nearly one quarter of a hundred dollars!!
I have 4 bible handbooks which cost $10 apiece... go figure. Bookstores are going out of business, and supply/demand economics dictate that people don't buy books [in general] anymore and should cost very little! No book written buy a human being is worth what some of them cost.
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