A Commentary on Judges and Ruth

A Commentary on Judges and Ruth. By Robert B. Chisholm Jr. Kregel Exegetical library. Grand Rapids: Kregel Academic, 2013. 697 pages. Hardcover. $39.99.


In the latest addition to the Kregel Exegetical Library series, Robert B. Chisholm Jr. (department chair and professor of Old Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary) sets out to answer three important questions concerning Judges and Ruth:

(1) What did the text mean in its ancient Israelite context? (2) What theological principles emerge from or are illustrated by a thematic analysis of the text? (3) How is the message of the text relevant to the church?

In so doing, Chisholm provides a helpful text for students and heralds of God’s Word.

Chisholm’s introduction to the book of Judges demonstrates the high level of his scholarship. In it, he interacts with the foremost scholars concerning the dating of the events in Judges and the proposed date(s) of its writing. As a good biblical studies scholar, Chisholm is hesitant to speculate theories and prefers to focus on that which can be known from the text. He discusses the theories that abound concerning the books structure and order, always reverting back to the text itself, demonstrating his acumen and expertise with the original language.

In the body of the commentary, Chisholm’s format makes this a tremendously helpful volume for preachers. Beginning with the text of Scripture, he provides an outline, followed by a discussion of the literary structure of the passage, and his exposition. He then provides an exegetical idea, followed by theological principles derived from and discussed in the text, before discussing possible homiletical trajectories that are faithful to the message of the text.

Chisholm walks the student and herald of God’s Word from text to pulpit, and for that I am grateful. I am very pleased to add this to my Old Testament commentary shelf.

Robert B. Chisholm Jr., A Commentary on Judges and Ruth

I received this book free from the publisher through the Kregel book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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