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First and Second Kings: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching Hardcover – 1 Jan 1987

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 273 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press (1 Jan. 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804231095
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804231091
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,239,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Richard D. Nelson is Associate Dean for Academic Affairsand W. J. A. Power Professor of Biblical Hebrew and Old Testament Interpretation at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, in Dallas, Texas. He is also an ordained pastor with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The Book of Kings is about the past. it is history, a word which to us is almost synonymous with "irrelevant." "History is Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A worthwhile reference with some notable caveats. 9 May 2014
By C.H.E. Sadaphal - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Before anyone uses this book as a reference, it must be understood how the author views the Books of First and Second Kings. One the one hand he is critical of the writings as legitimate historical narratives due to modern skepticism and standards for history writing (he expounds on this in the introduction), and regards the recorded history as “no longer [having] any direct impact on us. This observation goes deeper than the obvious fact that “we are not Jews of the sixth century B.C.E.” Nelson views both books instead as pieces of literature and provides his commentary building upon this foundation.

On the other hand, he also affirms that I and II Kings mirror the Book of Deuteronomy as testaments and guidebooks to a scattered and oppressed people (in exile) to formalize and encourage their loyalty to Yahweh, their identity, their purpose, and their calling as the “chosen” people. The Books of Kings calls out to a fallen and distanced people and invites them to return home in a spiritual sense.

Further, if the book is used a means to interpret the meaning of the scriptures for teaching and/or preaching, beware that the author explicitly states, “This commentary does not provide pat answers or attempt to dictate what the text ‘means’. Instead it intends to draw the reader into an intimate engagement with the text itself.”

As a result, the book excels in extrapolating some practical theological implications behind the stories of kings in Ancient Israel and Judah, and highlights the relevance to contemporary Christians. I found many new insights on old stories exceptionally enlightening. In particular, Nelson’s analysis of the story of Naboth’s vineyard and how that relates to modern complacency and/or permissive silence is brilliant.

The book falters by devoting such a large amount of space to structural and chronological analysis that I find did not add much value to theological interpretation. The author subsequently spends much time actually recanting what actually happened in the text—information that can gained simply by reading the Bible itself.

In short, the book remains an adequate reference to extract some meaning and significance from two books of the Old Testament, but one would have to wade through some superfluous academic and historical analysis before reaching the core of “Interpretation.”
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Teaching tool 29 Dec. 2012
By Richard R. Roach - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been teaching Old Testament for twenty years and this title has keen insights that other commentaries have missed. The structure of the book is novel, presenting verse insight separated from the author's opinion and interpretation. This allows the reader to "get the facts" and then see what the author thinks about them. Very helpful in allowing the reader to come to their own conclusions first. The introduction and summaries are helpful as well.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Five Stars 26 Dec. 2014
By ShopperMom - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Easy to read and understand.
2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Thoroughly useful 21 Aug. 2005
By Stephen Clark - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This series is good and I find this particular commentary clear and perceptive.
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