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Zephaniah (Anchor Bible Commentaries) (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) Hardcover – 3 Dec 2007


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Amazon.com: 3 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Rich in information, but ends abruptly 23 Dec. 2011
By Anonymous - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The Good:
-Berlin's commentary on Zephaniah is strong on handling of language. She uses the available space to succinctly sum up many of the translational difficulties and makes the reader available of all the options while stating her own preference. Even in the few verses she claims are "unintelligible," she still manages to give a good explanation of the difficulties involved. Some of her arguments will be difficult to evaluate for those who do not have at least some grasp of Hebrew, but I imagine a series like this assumes exposure to the biblical languages.
-This commentary is thankfully committed to interpreting the text as it stands, something for which conservatives like myself are doubtless appreciative. Berlin is particularly critical of the older tendencies of scholars to dismantle the text at every turn.
-On top of that Berlin takes the time to consider Zephaniah's relationship to other parts of the Bible, something most critical scholars don't give much attention to. Since she is Jewish, she is primarily concerned with OT connections, so those looking for NT application will not find anything here. However, the information in this area was one of the strongest points of the commentary in my opinion.

The Bad:
-Short. The commentary is less than 150 pages long. Almost half of that is devoted to the introduction. (For comparison, the AB volume on Obadiah by Paul Raabe is over 300 pages!) I understand that Zephaniah is not a long book, but I feel that in the context of this particular series, some more space could have been utilized. Not every stone is left "unturned." I would have also appreciated more "big picture" information on Zephaniah, and maybe even some more theology.
-Connected with that, there were many occasions where Berlin mentions something I would have been interested in reading more about (for instance, the intertextual relationship between Genesis 11 and Zephaniah 3), but she instead leaves that to "other works." I can't help but feel that in a commentary of this caliber, it would have been helpful to at least summarize the findings of others instead of sending the reader on an endless bibliographic rabbit chase.
-Expensive. In the interests of full disclosure, I will start by saying that I purchased this book on eBay for about $20. For the information I got out of this book, I feel that is a fair price. The current listed price of $55 is a bit too much to pay for this work, especially for someone of a limited budget. I would recommend trying to get it secondhand if possible.

Overall, I would say that this book is a useful contribution to the study of Zephaniah, and I have benefited from reading it.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A very good commentary. . . 15 Mar. 2004
By David Zampino - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
. . .on an important, and much neglected Old Testament book.
The prophet Zephaniah preached during the reign of Josiah -- the greatest reformer of the Southern Kingdom. Yet, we know very little about the man and his life and times. Dr. Berlin's excellent commentary situates Zephaniah in his historical setting, illuminating some of the more difficult statements he made. At the same time, Dr. Berlin does not neglect to address various alternate theories about Zephaniah regarding his person, date, time, and audience.
A worthy addition to an excellent series.
Recommended.
Five Stars 10 Dec. 2014
By earl taylor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
excellent
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