The narrative of the book of Ruth is a drama of ordinary human life, but the drama unfolds against a background of the providence and purposes of God. Katharine Doob Sakenfeld has written a commentary that makes very clear why the book of Ruth has such great importance as literature and as Scripture. Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching is a distinctive resource for those who interpret the Bible in the church. Planned and written specifically for teaching and preaching needs, this critically acclaimed biblical commentary is a major contribution to scholarship and ministry.
From the Introduction: Described by Goethe as "the most charming little whole" of antiquity, Ruth has long been recognized for its literary quality. This beautifully composed narrative continues to attract readers across generations and boundaries of gender, class and ethnicity. In fact, the beauty of the book often distracts from the practical nature of the narrative. For all of its appeal, Ruth is, after all a story about family and survival. The marriage between Ruth and Boaz is a levirate marriage. The goal of this practice is to ensure the continuation and stability of the family line. Thus this "charming little whole" has as its subject preservation of life in the face of death and upholding memory to ward off the loss of identity. This story of survival is short; it consists of four chapters with elements of loss and recovery; famine and harvest, barrenness and fruitfulness, life and death. These elements afford the book a broad appeal as it speaks to various stages and seasons of life, all the while upholding the power of faithfulness against an ever-changing backdrop. Named after one of the major characters, the book of Ruth tells the story of Naomi of Bethlehem and her family "in the days when the judges ruled." So much of what happens in Ruth happens where no one can see. Ruth binds herself to Naomi in the "in between place" of Moab and Judah. No one is there to witness it. Similarly, Ruth asks Boaz for redemption in the middle of the night when we presume everyone else is asleep. These events allow for the inclusion of Ruth as Boaz's people, first as a gleaner and then as a wife. The pattern of what happens away from our observation and then bursts forth where we can see it draws on the images of planting and harvest, conception and birth. On a theological level, it suggests that even in the famine times, God is planting seed, preparing for the next harvest, even when we cannot see it. We must assume then, that whatever we know or recognize about the work of God is only a small piece of the larger whole. We cannot know it all. Chapters: Introduction A Dialogue of Determination Terms of Endearment A Cloaked Covenant A Dialogue of Identity Conclusion
The biblical queen Esther is one of Scripture's most fascinating persons, and the drama of the book bearing her name is clearly captured in this superb commentary. Carol Bechtel expertly explores the historical settings, literary structures, and theological themes that emerge in the book of Esther. Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching is a distinctive resource for those who interpret the Bible in the church. Planned and written specifically for teaching and preaching needs, this critically acclaimed biblical commentary is a major contribution to scholarship and ministry.
Recipient of the Prize of the Minister of Science, Culture, and Sport [of the State of Israel] for classical literature for the year 5762 . The commentary, which accompanies the Hebrew biblical text and the JPS translation, approaches the Book of Esther from a fresh literary point of view. It includes essays entitled "When and Where Was the Book of Esther Written?," "Sex and Spies," and "Rabbinic Interpretation."
The book of Esther has been preserved in ancient texts that diverge greatly from each other. As a result, Jews and Protestants usually read a version which is shorter than that of most Catholic or Orthodox Bibles. In this volume, now available in a new casebound edition, Levenson capably guides readers through both versions, demonstrating their coherence and their differences. The Old Testament Library provides fresh and authoritative treatments of important aspects of Old Testament study through commentaries and general surveys. The contributors are scholars of international standing.
Journal Article Databases
Atla Religion Database with ATLASerials PlusThe ATLA Religion Database® (ATLA RDB®) is the premier index to journal articles, book reviews, and collections of essays in all fields of religion, with coverage from 1949 and retrospective indexing for several journal issues as far back as the nineteenth century. Journals are selected for inclusion according to their scholarly merit and scope. The fact that many publishers solicit the inclusion of their journals in ATLA RDB is indicative of the stature it has achieved in the community of religion scholars.
ATLAS is an online collection of major religion and theology journals selected by leading religion scholars and theologians. Users can read articles or research the history of a topic from as early as 1908 to the present. Currently, researchers are able to use ATLAS as a search tool to retrieve images of the pages in more than one hundred fifty different journals.
Old Testament AbstractsOld Testament Abstracts is a product of a partnership between ATLA and the Catholic Biblical Association. The database features indexing and abstracts for journal articles, monographs, multi-author works, and software related to Old Testament studies. Content from over 450 journals is covered. All abstracts are in English, regardless of the language of the original work. Topics covered include antiquities, archaeology, biblical theology, philology and much more. Coverage in the database dates back to 1978.
New Testament AbstractsNew Testament Abstracts Online is a product of a partnership between ATLA and Boston College. The database is an indispensable research and bibliographic aid for scholars, librarians, clergy and students of the New Testament and its historical milieu. The database contains more than 44,000 article abstracts, 1,200 review abstracts, 16,500 book abstracts, and 50 software abstracts. Each year an additional 2,000 articles from more than 500 periodicals in numerous languages are selected for inclusion. In addition, approximately 900 current books are also summarized annually. Article coverage in the database dates back to 1985.
PsycINFOThis database is published by the American Psychological Associations and provides comprehensive indexing and abstracts of the international psychological literature from the 1800s to the present.
This database is published by the American Psychological Associations and provides comprehensive indexing and abstracts of the international psychological literature from the 1800s to the present. Documents indexed include journals, articles, books, dissertations and more. 90% of the 3,000+ titles indexed in PsycINFO are peer-reviewed.
Sociological AbstractsThis database abstracts and indexes the international literature of sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences.
This database abstracts and indexes the international literature of sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. The database provides abstracts of journal articles and citations to book reviews drawn from thousands of serials publications and also provides abstracts of books, book chapters, dissertations, conference papers and working papers. Cited references are included for many journal articles.