DANIEL A COMMENTARY by CAROL A. NEWSOM

3.5 of 5.0

 

The bottom line: A good historical and a fair theological commentary.

Daniel A Commentary will provide you with greater insight and understanding into the Old Testament book of Daniel. However, this insight is heavily biased toward historical and social considerations, with scant emphasis on broad themes, exegesis, or what the text “really means.”

Daniel A Commentary proceeds linearly through all twelve chapters of the book of Daniel. Before the formal commentary begins, there is a sizable section devoted to the book’s literary, historical and social considerations. Each section of commentary begins with a chapter from the Bible and then a verse-by-verse analysis follows. What then follows are subject analyses pertinent to that chapter.

This book falls short where most other verse-by-verse commentaries do: in providing such in depth analysis, the text can suffocate the reader with so much extraneous detail that the main idea becomes lost. Resultantly, it frequently becomes difficult to develop clear and concise conclusions as to what the central Biblical message is because there are so many isolated nuggets of information to synthesize. The topical reflections at the end of each chapter do help to clarify this confusion to some degree. Buyers of the Kindle version (I used the iPad app) should be aware that you are unable to use the menu to jump to a specific section of a commentary—this section is divided into two large blocs of chapters 1-6 and 7-12 so finding an exact location may prove bothersome.

I purchased Daniel as required by a graduate level seminary course. I expect that anyone who is serious about digging deeper into the book of Daniel, especially those who seek to explore the historical forces surrounding the book, will enjoy this text. I expect those in academic circles to derive much value from this commentary and those who teach the Bible and/or preach will derive much less value.

 

Dr. C. H. E. Sadaphal

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